How many rounds does it take to remain proficient.
For defensive shooting, this is kind of a subjective question as everyone is different. Ball park figure, to retain good muscle memory, I say at least a box (50 rounds) of practice a week to retain good defensive shooting skills. (And that's probably on the light side.) That's 2600 rounds a year. For a 9MM (at $10 a box), that's $520 a year, plus range time. And that practice needs to include much more than just target practice. If you're not practicing defensive drills (including quickly diagnosing and clearing all manner of malfunctions, and reloading quickly) you won't be ready, God forbid, should the need ever arise. I shoot 100 to 200 rounds on most nice days on my home shooting range. But I just enjoy bullet casting, reloading, and shooting. And now that I'm retired I've got the time to really enjoy what I've always enjoyed, the sport of shooting.
How many of you have friends with guns who couldn't hit a pie plate 3 times in 5 seconds at 21 feet, or even 10 feet. Yet they feel safe just because they own a gun. At my coaxing and prodding, a good friend of mine, who never practices, finally came over the other day to shoot with me (which prompted me to make this post). He has a nice 45 auto, and feels safe and secure with it. He talks big, and thinks his 45 will stop anybody, just because "it's a 45". (People with shot guns mistakenly feel the same way.) He missed the plate with all 3 shots on his first attempt! Got 1 out of 3 on his second attempt. (Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.) Missed all 3 again on his third attempt. He, like 98% of people who own guns, is living under a false sense of security, and would fail miserable (be dead) in a defensive pistol match, which is no where near the pressure and fear one would experience in a real life confrontation.
If you own a gun for defensive purposes, you need to acquire/practice good gun skills (practical, tactical, and marksmanship), and sound presence of mind. Lacking this, merely "having" that gun could get you killed. (i.e. You start shooting and miss which causes the bad guy to start shooting, and he/they get you.) Learn how to end the confrontation, and not start a gun fight. If you think merely "having" that gun or pulling that trigger will do it, your head is up a very smelly part of your anatomy. And I say that with love. If you can quickly and consistently hit what you're shooting at, none of this applies to you (but be honest with yourself - test yourself).
I have the time, place, ammo, and inclination to practice a lot. Many gun owners don't. Suggestions? What say you all?