Category Archives: dryfire

Private lesson –Training Modules

I had the opportunity to exchange a private lesson for a haircut today. The stylist is an experienced shooter who has taken a number of classes and can run a pistol quite competently. This made the choice of modules for the lesson a little different than might usually be done for a private lesson. Since we were at her home, no live fire was indicated. I used three different learning modules for her lesson.

Image Based Decisional Drills

The first module was using the Image Based Decisional Drills from The Complete Combatant. http://www.thecompletecombatant.com/image-based-decisional-drills.html Only one category of Negative Outcomes relates to marksmanship, the other ten relate to Bad Decisions of one sort of another. IBDD provides a useful method to practice interactive decision-making. Although it was originally developed for live fire purposes, it can easily be done without live fire by using an inert training pistol.

We set up a small training area with a face target.

3 IBDD layout face circled

It took only a few minutes to run through all 25 cards in the deck.

4 IBDD completed

Using IBDD to put context into the manipulation process showed that some supplemental instruction was in order. The supplemental items we covered were:

  • Correct grip for pepper spray.
  • Trigger manipulation under stress.
  • Sequencing of movement, verbal communication, and firing.
  • Non-verbal communication techniques for dealing with low life individuals.
  • Changing direction quickly (close order drill).

This is an overview of the Image Based Decisional Drill concept, process, and kit.

Using a SIRT pistol is an excellent tool for non-firing sessions with IBDD but even an inexpensive toy gun from WalMart would be an adequate training aid.

Walmart XD Glock

NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training Course

Even with experienced shooters, I am finding value in the NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training Course. https://www.nrainstructors.org/CatalogInfo.aspx?cid=47

By adjusting the laser dot above the sights of a SIRT pistol, the simulator allows the operator to see the effect of their trigger manipulation and follow-through. The sights on my SIRT have been replaced with real metal sights.

SIRT

Any NRA Certified Pistol Instructor can conduct the NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training Course. The Course of Fire is not specified so I use the previous and current versions of the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting qualification test.

Introduction to Snub Revolver

Finally, we did a quick dry practice introduction to the snub revolver. Since she is an experienced shooter, the introduction focused mostly on the differences between the revolver and an autoloader. The overview consisted of:

  • Proper grip for a revolver.
  • Trigger finger positioning and manipulation.
  • Accessing a downed partner’s weapon from both face up and face down positions.

A great deal can be accomplished in a couple of hours when live fire isn’t required and contextual Learning Objectives are established.

To avoid confusion, I won’t list my books in this post because they’re not free. If you would be interested in purchasing any of my shooting workbooks for handgun or rifle, they are available from the menu at the top of the page. As the American Insurgency escalates, you may find having a functional knowledge of the weapons you own to be useful.

Mr. Happy/Frowny Face Decisional Drill

For this drill you will need paper plates, a silhouette target, a deck of cards, and a table or platform to put the cards on. The object of this drill is to practice thinking with a gun in hand.

Draw faces on two paper plates. One plate with a happy face (no shoot), one with a frowny face (shoot). Different color markers for each plate, one Red and one Black.

Put the two paper plates on a silhouette.

drawn faces on silhouette

Place the silhouette at 4 yards

Use only the Ace, Two, and Three cards of all suits from a deck of cards and then shuffle those cards.

ace through 3 only

Place the cards face down on the table in front of you.

Sequence 1

Turn a card over.

If the card is the color on the frowny face, draw or present the pistol and then shoot the frowny face plate with the number of rounds indicated by the number of the card. I.e., if the card is the 3, then shoot 3 shots. The Ace is one shot.

If the card is the color on the happy face, don’t draw or present, i.e., no shooting.

Pistols having a capacity of less than 12 rounds will require reloading. This is a good opportunity to practice reloading skills under a bit of stress. Pistols with capacities more than 12 rounds can start loaded with less than 12 rounds to gain this additional practice opportunity.

After all 12 cards have been turned over, there should be 12 hits on Mr. Frownyface and NO hits on Mr. Happyface.

This drill can also be done at home using a SIRT pistol, a toy pistol, a water pistol, or some other simulation. The marksmanship might not be measured but the decision-making and thinking skills are the primary purpose of the drill.

The drill has several variations but for most people, this is a good start to work on decision-making.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Scaling targets

Since dry practice is our main practice method right now, it’s useful to know how to scale targets since most of us don’t have long distances available.

tacticalprofessor

Math is like going to the gym for your brain. It sharpens your mind.

Danica McKellar

“Claude, how do I shrink an IDPA target so it appears as though it is 25 yards away when my dry fire range is 7 yards? Thank you.”

