You’ve done some target shooting, you’ve taken a class or two, but you just feel you haven’t done enough, as far as practicing goes. Or maybe you can only get to the range every once and again. Now is the time to do what is called dry fire practice, and you can do this at home — anytime.
Of course, your weapon must be empty of ammunition and cleared. In fact, place ammunition in another part of the house, away from where you plan to do your dry fire practice.
But if you’re still a bit uneasy about this part, you can get a training barrel, which start at just $13 at Amazon.com, or do a search for other web sites that offer them.
Your first dry fire practice action should be to press the trigger, hold it back, work the slide, then let the trigger go forward until it re-engages with a click. Do this as many times as you need to, but be consistent.
As Uli Gebhard notes, in his article, “Practicing the Skills You Can’t Practice” at USConcealedCarry.com,
“This exercise does several things for you:
- You maintain a solid basic technique that makes sure you are consistent in your trigger work. Consistency translates into accuracy.
- If you have a problem with recoil anticipation, meaning that you instinctively work against the recoil before it happens, this will help you work past that problem.
- You will gain speed for fast shooting sequences. If you are used to releasing the trigger only to the reset point, you will execute the same motion at a faster pace as well, eliminating wasted movement and putting more rounds downrange.
- You can take this up one notch and buy a dry practice kit that takes working the slide out of the equation.”
(Read more from Gebhard about dry fire practice here.)
Your next practice is drawing from a holster. Use the holster you wear the most. (You can also practice with other holsters later.) Don’t draw fast – speed isn’t what counts here. What does count is slow and sure.
Drawing too fast means you will be more careless and in the end, too slow. Starting out slow means you will be fluid and ultimately faster in the long run. After you’ve done this enough times, and feel that you have the hang of it, try some evasive moves drawing from the holster. Remember, slow is fast in this case.
Next, try different scenarios. Go from drawing from the holster to dry firing to what happens after that. Would you immediately reholster your gun? Probably not, unless you know for sure your opponent is down for the count. Should you have any backup, such as a knife, mace, or even a backup gun? Add those to the mix.
Gebhard also adds, “If your dry runs at home were thorough, the live-fire should show impacts right where you want them. Once this is done, re-visit your basics. Increase the distance to the target and challenge yourself. Use the full length of the range and practice headshots out to the maximum distance.”