What pistol do you use to dryfire?

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What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by robert84010 on 11/23/2015, 7:53 pm

Since I shoot air, standard, centerfire, conventional, hardball, DR,  I have several pistols to choose from. Probably too many. I am curious how you guys approach where you place your training priorities? Basically if you are like me and shoot many, many events, what do you dryfire the most? 
Along with that I also consider wear and tear, meaning my 1911 triggers seems to wear and change feel much faster than the trigger on my Pardini SP (which has thousands of shots with no change)  so I also seem to use it a little more than the 1911 even though I need to dryfire the 1911 the most. 
Also, one last question, how do you determine iron sights or dot when dryfiring? This has always been a hang up for me and I usually default to irons a bit more since I consider that a bit harder to get perfect, does dryfiring with a dot pistol hurt your iron sight process or vice versa? 
Basically my #1 goal is to pursue 2600 starting next spring using my dot 45 but I will shoot international events indoors this winter, where should I currently focus?
I suppose this all goes back to having a detailed training calendar with listed goals, I really don't know where to start.
hopefully this makes sense, thanks.

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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by Jon Eulette on 11/23/2015, 8:04 pm

I believe you have to yrain with both. Even full-time iron shooters need to train with a dot. The dot tells a story that you can't see with irons. Dry firing the dot will allow you to make minute grip and trigger finger changes that you can't see with irons. The dot will truly improve your iron shooting if used/applied correctly.
Jon
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by robert84010 on 11/23/2015, 9:19 pm

thanks Jon. I remounted the dot on my Pardini. I forgot how easy that is with the setup from Nygord, it doesn't lose it's zero. Do you have an opinion towards the ratio of 1911 vs. Int'l SP? Or an AP since they are so different.

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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/24/2015, 6:37 am

I find that my 4lb ball gun trigger delivers more benefit of trigger control training during dryfire than the air pistol or .22 trigger does, so I work with that more.  The 4lb training helps with the lighter triggers, but training with the lighter triggers doesn't offer benefits for the heavier triggers for me.

I can't imagine that there is any harm done by dryfire training MORE with all of your triggers, but I have limited free time so when I do make time for dryfire, I do it with my ball gun.
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by Ed Hall on 11/24/2015, 9:15 am

IMNSHO, Jon was straight on about the dot, but I would add that since you are interested in open sights as well, you should use the dot in a similar manner to open sights.  IOW, dry fire while comparing the dot to the tube, similar to front to rear, and I really promote blank wall dry firing.

Having said that, let me also add that using the .45, as Rob suggested, is also beneficial.

Now, to what I consider of more importance than either of the above; you should spend the most time with mental training and visualization, in a manner that "flows" with your dry firing.  Visualize the sighting system remaining perfectly aligned as the hammer falls and then look for that to unfold when you dry fire.  Try to operate the trigger in a somewhat aggressive manner so you can see all the details of the trigger operation without inserting any "adjustments."  "Knowing" you can operate the trigger and things will be right is much more beneficial than operating the trigger and "hoping" it will be right.  There is a real difference in watching to verify and watching to see what happens.

The only thing I changed that moved me from Master to High Master was my attitude.  In one month I moved from hovering in the low teens to the high 2620's by sitting down and changing my attitude. 

A last, different thought: If your 1911s wear too fast, maybe you need a different lube.  I use moly on mine and they don't seem to change much for a long time, (unless I just don't notice the change).  I do have to add more spring tension to make weight than when I use oil.  I have broken many firing pin blocks and springs, and at least one firing pin, but I consider these failures to be part of the training cost.

As to training for specific disciplines, I would probably work most with what's coming up next.

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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by robert84010 on 11/24/2015, 11:28 am

Awesome advice Ed, as always, thanks. I completely see your point regarding "watching to verify and watching to see what happens."

