By: Rob Orgel, Written For BluePress Magazine

I have posed this question to a lot of people and you might be surprised by the answers that I have consistently found. Everyone harps on the importance of dry fire training.

Many would suggest it’s like doing homework and that you’ll never master the skill without taking your practice home and refining your trigger press and sight alignment. I however strongly disagree. Let’s breakdown in the two groups what the pros and cons are. Then let me expose to you my theory.

The pros are

You get to practice your holster work, which is one of the most important things about defensive shooting. We had an opportunity to see our sights remain steady as we apply trigger pressure or find an interruption in our sight alignment, which is commonly referred to as recoil anticipation. We can then iron this out. We become more familiar with our weapon.

The cons are

Some argue this causes damage to the weapon, I don’t find this to be a problem. If we’re not doing it 100% correctly we may be reinforcing bad techniques. Most importantly we are essentially miss handling our weapon.

Now, that last one on the cons list is actually the most important of them all. As a basic pros and cons list would suggest it’s a good idea to practice dry fire. I’m going to dive deep into how the cons should be screaming at you and other pros don’t actually apply to the range.

In the cons department, we have miss handling our weapon. That means we’re violating all of the safety rules in order to practice with our weapon. We are teaching our body that it’s OK to take our weapon out of the holster. Take it off safe and press the trigger without having the intention of the gun going off. This is why so many people during dry fire practice have accidents. Let’s break down what that accident looks like. You have a firearm discharge in your home where people you care about most reside. You might hurt someone you care about or you might lose your gun rights. In the end this is quite a gamble for a very minimal gain.

Let’s talk about the pros, or what some might argue are the gains, to dry fire practice. Very normally when I have a new client I ask them if they practice in the form of dry fire, most of them will tell me yes. What I will do next is walk them down range with a magazine of ammunition. I will hold their magazine and allow them to draw their weapon on the range, with our eye protection, ear protection, and while facing down range towards a target. I will then have them dry fire their weapon. I will reset their slide and I will repeat this process around 5 to 10 times. Finally, I will reset the slide one more time, and then insert the magazine. The nose of the pistol will dip as they press off the next dry fire round. Even though the pistol is held flat and consistent on the 5 to 10 presses beforehand. What this means is, during dry fire, we know the guns not going to go off, therefore we do not need to fight recoil. Once I insert ammunition into the weapon, even though there is no round in the chamber, the mind switches gears and the body prepares for recoil. This proves to us that dry fire didn’t actually help us prevent recoil anticipation. Making it very obvious that we are not becoming better at recoil anticipation or mitigation it during our dry fire practice. I’ve done this experiment with dozens of clients, and the results are consistently the same.

Yes, practice at home does help us understand our trigger better or beat recoil anticipation, what does dry fire practice do for us? If you can practice on the range in a safe environment, where our gun can go off, even if it’s an accident. Create a safe environment where redundancies will ensure that no one can possibly get hurt and you can’t lose your gun rights today. If you don’t have access to range opportunities like this, having a device that you can insert into your weapon to ensure it cannot go off, there are several different products on the market today, That will create this safety for you.

Now I can safely handle my weapon either on the range or off the range with a safety device in place. I can practice holster work and rapid side alignment. This can be very valuable to me as a defense of shoot. This practice, I find, helps many people identify holster issues. This now safe device gives me the opportunity to practice in different attire. Some of us train on the range, and then winter comes and they put on a coat. Now we find ourselves outside of the draw and cover garments we had trained on. Simply because clearing our winter coat is not organic to us we find problems that can easily be ironed out with dry practice. The same thing applies when I’m in my running attire, we often have a different carry position, holsters and garments for running. The end state is have safety devices in place, but get in your practice in a safe way.

Comments are closed.