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dry fire training

Post by Paper-Puncher on 2/15/2012, 12:14 am

dry fire training is something I need to do more of. I'm sure there is a recommended or preferred way of doin it. Do you guys just aim at a blank wall ? or do you have a ref. point to watch for dot movement during the squeeze?

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Re: dry fire training

Post by scrum derringer on 2/15/2012, 12:20 am

Tape a target on the wall.


I have to stand(not sit) in the spare bathroom to have the furthest distance I can get for my house.
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Re: dry fire training

Post by SMBeyer on 2/15/2012, 8:47 am

It depends on what you are working on. I have done very little dry fire with a dot scope but hours and hours with iron sights. If you are dry firing with iron sights I suggest getting as close to a well lit blank wall as you can get the muzzle of the gun. I have a piece of foam core poster board that I hang from the ceiling of my basement airgun range that is blank on one side and has a small black dot on the other side that when the gun is raised it appears to be the size of the bull of the target at normal range. By dry firing at the blank side you have no aiming distraction. It's all about sight allignment and trigger squeeze. Also by having the wall or poster board in my case that close to the front sight the eye cant focus beyond it and you will build up muscle memory in the eye of how to focus only on the front sight. Having the dot in your dry fire at that distance also keeps your focus at the front sight but it then brings in sight picture into the mix. It also makes it easier to see if you are not squeezing the trigger properly because you will see the front sight move from the dot when the trigger breaks if you arent pulling the trigger straight back. Then when you move away from the wall and shoot at the normal distance target you will be amazed at how sharp and black and clear the front sight will be and just how poorly you were focusing on the front sight before.

If you are dry firing with a dot scope I dont think distance matters as long as you have a target that appears to have the same size black as you would normally look at in your case 25 yds at your local range. During dry fire you want to have the same routine as you would have during live fire. The same amount of time between shots the same discipline of putting the gun down if something doesnt feel right everything just as you would if you were shooting a match. Dry firing is all about training the mind, you don't want to train your mind one way in dry fire and then do things completely different in a match. Between dry shots at the target visualize the dot being in the center of the target when the shot breaks and expect the dot to be in the middle of the target when the shot breaks.

my $.02, Scott
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Re: dry fire training

Post by Jack H on 2/15/2012, 12:29 pm

I would think "visualize" or mentally rehearse the trigger pull despite the centering of the dot.  Seems to me the sight picture takes care of itself when my triggering is doing good.


Last edited by Jack H on 5/29/2014, 3:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: dry fire training

Post by Grunt on 2/19/2012, 4:31 pm

I used to make a small black bull using PowerPoint and then print it out on 8x11 paper. I generally tried to make the bull size look about right if the barrel of the gun was a few inches away from it. Then one day during a league match I noticed that if I used the overall size of the target (i.e. the 21" x 24" rectangle) as a guide, I tended to shoot much better. Instead of trying to hold the sights in the black I was simply trying to hold center. Anyway, this created a need to change my dryfire targets so I could practice as I would normally shoot. The result was the following. They aren't perfect but they meet my needs. SF is on the left, TF/RF is on the right. (FYI, my first attempt at uploading a pic, so this may take a few tries....)

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Re: dry fire training

Post by AllAces on 2/19/2012, 6:30 pm

What everyone else said above. I generally do dry fire with iron sights as I'm looking for sight movement. If I can get a good sight picture and consistently pull the trigger without the sights moving, I'm getting some benefit from the practice. I also go through the same breathing, same stance and movements as actual firing. Its about muscle memory. You'll get some benefit from lifting and holding the pistol, but an exercise routine with weights will get you the upper body strength to lift and hold a pistol for a 2700 match.
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Re: dry fire training

Post by clark2245 on 2/20/2012, 2:32 pm

Make dry fire like other training and be sure you are working on something and not just pulling the trigger. Getting a smooth, positive, and consistent trigger pull is a favorite of mine, as I find that the hardest thing to do every time and the fastest way to throw away points if I don't. Do each 'shot' like you are shooting slow fire at a match and go through your full shot process. I often start on a blank wall just looking for a good trigger pull and no dot (or sight) movement when the hammer falls. Then I use a little black dot on the blank back of a target to simulate aiming at a target while still working on a good trigger pull. There is a time to just pull the trigger to train yourself exactly how it feels, but for most of this go through your full shot process so when you get to a match it won't seem so different. Quality over quantity.

