Ok, by now you’ve heard of “dry fire”, right?
Dry fire is basically the act of using your firearm — drawing it, aiming with it, pulling the trigger, and working movement and mechanical drills — without loading any ammunition – in order to master certain skills you don’t need to go to a live-fire range for.
Bottom line… if you hope to master the reflexive skills you need defend yourself in a real attack, then you MUST practice dry fire training.
But there’s another problem with dry fire in the modern shooting and “tactical” community (and trust me, it’s a mistake that almost everyone makes)…
You see, too many people associate dry fire with (yawn) boredom.
Dry fire does NOT have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to be a mindless exercise of just pulling the trigger over and over again.
I spoke with firearms expert Ron Avery about making dry-fire training more fun and effective, and here is a run-down of what he told me.
3 Ways To Make Your Dry-Fire Training More Fun… AND Effective!
If you’ve overcome the reluctance to dry-fire your guns, you’ve taken one step in the right direction.
You won’t hurt your gun by doing some regular dry fire work with it…
…and you WILL help improve your skills.
There are some ways to really make your dry-fire practice more effective and more fun, though.
Let’s talk about three of them right now.
Dry-Fire Tip #1: Change Your Mental Dry-Fire Training Framework
Unfortunately, too many people treat dry fire like it’s a “practice routine”.
Dry-fire isn’t just “practice” – it’s training.
It’s training that can one day save your life, in fact.
So, before every dry-fire training session, take just a moment to close your eyes and reinforce the reason “why” you’re doing it to begin with.
You should be training to hone your skills now so they’re ready to come to your rescue should you ever be facing a real-life attacker.
That’s the mindset to bring to every training session.
Dry-Fire Tip #2: Engage Your Emotions With Visual Triggers
A real life-or-death gunfight is anything but “boring”, wouldn’t you agree?
Your body’s natural survival “emotions” will trigger an adrenaline rush that affects every cell in your body.
Your heart will be pounding… your breathing will become shallow… your vision will become “tunneled”… and you’ll lose fine-motor skills.
This is far from what most people experience down at the local gun range as they plink away at static paper targets.
You can add more emotion into your dry-fire training by imagining the consequences of not mastering the skills you need to operate your weapon under the stress of a real attack.
Whether it’s seeing your family tied up and helpless in a home invasion… or not making it home after you’re stabbed in a parking lot hold-up… the more you can engage the “fear factor” into worst-case scenarios, the more you’ll be able to feel your heart in your throat when practicing your dry-fire sessions.
Dry-Fire Tip #3: Train With “What If?” Scenarios
You’re sitting in your bedroom ready to get in a few dry-fire reps… but instead of your bedroom, picture yourself sitting in a restaurant with your date across the table.
An “active shooter” walks through the door and pulls a sawed-off rifle from under his coat.
Ask yourself, “What if THIS were to happen? What would I engage the shooter in this scenario?”
Every situation you can create is different, but the principles are the same.
Simply picture the situation… and THEN do your dry-fire reps, with your emotions engaged and a visual “movie” playing in your mind of the scenario.