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Improving Rapid Fire through Dry Fire

While dry fire training isn’t as effective as live fire training, dry fire is still an incredibly valuable tool for improving your shooting proficiency. Dry fire is commonly used to train drawing from a holster, sight acquisition, trigger control, and target transition. But dry fire can be used to train virtually every aspect of shooting technique – including rapid fire.

This training technique should only be practiced after handgun fundamentals are solid – particularly trigger control, a firm grip, and good sight alignment. Without those, this drill could create bad habits.

Watch out for bad habits

I really want to emphasize this. Pay close attention in particular to your grip and trigger control. If you start jerking the trigger and yanking the sights, put this drill on hold and come back to it later after focusing on achieving a consistent and smooth trigger pull. A good firm grip goes hand in hand with this. A solid grip will put the gun’s sights back on target after the recoil of the first shot. Without a firm grip, the sights won’t get back on target quickly or consistently.

Dry fire controlled pairs

After achieving a smooth and consistent trigger pull as well as a firm and consistent grip, it’s time to work on that trigger speed. For this dry fire drill, simply pull the trigger hard and fast all the way to the rear. It’s that simple.

While pulling the trigger, watch the sights very closely to make sure they don’t bounce, yank, or dip. If the sights stay consistent and your trigger finger moves quickly and all the way to the rear, then you’re creating some great habits that will translate well once you get to the range for live fire.

Why we need to practice speed

The saying, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” is hogwash in my opinion. Slow creates smooth technique, and smooth technique is required to build speed. But you’ll never magically become faster by practicing slowly and smoothly – you’ll simply build the habits of shooting at that speed.

When you become a smooth and consistent shooter, it’s time to focus on practicing speed. Your accuracy will suffer while you practice speed, but by practicing speed and smoothness separately, you’ll be able to slowly combine the two and become a smooth, fast, and accurate shooter.

Create good habits with fast and smooth trigger pulls and those dry fire skills will show up in live fire.

Brian Purkiss
Written by

Brian Purkiss is a Christian, husband, competitive shooter, firearms instructor, proponent for individual liberty and Second Amendment rights, and a web developer. He primarily focues on USPSA and Run & Gun competitions, but enjoys most other forms of shooting competitions as well.

Categories: Shooting Technique

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