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I know a lot of us dry fire for trigger and sight discipline. Given the cost of ammo these days...who of us dry train? I sometimes will practice "shooting" on the move (WITH AN EMPTY GUN) through my house and what not sometimes on the range. It seems to help with shooting in my local competitions. and my overall confidence in muscle memory, drawstroke , etc.
 

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I know a lot of us dry fire for trigger and sight discipline. Given the cost of ammo these days...who of us dry train? I sometimes will practice "shooting" on the move (WITH AN EMPTY GUN) through my house and what not sometimes on the range. It seems to help with shooting in my local competitions. and my overall confidence in muscle memory, drawstroke , etc.
I suppose it's better than doing nothing... but it's still not entirely effective. Your muscle memory is thrown off by not having to compensate for the weapon's kick, your drawstroke is thrown off because you're not drawing with a fully weighted weapon... and so on.
 

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Any practice, can be an effective aid to your overall ability...
 

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That is basically what I do these days. Going on over a year of no work, have to cut expensives. I visit the range only once monthly and shoot a box of 50. I take my sweet time enjoying every moment!
 

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I suppose it's better than doing nothing... but it's still not entirely effective. Your muscle memory is thrown off by not having to compensate for the weapon's kick, your drawstroke is thrown off because you're not drawing with a fully weighted weapon... and so on.
I agree that it is not the same as a loaded weapon, but would like to point out the the advantage of dry fire is exactly that you are not "compensating for the weapon's kick."

Another word for compensate is flinching and dry fire actually helps guard against flinching. It is also brutally honest--if you have a flinch you will see it immediately when dry firing.
 

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I try to dry practice a couple times a week for 15-20 minutes and I believe it helps tremendously (regardless of the lack of recoil and difference in weight). However, I am pretty disciplined about it. I do it in a special area where there is no ammo and with a target attached to a solid outside wall. Moving is good since you can't usually even do that at a range. The draw stroke from concealment, acquiring a sight picture, taking the slack out of the trigger, and a smooth trigger squeeze are what I primarily focus on and I am convinced it helps.
 

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I practice a couple of times a week with a laser (ArmaLaser) that turns on when I put my finger in the trigger guard. That way I can draw and aim, then test my aim by turning on the laser, then watch the beam as I pull the trigger to train myself to pull smoothly.

I practice under many different lighting conditions, with many different targets scattered around my yard, from a variety of distances.

I also practice moving, turning, etc. while drawing, aiming and "firing".

I recognize that it's not the same as live fire, but I still think it's very useful: for example I can practice draws and movements, etc. that might be dangerous with live ammo, until I get the basic moves down.
 

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I practice a couple of times a week with a laser (ArmaLaser) that turns on when I put my finger in the trigger guard. That way I can draw and aim, then test my aim by turning on the laser, then watch the beam as I pull the trigger to train myself to pull smoothly.

I practice under many different lighting conditions, with many different targets scattered around my yard, from a variety of distances.

I also practice moving, turning, etc. while drawing, aiming and "firing".

I recognize that it's not the same as live fire, but I still think it's very useful: for example I can practice draws and movements, etc. that might be dangerous with live ammo, until I get the basic moves down.
+1
I also use my laser the same, especially to practice rolling out of bed, grabbing my P220 from the night stand, and aiming at the door.
 

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I don't dry fire as much as do Gun Kata, this sums it up...

Kata Concept
Those who practice martial arts have long understood the concept of kata. Kata is a system of basic body positioning and movement exercises. What they also understand is that the subconscious does not know the difference between imagined practice or the real thing, which brings us to the next link in kata, imagery and visualization.

What the martial artist is doing while going through the movements of kata, is visualizing throwing or blocking punches, kicking, effecting holds, throws, joint locks, etc. Use the same principals to visualize firing the pistol, not only employing the proper technique but by using it to stop an attack.

This is the reason we shoot at silhouettes. A normal person is averse to shooting people. The military has long known that troops trained to shoot bulls-eyes are very reluctant to shoot at the enemy. When training involves a repetitive shooting of images that are representative of humans (silhouettes), the tendency to shoot when it becomes necessary is greatly increased.

