I am continually surprised at my ladies classes that women have not been let in on the secret of dry firing. I guess not everybody walks around their office dry firing their gun like me 🙂 Thought I would give you some specifics to try, I guarantee this is the single most important thing you can do to improve your shooting skills.
Dry fire is performing the same actions as you would at the range without live ammunition in your gun. Dry firing perfects your technique, helps you memorize muscle movement and can increase your speed and accuracy. As always we are going to follow our safety rules and keep treating our gun as if it is loaded so we never point it at anyone or anything we are not willing to destroy. Here are the steps to practice safe dry firing:
Dry Firing Must be Done in Three Stages:
1.Before Dry Firing Begins: Clear the room of ALL live ammunition.
2.During Dry Firing: Treat the exercise as though it is a LIVE FIRE exercise, including maintaining muzzle control, and using a backstop that can effectively stop a live round!
3.After Dry Firing End: Perform a clearance procedure BEFORE returning your gun to its proper location.
Practicing dry firing helps your sight alignment and trigger control. Beginners often have a hard time with the flinch response and managing the recoil. By practicing dry firing you can concentrate on your trigger control which will help minimize the flinch and help you control the recoil at the range. Start your practice by concentrating on your stance and sight picture without pulling the trigger, do this 10-15 times. Then add in the trigger pull for another 10-15 times. Concentrate on a smooth pull from start to finish, not squeezing the trigger but rather a fluid front to back motion.
If you have your permit and carry, this is also a fine time to practice drawing from your purse or holster when you are at home practicing. Most ranges do NOT allow holster work for safety reasons.
As you improve, take the next step in dry firing by dry firing 2-3 times, changing out your mag or clearing a pretend jam. If you are still shooting with one eye closed, practice dry firing with both eyes open.
Again as you are improving dry firing is a great time to add other elements like flashlights and moving and dry firing from alternate positions when you are in your home environment.
Some people may tell you that dry firing can harm a gun. I have talked to two gunsmiths who are armourers as well and they tell me all calibers on handguns EXCEPT the rimfire .22 are just fine to dry fire. However on an older gun you may want to use snap caps. If you are unsure, contact your gun’s manufacturer or use snap caps in the appropriate caliber of your gun. Snap caps are dummy rounds. They do not fire out of the gun.
One of the tools I use in dry firing and really like is by Laserlyte and is shaped like ammo and goes right in your barrel. When you pull the trigger, the laser “fires” and hits your target. This has helped me with that flinch factor and also figuring out the sweet spot on my trigger fingers. In my opinion this is a much better gauge of dry firing then the old penny on the barrel technique.
My routine at the range also includes dry firing. I start out with 15-18 dry fires with my laser, then I work through my live ammo and finish with dry firing. It really has helped my marksmanship!
If this has helped you, please share on social media!