A helpful tip someone posted years ago was that a 3/4" black paster (or a take a black marker to a beige one) at around 10 feet looks about like the 25 yard timed / rapid targets and at around 12-14 feet it looks like the 50 yard target. Don't have the original post with the exact numbers he worked out but those are close and it makes it much easier to set up a dry fire 'range' in your house that gives you the correct aspect for the targets.

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Re: dry fire training

Post by Paper-Puncher on 2/28/2012, 7:33 pm

BAsicly what Ive done is cut the 9 ring out of a 50ft target and stuck it to a white wall. at about 10ft it's a little smaller (appears ) than the scoreing black @ 50ft.....What Ive been workin on is starting my trigger pull just as the dot hits the top of the black and get the hammer to fall at the center with as little wobble as possible.....Funny thing Ive found thought is my triggers pull alot easier when I'm dry firing as apposed to actually shooting....Laughing I try and get 10mins of .22 and 10mins of 1911 dry fire in a few days a week hopefully it will help....

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Re: dry fire training

Post by tonyg on 6/14/2012, 10:02 pm

Paper-Puncher wrote:dry fire training is something I need to do more of. I'm sure there is a recommended or preferred way of doin it. Do you guys just aim at a blank wall ? or do you have a ref. point to watch for dot movement during the squeeze?



Hi Paperpuncher, I'm a little late with this reply; but I have a concept to share. I first started shooting bullseye around 1972.

I had lots of help with coaching and reloading for 45/center fire. The best advice was to use a "Dotter" as a dryfire method.

The "Dotter" was most effective for slow fire. It was commercially available; but mine is home made. The device is a wood dowel

that is sanded to fit loosely in the 45's bore, and a styrene bumper is glued to the breech end and a medium sewing needle is

inserted(loop end) into the muzzle end of the dowel. The dry fire is then carried out with the dowel inserted into the bore, making

sure the bumper is positioned against the firing pin. The target is a white sheet of paper glued to a piece of cardboard from a box,

with a small fuzzy grey "bull" , the diameter is proportioned to the slow fire bull at 50yds. Assume your stance with the needle 1/4"-3/8'

from the bull, cock the hammer and make your best precise shot. I think this Dotter will also work if you are using a dot sight. I only

shoot open sights because I compete in ISSF 10 meter AP60 and ISSF 50 meter pistol(Free Pistol) and this keeps me consistant with

the international events.


The point of this is to be able to shoot the needle as many times as you can into a single hole. It takes a lot of training and follow through,

and this "Dotter" training will show where the shots will go if you anticipate, flinch or lose control of the front sight. If you want to dry fire

into a blank sheet, then back off approximately ten feet and wrap a rubber band around the needle and anchor the other end somewhere

that doesn't interfere with your grip. I still have the Dotter that I made in 1973 and it functions perfectly. One hint: I marked a registration

dot on the top and align it with the front sight when shooting the needle into the hole. I'm not so sure any of this will make any sense because

the explaination is much more awkward than the reallity of execution. Like Keith Sanderson, I dry fire way more than I live fire. Best of luck; Smile



Tony

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Re: dry fire training

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on 5/25/2014, 7:10 am

Novice shooter and learned that Dry Fire is helping me more than the range.  I've been trying to use the commands played over my speaker while I practice but having trouble keeping up with cocking the hammer.  Should I just dry fire and forget the audio?
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Re: dry fire training

Post by GrumpyOldMan on 5/28/2014, 7:35 pm

A big kite string (two-strand twisted nylon a bit thicker than 1/16-inch) tied very tightly around the hammer can be used with the off hand to cock the hammer of a semiauto for TF & RF practice.

For the round guns, ya gotta just either cock the thing fast enough or learn to do it all double-action.

