dry fire practice routine


April 27, 2003, 08:06 PM
just got back from my first IDPA shoot and discovered ive got a lot of work to do.
does anyone have a good routine they use for dry fire practicing? id like to include all aspects from unholstering to reloads. also, i need to work on the mental aspects such as remembering how many rounds per target, from where, pie-ing correctly and planning reloads to be behind cover.


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April 27, 2003, 10:16 PM
Being a first timer as an IDPA'r... I know that there is allot to remember and it can be confusing. A few points that I tell those that ask:

2. Always load behind cover, (Whole Body)
3. Always retain and stow loaded mags (As a beginner just practice on retaining them all, even empties)
4. When behind cover and you are starting to look down range, always shoot the first one you see... Pie'ing the BG's
5. When not behind cover always shoot the closest BG (Bad Guy) first, then the next and so on...
6. Always listen to the Range Officer and Ask Questions...

Dry Firing Practice:

1. Work on drawing from a holster and getting into your firing position. Use a mirror. Try to get smooth on the draw without looking at the holster. Try this without concealment first then go to your cover garment. Then use a target. Re-holstering without looking is not important in IDPA, it can be a safety issue. In other words don't practice this.
2. Work on magazine changes. Get to where you can pull the mag out of the gun, stow it, and return with a new mag while keeping your eyes on the gun/target. This is a simulation of a mag change with a round in the chamber. Practice with an empty mag first or one loaded with dummy rounds for the weight feel. If you shoot revolver, practice the same with either dummy rounds or snap caps. You should be able to open, eject, and gain the new rounds in a smooth movement, then reload, close, and fire. Revolver shooters have a lot of movements to work on. This is a chore to get smooth and fast. There is always a chance that one of those stupid rounds won’t chamber and blow your rhythm. Try this without concealment first then concealment.
3. Work on bring the firearm to firing position with your eyes on the target. Don't watch the gun. When you feel that the gun is on target, look at the sights to see how close you can get without using the sights. Your are trying to develop a feel and muscle memory for your firing position and first shot.
4. Work on target acquisition using cover and pie'ing the room. Keep 50% or more of your body behind cover. Get comfortable leaning around the cover and shooting the first target your see. Get a sight picture. Do not pull the trigger.
5. Work on steps 1-4 together, in your own simulation, or mimic some of the last IDPA strings you shot.
6. Go to the range and practice shoot’n some more. Practice shooting the qualifier steps. There are all kinds of other steps one can do at the range…

Notice that steps 1-5 are being done without pulling the trigger or the use of live ammo. This can be done at your home in front of the bathroom mirror. (Just watch how close you get your muzzle to the Mirror, or you could get 7 years of bad shots)

Hope this helps, enjoy the challenge of IDPA….

April 28, 2003, 08:17 AM
many thanks for a very informative post.

April 28, 2003, 02:45 PM
Dr.Who gives some excellent advice.

One exercise that I use to get my index just right comes from the book Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos. (great book).

Close your eyes, bring your gun up into firing position, open your eyes and see what the sight picture is. Pay attention to how you are holding the gun. Make adjustments as neccesary. Now repeat it.

Keep doing this until your gun indexes perfectly every time. Then do it from the holster, one handed, weak handed, etc.

It will really help you to get that sight picture fast, and you won't waste time trying to find the front sight.

I know that when I keep up on my dry firing I do much much better in matches. For example I moved last month, and I have not dry fired that entire time. So I went to a match on Saturday and blew it. Jerked trigger, slow sight pictures. You name it.

One thing that I like to do to keep dry fire interesting is to make some miniture IDPA targets and tape them to the wall. I just use brown construction paper or grocery bags. Move them around and you can make up your own dry fire stages. Lets you practice swinging from one target to another, slicing the pie, and anything else you can think of.

If you have space, you can also work on your movement drills.

May 5, 2003, 07:00 PM
Some other dry fire practice that can be done is to balance a dime on the front slight or barrell and try to fire without the dime falling off. This will help triger control. That is if you have a square cut from sight.


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