These principals of the mind’s inner workings, imagery and visualization, coupled with the way that the mind and body interact to adopt learned psycho-motor skills through repetition, are all put to use in dry fire training.

Put aside any doubts about the effectiveness of dry fire. Try it by going to the range and shoot a specific course of fire. Score your target. Now, dry fire the same course, complete with the same shooting positions, using a barricade or not. Do this every day for a week, then go out and try it again with live fire. You will see a marked improvement in your shooting, not to mention an increased smoothness of gun handling, and a boost in confidence. The more repetitions performed, the more precise those learned psycho-motor skills will be when you are called upon to use them. Under stress, you have a tendency to do as you train, assuming your training is sufficient, often, in a state that could be compared to autopilot.

Acquiring and maintaining these learned skills require not only thousands of repetitions, but frequent “maintenance” to retain. These are perishable skills. Dry fire is a perfect way to do that maintenance.
 

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I dry fire train quite a bit actually. It used to be mainly for HD and PD purposes only, but I do a lot of dry draws and such for IPSC and steel challenge as well. I have learned a technique for the Glock pistols that lets you actually pull the trigger without releasing the striker and without having to subsequently rack the slide for each fire. That helps a lot.
 

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Dry fire practice is as important as live fire practice. One is not a substitute for the other in my opinion.

Your muscle memory is thrown off by not having to compensate for the weapon's kick,
I have a feeling you aim high or shoot low.
 

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I practice dry fire and with a laser much more than live fire.

It's a great way to practice getting to the first shot (usually the most important shot) under many situations that you can't practice even on many ranges.

After the first shot dry fire loses it's 'reality' due to lack of noise, recoil, reload, and possible malfunction recovery.

Bobo
 

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I read about dry firing in an email from Dr. Piazza at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute and I have implemented it into my day. I too use short training cycles on this and it has so vastly improved my ability, it is remarkable.
My last time shooting, I has a lot more confidence in myself and my shooting reflected it!
 

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From I.C.E. Training - Rob Pincus

Dry Reps can lead to Poor Performance.

Too often, we see students who have been practicing without the accountability of firing a shot, rushing their actions and failing on the range.
by Rob Pincus


I can remember when just about everyone you talked to, in a gun shop or on the internet, was repeating clichéd lines in regard to the incredible importance of dry fire practice. “Dry fire 1000 times for every live round you shoot” used to be a common thought in the firearms training world. Nowadays, most people have figured out that over-thinking and over-choreographing the single trigger press without recoil and without the accountability of a result is only a valid training method for extreme marksmanship pursuits like Bull’s Eye pistol shooting or extreme precision rifle endeavors. The importance of rapid multiple shot strings of fire in regard to stopping a threat is pretty much universally accepted and the old days of over emphasized “follow through” and controlling your breathing while pulling the trigger on a defensive gun are pretty well behind us.


More often than not, however, I still see the virtues of dry fire practice extolled in regard to other aspects of defensive firearms training, such as presentation from the holster and reloads.


While there is absolutely value in deepening the “rut in the road” when it comes to complex motor skills, rehearsing them in context, especially in response to the appropriate stimuli, is integral to performing them intuitively in a real world situation. Furthermore, we need to make sure that we are executing our techniques appropriately and if we don’t get the right feedback (like a bullet impact on the target), we may not know that we are doing something wrong.. . let alone be able to figure out what we are doing wrong.


