The Power of DryFire
It is most likely strange to you that an article from an ammo
manufacturer is discussing on dry fire (training without live ammunition).
However, if skill improvement is really the focus, then we would be remised not
to discuss this valuable tool. Dryfire
is talked about in many circles of the competitive and tactical
communities. Opinions and use vary
across the spectrum and are often polarizing.
Let’s be honest, putting thousands of rounds down range requires, a lot
of ammo and a lot of time. These 2
components are often not available in large quantity for most people out there
pursuing excellence in a shooting discipline.
Dryfire allows an individual to acquire a very large volume
of repetitions of key skill sets required in most 3gun, USPSA, IDPA and Precision
matches. The term “muscle memory” is
often used to describe the benefit of this activity. The better explanation is getting enough reps
that you can turn what started out as a conscious action (or something you must
think about in detail to achieve) to a subconscious action (something you do
without thinking about the specific mechanics of the operation). THIS IS HUGE in practical application.
The complexities of executing a stage plan
occupy all the availability of the conscious mind, so to maximize this stream
of data in your mind, you do not want to be thinking consciously about the
mechanics of a good draw, or a pistol mag change or how to dump a shotgun and
remember to actuate the safety. These
actions need to happen on their own due to significant repetitions and the driver
is the most economical method to acquire these skills.
If you have been convinced by the arguments above that
dry fire is a practice you need to adopt, you are probably asking yourself how
to structure this and what this training looks like. The good news is there are a lot of resources
out there that give you good direction.
Ben Stoeger has several books on the topic for USPSA that can easily be
adopted for 3Gun. Dry fire targets are
available through several resources as well.
One key point to consider, is that a dry fire session does not need to be
lengthy to be successful. 15 to 30min is
a lengthy session when you consider how many pistols, draws, mag changes and gun
manipulations can be done in that period of time. Fatigue will bring about bad habits to be
thoughtful as to how you are feeling as you start to build a program for
yourself. In conclusion,don’t, forgot this valuable tool. Dry fire is not a
substitute for live fire, but rather a valuable addition to your overall