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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure how many do do "dry-fire practice" but I'm learning the importance of it. I usually do it at night when the wife goes to bed so she doesn't freak out about me practicing with it. I was practicing tactical reloads right now (sorry, Brent, ended up not going to sleep!). For those that really don't understand what a tactical reload is it is basically switching out a partly used magazine for a full one. As I was practicing I noticed a few things:

1. My hand was coming off the grip safety, no longer allowing the firearm to fire should I have to expend that last un-fired round in the chamber at anyone coming at me.

2. Eyes move from the target to the magazines, where they should remain on the target. In my opinion holstering, drawing and reloading should be second nature where you don't have to watch what you are doing.

3. I tilt my gun up to the left, taking it off target as I reload.

4. Putting the partly used magazine back in the magazine pouch is hard when not looking, so finding that sweet spot is the best.

5. During the tactical reload I hit the magazine release too quick and drop the partly used magazine on the ground (on the pillow really, want to pro-long wear and tear) so I can't save it.

Those are five things I noticed. I've been doing other dry fire practice like "tap and rack," "holstering/drawing," "hand grip," etc. I'm sure I'm missing something but that is where I'm at right now.

Anyone else have these experiences?
 

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Outsider said:
4. Putting the partly used magazine back in the magazine pouch is hard when not looking, so finding that sweet spot is the best.
Try putting the used mag in the weak-side front pocket (left for those right-handers and reverse for 'others'). Drop completely spent mags, they're useless, but hold onto partial mags. Keeping full mags in the holster and partials in the pocket lets you know the difference without looking.

Good for you - staying on top of your training! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
GeneticsDave said:
Outsider said:
4. Putting the partly used magazine back in the magazine pouch is hard when not looking, so finding that sweet spot is the best.
Try putting the used mag in the weak-side front pocket (left for those right-handers and reverse for 'others'). Drop completely spent mags, they're useless, but hold onto partial mags. Keeping full mags in the holster and partials in the pocket lets you know the difference without looking.

Good for you - staying on top of your training! :thumbsup:
Good call. I've also heard about sticking in the belt so it is partly out and easier to re-grab instead of searching for it in the pocket. Have any say on that, Dave?
 

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My belt stays pretty snug to keep the pants and gun up. Usually you do tactical reloads in between action (shot someone and you reload to have a new, full mag for any additional bad guys), so putting a partially spent mag in the pocket is no big deal. After you perform the tactical reload and there are not more BGs, you could retrieve the partial mag and carefully put it into the mag holster.

Just another thought, putting the mag in the belt may allow it to fall out if you have to move. It could also grab on the next round (top of mag) and pull it out - which could jam your weapon upon insertion. I wouldn't recommend the belt idea in general, but I guess it might work for some depending on the circumstances.
 

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What Dave said but let me add a little. Since it is between action, there is no target to keep the weapon or your eye on. I place the partial mag back in the mag pouch in the position I will use last (furthest from front/middle) and rotate the full mag to the front; this places all my remaining ammo back in a ready-for-rapid reload status. If your dropping the mag then slow down, "slow is smooth and smooth is fast."
 

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Practicing tactical re-loading and malfunction drills (with snap-caps of course) are very important for everyone. In a crisis, most of us will perform about half as good as we've practiced. A confrontation in a life or death situation is not the time to fumble with magazines or to go "Wait... oh, oh yeah, now I remember how to clear this jam". Practice, practice, get some training, and practice some more.

After my first pistol training course, I was reminded how mediocre much of my skill-set was. There is much more to carrying a gun than just carrying a gun, so to speak. I dare say it is our responsibility as CCW holders to become as proficient as possible at not only shooting and marksmanship, but defensive drills, cover drills, etc, etc..

Kudos to Outsider for honing some of these important skills.

As far as dry fire practice, I also must practice on nights when the wife goes to bed first. She cannot quite grasp the need to aim at, and "virtually" shoot up every item in the house. Wether the trigger is DA or SA, a slow steady pull until that "click" surprises you is best.

Here is a quick link to about a bajillion misc. training videos: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... type=&aq=f

Much like a trained athlete, a skilled weapons handler is just fun to watch.
 

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While Dry-Fire practice is important, it's not nearly as effective as live fire practice. I'd highly recommend that you check out your local ISPC or USPSA. Each give you practical shooting experience, tactical reloads, firing while moving, moving targets, etc. It really is very fun and educational. While there are some very excellent shooters and competitors, it's not nearly as intimidating to get started as I thought it would be. I've only done one match, but can't wait to go back and try it again. Details on the local USPSA clubs can be found at http://utahshooters.org/
 

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Outsider said:
I'm not sure how many do do "dry-fire practice" but I'm learning the importance of it. I usually do it at night when the wife goes to bed so she doesn't freak out about me practicing with it. I was practicing tactical reloads right now (sorry, Brent, ended up not going to sleep!). For those that really don't understand what a tactical reload is it is basically switching out a partly used magazine for a full one. As I was practicing I noticed a few things:

1. My hand was coming off the grip safety, no longer allowing the firearm to fire should I have to expend that last un-fired round in the chamber at anyone coming at me.

