I often get the question, "how many rounds shoot I be shooting a month to be proficient?" In a prefect world, I would love to shoot about 10,000 rounds/month, my reality is closer to 1000 rounds/month. I know for many of my students 100 rounds/month is the limit.
Luckily you can take a tip from the pros and make huge improvements from dry firing. Many professional shooters will freely admit that they dry fire at a 3:1 or higher ratio to live fire.
Before we go any further, let's take a step back and define what dry fire is.
“Dry firing” is the practice of using your firearm like you are shooting it, but the firearm is empty. If you follow a few simple steps, it is safe, and does no harm to your pistol, and is very effective at increasing your shooting ability.
It’s free, you can do it at home, you can see how you are doing because there is no noise or recoil to hide your mistakes, and you don’t have the cost of ammo or range fees!
Many old timers will tell you that dry firing is not safe for your pistol, they say it will damage it and cause premature wear. While this was true 50 years ago, it is not true of modern firearms. I regularly dry fire pistols in excess of 100,000 times per year and have never had a failure or parts breakage caused by dry fire. One caveat is that .22 and other rimfire pistols should not be dry fired, as the firing pin can hit the edge of the chamber, and repeated strikes can cause deformation or damage.
Tips for safe dry fire practice
1. Choose a safe place that has a solid backstop should you fail to follow the safety rules. I like to use my basement as it has concrete walls.
2. Before you dry fire unload your gun, and make sure that you don’t have any ammo on your person. It helps to have a container, such as bowl to put your gear in, at the entrance to your dry fire area.
3. Prior to dry firing double check that the magazine is empty and you have a clear chamber.
4. When finished dry firing leave your dry fire area and make a conscience decision to store or reload and holster your firearm.
Dry Fire For Concealed Carry
Dry fire is especially important for the concealed carry permit holder as most ranges do not allow drawing from a holster. If you are carrying a firearms for self defense you must have one key skill before being able to defend yourself... You must be able to safely get your pistol out of its holster and on target quickly - This isn't going to happen without practice!
Here is a great video from the personal defense network that talks about drawing a pistol.
Here is a great dry fire program from the sig academy