Dry Fire Tips / Logbook Forms

Because I love you DDC’ers….

In the Daily Dry-Fire Challenge I keep mentioning the aspect of logging your results and what you learn while practicing.  In my original book Your Competition Handgun Training Program I get very specific about logging results of dry fire, live fire, and matches to reflect on later and adjust training.  My Defensive Handgun Training Program encourages defensive shooters to do the same.  

So I decided to include a link to the logbook forms I use and you might find in the actual logbook that goes with those programs for free.  Here you go:  Logbook forms

By the way, it also occurred to me that some of you might not know what I am talking about when I reference TTS, MTTS, PAR times, etc. so read on for some basic thoughts on dry fire.  

Purpose of Dry Fire – Dry fire training will be a huge part of this program. I am absolutely

convinced that dry fire will be one of the best training skill in a short amount of time. It is free, can be done anywhere, and will help you develop or improve 90% skills you will need to succeed in the game. You will almost all of your manipulation skills exclusively in dry fire sessions. We will work on the firing cycle (trigger, sight, and recoil management) in live fire. really isn’t a reason to waste live fire time and ammunition on learning how to do things like draw reload when you can practice them for free in the comfort of your home. The core development of your shooting will be done in this dry fire module.

Coaches Tip:I know of at least one top shooter that keeps his skill level up (he is a world champion) with dry fire almost exclusively. I maintain most of my own skill with dry fire too, and have found that one commonality in the great shooters I have trained with.

Safety: This is number one on the list because it is the most important. Follow these

rules, or don’t dry fire!

  • Separate yourself from live firearms and ammunition (use a separate room if possible).
  • Set up small dry fire targets with a backstop that is bulletproof, if at all possible (an extra layer of safety).
  • Go through a process of thoroughly inspecting all firearms and magazines, as well as your own pockets, for any live ammunition before beginning.
  • If you use dummy (non-live) training cartridges to simulate the weight in your magazines, make sure they are drilled with holes or painted bright orange or another color that will allow you to identify them as dummy rounds. I recommend having one separate magazine (or two) just for dry fire purposes, so you can keep your dummy ammunition in it.
  • When you are dry firing, and you have to leave the area for whatever reason, re- inspect yourself for live ammunition when you return.
  • When you are done dry firing, and return to an area where you may have live ammunition and firearms, do not even think about doing one more repetition… that is how accidents happen.
  • Follow all standard safety rules when dry firing:
  • All guns are treated as loaded.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Never let your muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy
  • Be sure of your target, backstop, and beyond.

Definitions: Following are some definitions that will be used in the dry fire module.

Technically Correct – The act of ensuring that all elements of the technique are correct in every possible way.

Technical Training Speed (TTS) – The speed at which you should train when learning a technique. There is no emphasis on going fast here, just performing perfect repetitions.

Maximum Technical Training Speed (MTTS) – The fastest speed you can do any given technique meeting all of the elements of technical correctness.

Time and Location:  The best time to go through your dry-fire routine will be up to you. I recommend that you do it during a time when you are fully mentally engaged and have time to focus. Your dry fire sessions should be done during a completely separate time than your live fire sessions. Find a location that meets the safety requirements, and will allow you to move aggressively. If possible, it is best to train on a surface that mimics what you will compete on, although this is tough to do. Be careful that you are not on a surface that will be slippery or cause you problems when you are stepping and pivoting.

Gear: Dress, wear, and use exactly what you would wear in a match. I have seen lots of people just wrap a belt around their t-shirt and dry fire like that, and that does not work well. You should wear the same cloths, shoes, and holster/magazine pouch setup that you will wear when competing. If you wear a Velcro inner/outer belt, wear both during your dry fire sessions. Wear your shooting shoes. Do everything as closely as possible to what you will do in a match.

Equipment needed:  

  • PACT Timer- You will need a PACT or similar timer to do the dry fire module. This is not optional. A timer is such a valuable training tool that you will not be able to do this program without one. Even if you have to skip a couple practice sessions and save the money you would have spent on live ammunition to buy one, please do so. Get a timer that has a loud beep and an easy PAR time function. PAR time is the ability to enter a time and have your timer deliver two beeps, a start beep and a stop beep at the end of the time entered. Having this function allows you to train your skills and begin to lower the time incrementally.
  • 1/3 scale IPSC targets- I am not sure where I got the ones I use, but they are about 1/3 the size of a regular IPSC target. They are invaluable for dry firing in reduced distance settings (where you have little room space).
  • Your Gear- Practice with the exact same gear/clothing that you will compete in, including your shoes if you wear specific ones at matches.

Last Tip: Active Visualization – Integrate active visualization with your sets and repetitions. Each time you do a repetition (one draw for example); see yourself doing it before you do it. “See yourself do it, then do it”. This will tie your mental and physical execution together. You can read more about active visualization in the mental section.

Until Then – Train Hard! 

Mike S. 

Copyright 2010/2018 Shooting-Performance By: Mike Seeklander

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