As any firearm enthusiast knows, ammo costs can add up when you're getting in the kind of practice it takes to really dial in your shooting skills. Thankfully, dry-fire practice drills can be an extremely helpful way to train your brain's muscle memory so that the rounds you end up shooting at the range are more than just wasted brass.
Check out our home training guide on how to get started with dry-fire drills:
Clearing Your Gun
When preparing to practice via dry-fire, the importance of clearing your gun of live ammunition cannot be overstated. Start by removing your magazine. Then lock your slide back and, with the gun pointed away from yourself and anything you don't want damaged, look from behind the gun into the chamber through the ejection port. Once you've visually confirmed that the chamber is empty, you can use your finger to physically confirm that there is not a live round present.
Setting Up Your Drill
Dry-fire drills can take on many different forms. For some, practicing aiming at different targets around their house from a holstered position helps them to lock in their muscle memory. For others, taking aim at the same target over and over again, sometimes with their eyes closed, is the ideal way to maintain a consistent shooting position that makes their gun feel like an extension of their arm. Some people even make use of laser rounds and targets to test their accuracy when dry-firing. Looking for a set of drills to get you started? Check out this dry-fire training video from our friends at Tactical Rifleman:
Dry-Firing Your Gun
While some shooters seem to think that the point of practicing is to blindly blast rounds down range at paper targets, this is not the most cost-effective way to perfect your skills. Dry-firing, in addition to being an inexpensive method of practice, is a great way to develop your skills without the jarring bang and muzzle flip associated with firing live rounds. With dry-firing, you can practice a smooth, steady trigger squeeze, muscle memory on the draw from your holster and the perfect sight picture—all in the comfort of your own home. Once you've mastered these skills while dry-firing, they'll become second nature when there's live ammo involved, and all other elements will become easier to correct with each shot.
All-in-all, dry-firing is a wildly underused practice technique that shooters can utilize 7 days a week—at no additional cost. Coupled with semi-regular range visits, a regimen of daily dry-fire practice is enough to transform a casual plinker to real marksman.