I’ve been shooting some IDPA matches locally. But instead of following the general trend of considering the IDPA match to be my practice, I asked a friend, Ben from Triangle Tactical Podcast, to teach me how to dry fire practice. He suggested three drills that I can do at home for a total of 15 minutes. He suggested that I do it at least three times a week, but more would be better.
- Draw from concealment and “fire” a single shot at 10 yards – 3 minutes.
- Simulate a mag change. Start pointing at the target, no mag in the handgun, pistol cocked. Push the mag release, insert fresh mag, point at target and “fire” a single shot.
- From behind cover (in my case a trash can tower) draw from concealment, “fire” two shots at each of three targets, using cover. Reload and “fire” two shots at each of the same three targets from the other side of cover.
Here’s a photo of the “trash can tower” I’m using to simulate “cover” to shoot around.
And you can see that I really don’t have 10 yards inside my house, so I’m using some really inexpensive 1/3rd scale IDPA targets sold by Ben Stoeger. At $10 and free shipping, it’s the cheapest training you’ll ever get in handgun shooting. Instead of having to stand at 10 yards from the targets, I can stand 10 feet away. And anyone can find 10 feet in a hallway. And if you really want to get spendy, you can buy some dummy bullets to put in your magazines so that the weight is correct. NEVER use real bullets for this.
So, how do I know it works? Because I just finished shooting the IDPA match for the month. The previous match I shot, I came in 37 out of 49.
This time I’m #7 out of 16. But more than that, I could see how I was shooting differently. Instead of looking at the targets to see how I was hitting, I just watched my sights, pulled the trigger when they were on the target, and then moved on to the next target. I rarely had a problem. Didn’t hit a single “no shoot.” Wasn’t down very many points at all, in fact.
Dry fire works. It’s cheap. And you don’t even need to leave your house to do it.
For a primer on dry fire safety, check out this article on The Cornered Cat.
UPDATE: Here’s some printable USPSA dry fire targets.