Online Conceal and Carry Permit
Five Tips for Dry Fire Training
By: Jay Busch
There is nothing better than getting out and putting some lead down range. Practice makes perfect.
Unfortunately the side effect of consistent range training is a lighter wallet and a husband or wife wondering why the joint account is so low. Just like any other training activity, there are ways to work around the high cost while ensuring that you are still going through the motions and getting that muscle memory down.
If you have never heard of the 70/30 rule, you will now. This concept is employed by many of the industry’s top shooters. Spend seventy percent of your time training running through dry fire drills and thirty percent out at the range. I remember back to my training in boot camp years ago. When I was being introduced to the USMC version of shooting, we didn’t even hit the range for a few weeks. Most of the build up training that I received focused on dry firing the firearm to ensure that I knew the fundamentals before sending me out to the range to actually feel the weapon shoot. What this enabled me to do was familiarize myself with the weapon and shooting fundamentals in general before I started spending your hard earned tax dollars.
1. Safety. The number one rule when it comes to dry firing (or anything involving a firearm) is safety. From the first time you held a gun through every time you go to the range, you were taught to treat firearms safely. Our online carry training course and every other instructor out there will hammer this home time and time again. Although this is common sense, it is important to reiterate it consistently. Accidents do happen and by handling firearms properly you can erase any chances of having a negligent discharge. Before running through dry fire training, ensure that you are conducting the training in a safe zone and that no live ammunition is in the room with you. Clear your firearm and aim into a protected surface (I prefer my basement while aiming at a cinder-block wall that I know has dirt behind it. I conduct my dry fire training ensuring that no entrance to the room that I am in would allow someone to come between the wall and me.)
2. Training. You know I am going to say it so I will make it quick. Practice makes perfect. I promise I will not use that the rest of the article. When it comes to training, whether it is a sport, a profession, or something as simple as typing, the more you train the better you become. Applying these principles to shooting is no different. The more time that you spend familiarizing yourself with not only your firearm but shooting fundamentals in general, the better, more consistent shooter you will be. Additionally, to ensure you are familiar with the weapon that you will be carrying on a daily basis, use your actual carry firearm while training. Make sure that weapon is located where you normally carry and practice drawing the weapon from concealment to pulling the trigger on the target. Most people can hit a target 15 feet away, but most people cannot draw a weapon from concealment and hit that target in time if it were charging towards them.
3. Adaptive Training. Simply put, adaptive training means practicing from different positions and distances that you might encounter in a real world scenario. If you are in the grocery store and someone starts shooting at you, are you going to remain in the open or trying to get behind some concealment? Unless you are the T-1000 from terminator, your natural survival instincts are going to kick in and tell your body to get behind something. Set a large box or other object that you could treat as concealment and practice firing from behind it. Practice standing, sitting, prone, and shooting around corners. Trying to cover every single foreseeable shooting solution before you have to use it in the real world.
4. Situation Training. In your mind, set up specific scenarios. Are there other people in the store? Could you remove yourself safely from the situation without putting yourself in danger? Should you or shouldn’t you shoot? These are just a few of the questions that would normally be flying through your head during a lethal encounter. Answer them prior to ever finding yourself in that situation. Additionally, you can create and run through “Shoot/No Shoot” situations to preemptively answer some questions that can save you a few second in a lethal encounter.
5.Tools. There are many great tools out there designed to help shooters better themselves through dry fire exercises. The most predominant one would be “snap caps.” These simply are hard, plastic rounds that are the exact size of the caliber of firearm that you are shooting. Investing in these “fake” or “dummy” rounds allows you to train using the actual functions of your firearm and enables you to set up malfunction drills. These rounds will cycle just like a normal round and prevent any unnecessary wear and tear to your firing pin.
While dry fire training is not nearly as fun as getting out to the range, it provides responsibly armed citizens a way to properly train while reducing the burden on their wallets. Military and police forces spend so much time training so that the day that they find themselves in a lethal situation their reaction is simply muscle memory. Take a play from their book, spend the time training now so that if/when you find yourself in a situation where you need to use lethal force, your body already has the motions memorized to ensure that you come out alive on the other side.