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  #1  
Old 05-30-2020, 7:19 PM
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Default dry firing options

hi all

Just wondering what everyone uses / thinks of different dry firing solutions.

Couple options:
1. Double Alpha's dry fire mags
2. Coolfire
3. Mantis X
4. Blackbeard (for an AR)
5. SIRT
6. laserlyte (might have the name wrong)

Thoughts? The coolfire, while expensive, seems another options vs buying an airsoft equivalent, but doesn't have that many options yet.
Blackbeard seems to be the only AR dry fire option.

Also what about targets,
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2020, 7:27 PM
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Save your money on all these gadgets. Just dry fire with your pistol and mags. Get some dummy rounds to simulate weight. Follow a program and do it consistently. 15-30 minutes 4 times a week.

Look at all the top shooters. None of them use these gadgets for dry fire. None.

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Old 05-30-2020, 7:32 PM
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Target- if practicing with hand gun, my target is an old Kevlar panel and an aiming dot


Should I F up and Negligently Discharge, the armor stops the bullet.


I dry practice with firearms

The money you spend on gimmicks is better money spent on classes/ formal training.


Airsoft has its place for drawing from the holster and shooting in the yard
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Old 05-30-2020, 7:39 PM
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I purchased dummy rounds for my AR, AK and M1 Carbine. They can be used for dry fire but I also use them to test new magazines for proper functioning.
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Old 05-30-2020, 8:06 PM
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While using nothing can be helpful, the lack of feedback can also cause the reinforcement of bad habits. I use the Mantis, and believe getting instant feedback by numerical score is very helpful. But being able to go back and look at the actual movement of the firearm, gives a much better idea of what is happening, both good and bad, and gives a starting point for correction. I have not yet used it for live fire, but I am looking forward to it. There are also drills for drawing from a holster, and other things.
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Old 05-30-2020, 9:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty Bolts View Post
While using nothing can be helpful, the lack of feedback can also cause the reinforcement of bad habits. I use the Mantis, and believe getting instant feedback by numerical score is very helpful. But being able to go back and look at the actual movement of the firearm, gives a much better idea of what is happening, both good and bad, and gives a starting point for correction. I have not yet used it for live fire, but I am looking forward to it. There are also drills for drawing from a holster, and other things.
There is feedback in dry firing with only your pistol. It's your sight picture. Whether it's from the draw or transitioning targets. You see what you need to see, you call your shot and move on. You don't even need to pull the trigger to make dry fire effective. It just depends on what you're training.

The point of dry fire is to train gun handling. Draws, reload, indexing during your draw. Precise transition... looking to a specific spot on a target and have the gun follow. Training your eyes to see an acceptable sight for the shot as quickly as possible. You don't need anything that simulates recoil for any of that. All that happens before the gun starts recoil anyway. You don't miss shots because of recoil.

Again, not one top shooter uses any of these gadgets in training and every single one of them dry fire and profess about how important dry fire is to developing and maintaining skill level as a shooter. Most will say that dry fire goes further to making you a skilled shooter than live fire.

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Old 05-31-2020, 9:06 AM
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I will agree, gadgets won't win one championships.

One can dry fire with their firearm HERE AND NOW (practice safely).

For the benefit of the OP I would stay away from Laserlyte. I had both a blue pistol from them, and the barrel laser. Both basically died on me. The pistol is not built robustly and the trigger system stopped working, and the barrel laser just stopped working PERIOD (tried multiple new battery sets and it just wouldn't light up again). I got it working for a little while, and then it stopped again right after the new batteries.

Against the advice of anonymouscuban I bought a SIRT pistol, and have been using it with the Laserlyte reactive targets (because I already had them).

Traditional Dry Fire can't be ignored.

But I like the SIRT pistol because I essentially set up my own reactive laser plate rack coupled with the LaserLyte targets. I put my CED7000 timer MIC right up against the LAST target in the string and it's able to register the END shot giving me a complete TIME.

So, where I'm going with this is the gadget helps me measure TIME.

