With the COVID-19 Pandemic in full swing, many people have turned to dryfire training in order to satisfy their itch for shooting. Dryfire has been an essential part of my training and has played a critical role toward my improvement. My hope is that regular dryfire training will become a habit for many more people and their shooting will jump to the next level when matches start back up all over the world.
The wave of interest and enthusiasm for dryfire training is exciting. We have had lots of new members join Practical Shooting Training Group and my inbox is flooded with dryfire questions. All of these are good developments for people’s training. However, it does also highlight one of the more common issues when it comes to dryfire training. The most common blind spot that people have regarding dryfire is that of doing movement training in dryfire. The fact is, if you can secure a large enough training area you can ingrain very positive habits that will carry over to your shooting in matches. Dryfire doesn’t need to just be draws and reloads!
I strongly recommend finding a space where you can safely do dryfire training along with movement. If you have a basement that has space for you to run around, that is probably ideal. Doing training in an enclosed outdoor area is also fine. You are probably best off to refrain from doing training with your pistol if there is any danger of a neighbor or passerby seeing your gun and getting a very wrong idea about what you are doing. If there is a danger like that, I would substitute a red or blue “dummy” gun in order to make it obvious that I am not waving a firearm around outside. There are other solutions to this problem that people have found ranging from using a gym to going to a range for dry training. If you lack space at home, you can almost always find a solution if you are willing to be creative.
Once you have a space for movement training, work on ingraining the basics. You want to always setup your stance in a way that you are ready to move again. Get your feet set wide apart and bend your knees when you stop so you can aggressively move back out of that position.
When you move, move as fast and as aggressively as you can. This might seem like a bit of an obvious point to make, but it does need your attention. Your training is going to be physically demanding and you should be training to leverage all of the speed you possibly can. You don’t need to do slow motion training. You need to move with aggression and learn control.
Finally, you want to get into the habit of having your gun up and ready to go as you arrive in a new shooting position. This is going to help you get those first shots in a new shooting position off a little bit sooner. None of the technique issues I am discussing are complicated to understand or complicated to practice. Putting in the time to practice will cause it to become habit, and you will start executing these skills without thinking when you are on stage in competition.