I have tried a few variations on a stick down the barrel to pull the slide back, but I'm not strong enough to do it with the off hand and don't like punching the wall with the stick. Adding the recoil spring and unfavorable leverage of hammer-cock action to the mainspring really ramps up the force required.

With all that, my brain "knows" the handgun is unloaded so well, I never flinch or buck recoil during dry-fire. It still helps that problem a little bit, but for me dry fire's greatest value is conditioning the body to hold still and shrink my wobble area. And the shaky/twitchy grip IS improving as well.

YMMV, of course.

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Re: dry fire training

Post by DavidR on 5/29/2014, 9:29 am

I try and get the sight picture the same as it looks at 50 yds, a 10m air pistol target at 25 feet works nice to practice keeping the dot in the black while dry firing.
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Re: dry fire training

Post by tonyg on 5/29/2014, 3:11 pm

GrumpyOldMan wrote:A big kite string (two-strand twisted nylon a bit thicker than 1/16-inch) tied very tightly around the hammer can be used with the off hand to cock the hammer of a semiauto for TF & RF practice.

For the round guns, ya gotta just either cock the thing fast enough or learn to do it all double-action.

I have tried a few variations on a stick down the barrel to pull the slide back, but I'm not strong enough to do it with the off hand and don't like punching the wall with the stick. Adding the recoil spring and unfavorable leverage of hammer-cock action to the mainspring really ramps up the force required.

With all that, my brain "knows" the handgun is unloaded so well, I never flinch or buck recoil during dry-fire. It still helps that problem a little bit, but for me dry fire's greatest value is conditioning the body to hold still and shrink my wobble area. And the shaky/twitchy grip IS improving as well.

YMMV, of course.



Hi Grumpy, You do not have to pull the slide back to cock the trigger of your 1911.

Also notice that I said I'm popping the dowel with the centered sewing needle into

a cardboard target backer. The needle doesn't penetrate through the cardboard

backer. Just cocking the hammer hasn't damaged my 1911 since I started this

dryfire dotter process in 1972. 

I'm sorry, but re-reading your post leads me to believe that you were describing

something other than trying to dry fire with a dotter device. Best regards;

Tony

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Re: dry fire training

Post by Jkvandal on 8/15/2014, 10:34 am

I've seen this "dotter" method mentioned in a few places and I'm struggling to wrap my head around it. A few specific questions come to mind.

1. The idea is that you analyze the pattern of holes that are made in the paper from the dotter?  This pattern should be significantly below the mock bullseye, just based on the distance from the sights to the bore, right?

2. Does anyone have a picture of this setup?  My "Google-fu" only turned up a rifle version that appears to be pretty old (http://www.rifleman.org.uk/Hollifield_Dotter.htm).  It appears to be the same idea though.

3. How exactly do you achieve a "fuzzy target" effect in this setup when that target is only an inch or so from the front sight that you are supposed to be focusing on?

4. I've been dry firing daily for several months now and my shots at the range are typically right on call (just not always where I want them!). I can typically call my shots in dry fire as well as I may see the sights move slightly as the hammer drops or I know when it was an X/10 when the hammer falls and the sights are rock steady (Lanny would want me to say "It's like me to do that!").  If I'm at this point, is it still worth my time to set up this dotter device?

I'm rotating through dry fire phases now where I will spend a week dry firing at a blank wall without a target focusing on minimal movement of the sights, followed by a few weeks of including a simulated target about 6-8 feet away on a wall and ensuring my focus stays on the front sight and the hammer falls once the sights are settled in the zone of my ability to hold.

Thanks for any help or advice you may have.

-John

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Re: dry fire training

Post by BE Mike on 8/15/2014, 4:25 pm

This brings back a lot of old memories. A fellow had me use this method when I was learning to shoot the 1911. He took a wooden pencil with rubber eraser. He sharpened the pencil to a very fine point. He wrapped tape around the pencil at a couple of points, so it fit snugly into the barrel. He put up a piece of paper on the wall with a black dot drawn on it. I aimed at the black dot a couple of inches from the target and the firing pin would propel the pencil into the target. He said that he wanted me to just keep trying to shoot tighter groups. The object was to keep all the marks on top of one another.
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Re: dry fire training

Post by LenV on 8/15/2014, 5:19 pm

I spent a lot of hours shooting the pencil into the wall. I don't believe I ever wrapped the pencil. It needed sharpened a lot.