What I am finding is my FIRST SHOT from the DRAW is where I lose most my TIME. As such, the ENTIRE LASER SYSTEM I have going on doesn't really HELP me improve DRAW/FIRST SHOT.

So to re-enforce anonymouscuban point, Dry Fire can't be ignored.

I am enjoying my little set up though, it is much less boring than traditional dry firing.
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Old 05-31-2020, 9:10 AM
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i use a laserlyte (old cartridge style) for draw and trigger practice.
my DA trigger technique is rock solid.
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy47 View Post
I will agree, gadgets won't win one championships.



One can dry fire with their firearm HERE AND NOW (practice safely).



For the benefit of the OP I would stay away from Laserlyte. I had both a blue pistol from them, and the barrel laser. Both basically died on me. The pistol is not built robustly and the trigger system stopped working, and the barrel laser just stopped working PERIOD (tried multiple new battery sets and it just wouldn't light up again). I got it working for a little while, and then it stopped again right after the new batteries.



Against the advice of anonymouscuban I bought a SIRT pistol, and have been using it with the Laserlyte reactive targets (because I already had them).



Traditional Dry Fire can't be ignored.



But I like the SIRT pistol because I essentially set up my own reactive laser plate rack coupled with the LaserLyte targets. I put my CED7000 timer MIC right up against the LAST target in the string and it's able to register the END shot giving me a complete TIME.



So, where I'm going with this is the gadget helps me measure TIME.



What I am finding is my FIRST SHOT from the DRAW is where I lose most my TIME. As such, the ENTIRE LASER SYSTEM I have going on doesn't really HELP me improve DRAW/FIRST SHOT.



So to re-enforce anonymouscuban point, Dry Fire can't be ignored.



I am enjoying my little set up though, it is much less boring than traditional dry firing.
That's actually a pretty creative way to use that laserlyte system. Makes sense. I will admit, I tried one of the laser target system once at a gun show. I was immediately turned off because I would think it trains you to look for confirmation of your hits from the reaction of the system rather than using the sights and calling shots. It my mind its similar to waiting to hear the plink on a plate or waiting for it to fall rather than reacting to your called shot. At least for competitions like USPSA, this is counter productive.

That all said, the most important thing for dry fire or any training program is that you actually do it consistently. If these things help it to be more interesting and thus, encourage you do practice, then that's better than not practicing. Just make sure you're not training in bad habits.

Really, I would recommend spending money on a good training class. Maybe from someone like Stoeger, Anderson, Grauffel, etc. What these guys teach is proper technique but more importantly, you leave with the tools and knowledge on HOW to train.

Lastly, the one "gadget" I've heard works and I've considered and will eventually buy, is an airsoft pistol. They make replicas of most Production guns. Really nice ones. Grip, sights, weight all the same. Great analog to live fire. I don't want it to replace dry fire. I want it to compliment dry fire and live fire. I haven't bought it because each time I am going to, I just end up buying more reload components to make more ammo. LOL

