You don’t need thousands of rounds to improve your accuracy – here’s why!

Capt. Phil Shively explains how dry fire practice can be just as helpful as shooting live rounds.

CUSTER, S.D. — Ammunition can be pricey, but there are ways to practice all of the basics of firearms safety and form without expending a single round. However, extra precautions must be taken, so Captain Phillip Shively with the Hot Springs Police Department, also a Certified Instructor for Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit in SD walks us through the practice process.

  1. Unload your firearm. Check that it’s unloaded, and check it again.
  2. Put the ammunition in a completely different room, and check your firearm again to make sure that it’s clear.
  3. Find a safe, solid wall at home with a backstop behind it, like in a basement.
  4. Announce aloud that your firearm is unloaded, and that you’ll be doing dry fire drills. “You’re going to tell yourself out loud, the gun is unloaded. It’s time for dry practice,” Capt. Shively instructs.
  5. Put up a sticky-note or other target that you wouldn’t otherwise see on your wall. “That pink post-it is what initiates my brain to draw and shoot,” he adds. 
  6. Practice any technique or form sequences that you’re struggling with. You can go through “trigger press, you can go through mag changes, administrative reloads, emergency reloads,” even “practicing those with even some weighted dummy rounds in your magazine,” Capt. Shively says.
  7. Once you’re done, put your target away, and again announce aloud that dry practice is over. “Now the thing that initiated me drawing my gun is no longer anywhere in my line of sight,” he says.
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