Len
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Re: dry fire training

Post by Ed Hall on 8/15/2014, 9:00 pm

For Jkvandal:

1. Yes, except that I would suggest just working toward a smaller and smaller group, rather than analyzing anything.

3. A point in working close in, is that even if you do see a clear target, you are still focusing in the area of the front sight, if working with open sights.  Or, you can use a graphics program to blur a dot and print an out of focus version, if desired.

4. If this drill piques your interest, then it is well worth spending some time with it.

I might suggest combining the two.

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Re: dry fire training

Post by Jkvandal on 8/16/2014, 9:13 am

Ed,

Thanks! I just tried it last night with a pencil and was surprised at how quickly that pencil came flying out! That firing pin has done serious power behind it.

I'll find a way to secure the pencil a bit tighter into the barrel and give it a try for a few days.

-John

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Re: dry fire training

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on 8/24/2014, 3:22 pm

Dry firing a lot, and my scores have gone up, and I'm very happy with the trend, but my question is the course of fire I should be working through.  Right now my routing is to walk through SF, TF, RF and if I botched one of the courses of fire, redo it.  I haven't added weight yet, but I wasn't sure, which gives more bang for the buck.  I'm using the SF target for timed and rapid fire to up the difficulty in practice, I'm lucky enough to have an exceptional slide racking tool....my 12 year old Son who wants to shoot BE too   Smile 

1) Work through the full 2700 match

or

2) Add extra weight and shoot one 900 match

Thanks for the advice, greatly appreciated on the hunt to DP!
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Re: dry fire training

Post by paw080 on 8/25/2014, 6:20 pm

BE Mike wrote:This brings back a lot of old memories. A fellow had me use this method when I was learning to shoot the 1911. He took a wooden pencil with rubber eraser. He sharpened the pencil to a very fine point. He wrapped tape around the pencil at a couple of points, so it fit snugly into the barrel. He put up a piece of paper on the wall with a black dot drawn on it. I aimed at the black dot a couple of inches from the target and the firing pin would propel the pencil into the target. He said that he wanted me to just keep trying to shoot tighter groups. The object was to keep all the marks on top of one another.


Hi Mike, please read my reply on the first page of this thread.  I refer to training with a dotter device,

that is a dowel with a needle in front and a rubber bumper at the breech end.  It is used just like

your pencil; except that the idea is to put the needle into the same hole made by other needle strikes.

It is an awesome slow fire training device. A Master Bullseye shooter told me how to fabricate the dotter.

It was originally available as a commercial product.  1960's technology that is still viable in the 21st century! Cool

Tony

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Re: dry fire training

Post by paw080 on 8/25/2014, 6:28 pm

Ed Hall wrote:For Jkvandal:

1. Yes, except that I would suggest just working toward a smaller and smaller group, rather than analyzing anything.

3. A point in working close in, is that even if you do see a clear target, you are still focusing in the area of the front sight, if working with open sights.  Or, you can use a graphics program to blur a dot and print an out of focus version, if desired.

4. If this drill piques your interest, then it is well worth spending some time with it.

I might suggest combining the two.

Hi Ed, Hmm, I like the idea of using a computer to print fuzzy or blurred dots. In the past with

my dotter, I had to use an eraser to blur my pencil drawn circles, or I even employed a Seurat

technique to create out of focus images. That was when I first tried out the dotter device in

the early 1970's.

Also for Jkvandal; I completely agree with Ed Hall.  Do not analyze anything, simply force yourself

to do everything that your body is capable of to hit the same hole created by the needle in prior shots.

you eventually will do it repeatably.



Tony


Last edited by paw080 on 8/25/2014, 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : more)

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