Dry fire practice is vital for improving your shooting skills
Outside of every chow hall and firing range in the military there are two things you'll likely see – a barrel and a sign. The barrel is usually half full of sand but the sign is the big thing we all need to pay attention to. It says, “Clear All Weapons Here.”
Why does the military think it's a great precaution for every single armed service member to clear their weapon prior to entering a chow hall? It's because no matter how proficient someone is with a weapon, there is always the chance he or she is wrong about whether or not there is a live round in the chamber.
On the whole, people who concealed carry are extremely thoughtful about their weapon. They practice great shooting fundamentals and safety. However, too many times we hear about people forgetting to clear the barrel of their concealed carry firearm and bad things happening. What comments end up in the news when someone accidentally discharges his or her firearm? “I didn't know it was loaded.” The second most common excuse is the person was unfamiliar with the equipment he or she was using and accidentally pulled the trigger.
While veteran concealed carry enthusiasts also may find this hard to believe – it's much more common then they might imagine. According to the CDC's estimates, there have been 33,363 firearm related deaths – of which 21,175 are attributable to self-inflicted wounds. While the circumstances of every case aren't publicly disclosed, one thing is certain – safety first and practice matters.
Dry Firing is Essential to Develop Muscle Memory
The only way to get good at something is to practice. While the range is always a great excuse to let off some rounds and practice shooting with your preferred concealed carry holster – it's a very small fraction of the total time most concealed carriers have their weapon on them. Dry firing is a great way to develop the muscle memory needed for things like trigger control, trigger discipline, proper sight alignment, and all the other essential parts of discharging a weapon.
While it is something that concealed carry enthusiasts may take for granted, consider the small changes necessary to go from one pistol to another. A Beretta M9, for instance, has a completely different trigger pull than a Glock 19. The M9 has a very tough first trigger pull with each pull afterwards being much easier and smooth. The Glock 19, however, has a smooth and fast first pull.
A simple drill which is easy and fun is to clear your weapon and practice dry firing from either your favored inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband concealed carry holster. Not only do you develop the reflexes and reliable handling necessary to actually use that firearm – you develop confidence.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.