Dry fire practice is often looked at as the poor man’s range time, seen as less effective because it doesn’t actually show the shooter’s accuracy or involve factors such as recoil. This is a viewpoint that should be avoided. Dry fire is a great training tool that strengthens fundamental aspects of shooting, reduces costs, and can be conducted at home. When range time is far and few between or for new shooter, a lot of dry fire should be used. In between range trips, dry fire can be used to keep skills sharp and fresh.
There are two primary types of dry fire that can be broken down into any number of drills. The first, and of the most value to new shooters, is fundamental drills. The second, which increases the skills bank and is more geared towards shooting in a defensive or combative setting, is reaction drills.
Fundamental drills are designed to sharpen the basic skills of shooting: Sight picture and sight alignment, breath control, trigger squeeze, follow through, and trigger reset.
Reaction drills are designed to reduce the time it takes to present a weapon (draw a pistol or unsling a rifle), reload, and clear malfunctions.
- Drill One: In a proper shooting stance with a proper grip on the weapon, have a helper place a coin on the barrel of the weapon just behind the front sight. The wider the barrel, the wider the coin should be. With a proper sight picture, squeeze the trigger and allow it to reset, both without allowing the coin to fall. This will strengthen a trigger pull that doesn’t push shots off target.
- Drill Two: With a proper stance, grip, and sight picture, squeeze the trigger at the bottom of a breath during the natural pause between inhalation and exhalation.
- Drill Three: Start with a holstered or slung weapon and back turned to the “target.” Turn to face the target as the weapon is presented. Establish a proper sight picture and squeeze of one “shot.” This drill can be enhanced with a random start timer.
- Drill Four: “Fire” two shots at a target, “reload” the weapon, and “fire” two more shots.
- Drill Five: “Fire” two shots at a target, clear a failure fire by tapping the mag into place, racking the action, and “fire” two shots.
- Drill Six: “Fire” two shots and clear a failure to eject by taking the support and sweeping along the ejection port followed by racking the action. “Fire” two shots.
- Drill Seven: “Fire” two shots and clear a double feed by locking the action open, press the magazine release with your strong hand, rip the mag free with support hand, tilt the weapon slightly towards the ejection port, rack the action 3 times, locking it open on the last rack, reload, and “fire” two shots.
- Drill Eight: With a partner, begin “shooting” and have them call out random drills to perform. An example would be, as you are shooting, your partner calls “double feed.” You clear it and return to shooting. The partner then calls “failure to eject.” Continue this for about 15-20 minutes.
By using dry fire once or twice a week in between range days, you will notice an increase in proficiency, a decrease in time, and will be able to identify and correct malfunctions quickly and effectively.
Safety: Ensure that all weapons are unloaded, no ammunition is in the same room as you, and that you follow firearms safety rules.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.