Dry Fire Techniques For Bullseye Pistol

by
posted on November 27, 2017
dry-fire-lange1.jpg

It was breezy the first time I shot at Pistol Nationals, just enough to give the average shooter chicken finger and lower the scores. Some service shooters did very well and seemed unaffected by the wind. Being new, I believed the explanation that they do well in the wind because they practice in the wind. It took me a few years to learn the real reason—because they dry fire.

Whether it’s windy, raining, sunny or cold, they pull the trigger the same way every time because they dry fire. Dry firing trains your subconscious in all of the basics. When you dry fire, check your stance, maintain a constant grip, focus on the dot or front sight, maintain sight alignment and breathe properly, just as you would during live fire.

If you can identify a weakness, concentrate on improving just that one skill while dry firing. For instance, if you are pumping your grip when you shoot sustained fire, concentrate on just maintaining a consistent grip while dry firing.

Once you’ve learned the basics, continue to hone your skills through repetition, dry firing at least once a day, five days a week. Dry fire sessions only need to be 10 or fifteen minutes long—longer, if they remain productive. Don’t teach yourself bad habits by dry firing longer than you physically or mentally should. Remember, perfect practice makes perfect. My dry fire training is 15 minutes in the morning, when I get home from work and before I go to bed.

When I dry fire, I start with the muzzle about an inch from a blank wall. Not having a target and being close to the wall puts me in a natural point of aim and prevents my eyes from focusing far away. I run a mental program before every shot or string of shots, so I do the same when I dry fire. I do not pull my trigger without first running a mental program, ever! In my mental program, I visualize my red dot in the center of the bull. While I focus on the red dot and squeeze the trigger, I imagine the shot breaking and the bullet going straight through the center of the red dot. Then I imagine a target with a hole in the center of the X-ring and think, “... and you’ve got an X.” I use the same technique for iron sights except I focus on the front sight instead of the red dot. The whole idea is to focus on the sights and break the shot without disturbing the sight alignment or moving the dot.

After about five or 10 minutes of dry firing against a blank wall, I dry fire at a reduced target across the room. I have found that dry firing against a blank wall trains me to keep my sights aligned and my eyes focused on the sights. Dry firing at a reduced target helps steady my hold.

When a shooter asks me what to do about a specific problem, the first thing I do is ask them if they dry fire. I can’t tell you how many shooters say, “No, I tried that and it doesn’t work for me.” Dry firing does work as long as you commit to it for as long as you want your shooting and scores to improve.
Dave Lange
Dave Lange is a member of the Zero/Lapua Pistol Team; previous National Indoor International Standard Pistol Champion; previous Distinguished Revolver National Champion; firing member of several U.S. Mayleigh Cup Teams; winner of numerous regional and state championships; national record holder.

Latest

A Burrows Dec 2022 1
A Burrows Dec 2022 1

Team Federal’s Alysia Burrows Captures Practical High Lady Title At 2022 PCSL 2-Gun Championship

“This match is known for attracting some of the best around, and it’s always a privilege to shoot alongside them,” Burrows said.

Results: Battle For The North Coast V

There were 186 competitors at the 2022 Battle for the North Coast USPSA match held in August at Crooked Creek Conservation Club in Rome, Ohio.

Collegiate Rifle: Over Academy Weekend, Akron Lands Between Air Force, Navy

Akron rifle team in the middle of the 2022 Academy Day Matches, with Zips’ shooters Gavin Perkowski and Rachel Engels both hitting high marks.

2022 Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge

Since making its debut in 2018, Utah’s Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge has been called the airgun community’s de facto world championship.

Competitors’ Corner: December 2022

Highlights from the December 2022 issue of Shooting Sports USA, the NRA’s competitive shooting journal.

New: Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P9 M2.0 Competitor Pistol

Smith & Wesson has revealed a new Performance Center M&P pistol that’s designed for competition right out of the box, with a slide cut for optics, five-inch barrel and oversized mag release that's also reversible. All for less than $1,000.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.