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Old 05-31-2020, 11:52 AM
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:54 AM
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Let me offer my few points, especially that I have owned and tried a few of these "gimmicks."
  • Dry fire is VERY important. The majority of top shooters are in the consensus that for EVERY 1-live round fired, you should be having at least TEN dry presses.
  • Yes, the top shooters don't use any of these gimmicks (unless, they are sponsored). But then again - they do NOT advise against it. Vogel said in class that if the DFM can get you to practice trigger control, then by all means. But he did add it is NOT mandatory.
  • That, unlike the top shooters, many don't have access to a coach, access to practice ranges, and a signifcant source of ammo. Unlike the top shooters, I cannot go to a match every week (or every month even if I wanted to). At least for me, these "gimmicks" are supplements - it bridges the gap between match-live fire practice-[gadgets]-traditional dry fire.
  • CoolFire Trainer? I got it because I want to take my dry fire on shot calling. Pressing a triggert is fine, and seeing where your sights are at that point - GOOD. But shot calling is actually NOT when you press the trigger, it is when the sights BEGIN to move upward (reference: JJ Racaza and Steve Anderson). The CFT gives my eyes a workout to watch a moving slide, a moving sight, etc. (and of course, a resetting trigger). It may not be as fast a live fire, but it is a start (again, a supplement). Unfortunately I cannot quote Mike Seeklander because he is a sponsored shooter.
  • SiRT - It is good for what it is - high repetition... Obviously, changing the laser to an IR would be beneficial OR adjust the laser so it is below the sight picture. If you are going at speed with the SiRT, I will say that I don't notice the laser (I am still front sight focussed). It is interesting to note that my live fire for 2-Reload-2 is more or less the same as using a SiRT (and the LASR app). Oh, SiRT was invented by USPSA GM Mike Hughes (he got his GM card with a FULL STOCK Glock 19).
  • Yes, one can get by without all these "gimmicks," that is a fact. For example, for the first generation MantisX - you can get the same training as the "White Wall Drill." But, wouldn't it be fine if you could add another dimension to your DRY fire training with measurements/metrics.
  • I have the latest Mantis X10 (practically FREE since I was an early adopter of the 1st generation when I got into firearms). My uses for this are: (1) 25-yard and 50-yard simulated group shooting (I found out that to have good groups I will need at a consistent 95 live fire score on the MantisX). (2) Draw analysis. Yes, we can have a shot timer par time to measure our first shot to draw; wouldn't it be better to get more precise measurements? Especially in the five steps of a draw (grip, pull, horizontal, target and shot)? This provides more details for deficiency diagnosis, no? Then the X10 provides a trace of your draw stroke, which was really insightful for me since I am cross-eye dominant (my stroke was going straight up then to the left. among other inefficiencies - that is time wasted!). (3) Compressed Surprise Break - This was a drill Larry Vickers uses in his Advanced Marksmanship class, and I found the X10 a good way to practice this. Shot timer beeps are about 0.30, and although it can measure tenths of a second after the first beep, you would be hard press to measure something less than that. The X10 allows me to practice my break in three scenarios (finger on slide, finger on trigger, finger barely on trigger with the slack out) - giving me my time to break and how much the sight moved (current averge is 92 at a time of 0.24 for a finger barely on trigger).
  • Didn't Jerry Miculek to a review of the MantisX? I bet that if he had this when he started out, he would have been hooked!
  • Airsoft? I just got introduced to it during COVID19. It was actually an insightful way on validating my handgun fundamentals to Airsoft.
  • LaserLyte - As mentioned in another thread, I find the build quality bad and I would recommend against it. But then again, some folks had good successes with it. So...
  • As already mentioned, "gimmicks" makes traditional dry fire LESS BORING! (Especially for those not going for championships and just enjoying firearms as a hobby/recreational)
  • Classes/training? I take them regularly. You can reference a few of my AAR in the sub-forums: JJ Racaza, Steve Anderson, Larry Vickers, Glock, etc. As mentioned, you get the tools to learn/train in these classes. What I did was I took those tools and become creative with the "gimmicks."
  • Each people are different in the way they learn... Each people have different circumstances... If it helps someone get better and they have fun doing it, by all means. In the interest of transparency, 80% of my dry practice is "old school," anyway.

Shoot straight! Shoot safe! But most of all have FUN! Training is no good if it is no FUN! This is not work, folks!



UPDATE: Wanted to add that in this morning's session, it was fun using the CoolFire Trainer and the ShotMaxx2 shot timer:

- Draw to the cranial A-zone at 7-yards. Rather than hearing a par time, the ShotMaxx2 actually measures my "shots" (I pull the trigger when the sight picture is acceptable), which I will log in my notes (1.15~1.40). I found out that I need to do better on "90-10" that JJ Racaza taught. All out 90% and start stabilizing the last 10%. Yes, it is all about timing and is difficult.

- Draw to 10-yards while moving forward. Times were 1.10~1.20. An aggressive start leads to wobbly sights, I needed to stabilize before breaking the shot. This measurement tells me that I need loading up my forward leg and keep forward/low than upward when I start to move.