Many people think they will never use elementary algebra once they leave high school but sometimes it still comes in handy. The above question can be simply solved through the use of cross-multiplication.

The first part of the problem is we have to determine the ratio of the two distances and then solve for the correct size (height) of the target. The IDPA target is 30 inches tall and would be full size at 25 yards. How tall would it be at seven yards?

Height30x
yards257

Cross multiplication means the product of the upper left and lower right will be…

View original post 334 more words

Dry Practice Safety Procedures

The influx of new firearms owners in the past few weeks has generated considerable interest in dry practice. For both new and long time owners, a primer on dry practice is in order.

Dry practice is the process of practicing with a firearm without using ammunition. Generally, this is done at home but can also be done at the range in conjunction with live fire practice. The purpose of dry practice is to become more familiar with the operation of a firearm without the distractions of recoil and the Overpressure Event aka muzzle blast. In times of limited or no availability of ammunition and range resources, dry practice may be the only practice method available to us.

There are very specific safety precautions that should be used to make dry practice as safe as possible. A one page sheet listing safety precautions is available here. dry practice safety procedures Note that no usage of any potentially life-threatening device, such as firearms, automobiles, chain saws, or electric outlets can be considered completely safe.

Using a chamber safety device is highly recommended when dry practicing. A number of commercially available devices are available and they work well. A field expedient device is a pipe cleaner aka ‘craft fuzzy stick’ through the bore and bent over in the ejection port.
Fuzzy stick chamber safeThese can be purchased at Wal-Mart for less than one dollar for a large package of them.

Previous articles about dry practice, nee dryfire, can be found by clicking the ‘dryfire’ Category in the right column menu.

Practice and practice safely.

 

Snub Dry Practice During the Beer Plague

#wheelgunwednesday

We can use our time at home productively during the Beer Plague by doing some dry practice. Here’s a regimen for snub revolvers that’s quick and useful. It’s derived from the LAPD Back Up Firearm Qualification Course. There are two targets at 3 yards.

Use Double range square

String 1

From a concealed holster, using two hands, draw and snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.

String 2

From a concealed holster, using two hands, draw and snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.

String 3

From a concealed holster, using the Primary hand only, draw and snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.

String 4

From a concealed holster, using the Primary hand only, draw and snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.

String 5

From Low Ready, using the Support hand only, snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.

String 6

From Low Ready, using the Support hand only, snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.

Use Chief 2

You can use fired cases as snap caps to protect the hammer nose (firing pin). Marking the case head with a black Sharpie provides a visual indicator that the case is a snap cap and not a wadcutter. Having a specific container for them keeps them easily accessible.

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More about Refining the drawstroke

An excellent question was posed about Refining the Drawstroke. It’s worthy of repeating and answering in a post of its own because the answer seems counter-intuitive.

Shortest distance between two points is a straight line. He seems to catch with the support hand at the nipple line. We catch just a tad lower. Thoughts?

In this case, the line to follow is the eye-target line not the line from the holster to full extension. The sooner the gun gets into the eye-target line, at least peripherally, the sooner we can begin refining our visual reference of the gun to the target. If the gun is presented straight to extension, the visual refinement cannot begin until the gun reaches extension.

Dry Practice over boxes eye-target line

At this point, I am already achieving a coarse visual reference of the pistol to the target.

Continue reading →

Refining the drawstroke

One of the most common errors in the drawstroke is allowing the pistol to dip below the holster during the draw; this is called bowling. Another common error is bringing the gun up to the eye-target line like an underhand toss, which is called scooping. Both of these errors increase the time of the drawstroke and increase the difficulty of acquiring the sights.

I’ve created a YouTube channel for videos that I plan to make. Here’s the first, a simple technique to get rid of bowling and scooping.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

The Basics and Beyond

#Fridayfundamentals

The NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course qualification has changed in the past few years. The old standard was to be able to hit a paper plate at 15 feet. The new standard is 5 shots/5 hits into a 4 inch circle at 10 feet. It must be done 4 times to qualify at the first (Red) Level. The tries do not have to be consecutive. Additional qualifications at 15 feet (White Level) and 20 feet (Blue Level) are available for those who pass the Red Level. There is no time limit. This is deceptively simple but many people who think they can shoot to this standard cannot.

Here is a target that you can download to try it out for yourself. It’s printable on standard printer paper.

4 inch circles with one inch centers portrait

You should be able to make the five hits in four consecutive tries at all three distances if you consider yourself a proficient shooter. If all the rounds don’t hit the circles in four consecutive tries, then dry practice all 20 cycles at the distance you didn’t make it. The dry practice should help you tune up your sight picture and trigger manipulation. After the dry practice, reshoot the stage at that distance. This totals a minimum of 60 rounds of disciplined fundamental shooting.