2. Eyes move from the target to the magazines, where they should remain on the target. In my opinion holstering, drawing and reloading should be second nature where you don't have to watch what you are doing.

3. I tilt my gun up to the left, taking it off target as I reload.

4. Putting the partly used magazine back in the magazine pouch is hard when not looking, so finding that sweet spot is the best.

5. During the tactical reload I hit the magazine release too quick and drop the partly used magazine on the ground (on the pillow really, want to pro-long wear and tear) so I can't save it.

Those are five things I noticed. I've been doing other dry fire practice like "tap and rack," "holstering/drawing," "hand grip," etc. I'm sure I'm missing something but that is where I'm at right now.

Anyone else have these experiences?
I have snap-caps for both my .45 ACP and my .357 Magnum and practice with them regularly. It has been said by some that this is not needed with moderen firearms.....But I don't believe it.

I have a good friend and WWII vet who just can't get out and shoot any more. Snap Caps allow him to practic and enjoy his guns in the privacy of his own bedroom. :wink:

Tarzan
 

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Tarzan1888 said:
I have snap-caps for both my .45 ACP and my .357 Magnum and practice with them regularly. It has been said by some that this is not needed with moderen firearms.....But I don't believe it.

I have a good friend and WWII vet who just can't get out and shoot any more. Snap Caps allow him to practic and enjoy his guns in the privacy of his own bedroom. :wink:

Tarzan
I have snap caps for all my pistols and they all get used at least once a week. When my brother bought his pistol, I gave him a set because I feel it is that important.

ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
apollosmith said:
While Dry-Fire practice is important, it's not nearly as effective as live fire practice. I'd highly recommend that you check out your local ISPC or USPSA. Each give you practical shooting experience, tactical reloads, firing while moving, moving targets, etc. It really is very fun and educational. While there are some very excellent shooters and competitors, it's not nearly as intimidating to get started as I thought it would be. I've only done one match, but can't wait to go back and try it again. Details on the local USPSA clubs can be found at http://utahshooters.org/
I would slightly disagree, apollosmith. The UVU Law Enforcement Academy, I'm told, do many many dry-fire practices during their drills and Front Sight also puts a lot of emphasis on dry-fire. Yes, live fire is best but to get the basics down and then add the live fire, combined together make it much more perfect. Just IMO.

I don't have snap-caps but probably should go buy some.
 

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Outsider said:
I don't have snap-caps but probably should go buy some.
Expensive little buggers, but they are a lot safer to practice malfunction drills with than live ammo. :wink:

They are not needed in most guns for dry-fire practice, but if you have them anyway, why not?

I would consider shooting ISPC, or any competition, completely different than live-fire 'practice'. In competition, you are using all facets of your game in a timed environment. To me, in this context, live-fire 'practice' is "trigger work". An extension of dry-fire practice; a slow paced excersize with the added element of the charge/recoil, paying careful attention to NOT "jerking" or moving in anticipation of the live round going off.

There is no better way to simply get to know your trigger and learn how to slowly, smoothly and cleanly break your shot off than dry-fire practice, IMHO.
 

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While nothing replaces range work, dry fire is certainly a good way to fix the biggest issue which is trigger control. I've slacked off a bit on dry fire due to busy times and saw the effect yesterday at the range. I went out with a friend and I normally group rather well at the 25+ foot marks. Yet I was all over the place yesterday. I was getting wooped fairly good by my counter part who had been practicing regularly. I took an hour out and did a few dry fire practices just to center myself back on trigger issues and sure enough, I had nice groups again. Sometimes a little dry fire is just good for getting rid of aprehension and jerkyness due to the "I get to shoot today" blues. I'm also a big fan of having a friend load a few snap caps into your magazine. Or you can do it a week ahead of time, so that you forget where they are. Its a good lesson in learning if you are flinching due to anticipation of recoil. When you hit a snap cap during live fire, you'll see very quickly if you have such issues. :)
 

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I did not intend to suggest that live fire drills or shooting competitively is a replacement for dry fire practice. Dry fire drills and target shooting instill good technique, skill, and comfort, but competitive shooting introduces something that you cannot get elsewhere - stress. And in a real shoot out, there's plenty of stress. Running, shooting, aiming around/through obstacles, reloading, thinking on my feet, adjusting to misses, trying to hit moving targets, remembering your round count, trying not to break the safety rules, focusing on shooting quickly and accurately, all while having 20 other people watch you is about as close as one can get to a real-life shooting situation without actually getting shot at. If you want to see how well those dry fire and live fire target skills have been instilled, see if you revert to those techniques when doing all of the above.
 

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Oh no disagreement here...Nothing like a little stress to watch your scores die. I hate those people at the range who talk about being combat ready for a gunfight, who only shoot static paper. Sure shooting targets at 25 feet with slow shots gets you skilled at the basics and lets you work on problems. But I definately agree that competition or atleast competition like stress really changes the outlook. I was really good at hitting the paper, but the first time I had a crowd watching me shoot, I missed the paper all together. I don't do much competition stuff just because its hard on the hip, but shooting under stress certainly is the better testament of working on preparing for the worst. I just think dry fire has a good place too. I always like to go back to the basics when I find myself slipping. :dunno: :shock: :nilly: :crown:
 
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