- Draw to 15-yards while in the box, then move. My fastest is at 1.10 which I break just before my feet touch down on the 11-yard line. Yes, a risky move in a match although it can save about 1~2-sec at least.

For me to practice this? I will need to find a range that allows me to do it, drive to the range and spend $$$ on ammo. I practiced with this for 15-mins as part of my 1.5-hr routine this morning.



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Last edited by rodralig; 05-31-2020 at 12:35 PM.. Reason: Added update for dry fire with a CoolFire Trainer
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouscuban View Post
Save your money on all these gadgets. Just dry fire with your pistol and mags. Get some dummy rounds to simulate weight. Follow a program and do it consistently. 15-30 minutes 4 times a week.

Look at all the top shooters. None of them use these gadgets for dry fire. None.

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^^^^ This

I just use my competition gun with a piece of tape in the ejection port (it's a GLOCK) to get me a springy trigger, and a magazine full of snapcaps for weight.
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Old 06-02-2020, 1:35 PM
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One more quick point about gadgets - they can help with some isolated and specific aspects of technique, e.g., a *slow* trigger press, but when it comes to practice for action shooting you just need your gun.

However, it's CRITICAL that you confirm your dry fire in live fire. That's where you have to evaluate how honest you are with your sight picture and how well you're pressing that trigger at speed.

The true value of dry fire is when you get to the point/level where the limiting factor to your performance is seeing the targets at speed and precise gun movement, not your ability to execute a shot with less than perfect sight picture or the ability to recognize the sight alignment.
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Old 06-02-2020, 1:40 PM
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Originally Posted by anonymouscuban View Post
Save your money on all these gadgets. Just dry fire with your pistol and mags. Get some dummy rounds to simulate weight. Follow a program and do it consistently. 15-30 minutes 4 times a week.

Look at all the top shooters. None of them use these gadgets for dry fire. None.

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Any programs you recommend?
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Old 06-02-2020, 3:09 PM
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The true value of dry fire is when you get to the point/level where the limiting factor to your performance is seeing the targets at speed and precise gun movement, not your ability to execute a shot with less than perfect sight picture or the ability to recognize the sight alignment.
Hi @IVC

Could you expound more on that, please? (my gut is telling me something)

Thanks,


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Old 06-02-2020, 4:36 PM
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I'll took a different approach. I bought the Dryfire mag and the MantisX. I like it.

I think money is well spent if it allows you to do something regularly, more consistently and measurably. Ive dry fired for years, but improvements were elusive. A few days with the system I put together, I see improvements immediately.

It's like its having your own pool. Sure its a lot of money, but you get to swim every morning straight out of bed, ball sack hanging and all. Priceless.

The MantisX will attach to an AR. But I am not sure how beneficial it will be, except maybe for reload. Trigger pull isnt much on an issue with a shouldered firearm vs a handgun.

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Old 06-02-2020, 7:03 PM
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Could you expound more on that, please? (my gut is telling me something)
No problem...

There are many different ways to look at it, so I'll give you three separate examples, one involving a well-known shooter, one involving me and one involving a lot of new(er) shooters at the range.

Remember the video "aiming is useless" by Rob Leatham? People who don't know better think it's about point shooting... What he is saying is that "aiming is useless if you cannot execute the correct trigger pull." It's not that there is anything wrong with aiming (far from it), it's that trigger control is 85% or shooting skill and aiming makes no sense at the time when your trigger pull is the limiting factor to your shooting. This brings the second example...

A while ago, I was at the match and looking at an array of steel targets that were somewhat far away, but could technically be shot on the move. During the walk-through, I'm talking to the guys and say "I'll have to go slow here." A very good shooter (Master in Limited, we are almost always on the same squad) said: "no, you just have to see your sights and get the hits." This made me upset for two reasons: (1) I knew he was right, and (2) he took away my security blanket that if I went slow, I would go one-for-one on the steel. Sure enough, I went slow AND I missed here and there. This now brings me to the third example...

