Manage Recoil with Dry-Fire Training
Recoil is one of those necessary evils that every new shooter has to overcome in order to be sufficiently accurate and react appropriately in the event of a confrontation. One of the great debates in the gun community is whether dry-fire and laser training systems prepare the shooter for the reality of firing their weapon with live ammo.
While many shooters tout the mantra of “shooting through it” to get accustomed to recoil, author and US Concealed Carry Magazine Executive Editor Kevin Michalowski claims in his article “Will Recoil Make You a Better Shot?” at USConcealedCarry.com, that continuously shooting will not make you immune to recoil:
“As a shooter, you can’t overcome a flinch by pounding your shooting hand with recoil. You can, however, ingrain the basic shooting mechanics so thoroughly into your muscle memory through dry-fire training that you will keep all your rounds on target.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Part of becoming a more accurate shooter is to follow the basics and remember that recoil does not affect accuracy, since it comes after the actual shot.
The Wall Drill is one of the first exercises to master. The first step is having a strong grip on your weapon. Then raise your gun to eye level with the end of the barrel about one inch from the wall. Pull the trigger slowly so that the release is a surprise. The objective is to hold the muzzle in place. Repeat at least five times daily if possible.
The goal of dry-fire training is to reinforce proper technique until it is embedded in memory. The key to accuracy is the elimination of muzzle movement, which is an easy skill to practice with dry-fire. This exercise should significantly reduce the tendency to anticipate the recoil and pull the trigger in an erratic manner.
Naturally, the more this drill is repeated, the more it will transition to live ammo at the range and will be a natural reaction should you ever be in a confrontation where you are forced to draw and fire your handgun.
If you find that recoil anticipation is still an issue even after practicing the Wall Drill for a while, then it would be a good idea to shoot with a smaller caliber gun at the range and focus on a smoother trigger pull. Remember that recoil happens after the shot and isn’t an influence on accuracy.
Although dry-fire training does not involve live ammo, there are important safety rules to follow. Remove and empty the magazine. Pull the slide to the rear and lock it. Verify that the chamber is empty. Make sure there are no loose rounds anywhere in the room.
While some critics disagree, most experts will tell you that practicing with dry-fire is an important training element. By combining trigger control and the knowledge that recoil occurs after the shot, accuracy will improve and recoil trepidation will decrease.