Dry fire practice has done more good for me over the years than any other practice. It is relatively cheap (usually only costing time), very diverse and amazingly easy, well, easy in theory. I am always happier when I dry fire but sometimes I struggle to make myself do it. But never fear, I have come up with some great ways to make it a little easier.
Disclaimer: These tips have worked well for me. They may not work for you but hopefully it will spark some ideas to help you get started.
1) Put Your Gear On When You Get Home- This one is very important for me because it is key to me actually dry firing. If I put on my yoga pants and bunny slippers I will never change back out of them. If I put on my shorts with belt loops, my gun and magazine pouch it helps. Sometimes I even make a deal with myself and say, “You don’t have to dry fire you just have to put on your gear.” But this deal usually falls through because once I have it on, I can’t help but do at least a couple of draws.
2) Have Targets readily Available- Over the years I have used a variety of items for dry fire targets. When I was young my grandmother said no to stickers on her walls so we used light switches. These days my decor is somewhere between early American, Thrift Store Chic and Shooting Range. I have Googled Dry Fire Targets and found some you can print off at no charge. So taped to my walls are IPSC targets, pepper poppers and some orange dots to round things out. You may want to keep them confined to the back bedroom but I find they go pretty well in the living room.
3) Be Creative! I have found dry fire can get dull really fast. Dry fire does not hold the same excitement of live fire; there is no recoil, no ting from hitting the target and no feedback to know you are doing well. To make it more interesting you have to be a little creative.
In IDPA the stages are often scenario based with a story to go along with the directions. To make the dry fire practice a little more fun I sometimes make up my own stages/ stories. I really hate it when three thugs break into my living room and I have to defend them while moving to the bedroom where I find another assailant waiting, but it sure does make for more interesting dry fire practice. 🙂
4) Even Small Skills Are Great Practice- Dry Fire is one of the best places to break things into small pieces. For instance, sometimes I practice just the act of hitting the magazine release button over and over and over again (For me to hit the magazine release button I have to shift my grip so this is small but really important). I learned this from my grandfather who would sit on the couch just gripping his pistol for hours on end.
If you don’t have time or energy to gear up and dry fire a 12 stage match take two minutes, pick up your empty firearm and just aim at a target. Even seeing the sights for a little while will help.
5) Have Fun! I often get ribbed by friends and family for my persistence on positivity but I can honestly say that it makes my life better. It is the same when it comes to dry fire. If I think of it as a chore, something I have to do, or something I don’t want to do, the chances of me doing it go down. If I approach it as a “get to” or “fun” then I am more likely to do it, I enjoy it more and I get more out of it. So smile and go dry fire!
Hopefully one of these tips will help you dry fire. Are there any tricks you have to make dry fire easier for you?