Dry fire practice
Where the only thing worse than a click is a bang.
Definition: The act of going through all the motions of shooting without firing a single live round.
Disclaimer: You are responsible for all the safety rules surrounding firearms. You are also responsible for every round you fire even if you did not intend to shoot. The following is a guideline that you can follow but only you are responsible for your actions intended or not. If you do not feel safe performing these tasks seek professional training prior to starting.
For years we all thought that the only way to get better at anything was to practice, practice, practice. Fortunately for us we have universities willing to conduct human studies for their own entertainment. I am sure they see it differently and feel it is all in the name of learning. Lucky for us they have learned a lot. The mental practice studies have been done a number of times. Here are a couple of links to just some of the studies, (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3).
If you are as busy as I am here is the condensed version. If you simply visualize yourself completing a task the next time you perform it in real life you will have improved. Now when you combine this with thinking about shooting and actually pulling the trigger on an empty chamber you will see an improvement that will impress your friends.
Preparing for Dry Fire.
This is the single most important part of the following drills. Failing to follow this part could result in injury to yourself or others. It could also result in negative help.
First order of business is to choose two rooms. The first will be to secure all live ammunition while the second will be to practice. Before you begin you will need to have your firearm, holster (optional), magazines, targets, and any other equipment you want to use in your training. All of this will need to be pre-staged in the appropriate rooms prior to beginning any of the following steps.
Start in the first room where you will unload your firearm and magazines. You need to take all the ammunition off your person out of any holsters you are going train with, any magazines you using and leave it in this room. Once you have secured every live round of ammunition you will need to prepare your mind to receive the training your about to perform. This is accomplished by closing your eyes and saying aloud I this is dry fire three times.
Once you feel you have secured all the live rounds and you have opened your mind to proceed into the second room.
Now that you have opened your mind and are ready to begin you are going to practice just as if you were at the range. Make sure you have an appropriate target with a backstop that will stop the caliber of round you could be using. This is just in case you get a bang instead of a click, you do not want to kill your neighbor or loved one in the next room. Before you squeeze that trigger for the first time check one last time both visually and physically that there are no rounds in your gun.
There is no magic dry fire drill that will make you better than another one. The idea is to focus on the skill that you need to practice on. You can isolate your training to one task such as trigger control or sight alignment. I am going to share with you my favorite drill. This drill is done a quarter speed or even slower until I get the repeatable results I was practicing.
Pete’s natural point of aim drill
- Carry holster
- Carry firearm
- Extra magazines
- Dummy rounds
- Lifelike target
Steps: From the holster and at less than quarter speed.
- Close your eyes
- Sweep any obstructions away if you are drawing from a concealed position
- Establish a good shooting grip
- Draw from the holster (using a presentation method) and point at your target keeping your eyes closed
- When you feel you’re centered on your target open your eyes and check your sight alignment and sight picture.
- If you’re missing either sight alignment or sight picture fix it. DO NOT PUSH YOU GUN ON TARGET.
- Only fix either sight alignment or sight picture, do not work on both at the same time.
- Squeeze the trigger and reset
This simple drill will make you faster and more accurate without ever firing a single round.