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Dry Practice

Dry Practice Guidelines

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Dry practice, also known as dry-fire, is a part of firearms training that is done without use of any live ammunition. Dry practice is most often done individually, but is also a part of team training. This short helpful hint page will focus on individual dry fire practice.

What is Dry-Practice or Dry-Fire?

Simply put dry practice or dry fire is practicing the techniques, weapon manipulations, and tactics without the use of any live ammunition of any sort. Most commonly this is accomplished by using an empty and unloaded firearm.

Why is it important?

Learning a new skill takes time. Lots of time. Mastery of a skill takes deliberate time, time dedicated to the complete honing of the skill. The objective of the student is unconscious competence, essentially knowing the skill as naturally as walking or running to allow the brain to perform other problem-solving tasks. Dry practice is an equal partner in skill development. The other important components are live-fire and context based training.

Basic Dry Practice Guidelines


Safety is paramount when conducting dry practice. It must be done with a deliberate intent of performing a training objective and the complete resolute dedication to safety. Especially, as is the case with the majority of individual training, dry practice is done at home.

· No live ammo in the same room

· Ensure you have a safe backdrop

· Ensure no one else is in the room who isn’t training

Dry-Fire Practice is a Learned Skill

Dry-practice is a way to practice skills you have been taught by a skilled instructor. Why? Because an instructor can observe you and see what you cannot. Minor inefficiencies or incorrect form or poor technique, which can only be seen by a trained eye.

Taking the skills learned from an instructor the student can then deliberately practice the mechanics, tactics, and techniques of the skills in order to hone them more sharply.

Dry-Practice is done SLOW AND DELIBERATE

Rehearsal, mental and physical, is the key to developing skill. Fully involving the mind during practice, especially scenarios, and then slowly and deliberately correctly and accurately completing the needing skill, tactic, or manipulation is how you work towards achieving mastery.

Key Points to Keep in Mind when Conducting Dry Practice

· Mental scenario rehearsal

· Deliberate and concentrated movement

· Practice perfect execution of the skill, tactic, or manipulation each and every time

Speed comes with competency. Working only on speed only without working on doing it correctly only builds sloppy and inefficient and often incorrect habits.


Hence, it is important to first learn the skill under the watchful eye of a skilled, competent, and experience teacher. Then practice those skills slowly and deliberately until subconsciously you cannot perform them incorrectly. Then build speed incrementally into dry practice.

Thousands of meticulous repetitions.

Mindless repetition, i.e. just going through the motions will not net you any pliable results. You must use visualization and focus on making sure the skill, tactic, or manipulation is being done 100% correct.

The ultimate goal is to be able to perform the skill, tactic, or manipulation without having to walk through the steps to get it done. Fluency. Most of us can drive to and from work without much thought (this is not what we should be doing) but that sort of autopilot is because the skill, tactic, and manipulation of driving, navigating, and reacting to traffic conditions has been repeated endlessly.

This is not to recommend in any way not being aware or actively engaged in your environment, but merely to show that most of us already possess a core competency in an important and high-risk skill: commuting.

Dry Practice is one component of achieving fluency and proficiency in firearm skills.

Get quality training from an instructor who is both competent, certified, experienced, and vested in the development of students. Training can save your life and it needs to be a value to you after the deadly force encounter for the legal battle.

Do good. Train often. Be humble.

Thanks for reading.


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