I also see the importance of the mental approach that is why i've realized and stated my goal is 2600, that has not always been my goal. Which is why I respectfully  disagree with Rob regarding using a ball gun as a primary dryfire tool, BTDT. While I agree that is right for him, while he pursues leg points, I went out almost 15 years ago and realize that I have moved on from seeing my service pistol scores as important to me, I'm fine with letting those chips fall where they may. I also know without a doubt that shooting air pistol improves everything, even rifle, ball gun does not. I think Rob doesn't need to see this now and that is fine but my best ever service pistol scores were directly related to the time I put in with a Daisy 747. BTDT, have the medals from Perry and a SECNAV trophy rifle to back that up. 

I'm still hoping to hear from John Bickar, who has danced this iron/dot multiple event dance for many years.

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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by jmdavis on 11/24/2015, 11:47 am

What's your balance point right now between the wad gun and the irons? It would seem like more time on irons and particularly the AP if you are shooting International AP would be valuable during the winter. But my mentor who is also a DD retired Navy Shooter tells me that THE important thing is good shots, regardless of what sighting system I am using. 

Then again, I think that you have already achieved my current goals of Distinguished Pistol and Rifle, so you probably have a good idea about what works for you.
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/24/2015, 4:24 pm

Robert84010,

My comments weren't directed at legging out but mastery of the trigger.  I use my dotted conversion on the ballgun lower to see things with the dot (with the same 4lb trigger) and I see the other lessons when I'm shooting wad ammo out of it with irons in the same way that Jon and Ed said.

I even shoot free pistol matches with the 4lb ball lower under an iron sight conversion--and I'm not terrible with that.

The point is that I don't receive any benefit from a 1000g air pistol trigger in my bullseye shooting, but I am continuously breaking my personal bests with my 4lb trigger, and my Airpistol scores are improving as well.  

I shot a 285 in my last .22 match with the red dot and 4 lb trigger with it and I expect those scores to jump again when I lighten the trigger up and put the dot back on my .45 for my next goal of 2565.
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by Ed Hall on 11/24/2015, 7:38 pm

Be careful of score goals...

I've always found it somewhat difficult to actually "beat" goals.  I will still often only bump up next to them.  IOW, when I would have a goal of 2600, I would shoot lots of 2590's to 2599's.  When I started looking for 2619, I shot lots of low teens.  Part of my attitude change that helped me make HM was to look toward 2635 (my phone number) as my goal, in which case I blew past 2619 into the high 2620's.  But, the best I ever shot really didn't involve a score goal.  I was just sending the best shots I could down range.  Additionally, although I didn't know what my score was turning out as, I had a feeling like it might have been a new high.  Of course my "excellent" CF (or, possibly .45) slow fire targets helped me feel that way (100, 98, 100).

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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by john bickar on 11/24/2015, 9:23 pm

Mostly, it's whatever gun I'm shooting next in competition.

When I had time and wherewithal to train a lot more, I didn't do much dry firing. Now I don't have unlimited range time, so I dry fire to prepare for whatever competition is coming up next, and then mix that in with whatever live fire I can get.

I should mention, I (mostly) don't dry fire to build skills; I do it to hone the edge when I can't live fire.

robert84010 wrote:I suppose this all goes back to having a detailed training calendar with listed goals, I really don't know where to start.

That's an X. Start with the bolded part.
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by john bickar on 11/24/2015, 9:33 pm

Ed Hall wrote:Be careful of score goals...

I've always found it somewhat difficult to actually "beat" goals.  I will still often only bump up next to them.  IOW, when I would have a goal of 2600, I would shoot lots of 2590's to 2599's.  When I started looking for 2619, I shot lots of low teens.  Part of my attitude change that helped me make HM was to look toward 2635 (my phone number) as my goal, in which case I blew past 2619 into the high 2620's.  But, the best I ever shot really didn't involve a score goal.  I was just sending the best shots I could down range.  Additionally, although I didn't know what my score was turning out as, I had a feeling like it might have been a new high.  Of course my "excellent" CF (or, possibly .45) slow fire targets helped me feel that way (100, 98, 100).

This is great, Ed, and I bolded the only word I can nitpick; when it comes to self-talk, obstacles are "challenging", not "difficult" Wink

That said, this is where one's shooting journal pays dividends. Some people get motivated by score goals; others get glass-ceilinged. Some people get motivated by having people beat them; others get discouraged.

