Dry Run Your Gun!

Dry Run Your Gun!

Andrew’s Note: Today Prepography is pleased to offer Infidel’s latest article, Dry Run Your Gun.

Pop quiz folks, what are the two marksmanship principles you cannot do away without? Don’t remember? Well, they are trigger manipulation and sight alignment and there’s a way to practice these fundamentals without spending a dime or even going to the range.

Everything else tends to go out the window when normal folks are thrown into a stressful situation but if you can properly put your sights on the target and manipulate the trigger you will most likely prevail. I say normal folks because there are some people who can just naturally remain cool under stressful situations and then there are others that have survived numerous gunfights in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or even the mean streets of some of our own cities. So how do normal folks maintain their firearms skills when ammo is short supply or too expensive to shoot? By dry firing of course. Dry firing can be used to train your body and your mind for proper trigger manipulation and sight alignment even when you can’t get to the range.

Safety When You Dry Run Your Gun

So, how do you get started? The first thing is SAFETY! Remembering the four rules of gun safety is a good place to start:

1. Always treat the Gun as if it’s loaded
2. Never point the gun at anything that you are not prepared to destroy
3. Always be sure of your target and what is behind it
4. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you’re ready to shoot

Now let’s add a couple of safety rules specific to dry firing:

1. Select a room that can provide a proper backstop in case you forget the rest of the rules. A proper backstop is one that will not allow your weapon’s caliber to penetrate and damage anyone or anything on the other side. Think brick, concrete or a basement wall with soil on the other side.
2. Unload your gun in another room before you enter the room where you will be dry firing. Leave your ammunition in the room where you unload and do not bring any ammunition into your dry fire room or location.

Dry FireDry FireDry FireDry FireSteps for Proper Dry Firing

The goal of dry firing is to practice your marksmanship principals in order to maintain your muscle memory between trips to the range. Follow these tips after you’ve followed the safety steps above to get the most out of the dry run of your gun.

1. Select your target. You can use anything as a target from a spot on your wall that you forgot to paint to a sticker…just make sure that it has that backstop behind it.

2. Practice slowly pulling the trigger back until the sear breaks.

3. Continue slowly pulling the trigger while maintaining your front sight focus. As the sear breaks, watch what the front sight does. This is where you can start calling your shots.

4. Continue steps 2 and 3 until you can watch the front sight and it stays on target. Let me caution you not to spend too much time on this task without resting for a few minutes. Practice for several minutes and then rest.

Safety After Dry Firing

Now SAFETY on the back side. If you keep your gun loaded take it into your ‘ammo room’ before loading it. Once you leave your dry fire room or location you are DONE dry firing. You must not shortcut the process to get in one more round of practice or you might accidentally discharge a round. Safely store your weapon or re-holster it but don’t begin dry firing again until you go through the entire pre-practice safety routine. These safety rules are important so that you don’t unthinkingly pick up a loaded firearm and shoot, possibly shooting someone or something.


Dry run your gun to maintain those important trigger manipulation and sight alignment skills. Elite warriors and firearms competitors do this all the time to improve their shooting skills. It does work. Try it. Let me know using our contact form.

Andrew’s Note: Before running dry fire drills with any firearm make sure to read the weapon’s manual and make sure that it’s safe for that particular firearm. Dry firing is safe for most centerfire firearms, and not safe form most rimfire weapons but there are exceptions like Kel-Tec’s P3AT which, while certerfire is not designed to dry fire.

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