Dryfire.

Prompted by a note from my friend Brent, currently shooting his way through the South Florida IPSC circuit…

I dryfire a lot. Most serious practical shooters do, even the ones with private ranges and five-figure ammo budgets. Dryfire lets you refine your gunhandling and work out problems in your technique, all in the privacy of your own home.

I generally dryfire every day, for between 30-45 minutes. I try to mix up the times, either early morning or mid-evening, so as not to fall into a rut.

When I press multiple shots on a targets, my pistol is only cocked for the first shot. For every subsequent shot, I release the trigger to the reset point, then press it again.

For a rep to count, every I have to see the sights on the A-zone for every shot. I’m very picky about this. When dryfiring, you have to train yourself to only shoot As. If you allow yourself to shoot Cs and Ds, you’ll shoot Cs and Ds in competition.

I use my CED7000 shot timer to give myself a start beep if necessary, but rarely if ever use it for par times. The controlling factor in each drill is how fast I can get A-zone hits.

My practice regimen usually goes something like this:
- Gear up. Remove any live ammo from my practice area. I practice in the basement, so I have a bulletproof backstop. All my dryfire is done on 3 1/3-scale IPSC Metric targets, 12′ away and 1′ apart.
- Chamber check my pistol, and all my practice magazines. I dryfire with five magazines, each with 10 dummy rounds (no powder or primer.) Using empty magazines makes the gun feel very different.
- 20 reps of the Wall Drill
Draws (all 2x shots):
– 10 draws from the holster, in slow motion. Perfect form.
– 10 draws from hands-at-sides.
– 10 draws from surrender.
– 10 draws while moving into a shooting position. Alternate moving left and right.
– 10 turning draws.
– 10 draws to a head shot.
– 10 each draws strong-hand and weak-hand only.
Reloads:
– 5 standing reloads from each magazine pouch.
– 5 reloads while moving from each magazine pouch.
Transitions/Movement:
– 10 draw, fire 2 shots on each target.
– 10 entry/exit drills. Set two boxes ~10′ apart. Start in box A, draw and fire 2 shots on each target, move to Box B and fire 2 shots on each target. Alternate directions.
– 10 movement drills. Start in box A, draw and while moving to box B, fire 2 shots on each target. Alternate directions.

There are some things I should probably add to my practice drills – barricade and port shooting should be in there. I should probably do more table draws and reloads than I do now. And I should spend more time on visualization and mental prep. But for a thirty-minute dryfire plan, I think mine is pretty good.

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