I have had various success with different types of goals over the years (sometimes "score" goals, sometimes "process" goals, sometimes "place" goals), but I have often found that getting my ass kicked motivates me more than shooting a crappy score does. The more complete your journal is, the better it can tell you what propels you to higher scores (or better placings, or better performances).
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by Wobbley on 11/24/2015, 10:08 pm

What I concentrate on is not taking a bad shot.  At one point those were 5s. Eventually they became 7s or worse.  But the key was not to beat myself up if one happened.  Best mental discipline enhancer.  

I eventually began to scratch sharpshooter scores.  Then I had to stop to concentrate on rifle.  

FWIW.
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on 11/24/2015, 10:41 pm

WobbleyWhat I concentrate on is not taking a bad shot.  At one point those were 5s. 


Think positive.  I wouldn't focus on not shooting bad shots, I would focus on shot process.  The result will be great shots.  Jon, Ed and others have given me some great advice.  Avoiding anything that undermines your confidence and not focusing on score is important IMO.


Last edited by JayhawkNavy02 on 11/25/2015, 8:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by Jon Eulette on 11/25/2015, 12:14 am

I'd like to add that you need to dryfire both .22 & .45 pistols. Since we're primarily focused on BE. Both require similar technique but are different. If you're not shooting 880's .22 aggregates you're doing something wrong. Dryfiring is the way to fix it. When I was shooting 2650's I primarily shot .22 90 percent of the time and very little .45. I found that shooting good .22 lends itself to shooting good .45 scores. The .22 really allows you to perfect your understanding of the fundamentals because of the reduced recoil. When you shoot and dryfire, the sights/dot tell a story. Are you reading the story? ;p)
Jon


Last edited by Jon Eulette on 11/25/2015, 12:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by Ed Hall on 11/25/2015, 7:57 am

john bickar... wrote:This is great, Ed, and I bolded the only word I can nitpick; when it comes to self-talk, obstacles are "challenging", not "difficult" Wink
...
Thanks John,

Technically, challenging is a better choice, but I have an irrational dislike of the word, due to a perceived overuse.

Jon Eulette wrote:I'd like to add that you need to dryfire both .22 & .45 pistols. Since we're primarily focused on BE. Both require similar technique but are different. If you're not shooting 880's .22 aggregates you're doing something wrong. Dryfiring is the way to fix it. When I was shooting 2650's I primarily shot .22 90 percent of the time and very little .45. I found that shooting good .22 lends itself to shooting good .45 scores. The .22 really allows you to perfect your understanding of the fundamentals because of the reduced recoil. When you shoot and dryfire, the sights/dot tell a story. Are you reading the story? ;p)
Jon
Again I have to agree, (not that I don't want to), with Jon.  During my best seasons, I was shooting the .22 almost exclusively in all the leagues and I was still firing my best .45 scores.  I wasn't quite up where Jon was, but I was averaging 885 with the .22 and not far behind with the .45.

I'd like to toss something else in, referencing the last thing Jon wrote, "Are you reading the story?":

Lots of years ago, I bought a Rika electronic trainer and the best thing I took away from using it, IMNSHO, was that I really wasn't "seeing" my dry fire sessions in earlier times.  The trainer taught me a whole new level of observation and actually became less necessary at that point.  When I was able really "see" my dry fire shots unfold, the only thing the trainer could show that I couldn't duplicate was the aggregation of shots.  I was able to see exactly what went on during the shot and then verify watching the trainer.  This was very significant to me.

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Re: What pistol do you use to dryfire?

Post by RGK on 11/28/2015, 7:16 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:I'd like to add that you need to dryfire both .22 & .45 pistols. Since we're primarily focused on BE. Both require similar technique but are different. If you're not shooting 880's .22 aggregates you're doing something wrong. Dryfiring is the way to fix it. When I was shooting 2650's I primarily shot .22 90 percent of the time and very little .45. I found that shooting good .22 lends itself to shooting good .45 scores. The .22 really allows you to perfect your understanding of the fundamentals because of the reduced recoil. When you shoot and dryfire, the sights/dot tell a story. Are you reading the story? ;p)
Jon

Excellent post, Jon. How ya doin', buddy? 
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