When you see new shooters at the range and they really sweat the aiming, they pull the trigger and they miss. Then, they say to themselves that they need to *aim more carefully*, and they spend twice the amount of time aiming for the next shot, only to miss again. Then the frustration kicks in about how they need to work on their aim...

The moral of the story is that in all of the above the KEY is to recognize what is limiting you. If it is the trigger control, don't waste time on aiming. It won't change anything. If it is pulling shots off the target during the trigger press, or even misunderstanding sights on the target (which had been my problem in the example above), you won't fix it by going slow or by trying to fix something that's not the problem to begin with.

So, back to the context of my post. Dry fire is really good on getting those sights to move fast, precisely and accurately, to get the gun to appear where it's supposed to appear and to generally speed up your shooting to the limit. HOWEVER, if you get your sights fast to the acceptable sight picture and you still miss, then you need to work on your technique before you'll get the most out of the dry fire. This sort of hurts to hear, but it's the truth. If you have a very fast transitions only to have to waste time on poor trigger pull, you're not practicing to your potential.

My latest (personal) example is working on finer points of acceptable sight picture at different distances. What I noticed is that I would sometimes miss the steel even though I can clearly see the sights - what gives? Is it the trigger pull? - no, I've practiced that a lot. So, what is it? I noticed that at speed I would get dragged into recognizing the *dot* of the front sight and not the top of the sight (my gun is sighted in to shoot straight at the top of the front sight; another very long story). If I look at the dot and it's in the middle of the plate at around 12-15 yards, and if my rear sights is a bit lower due to speed, my shot is going over the top of the plate. My brain needs to recognize this and make sure that if I'm shooting off of marginal sight picture, it must be at the *bottom* of the plate (or at least bottom 1/3), not the middle. Simple concept, but makes a huge difference.

For reference, I've played with this in practice and realized that if my rear sight is aligned with the *bottom* of the front sight on a plate at 15 yards, my front sight needs to be at the very bottom of the plate for a center-hit. That's just how the geometry on my gun works. So, if I'm going fast, I will look to get the dot in the bottom 1/3 of the plate - no longer do I pull the gun down when pressing the trigger, so I need to make sure that I can hit what I point at as soon as I can see and recognize the sights.

Hope this clarifies it a bit... Even if it's off-topic for the thread.
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Old 06-02-2020, 7:23 PM
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Any programs you recommend?
Get Ben Stoeger's book, Dry Fire Reloaded. Great book. Or you can get Steve Anderson's book, Refinement and Repetition.

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Old 06-12-2020, 11:11 AM
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Dry Fire exercises while doing your regular workout
Obviously, this isn't something that would work at a public
gym. However since the lockdown I've been working out at
home in my office. Had to think through the exercises for
various muscle groups, etc. And today I suddenly found myself
acting as if I had my 1911 in my hand. I stopped what I was
doing, got my Kimber Ultra Carry ll and started over, finding
out which exercises could become good dry fire at the same
time. At the moment I am only using this for sight picture since I don't
want to totally disrupt the primary purpose of the workout.
But sit up. Both half sit up crunches, and full exploding sit ups
allow me to begin the sit up at low ready, and at the top of the
sit up force the gun out and aim. I'm using full silhouette body
targets since this is a fast reaction target acquisition and trigger
pull exercise. I am not cocking my gun but with a revolver you
could easily do the full trigger put. I also a draw, aim and shoot
while doing squats. My experience so far is that using your
EDC or the gun you count on most, gives you the added value
of working with the actual weight you would have in a real life
situation. So with two sets of sit ups and two sets of squats,
I'm getting some gun handling. I will if I can use my back arch
exercises to include target acquisition from the prone position.
And I'll be moving to my heavier, all steel RIA 1911 Compact.
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Old 06-14-2020, 2:33 PM
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Here's my recent spoils from my makeshift laserlyte plate rack with SIRT training pistol. This wasn't even my best run.

