Ask anyone who shoots competitively what their training routine is and you will certainly hear, at least in part, dryfire being part of the program. Typically new shooters just starting out will work on fundamentals like drawing and reloading and it usually tapers off once those skills start getting to acceptable times and the focus then turns to more live fire training. With most everyone’s resources being limited (time getting out to the range, ammo, etc.) you would think more competitors would spend a significant amount of time dryfiring, but in reality, most do not. When pontificating why such a powerful and free training medium is so often not capitalized upon, it almost certainly is because of this, it’s boring as hell. Well, it’s boring if you’re not doing it right, which was exactly the problem in my case. With such limited training time I found my only training was the previous match and my skills were decaying at a pretty steady clip.
So off to the Enos forums where I go first for anything USPSA related in search of some dryfire drills that didn’t make me want to scrub mold off of the bathroom tile. I found this post about Ben Stoeger’s 15 minute dryfire program which has a handful of dryfire drills that you can complete in around 15 minutes a day, each with their own video of Ben doing the drills. The drills are very dynamic and the antithesis of the drills that I had done in the past, so I thought what the heck and suited up in the garage and went through the Setup B drills. Well long story short, I had a blast going through the drills and spent an hour plus going back over the drills trying to get my par times down and to perfect some of the skills. That’s more time spent dryfiring in one session than I’ve probably done in the last year. It’s no wonder it’s taking me so darn long to get out of my current class. I had so much fun doing the drills that I found myself in the garage the next afternoon doing the Setup C drills. And the next day, back in the garage, and the next day, back in the garage…rinse and repeat.
The real change here is that dryfire drills don’t have to be just standing and drawing while throwing in a reload. I’ve since started doing the drills for the day and then setting up entire stages in the garage with various USPSA targets and a paper plate makeshift plate rack. I can’t wait to get out to the “range” (my garage) and shoot a match everyday and the live fire results have been encouraging so far. I took first in a recent rifle match and my pistol no longer feels foreign in my hand, just like the good ole’ days when I had time to practice every week and shot more matches. And the best part is that it’s free!
I also noticed that Ben put out a book on dryfire that has a different set of drills than the ones on his site so I picked up, “Champion Shooting: Guaranteed Results in 15 Minutes A Day,” and have just started reading through it and will start those as well. So if you’ve hit a wall with your dryfire training and find it drudgery, do yourself a favor and check out Ben’s program as a kickstart to a more rewarding and enjoyable way to train.