Practice is an important component of training. Dry-fire practice for the woman shooter is an important component of gun ownership. Dry-fire practice is an important part of safe gun handling and usage and practice is necessary if you plan on being successful in the event you find your self defending yourself or those you love! Which, I am sure is what you want, otherwise why would you have a gun! I have heard it said that we will be less than half as good as we are on the range when dealing under the stress of an attack. Dry-fire practice for the woman shooter is effective, convenient as also inexpensive. So I have every confidence as a Well Armed Woman, you will practice! Dry-fire is a generic term for practicing gun handling skills at home with an UNLOADED gun. It does not necessarily only mean pulling the trigger. It can refer to practicing reloads, drawing, or most any other skill. You may think that not much can be accomplished by practicing with an empty firearm, but the fact is, improvement will be significant.
Use dummy rounds (snap caps) for your dry-fire practice. Although most modern handguns are not damaged by dry-firing an empty gun, the use of snap caps is good practice and allows you to practice your skills with all of the necessary components. Saf-T-Trainer are my favorite kind of dummy rounds for use in dry-fire practice. The Saf-T-Trainer rounds are plastic rounds colored a bright orange. Not only will they not fire, they also provide a very clear difference from live ammo.
Laser training pistols are another great tool Whether your shooting style is target-focused or strict front-sight-focused, the general visual awareness of the lasers provides great feedback to improve shooting mechanics.
DRY-FIRE CAN BE DANGEROUS
Shooters of all levels are at risk of accidents. It is imperative that SAFETY and SAFE DRY-FIRE TECHNIQUES ARE FOLLOWED COMPLETELY. Therefore, an unwavering commitment to following The Four Rules of firearm safety is required.
If you can’t follow the recommended safety procedures in a committed and systematic way, dry-fire practice is NOT for you.
1. All firearms are always loaded. Keeping this in mind at all times even when your firearm is unloaded impacts the way you handle your firearm and how you will perform not only in preparation for dry-fire practice, but when you are in the act of your dry-fire practice.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
Keeping Rule 1 as your mental guide, it only stands to reason that you would not point your firearm at something you are not willing to to destroy. Choosing what and where to aim during dry-fire should not only be in a appropriate place in the home with an appropriate backstop (see below) but the consideration of neighbors and others in the home is imperative. It must a safe and appropriate target. Only point it at something you could bear to lose if the firearm were loaded.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
One of the great values of dry-fire practice is its role in training your mind and body to respond and act in a specific way habitually, instinctively. The only way to do this, is with the correct repetition of the desired action until it becomes the way the muscles respond to the instruction given to it by the mind. Keeping your finger off the trigger until and only until you are sighted to fire, is a key “muscle memory” to attain. The target is what you have placed in the sights of your firearm.
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
You must always be aware of what is around and behind your target, regardless of what you select for your target during dry-fire practice. The WHO and WHAT that lies behind that target, (not just immediately behind but way behind it) must be considered at all times. Whether preparing to shoot an attacker or the target in your dry-fire practice, this habitual act of thinking and being aware of your surroundings and what is beyond will save lives. Both in the event of a violent attack in which you must fire your firearm to save your life, or in the event that a careless error is made in your dry-fire practice.
Before you get started EACH AND EVERY dry-fire practice time; READ AND FOLLOW THE BELOW
Remove to the best of your ability anything that would cause you to be distracted. Turn of the TV or IPod, turn off your cell phone and or ringer of the home phone, lock your front door, remove or turn off anything that potentially could cause you to be distracted in any way. If there are others in the home, let them know you are not to be interrupted (except for an emergency of course). If for any reason at anytime during your practice you are interrupted, you must re-start these dry-fire practice safety steps.
Unload your firearm and then unload it again! Visually check the cylinder or chamber twice. Use your fingers to manually check the firearm at least two times to ensure that all rounds have been removed. In the case of a revolver, pull the cylinder fully outward and slowly spin the cylinder to check all chambers.
Remove all ammunition from the room. That is correct – take all of the removed rounds and any other ammunition and put it in another room. Select a container, a specific one that you will use each and every time to place the removed ammunition in. Count each round as you place them in this container to verify that each round removed from the cylinder or magazine is accounted for and placed into the container.
Select or prepare your backstop taking into consideration, those that are in the home and those that live nearby. Your interior wall and most exterior walls will not stop a bullet if you for any reason have a accidental discharge. If you do not have a suitable and safe backstop – you should not continue with your dry-fire practice. An appropriate backstop may be the basement wall (keep in mind the risk of ricochet), A stack of bags of sand or telephone books with a minimum of 2 to 3 feet thickness, or a large multi gallon bucket of gravel. If you cannot set up a safe backstop in your home, do not dry-fire.
Decide the amount of time and the specific skills you will practice. 10 – 15 minutes is recommended. A training check list can be very helpful or one of the online tools linked below. Just before you begin your skill practice, tell yourself out loud “I am starting dry-fire practice”. This verbal cue is an important discipline.
Complete your practice by telling yourself out loud “Dry-Fire practice is over.” This verbal and audible proclamation help to keep you disciplined and help to prevent you from “trying one more”. When you are done, you are done. Remove any dummy rounds and verify your firearm is unloaded. Take down your target and put your dry-fire gear in its proper place. Take a short break between your dry-fire practice and the reloading of your firearm with live ammunition. A pause between these two actions is necessary as you have just focused on pulling the trigger and doing that with confidence that there was no live ammunition in the firearm. You, of course, do not want to get these two actions confused. So this pause is necessary to be safe.
RECOMMENDED AS A MINIMUM: Practice dry-firing at home at least once a week.
Commit to your dry-fire practice and commit to a structured systematic process for it. You will be investing in your skills as well as your safety and that of those around you.
An exercise that you can do at home is to simulate working within your safe room. visualizing home invaders breaking into your safe room. The sequence entails verbalizing appropriate commands from behind cover: “STOP! DROP YOUR WEAPON! I’M ARMED. GO AWAY! LEAVE THIS HOUSE NOW!” Acquire a sight picture on your imaginary home invader and dry fire if necessary.
http://dryfirepractice.com/ This site offers an online resource for your dry-fire practice.
It offers a Dry Fire Practice Dashboard which allows you to set up practice the way you want it. Your information is stored so every time you return it is ready to go. No more writing things down in order to keep track of all your practices. And since they keep track of everything, over a period of time you are able to chart your progress from the stats page. There are fees associated with this site.