Dry Firing At The Range

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Good Ol' Boy

Apr 26, 2016
Mechanicsville, VA
Anyone else spend a few minutes dry firing when you get to the range before actually shooting?

My nerves always seem to be slightly on edge when first shooting, generally takes me a couple of mags before I get comfortable and into a groove. I practice dry firing much throughout the week in the evenings but I'm wondering if it might help to do a little at the range for a few minutes before actually shooting.

So, your thoughts/practices?
I dry fire at times. You should be relaxed shooting. If you're "slightly on edge" when you first get to the range you're probably not shooting enough.
I've never done it before, except when I don't fully chamber the round :oops:

But, it sounds like a good idea. Sure you'll get looks, but, if it helps, bet those looks will change. ;)
I dry fire at times. You should be relaxed shooting. If you're "slightly on edge" when you first get to the range you're probably not shooting enough.

I generally go at least once a week, some times as much as three times a week. Normally 100-150rds per session.

Trust me, it's not an issue of getting in enough time, it's just getting settled into the setting initially.
I've never done it before, except when I don't fully chamber the round :oops:

But, it sounds like a good idea. Sure you'll get looks, but, if it helps, bet those looks will change. ;)

I've seen a few guys with those "laser training guns" who use those for 15-20min before actually shooting so it's not entirely uncommon. I don't know if those were hard core IDPA or competition guys or what, but it didn't seem to bother anyone else.

I'm thinking I'm probably going to try it next session just to see if it makes any difference. Worst case I get some strange looks. Best case it saves me a mag or two of warming up.
It's a wise idea. I regularly practice my draw stroke first before I fire a shot so adding some dryfire to that just an extension of that.

I do both.

I do when I'm there with a snubnose revolver. I like to make sure I'm not jerking the sights around before I actually load it, because sometimes I have trouble with that. Helps to put focus where it needs to be.
Nope, never.

I practice how I'm going to actually use a weapon for self defense. Like if someone is breaking into my home; my adrenalin is surging, my heart rate is sky high, and I'm nervous as hell. Now ya can't exactly simulate that at the range but some nervousness may help you to see what you need to work on which is almost always trigger control.

If I was practicing for bullseye shooting than yeah it would probably help.
I'm with Ed. Fire from the holster with no warm up. I'm sure dry fire would help you get into the groove and get everything primed for a good shooting session, but I guess it comes down to what you're training for.
Yes. If you want to improve your shooting, dry firing is more important than firing live ammo. Anyone can shoot a gun fast. Anyone can be trained to draw a gun from the hotlster fast and pull the trigger. This is a skill that can be taught in 5 minutes. However, dry firing teaches the subconscious how to controllably squeeze the trigger. Whether you're shooting an air gun or a .500S&W, the fundamentals of trigger control and sight alignment remain the same. Go ask professional shooters. You have to have good fundamentals and then you just increase the speed.
I dry-fire on the range some as well. A good idea for defensive training would be to run a drill cold from concealment first thing to also keep track of how you do before any warm up or getting into the groove.
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If you're training for defensive shooting I would go for it cold and on edge and give it your best shot. You don't get to calm yourself first before a gunfight.

For other shooting purposes it's a good idea. I'm especially a fan of it at home as an excellent and free training technique.
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Only when I've overfired a gun that does not have a last-shot hold-open (slide-lock.)

I definitely should do it more often at home, though..
I was told something once I've always held true. "Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect." Go ahead & run your dry fire drills. Get in your shots. It's still nice to test yourself sometimes to see if it's helping so go cold once in a while.
I believe your first self-defense shot is the most important. So, rather than dry firing, I look at that first shot at the range to be an upper bound on my performance in the real situation.

The bad guy probably won't give us time to dry fire first.
When allowed to handle the firearm in Bullseye pistol, some will dry fire. Its important to get body/feet aligned with the target also. A test is to get in position, with sights aligned on target. Close eyes, then open. If sights have moved left or right, change stance a little in the correct direction.

I have seen shooters mark the outline of there shoes on the floor when shooting indoors.

Concentration is what gets the first shot on target in any situation. But if you practice/shoot enough, all becomes automatic.
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that is a very good idea, especially when shooting multiple guns in a range session. helps to get the proper grip and feel for the trigger before sending rounds down range.

I do frequently. I may skip it if doing a defensive drill but when trying out a new load or shooting a gun I haven't handled in a while I usually do.
I dry fire in front of the TV shooting BG's. I have an Air Soft gun that looks like a G-17 that I use in the unfinished portion of my Terrace Level in my home which is 1800 SQFT. I go in and set-up targets and then turn the lights off and adjust the shutters for minimal light. I then practice clearing the room and check for hits. Yes there are NO Shoots in there also. I have also done Dry Fire in here also. Variations are what sharpens your skills. When I go to my Membership range, I only shoot one mag full because if I get into a Social Situation, I will be shooting Cold.
To me the first cold bore shot from the leather is the most important shot of the day. I used to use a timer just for curiosity, but not anymore. But I AM a firm believer in the value of dry fire practice at home. Watching that front sight remain motionless while you trip the sear is a very important skill to learn and maintain..
if all my shots are going left (for example) i will just pull on the trigger (not even cocked) and watch the sights. if the front sight dives left, i adjust my finger on the trigger until the sights stay still.

just one of the little things that help keep my shots where i want them.

It sounds like a great practice to me. I generally mix in dry-firing with live rounds, but it makes a lot of sense to start out with dry fire as well to focus & settle the mind.

I see a number of comments disparaging the practice as it doesn't simulate real-world scenarios. That makes zero sense to me. Training, practice, and testing are all three different things. It's definitely a good idea to measure where you're at from time to time via tests that do simulate more real-world scenarios, but when you're developing skills and incorporating movements into muscle memory, fast & sloppy is not going to lay down a good foundation to build on.
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Generally I don't dry fire at the range as my range is out back and I normally shoot a couple times a week. I will take a couple dry shots when transitioning from one gun to another to "remember" the trigger though.

I do have a dry-fire/laser range downstairs where I practice regular marksmanship, timed presentations (timer set on "par-time") and low-light work. I've got a LaserLyte target for the marksmanship and a couple regular IDPA silhouettes for working presentations, shooting from cover and handheld light work.

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