Why does dry fire help shooters? To put it simply, dry fire allows us to practice all but one part of the integrated act of shooting a gun in a completely controlled and calm environment. If you’re not dry firing, you’re not really serious about getting good at shooting.
To guarantee that your dry fire does help you improve, you need to set up your practice in a thoughtful way. First, define your goal. That goal could be as simple as “I want to have an 1.00 second draw from appendix carry concealment” or it could be as complex as “I’m training for a major match and have identified a weak spot in skill set x that I need to address if I want to do my best.” An important aspect of your goal is it needs to be achievable given your skill set. For example, if your current draw from concealment is 3 seconds, setting a 1-second goal this month isn’t realistic. But you could set a 2.5 second short term goal, and then a 2-second short term goal, working your way towards that ultimate one second goal.
Now, there is some equipment you need to make sure your dry fire does help you. First, you need some kind of target. You can buy mini-targets designed for dry fire, or you can use something like a 3×5 index card. You’re also definitely going to need a shot timer, because that’s how you track your times. Last but not least, I like to use dummy rounds as an extra safety measure. If I have a dummy round in the gun, there’s no way that a real round could magically sneak into the chamber.
If you’ve asked does dry fire help, you’re already on the right path. Taking 10 minutes a day to work on basic skills like drawing, reloading, and even trigger press and sight alignment will go a long way towards making you a far better shooter. I find that 3-5 10 minute sessions does a lot better for me than trying to grind out an hour long session in one day. Plus, I think it’s easier to find 10 minutes than it is to find an hour to practice. Regardless, make sure that your practice is focused and clear of distractions, and you’ll see yourself improving fast!