Putting the Qualification on Steroids

After you are able to successfully complete all three levels (Red, White, and Blue), you may want to really challenge yourself. Here’s the qualification on steroids using the downloadable target.

Start at 10 feet (Red Level). Shoot one shot into each circle as five separate strings. String one starts on circle one. String two starts on circle two. String three on circle three, etc. Finish with String five starting on circle one.

Putting it on steroids will teach you the visual patience to make sure your sights are well aligned before you break the shot when you are transitioning from target to target. It will also force you to press the trigger smoothly when you make a target transition.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

What snubs can do

#Smith&WessonSunday

I shot the I’m With Roscoe 2019 Internet Match Friday at a local indoor range. The Match is modeled on the Pocket Revolver Championship of the US Revolver Association, as described in the 1915 edition of the book Pistol and Revolver Shooting by A.L.A. Himmelwright. This Match is an Internet enabled version of Postal Matches that were commonly shot in the 20th Century. The Course of Fire is five strings of five shots each at 50 feet. The time limit for each string is 30 seconds and the shooting is done Primary (Strong) Hand Only.

To time it, I used the Dry Fire Par Timer app, available on Google Play, on my phone with ear buds underneath my muffs. That’s a very workable setup for indoor range work.

CW IWR 2019 snub

The outer 4 Ring of the target measures 7 5/16 inches in diameter. Only two shots went outside the 4 ring, so that’s 23 hits in the largest circle out of 25 shots. I think Inspector Erskine would be satisfied with that.

There’s a common misconception that snubs are “arm’s length guns.” As I periodically remind people, that’s only true for the incompetent. Dry practice can go a long way toward improving our skills.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

DRY PRACTICE WITH REVOLVERS

#Fridayfundamentals

I am really enjoying getting back into the habit of structured dry practice. Revolvers are great tools for dry practice, in some ways better than autoloading pistols.

This month, I am serving as the Match Director for the I’m With Roscoe http://imwithroscoe.com 2019 Internet Match. It’s based on the Pocket Revolver Championship of the US Revolver Association. The Championship, along with the other USRA Championships, is described in A.L.A. Himmelwright’s 1915 book Pistol and Revolver Shooting. https://www.amazon.com/Pistol-Revolver-Shooting-L-Himmelwright-ebook/dp/B00AQM9SK0

The course of fire is quite demanding. Originally, it consisted of five strings of five shots in 30 seconds at 50 yards on the original NRA B-6 bullseye target. It is shot one-handed. Since not many people have access to a 50 yard range, I changed it to using an NRA B-2 target at 50 feet. The B-2 is the 50 foot reduction of the B-6 so this was an easy change. Official Rules are available on the IWR Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/370742620287566/

Since it is a demanding course of fire, I’ve been doing dry practice for when I have the opportunity to shoot it live. My preparation is to work on the fundamentals. I practice with two revolvers each day, my pencil barrel Model 10 and my Model 38-2 J frame.

IWR Match guns

I created a reduced size target for dry practice, scaled for use at 10 feet. It is printed on a 5×8 index card. The target is stored behind a plaque for safety reasons. I take it out and position it when I start the session. Immediately after finishing the session, I conceal the target back behind the plaque prior to reloading my gun.

 

IWR dry practice target

Since they’re both older guns, I protect their firing pins (hammer noses). For the K frame, I’m using a piece of plastic that fills in the rear of the cylinder. It was manufactured years ago by a gunsmith in New Jersey, long since out of business. The plastic has proven remarkably durable though. For the 38-2, I’m using ST Action Pro Dummy Rounds that I filled the primer pocket in with hot melt glue.

For a timer, I use the Dry Fire Practice Par Timer, from the Google App store, on my phone. It’s set to give me five strings of 30 seconds each with a six second delay between strings. At the beep, I snap five times single action. My actual times are working out to about 25-26 seconds per string. This allows some leeway to accommodate recoil management when I live fire. I rest briefly between the strings.

What I am concentrating on when snapping is minimizing my wobble zone, pressing the trigger smoothly, and following through. These are especially important when shooting one handed. The follow-through is the aspect I have to personally work hardest on. Of those three fundamentals, follow-through is the hardest to learn in live fire so the dry practice is doing me a great deal of good.

It’s been good getting back into daily dry practice. I include dry practice in my shooting workbooks for a reason; it works. If you would like to try your hand at it, this is the reduced scale target. IWR Internet Match dry practice target 5×8 10 feet

Tactical Professor books

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com/

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com