If you are in the same boat as a lot of people then you may be holding or rationing your ammo supplies for the time being. Cutting back on those supplies also probably means that you aren’t getting as much range time and time behind your firearm which can cause your skills to dull from not being exercised regularly. However, even if you’re unable to make it to the range for live-fire training you can still keep your mind sharp and your skills exercised at home with dry fire drills. Over the course of this article we’ll go over some of the dry fire motions you can go through and how to best spend your time practicing outside of the range.
Always abide by the four major firearm safety rules at all times, especially when performing dry-fire drills. To take it a step further, it is important to make sure that you remove all live ammunition from the room/area in which you will be training dry-fire drills to remove as many probabilities for negligence as possible. If you want to cut this probability down even further you can elect to purchase and use training firearms that are normally a bright solid color, made of some sort of plastic, and sometimes weighted to mimic your pistol. Once you have safety in mind and covered, you can move on to your dry-fire drills.
The best way to make something into a habit that you can perform the same way every time, is to practice that motion in repetition. This same technique can be used for drawing your firearm, punching it out in front of you, and ensuring you have the correct grip to be ready to fire. With enough repetition, you will be able to accomplish this full-motion almost as a reflex.
To begin, you can practice drawing the firearm from the location in which you normally carry it, or have it placed. Work on just this single motion so that your hand can get used to going to where the pistol is holstered, getting a firm and full grip on the handle, and then drawing it out in a smooth motion with your finger in the proper position (not inside the trigger guard). You can start practicing this motion as slowly as needed to make sure you’re building the correct muscle memory and then speed it up as you feel comfortable.
Once you feel that you’ve exercised the draw enough, you can start incorporating extending the firearm out in front of you. This can be practiced either by itself or in conjunction with your draw. You want to ensure that when you’re getting your firearm out in front of you, that you’re getting the sights as level with your vision and target as possible. If you don’t have to move the firearm or your head/eyes as much at the end of the extension you can be on target faster and ready to fire sooner. Finally, and after making sure that there is no live ammo in the magazine, the firearm, or the room you’re in, you can incorporate your trigger pull at the end of the punch out and when you’re on target.
This drill can be done with or without a firearm and is as simple as working through the motion of your trigger pull. With this drill, you’re wanting to focus on isolating your trigger finger and moving it in a smooth and clean pull that allows the trigger to break evenly without you jerking or pulling the firearm. Many shooters encounter the issue where they will pull shots high or low, left or right, and it’s sometimes remedied by fixing the trigger pull. If you want to delve further into trigger drills there are devices and apps you can purchase and/or download for your smartphone that is able to tell you how much movement you made before and after a trigger pull. This can be useful in determining if you’re pulling your shots or perhaps not applying an even trigger pull. If you want something a little more low-tech you can purchase or use dummy-rounds that have laser pointers encased in them so that you can see your point of aim on a blank wall before and after your trigger pull.
These aren’t the only drills you can work on while not at the range. There are a multitude of other possibilities that will depend on your current skill and any specific needs you may have as a shooter. You can work on moving between targets in a smooth manner. Practice holding the firearm and aiming with your non-dominant hand. Exercise clearing jams by placing dummy rounds in the ejection port. There are enough ideas out there that you can keep your skills sharp even when you’re not at the range and able to practice as often as you’d like. Perfect practice makes perfect.