10 or so yards (like a Glock match) with a G17 from the low ready (like a Glock match)



I "think" where I have picked up my improvement from practice is the first shot. When I started practicing I was eating up as much as 1.5 seconds from the low ready to get a shot off. That's now at 0.75, and I also reduced my splits down to 0.25 from 0.50. I could always HIT my target. I wasn't starting from scratch, and I already made Glock Master before I started this practice regiment. I'm just not anywhere near being at the top of the Master Ranks (at least for Plates it looks like if I have a good day I'm right in the hunt for plates anyway).

I don't have much more to add in terms of "how" to practice relative to the information already discussed. I do think however you need to be able to self coach yourself (which can be hard for new shooters) and tell when you are doing something correct, or something wrong in order to stop and correct it.
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Old 06-14-2020, 5:38 PM
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Here's my recent spoils from my makeshift laserlyte plate rack with SIRT training pistol. This wasn't even my best run.

10 or so yards (like a Glock match) with a G17 from the low ready (like a Glock match).
Wow! That is FAST...!

I haven't been to a GSSF match since 2017 (if I would remember). I absolutely agree that the lowest hanging fruit in the plates is the first shot.
Hhhmmm... I wish there is a Glock 44 sold in the Marketplace that doesn't have much of the premium markup so I can get one for my kid and he can participate in the new Rimfire division. Conversion Kits aren't allowed...


Quote:
I don't have much more to add in terms of "how" to practice relative to the information already discussed. I do think however you need to be able to self coach yourself (which can be hard for new shooters) and tell when you are doing something correct, or something wrong in order to stop and correct it.
BTW, here is my added contribution to the group...

After a few months' hiatus, my 12-year old comes back to dry practice in preparation for the ranges to open, hence, live fire validation. For this evening's session - I have added a NEW twist to the drills - he needs to call the shots (be it even a Charlie, Delta, or a Mike). Goes back to @anonymouscuban mentioning -

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouscuban View Post
There is feedback in dry firing with only your pistol. It's your sight picture. Whether it's from the draw or transitioning targets. You see what you need to see, you call your shot and move on.

Setup for this would be:
  • Go Fast Don't Suck reusable adhesive dry practice targets.
  • Double Alpha Academy dry fire practice magazines (for weight/safety).
  • Dry Fire Training Cords - allows the Glock to be out of battery while giving a visual indicator of an unloaded chamber.
  • Shot timer, of course.

Note: Please, do not mind the upper body. Quite rusty while adjusting to a new holster setup (one with drop/offset)...




_

Last edited by rodralig; 06-14-2020 at 6:00 PM.. Reason: Added comment on the Glock 44
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  #22  
Old 06-14-2020, 7:20 PM
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Mac Attack Mac Attack is offline
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I have a Dry Fire magazine and really like it.
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  #23  
Old 06-20-2020, 9:05 AM
Kojung Kojung is offline
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I made this dry firing system that I use at home. https://github.com/kojung/elfs
Iíve been tracking my progress and I can see my aims are faster and more accurate with time.


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  #24  
Old 08-04-2020, 8:56 PM
TFA777 TFA777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouscuban View Post
Save your money on all these gadgets. Just dry fire with your pistol and mags. Get some dummy rounds to simulate weight. Follow a program and do it consistently. 15-30 minutes 4 times a week.

Look at all the top shooters. None of them use these gadgets for dry fire. None.
I understand the sentiment, but the issue I have with re-racking is you're drilling muscle memory to rack after each trigger pull.

Can't remember which book/article I read, but there were cases where cops would draw, fire 2 rounds and reholster their guns in an actual gunfight because that's what they were drilling consistently.

I actually did this in one of my first USPSA matches, did a speed reload between stations, so even though I had a round in the chamber I still re-racked the slide.
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  #25  
Old 09-17-2020, 11:23 AM
Stretz Tactical Inc. Stretz Tactical Inc. is offline
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I use Coolfire trainer: https://coolfiretrainer.com/ YOU CAN USE DISCOUNT CODE: STAC19
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