Dry Fire Routine

25-Aug-11 – 10:29 by ToddG

A few months ago, I quickly put together an example of a dry fire routine for a friend who just got a SIRT pistol and wanted to make good use of it. The approach involves having a month-long plan. Instead of doing the same thing every day for a month and then changing the routine when you feel comfortable, this is designed to put emphasis on the important things and still get in some practice of less in-demand skills. It also keeps things interesting so you don’t burn out doing nothing but press-outs or basic trigger press drills day after day.

  • Keep the sessions short. Five 10-minute practices a week beats a grueling 50-minute practice once a week.
  • Vary the sessions. Don’t have one routine, have ten or twenty.
  • Practice everything. Don’t just work on what you’re good at. Don’t just work on what you’re bad at.
  • Focus intelligently. If your basic marksmanship is weak, don’t spend 80% of your time doing weak hand only double-feed clearance practice.
  • Use Saturdays and Sundays for make-up days if you miss a practice.
A good approach is to set up a “basic” routine and then a number of more specific routines. Let’s define a hypothetical basic routine:
  1. 20 reps of Wall Drill from extension, 2H
  2. 5 reps of Wall Drill from extension, SHO
  3. 5 reps of Wall Drill from extension, WHO
  4. 20 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H
  5. 5 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, SHO
  6. 5 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, WHO

That’s a 10-15 minute session. You’ve done 60 deliberate, slow, perfect trigger presses. You’ve practiced your press-out 30 times. One third of your marksmanship practice has been one handed.

Next, we’ll look at a month’s worth of training. We’ll call it four weeks, dry firing five times a week (Mo-Fr).

When a speed is indicated as “slow” it means no faster than you can guarantee that every movement and every moment is perfectly in proper form. When a speed is indicated as “3/4 speed” it means go at a pace you are doing things right and not fumbling. If you start fumbling, slow down as much as necessary and get in good reps. Good reps are much better than fast reps.

Week 1:

Monday, basic routine

Tuesday, draws

  1. 10 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H
  2. 20 reps of Wall Drill from the holster, 2H
  3. 5 reps of Wall Drill from the holster, SHO
  4. 5 reps of Wall Drill from the holster, WHO
  5. 10 reps draw & fire at 3/4 speed, 2H
  6. 10 reps draw & fire, slow, 2H

Wednesday, reloads

  1. 10 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H
  2. 20 reps reload from slidelock, slow, 2H
  3. 20 reps reload from slidelock, 3/4 speed, 2H
  4. 10 reps reload from slidelock, slow, 2H
  5. 10 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H

Thursday, basic routine

Friday, movement

  1. 10 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H
  2. 10 draws stepping right, 3/4 speed, 2H
  3. 10 draws stepping left, 3/4 speed, 2H
  4. 10 reloads stepping right (reload on the move), 3/4 speed, 2H
  5. 10 reloads stepping left (reload on the move), 3/4 speed, 2H
  6. 10 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H

Week 2 would be the same, but Friday is dedicated to malfunction clearances instead of movement:

  1. 10 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H
  2. 10 reps of TRB (or other in-battery clearance), 3/4 speed, 2H
  3. 5 reps of LRW (or other out-of-battery clearance), 3/4 speed, 2H
  4. 10 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H

Week 3:

Monday, basic routine

Tuesday, SHO (all drills done SHO)

  1. 20 reps of Wall Drill from press-out
  2. 10 reps draw & fire, slow
  3. 10 reps draw & fire, 3/4 speed
  4. 5 reps reload from slidelock, slow
  5. 5 reps reload from slidelock, 3/4 speed
  6. 5 reps TRB
  7. 3 reps LRW
  8. 10 reps Wall Drill from press-out

Wednesday, retention

  1. 10 reps of Wall Drill from press-out, 2H
  2. 10 reps draw & fire from retention, slow
  3. 10 reps draw & fire from retention, 3/4 speed
  4. 5 reps draw & fire from retention while stepping L, 3/4 speed
  5. 5 reps draw & fire from retention while stepping R, 3/4 speed
  6. 10 reps beginning at full extension, draw back to retention & fire, 3/4 speed, 2H

Thursday, basic routine

Friday, shooter’s choice (pick a routine that addresses something you need more work on)

Week 4:

Monday, basic routine

Tuesday, WHO (identical to SHO)

Wednesday, low-light

  1. 10 reps of Wall Drill, SHO w/flashlight (try to have light on just long enough to break good shot)
  2. 10 reps ID, move right, engage
  3. 10 reps of ID, move left, engage
  4. 5 reps of ID, draw on the move, engage
  5. 5 reps of reload in the dark
  6. 10 reps of Wall Drill as above

Thursday, basic routine

Friday, shooter’s choice (pick a routine that addresses something you need more work on)

If you get in a live fire session during a week and put in dedicated slow fire marksmanship work during that range session, it can replace the second “basic routine” in that week.

Again, this is just an example and not intended as a definitive one-size-fits-all plan. If you think retention work is the most important thing in the world, you might replace the second basic practice with a retention practice every week. If you never carry a flashlight and don’t care about low-light shooting, you can delete that part and add another session of something more applicable to you. If you sometimes work from duty gear and sometimes from concealed, perhaps use the “shooter’s choice” Fridays to work with whichever holster you didn’t use for the regular draw work. Etc.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

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