For anyone who is serious about effectively training with a firearm in order to ensure that they are as dynamic, effective, and capable as possible – and in as many different situations as possible – dry firing is an invaluable practice.
It should go without saying that spending time at the range and actually getting used to the process of firing your gun, and fine-tuning your accuracy, is essential. But there are plenty of practices that simply can’t be refined at the range, and many firearm owners will only be able to get down to the range once or twice a week in any case.
Dry firing allows you to practice aiming and “firing” your gun from the comfort of your own home, without actually having any ammunition loaded. Although certain older models of firearms could be negatively affected by dry firing, newer models can be dry fired without fear. What’s more, many firearm instructors consider dry firing to be one of the most important practices to undertake for overall competency.
But what can you do to train your firearm and personal defence skills at home, beyond basic dry firing?
Here are some suggestions.
Attend tactical training courses and rehearse what you’ve learned at home
Increasingly these days, there are all sorts of amazing technical training courses out there that you can attend, which can give you an expert rundown in different tactics and approaches for wielding your firearm more deftly, and neutralising threats in tight situations.
One excellent way of training your firearm use at home while dry firing, is to first attend tactical training courses that specifically instruct on things like how to handle home invasions, and how to effectively manoeuvre and fire around obstacles, and to then repeatedly drill those lessons at home in order to ensure they stick.
While dry firing, you can very effectively practice manoeuvring around different obstacles in the home, turning corners strategically, and all manner of other things.
Practice “clearing the house” in different light conditions
One of the most common reasons why people own firearms for personal defence, and in order to defend their families, is because of the fear of home invasion – and the desire to be properly equipped to safely inspect and clear the house when something goes bump in the night.
“Clearing the house” when you suspect there might be an intruder present, however, is a delicate process – and is the kind of thing that you can easily fumble in a real-life, high-stress scenario – especially if you haven’t actively trained or prepared for it in advance.
Practice clearing your home in different light conditions – both dark and fully illuminated – in order to get a clear sense of how to manoeuvre around the place, while paying attention to different potential hiding places or blind spots.
Use a timer while you aim at various small targets around the room
One great dry firing practice that goes beyond simply aiming and dry firing a gun while at home, is to work on your aim, speed, and composure by setting up multiple small targets around the room and setting up a timer.
Consider using bright pieces of adhesive tape no more than a couple of inches by couple of inches, and stick them around various parts of the room – or have a member of your family do it for you, so that you don’t know where they are upfront.
Then, use a timer – maybe one specifically designed for firearms training – that will beep at intervals.
Your task is to locate and aim precisely at each target in turn, before the next beep.
Do firearm and emergency drills that involve your whole family
If you have a family, or even just live with housemates, one of the worst-case scenarios would be if – during a home invasion – various members of the family panicked, ran into harm’s way, and unintentionally undermined your attempts to defend them.
For this reason, it might be a good idea to try some firearm and emergency drills around the home that involve your whole family – although, of course, you should be careful to handle this tactfully if you have young children in particular.
Consider practising drills like getting down, taking cover, retreating to a safe location, and getting out of harm’s way when you are wielding your firearm.
These kinds of drills, if repeated often, might really help to reduce the risk of tragedy in a high-risk situation.