When you are a novice to firearm training, you need to get to know everything there is to know about trigger time. Firing a gun takes patience, skill and precision, and to gain all three of these you need to dry fire. If you want to be accomplished in your shooting technique, you have to spend hours practicing that trigger finger of yours. No one should ever be touching firearms without being confident enough to do it and a big part of the classes that you take to get your license to have a firearm will talk to you about practice. Practicing that trigger finger is known as dry firing.
What Is Dry Firing?
The process of operating your firearm without any ammunition is known as dry firing. You dont require any range, but you should behave as if the gun is loaded with the right ammunition. This will get you into practice for using it for real, and it’s a safe way to keep practicing without wasting money on ammunition and it doesn’t hurt the gun. You can gain new skills as a shooter if you’re new to it, and you can hone your existing skills if you’ve been firing for a while. Dry firing allows you to see how you’re doing without fear of feeling embarrassed. With no noise or recoil, any mistakes and misfires are covered as no one will know if your aim is right out or not. You don’t even have to go to the shooting range to practice as the gun isn’t loaded.
There is nothing that will improve your shooting more than dry firing, and you only need to give it ten minutes a few times a week to improve your skills.
How To Practice Safe Dry Firing
There are plenty of people out there who will tell you that there will be damage to your gun when you dry fire, but that’s not true. If you’re handling your gun properly, you’re not going to cause any damage to the gun or to anyone else. The most important thing here is not to dry fire rimfire guns. The reason behind this one is that the firing pin can hit the chamber of the gun over and over, and it’s THIS that will cause damage. If your gums are over 50, don’t dry fire those, either. Older guns need to be looked after as best as possible and that’s why snap caps are usually recommended for dry firing. Replicas of cartridges provide some cushions for the firing pins and this can allow you to unload, load and reload as you want to! So, how do you make dry firing safe?
- Find a space you can be alone and in the quiet. You have to concentrate to dry fire your gun as you need to be able to aim and shoot and hone this ability. If you have a quiet place to do this, you can ensure that you are left alone to get it right the first time – and if you don’t get it right, no one will know it!
- Before you go into a room to practice dry firing, unload the gun, and ensure that you have no ammo with you as you go ahead. Put your ammo into a bowl outside the room and you know that you have left it somewhere safe. Make sure that there are no bullets in the gun at all, and triple check!
- Either add a target or choose a wall to aim towards. If you have forgotten to unload the ammo or empty the chamber, you need to think about the wall being somewhere you’re happy to shoot – just in case! Make sure that there’s nothing behind the wall or will ricochet back at you if you’ve left a bullet in the gun.
- The target on the wall should be something easy to aim at. It shouldn’t be too large a target, as the whole idea here is that you’re practicing your dry fire. It should be slightly bigger than the sight of the firearm and if you aim small, your aiming errors are much easier to see.
- When you check the pistol to get rid of any bullets, you should check with your eyes and sweep your finger through the magazine well or the chamber of the gun. Even if you think that you’ve emptied it the first time, you should always keep checking before you do any dry firing at all.
- Be comfortable in your stance. When you fire a gun, you need to have two hands on the pistol and it should be a comfortable grip and not too tense. The middle of the first pad of your finger has to be on the front face of the trigger with pressure applied straight back. Make sure that you are not adding any pressure sideways as you pull back.
- Apply pressure to the trigger slowly as you are watching the target. The pressure you apply should be easy and smooth and you should think about the trigger pres while you are keeping your sight aligned with your target. As you pull the trigger, think about whether your sights are still aligned on the target or not. If you looked away from the target, work out why. What were you focused on while you were pulling the trigger?
- Practice around twenty presses on the trigger and make sure that they are twenty good ones. Don’t give up in the middle of a session if you don’t think it’s going well. You want to ensure that you finish all dry fire sessions on a good note and not a “failed” one, but if you’re too tired or you’re not paying attention, you shouldn’t be firing any gun – dry or not!
If you dry fire every day, you should see a marked improvement in your skills. Next time you’re in the range, you’ll be able to show off your newly acquired firing skills and be able to better hit your target. Dry firing gives you the chance to learn proficiency without busting your budget, wasting any ammo and hitting anyone.