You should be implementing dry practice into your firearm’s routine, as it will drastically improve your firearm handling skills. Dry Practice IS the Skill Builder! Shooting well is NOT an inherited trait – or perhaps a “natural” talent? As with any accomplishment in life, you have to work for it. Your ability to shoot well with a firearm is related to your hand-eye coordination and the effort you spend dry practicing your skills over and over again while those skills develop into the learned skill recorded by your brain, some people call it “Muscle Memory”. (Muscle memory is the increased accuracy of an activity through repetition, programming your brain.) Advanced levels and techniques are the mastery of the basic fundamentals. You must first master these basics, which takes time, effort and lots of practice.
While practicing with the firearm platform, ALL SAFETY RULES APPLY and all ammunition must be removed from the training area. Dry practice becomes dangerous if you get lazy or comfortable and complacent with the learning process. You do not want an accidental discharge with your firearm, and/or nervously tracking the path of your bullet through your house.
Always abide by the four rules of gun safety:
1. All guns are loaded. (Treated as such)
2. Do not point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Finger off the trigger, out of the trigger guard until sights are on target.
4. Be sure of your target and foreground/background
So why not just go shooting more often? It is fun to shoot, but burning through cases of ammunition could be non-productive to your skills, There are many great benefits of dry practicing you would miss if all you do is shoot live cartridges. Practice the entire sequence of shooting, which includes presentation from the holster, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger control and follow through. As you dry practice, pressing straight back the trigger, 100% focused on the front sight, you must pay attention to any slight movement of the front sight, which will affect the accuracy of the shot, resulting from a mash, flinching or bad trigger control. You must to be 100% focused as you dry practice, or it becomes a waste of time, or much worse, ingraining bad habits that are hard to fix.
Dry-Practice each skill you would normally perform while shooting with live ammo, whether you are training for a fight or just shooting paper targets at the local range. Will it make you a better shooter? Yes! For each shot taken on the range, you should be dry pressing your trigger – or whatever skill you are working on – at least 50 times more than you do when shooting with live ammo. It takes dedication to continue the hard work required for accurate dry practice. Good things happen for people who have the desire and determination to increase their skill levels! It will help to take 20-30 minutes time out of your day for unbelievable advancement of your shooting skills and ammunition costs nothing.
Try this: Practice “perfect” trigger presses 10 minutes each day for 2 weeks. Clear your firearm and get the ammunition out of the area, chamber check again telling yourself out loud “This gun is not loaded”, align sights on your target, focus 100% on the front sight, place the center of the pad of your index finger on the trigger and take the slack out, start to build the pressure until you achieve a surprise break (gun goes CLICK). The front sight should not move. Repeat as many times as you can concentrate and focus. If you are distracted, stop training and pick it up later when you can.
This would be the only time that getting a CLICK instead of a BANG is a good thing. The effort you put into your training will surface as you continue to increase your skills through different avenues of learning. Dry practice will absolutely make you a much better shooter.
Check out the Dry Practice programs for many of the weapons platforms on ATAC TV for more tips and hints.