Dry Fire Practice – Great for Winter Weather

One of my favorite training tools (especially when the weather is bad, or time is at a premium and I can’t make it to the range) is dry-fire.  This type of practice is safe, effective, cheap, and one of the best ways to become a better shooter (competition shooters do a ton of it).  In order to utilize it all you need is a unloaded pistol (double check there is no magazine inserted, the chamber is empty, and there is no ammunition in the room) and 15 focused minutes of dry firing practice is all it takes.  Most modern centerfire handguns (9mm, 40, 45, etc) can be dry fired with no damage, however if you have a older pistol or a .22 rimfire you will want to use a Snap Cap (dummy round) to prevent damage to the firearm.  Dry fire allows you to practice your grip control, sight alignment/picture, holster draw, reloads, trigger control, and more.  There are many different drills you can use, and I encourage you to do some research reading articles and watching some videos to see what will work best for you.  I also like to have the aid of technology in conjunction with my dry fire, so I utilize laser training systems (a inexpensive system I like is the ITarget Pro which costs $99 for the laser cartridge/target, and if you want to spend a bit more and have a great system I recommend the Mantis Laser Academy).  If you want to take your training to the next level check out the MantisX which is a small device that mounts on your pistol rail (check for rail compatibility) and provides a ton of drills and feedback to your phone for both live & dry fire training.  Hopefully I’ve peaked your interest in dry-fire, laser systems, and some technology available to make you more proficient and have some fun training!

Patrick DFT

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Gun for shooters lacking hand strength

I often get questions about what is the best weapon for beginners. While your choice of weapon is a very personal choice there is some considerations for those with limited hand strength. This is not being sexist (just realistic) a lot of women have difficulty racking the pistol. So to start off with a weapon that they are having difficulty with both makes your initial experience difficult and can lead to safety issues.

In general the .380 or 9mm is a good way to start out. I have had good luck recommending the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield EZ M2.0 Series 9mm or .380. I keep the 9mm on hand for my students to test fire. Here is a link to a review of the gun, and there are many other reviews out there. The pistol is available through multiple retail and other sources at much less than the listed price on the Smith and Wesson site.

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