What this means is that if you are practicing slide lock reloads without the true initiation stimulus of feeling slide lock, you ingraining an intuitive response, you are only working on the execution of the complex motor skill in isolation. This, of course, still offers some advantage over doing nothing at all if you are executing the reload from an extended position with the firearm at slide lock with a dummy round of some kind (or modified magazine that will allow slide to go forward). A better example of the negative impact of rehearsing a complex motor skill is seen when we look at dry practice of presentations form the holster. Too often, I see people practicing their presentation from the holster in a sloppy way, not truly integrating their entire focus on a perceived threat or their entire body into the presentation process. For those of you familiar with the Combat Focus Shooting™ Methodology, let’s set aside the aspects of integrating the flinch response and lateral movement into the presentation. Obviously, some people have not been introduced to these concepts prior to attending a course, so it is unfair to criticize dry practice as inappropriate simply because these aspects as not integrated. Furthermore, not all students have practiced dry presentations before they attend a course. One thing, however, that has become very popular over the past few years is the idea of sticking the gun back out to a shooting position after completing a slide lock reload. I would say that over 50% of the individuals attending CFS courses in the past year that have attended previous training from another nationally known school or “progressive” military or law enforcement training integrate this step into their range practice with some level of regularity. The specific execution of the technique differs, with some people returning to a true shooting position and others to some form of an extended ready position. Almost universally, these students do not actually shoot after a reload, they just return to a shooting position. About half the time, the students also begin assessing while the gun is still in that shooting position.


During CFS Training, we stress the avoidance of bad habits on the range, ie- these that are not universally congruent with likely conditions in a dynamic critical incident and stress the development of good habits which do meet that criteria. The habit of always reacting to a failure to fire (a “click”) with a tap rack, for example, is the type of 100% “always a good thing to do in a fight” technique that we look to develop properly. This habit of always extending the gun directly out in front of your body towards the paper target after a slide lock reload does not fall into this category. Obviously, we can think of other things that we might want to do with our pistol after reloading. We might not be oriented towards our threat at that time, because of our movement or theirs. We might not have a threat to immediately, because of movement to cover or possibly because we have recognized that our threat has been dealt with during the reload. We might also have an extreme close quarters threat within two arms reach, that might be able to easier grasp our gun or foul our response if we extend in an automated way.


For these reasons, we have a simple rule during CFS Courses: If you go back to a shooting position after a reload, you need to actually Shoot. The presumption there being that you are simulating a situation in which you are visualizing the need to shoot immediately and that is why you are extending the gun. The corollary to the rule is: If you don’t visualize a threat, don’t go back to a shooting position, stay in a ready position and continue to assess.


What does this have to do with the point of the article? At least as often as not, students who have developed the bad habit of extending their gun automatically after a reload have a harder time getting Combat Accurate hits after their reloads than the students new to the concept. How is this possible? The next time you are on a range with people who have this habit, take a moment to watch them carefully. Compare their initial extension to a shooting position when they start a string of fire to their automated extension after a reload when they are not shooting. Chances are good that you will easily notice that they are less “into” the latter presentations. You are very likely to notice one or more of the following:


-not extend their arms as far.


-not extend their gun into and parallel to their line of sight


-not get their body weight behind the gun


-not focusing intently on their intended impact area





So, when they are held to the new standard, requiring them to shoot for effect if they extend, their old habit of not extending correctly become s a detrimental rut in the road that they have to un-train. The students who are acting after the reload because of a visualized need to shoot (just as they do at the beginning of a string of fire when a command is given) extend much more consistently at all times and have less trouble getting combat accurate hits after slide lock reloads.


Of course, this isn’t to say that there is no value at all to dry fire or that it can’t be done in a way that is as consistent as possible with actually training live to develop practical techniques. In fact, he next release in the Personal Defense Firearms series will be a Dry Fire Practice DVD featuring Claude Werner of the Rogers Shooting School. Claude has developed a more practical and thought out approach to dry fire practice than any instructor that I have ever scene, which is why I invited him to participate in the series. I encourage you to check it out, if you dry fire practice is part of your regimen.


A few tips:


-Visualization of an appropriate stimulus to act is often an easy way to get integrity into your training.


-Having a training partner to keep you honest or reviewing video of yourself training can also help a great deal.


-Stick to practicing things that you have learned in the context of live fire, don’t try to “practice” things you haven’t learned.





Keep these concepts in mind, not only the next time you think about engaging in dry fire practice, but also if you have other techniques which you are trying to automate without context on the range.





-RJP
 

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Dry firing really helped my trigger control. You can definately tell if you are flinching or not pulling straight back. On a new pistol it helps me cheaply get accustomed with the trigger pull. It doesn't replace live fire, but I don't have the time or money to get to the range more than once a week.
 
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