Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Dry Practice

The skills needed to fight effectively with firearms are not that complicated, but applying them certainly isn’t easy, especially under the stress that occurs while someone is actually trying to put the hurt to you. Practice, repetition of the same skill over and over, is necessary to learn to apply these techniques at a subconscious level.

This is necessary so that you can reload or clear malfunctions without having to consciously think about them. This frees up your conscious mind to think about solving your problem. Many aspects needed to fight with firearms go against your natural instincts.

For example we need to focus on the front sight, to the degree necessary to make the hit, instead of looking at the threat, which is what we naturally want to do. Repetition is required to rewire this response. And the skills you need are perishable. If you don’t practice them you won’t perform effectively under stress.

While most people think of shooting when they think practice, the absolute best way to practice the multitude of fighting skills is with dry practice. To manipulate your weapon at the subconscious level requires thousands of repetitions. Unless you live on the range and have an unlimited supply of ammunition the only way to get this much practice is through dry practice with dummy ammo. Brownells, www.brownells.com sells packs of plastic dummy ammo. Buy it and use it.

Moving and using cover can be done at home without even using a weapon. If you work at a desk all day every time you get up practice how you would draw while working up to your feet and getting cover or making your way to the exit.

If you work around other people this may be more of a mental exercise so you don’t attract attention, but mental repetitions are very important as well. The same thing applies to vehicles. As I exit my truck I’m undoing and clearning the seatbelt, getting the door open, and pretending to draw my weapon, performing the same actions I would if having to fight my way out of the vehicle.

At the club or public range it’s difficult to practice ground fighting with your weapon. Once you’ve been instructed on the proper techniques these are skills you can practice at home, using your pretend pistol or a dummy/blue gun. Using my dummy weapons I practice engaging moving targets – my threats are the squirrels in the yard that are constantly trying to surround me. At night I use my light to defend against the hoards of mad rabbits attempting to sneak inside the “wire.”

It’s documented that bad guys practice, often more than the good guys. And there’s no doubt they get more on the job training then we do. Don’t let the fact that you can’t make it to the range deter you from practicing. Every day has opportunities to practice. Make practice part of your life and your life becomes practice. Then when the time comes you’re prepared to defeat your threats.


March 31, 2011 - Posted by | General Training

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