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  • Women with Weapons

Dry Fire Practice

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

I don't know about you but with the 2 ranges down at Freedom Outdoors I have not been shooting like I used to and it's evident in my performance on the range. So I thought we could discuss "dry fire" drills.

What is dry fire? Dry fire is an imitation of a live fire shot without any ammunition. The goal is to consistently practice skills, to improve muscle memory thus improving your shooting. From improving the speed of your holster draw, to ensuring you consistently index, to working your trigger without moving the gun. There are many drills you can use to improve your shooting. Based on our W3 Shooting Event on 9/17/22, the Sutton Drill was about demonstrating our efficiency when it comes to emergency reloads.

SAFETY FIRST: It's critical that you ensure the gun is clear, with no ammo or loaded mags in the room where you are practicing. Be sure to double and triple check (and have someone else confirm) that your gun and magazines have no ammo loaded and that there is no access to ammo in the your practice area.

Practice: You know the the old saying, practice makes perfect. So dry firing allows you to practice in the convenience of your own home without having to book an appointment at the range, not to mention it's cheaper since you're saving on ammo.

Systems/Components: There are a number of dryfire systems and/or components out there. Many of our members can share their experiences with you should you consider buying a particular system. You can make it as simple or as complicated and expensive as you want.

  1. The first app I downloaded from the app store was "Dry Fire Par Timer". It was free and had a timer. There are many options, I've included a link to many I found on Amazon here.

  2. A laser cartridge (link to amazon provided) allows me to see if I was hitting the target accurately when dry firing. I initially purchased the "Strikeman" dry fire system.

  3. My favorite so far is the "Mantis system", there a number of options with this system and the module that attaches to your picatinny rail makes it nice.

  4. Another system out there is the "Cool Fire Trainer", it's expensive, but WOW it looks pretty cool. It's on my wish list!

Scheduling: It is said that training sessions should not exceed 10 to 15 minutes. It's also recommended that dry fire should be done more than once a week. I decided to set an alarm for 7:30AM every morning so I know I will get it done. The time flies and I find that I'm getting on target much faster. Right now my focus is on my draw. So the question is, how committed are you to improving your shooting.

Three Drills To Start:

Draw - drawing from holster while being sure to index with your support hand, align your sights, get a sight picture and holding the gun steady while pulling the trigger. When returning the gun to the holster be sure to mirror your draw by indexing your support hand as you put the gun back into the holster.

Goal: to get your shot on target within 2 seconds, then work to get your shot on target within 1.5 seconds.

Emergency Reloads - using 2 to 4 EMPTY magazines, put them in your mag pouch. Get into shooting position and pull the trigger, pull the gun back into your work space, drop the mag (don't hold on to it) put your index finger on your support hand down the front of the first magazine when pulling from the pouch and reload the gun FAST with the new magazine. Send the slide forward, take the shot and reload again until you've used all of your mags, then do it 24 more times.

Goal: Reload and back on target within 3 seconds or less.

Repeat drill 25 times (1 time should involve 2-4 mag reloads)

Balance Drill - the balance drill will help you work on trigger control, which is a huge part of good shooting. You balance a shell casing or a thumb tack on the top of the slide. Basically, it needs to be small enough to move if the gun moves but can balance on top of it.

Place the object on the gun. Get your shooting stance & grip, then press the trigger. The object shouldn't move. This is easier if you have a partner to assist in placing the casing on the gun

Goal: To pull the trigger without the object moving. If it's moving, that means you need to hone your trigger press and your grip.

Repeat drill 25 times

Would anyone be interested in doing a "Dry Fire Challenge". We would do an individual measure of performance before starting the 2 week or month challenge, then do one upon conclusion to gauge our improvement. I'd love to do one, so please let us know!

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