Category Archives: dryfire

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

Advanced Pistol Practice announcement

Because I’ve been asked for it so often, I’ve created a Skill Development practice program that goes far beyond my first two books, Concealed Carry Skills and Drills and Indoor Range Practice Sessions. CCSD and IRPS were intended for newer or inexperienced shooters.

The new Program is called Advanced Pistol Practice. It is intended for those shooters who are familiar with their handguns and are serious about taking their skills, both Technical and Decisional, to a much higher level. Although many people would like to take a high level training course, that’s often difficult or impossible because of resource constraints. While it can’t provide the practiced eye of a good instructor, Advanced Pistol Practice provides shooters with a practice approach similar to those used by many good trainers. It uses an integrated approach to Skills Development incorporating both Live Fire and Dry Practice that is found in many high level training courses.

The Live Fire component consists of Technical Drills, Decisional Drills, and Scenarios. While numerous technical shooting drills are widely available, drills that develop the skill of ‘thinking with a gun in hand’ are much less common. The Decisional Drills included in APP are intended to fill this gap. They consist of both Don’t Shoot/Shoot exercises and target identification/follow-up hit assessment exercises. Scenario shooting should be a part of every shooter’s practice but creating realistic scenarios isn’t always easy. The Live Fire Scenarios in APP are based on actual shootings, gunfights, and gunbattles involving both Private Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers, especially off-duty LE incidents.

Snub revolvers continue to maintain a healthy presence as backup and hideout gun among knowledgeable guncarriers. The Snub Revolver Program Of Instruction that I developed and used for many years is included in APP. Snubs are neither “arm’s length guns” nor “one-shot close range shotguns.” Given a structured practice regimen, shooters can learn to accomplish good work with a snub revolver. Dry Practice exercises for the snub are included in the Program, as well.

Dry Practice is often the most challenging practice component of Skill Development because it tends to be unstructured and boring, leading to unproductive “grabasstic gun-clicking.” To combat this, APP includes a series of different structured audio programs in different voices with different sound effects to keep dry practice focused and interesting. Since the space available for dry practice is usually limited, APP also includes reduced scale targets to facilitate the dry practice.

Proficient shooters are frequently asked by new or prospective gunowners to provide an introduction to shooting. To assist the proficient shooter in setting up a new shooter for success, APP includes a short training outline suitable for those with little experience with firearms. Setting up a new shooter for a productive and enjoyable session is an important part of growing our community. The New Shooter Outline can help a proficient shooter do that.

Recognizing that firearms are periodically involved in unfortunate situations, Advanced Pistol Practice also includes the entire Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes recording as MP3 files. The potential personal disasters that can result from poor decision-making and not thinking ahead are often overlooked among firearms owners. Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes challenges the gunowner to think ahead and avoid the pitfalls that can occur during ownership and incidents.

Advanced Pistol Practice is more than a book and contains many audio files and graphics. Consequently, it’s not feasible to offer it as a download. It’s available on my webstore in two formats; CD and USB flash drive. The CD version is $19.95, shipped. There’s a $3 additional charge for the USB flash drive option.

https://tacticalprofessor.my-online.store

The Program is about the price of one box of ammunition and will pay for itself many times over by saving time, ammunition, and perhaps even lives.