Why should you dry fire?

Dry fire, or dry practice as it’s sometimes called, is one of the best and most affordable ways to get better at shooting. Why you should dry fire is because there’s not better place to drill down on fundamental and complex shooting skills than in dry fire.

In this video, we go through a simple dry fire session where I work some basic skills in the comfort of my own home. When we’re looking at why you should dry fire, we first need to establish some basic safety rules. We need this because we’re handing guns and pulling the triggers on these guns. The first rule I have for dry fire is that I’m in a room with no live ammo whatsoever. I make sure that whatever setting I’m doing my training in has been sterilized of live ammo. The next rule I have is backstop – even though my gun “isn’t loaded” I still dry fire in a safe direction. Safe direction means one that will stop a bullet, or one where the bullet won’t hit anything. A good example of a safe direction is a brick fireplace, or if you live on a 300 acre ranch, your backyard.

Now that we’ve got some safety rules, let’s look at why you should dry fire. The foremost is that it’s the perfect place to build non-shooting skills. Things like drawing the gun into your eye line, the perfect stance, and reloads are all skills that are important to shooting, but aren’t specifically shooting skills. When I was training to win a FAST Coin, I spent a week practicing defeating the retention on my Safariland SLS holster. Dry practice is the perfect place to focus on tiny skills like that.

Another reason why you should dry fire is because in that sterile environment, it’s the only place where you can execute the fundamentals of marksmanship flawlessly. On the range, with the sun beating down on you and recoil existing, you’ll never do a perfect trigger pull. In dry fire, you can have the perfect trigger press and see its effect on your sights. You learn more about your trigger pull when the gun doesn’t move than you do during live fire.

These are a few of the reasons why you should dry practice. Suffice to say, it is one of the most important, and affordable ways to develop your performance based shooting skills.