Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Benefits of Dry Fire

How much time at the range do you get? Is it enough to keep your skills up? Do you dry fire? If so, how much time do you devote to that?
These are tough questions that you should answer honestly. It doesn’t matter whether you hunt, compete, or carry for self-defense you should be training. Dry fire is a good, cost effective training tool. But I have to admit, it’s no fun! I don’t dry fire enough and I know I don’t get to the range as much as I want. (That would be daily!)

At a minimum, dry firing, even without a specific drill in mind, builds up your familiarity with that firearm’s trigger, and that is a worthy goal. This is especially beneficial for handgun and rifle shooters who will need to exercise good trigger control under pressure. When your fingers are numb during a late-season deer hunt or while you are trying to run a clean stage during a pistol match, that practice will pay dividends.

Beyond trigger control, what can dry firing do for you?

By practicing with your scoped hunting rifle you can learn to call your shots. Hold your sights on a target that is small enough so that you cannot readily keep your crosshairs centered on it. As the sights wobble, which they always do, practice breaking the shot at the correct moment. This will develop trigger control, point out flaws in your shooting posture (this is great to do from the kneeling, sitting and off-hand positions), and train you to recognize where your crosshairs were at the exact moment the trigger clicked.

With a handgun, you can practice your presentation to the target from the holster and work on the all-important front-sight focus.

Shotgunners can do the “flashlight drill,” where you place a small Maglite flashlight in the barrel of your shotgun and, while watching the spot the light throws on the wall, practice your mount and swing, which should be done simultaneously. Make the light follow along the seam between a wall and your ceiling. Visualize that seam as the flight path for a clay target or bird. Before you start your mount, pick the spot along that seam where you want to hit your target. Do the drill so that your swing and mount come together right at that spot. Once the shotgun hits your shoulder there should only be the barest hesitation before you pull the trigger.

Another great benefit to dry firing is firearms manipulation. Whether running the bolt on your rifle, practicing reloads with a semiauto pistol or shotgun, or learning to control the safety on your AR, dry firing can help out.

If you conceal carry you can practice presentation from concealment and of course, aim and trigger control.

These are only a few ideas of how dry fire can help. All of the great shooters I know dry fire quite regularly. Most good training programs are heavy on the dry fire side.
I use an air soft gun that is a replica of my carry weapon. It helps to have a replica for trigger, aim, manipulation, presentation, and magazine change. Not all training weapons will give you all those things, which is why I like air soft.
Train on!

Semper Paratus
Check 6