Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dry Fire: Cheap, Effective Training

It’s no secret that I like dry fire. I think it’s the most innovative thing in shooting since the combat load.
Simply put, anything you can do to practice with your firearm that doesn’t require live ammo can be performed in dry fire. Dry fire is NOT aiming at the TV and pulling the trigger. It is not lying in your bed and aiming at the ceiling. You can use dry fire to improve your trigger with the proper regime. Check out the White Wall Drill for more information.

* Want to get your draws smoother – practice in dry fire.
* Want to speed up your reloads – practice in dry fire.
* Want to improve transitions – practice in dry fire.
* Want to improve recoil control – LIVE FIRE, NOT DRY FIRE!

Dry fire allows us to work on a great many skills without expending any ammo or driving to the range. However, dry fire is not a replacement for live fire.

I dry fire roughly 3 times a week for 15 to 20 minutes. Some will see that as a lot and some will see that as too little. In all honesty, I should be dry firing more to achieve my personal goals. Although with those dry fire sessions, I try to get in one live fire session a week. This isn’t always possible but it is important. It keeps your dry fire honest. It is really easy to fall into the trap of dry firing exclusively and becoming a dry fire hero. In all likelihood, you go to the range and realize the skills are not as polished as you thought.

You might have a sub 1.0 second draw time in dry fire but if you have never got up on the 3 yard line and actually practiced it with live ammo and a timer, you don’t really know. Likely, you won’t be as fast; your mind will take too long getting the perfect sight picture vs an acceptable sight picture.

It is easy to dry fire your way to speed, but you must still look for every weakness in live fire and find a way to execute it better. If not, you will be quick in your dry fire but in live fire, you will be stuck at your current level.

Don’t mistake this to mean dry fire isn’t important; because it is. Dry fire without live fire confirmation, in the form of mini-drills against a timer, will not take you to the level you desire.

Are you a competitive student that looks for ways to improve using both dry fire and live fire or are you a dry fire hero; burning down drill after drill in your basement but never verifying a thing at the range?

Are you overlooking some easy improvement in the name of a quick dry fire par time?

Where are you and where do you want to be?

I have dry fired in various ways. Depending on your carry gun, actual dry firing of your gun may not be good for it. See your owner’s manual to see if you can dry fire with your particular gun. I used a pile of books for my safety pad. I took several paperback books and duct taped them together. They equal about 10 inches. That should take care of any accidental discharge. My carry guns are all 9mm so it more than takes care of that. Here is a website that shows their results of shooting through books. With their test a 9mm was stopped at 7 inches. I figure 10 inches should be enough but I also put the books in front of a wall for extra stopping power. This is the website:
My articles on dry fire are:

Training: Dry Fire 9/4/2014
Benefits of Dry Fire 5/19/2015

Put together a training plan and then set realistic goals. Re-evaluate often. Train hard.

Semper Paratus
Check 6