CCW Lifestyle Series # 6 – Lockdown Gotcha Down? – Develop Your Dry Fire Practice Routine (Part 2)
The following is part of a continuing series of articles intended to provide a starting point for those new to concealed carry. There is much to learn and great satisfaction to be had but figuring out where to begin can be daunting for newcomers. The intent of the series is to provide useful information for those beginning the transition to the concealed carry lifestyle.
In Part 1, seen here, we explored setting up a dry practice area and establishing a dry practice routine. Using dry practice to develop an efficient draw stroke, from both concealed and open carry, was examined in Part 1. Here we focus on the Three Secrets. I’m not sure if these are officially known as the three secrets but if you do each of them well and consistently your shots will always go exactly where you want them. The three secrets are:
- Proper Grip – Proper grip is critical especially if the goal is to put multiple shots on target quickly. Proper grip should be established with the primary hand in step one of the draw stroke and with the support hand in step three. At the end of the draw stroke when the gun is on target the grip should be perfect with no need for adjustment. Getting a solid firing grip in step one is key. Champion shooter Robert Vogel provides an excellent demonstration of correct grip here. Once you’re comfortable with your draw stroke add establishing a proper firing grip to your dry practice routine.
- Sight Picture – Spend some time in handgun classes and you’ll hear the phrase “equal height, equal light”. What this refers to is a good sight picture. When the gun is pointed at the target, the top of the front sight should be level with the top of the rear sight. Equal height. In addition the front sight should be centered in the middle of the rear sight notch such that the same amount of light is seen on either side of the front sight. Hence equal light. Correct sight picture is demonstrated here by professional shooter Doug Koenig.
- Trigger Control – Trigger control is the third secret to accurate shooting. Good trigger control involves a smooth, consistent trigger press to a surprise break, follow through past the break to the end of the trigger travel, release until the trigger resets and the gun is again in the firing condition. As a dry fire practice, bring the gun up and establish a good sight picture on the target. Slowly press the trigger until it breaks (the point where the gun would fire) keeping your eye focused on the front sight. The break should surprise you and your front sight should not move. Keep your finger on the trigger and follow through all the way to the end of trigger travel. Slowly (at first) release the trigger until you feel it reset. When you first do this exercise, you’ll likely notice your front sight move (usually downward) just before the break. Practice until you can do the exercise smoothly with no movement in your front sight. Trigger control dry practice is demonstrated here.
When you’re comfortable with your draw stroke incorporate proper grip into your draw practice. When you can draw and end up with a proper grip at the end of your draw stroke, focus on your sight picture. Eventually you should be able to draw and end up on target with a good sight picture. At the end of each draw stroke practice the trigger press and good trigger control while focusing on the front sight. You now have a good dry practice routine. All that is left is to do this consistently several times each week. When the ranges re-open you’ll be ready do apply your new skills with live fire.
Watch for part three of this article in the coming weeks. Part three will address clearing three common malfunctions.
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©2020 Joseph T Drammissi