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The Importance of Dry-Fire Exercise


by: Natchez Shooting Supplies

To perfect any art, regular and even rigorous training is a must. The same is true for rifle and pistol shooting. It’s easy to prioritize the shooting itself, but mental training is equally important. Experts recommend experimenting with different physical exercises to improve shooting accuracy.

For shooting, training your body is a must. Training your mind is also important, and one of the most important skills is building muscle memory.

Muscle memory is a skill that is gained by repetitive movement. To achieve the same square several times, you’re required to assume the same shooting position, which results in improved shooting accuracy. Experts recommend exercising in training and competition environments to help you adapt to different conditions.

It’s important to build muscle memory in your hands, arms, shoulders, and chest, which makes it easier to move the gun easily and accurately.

Developing Muscle Memory

You can only build muscle memory by assuming the same position repeatedly. This way, it becomes easy to aim your shot because you know where the bullet is coming from and where it will ideally strike. As we all know, practice makes perfect. By repeating the same movement, it will become easy to assume the same position whenever you’re shooting.

Starting each shot with unique positioning does the opposite. It confuses your body and makes it difficult for your procedural memory to repeat the action. This will prevent you from taking accurate shots.

One of the most effective methods of building your muscle memory is through dry firing. Wind and other factors affect shot accuracy. Some factors that are within your control are how you hold the firearm and the position you assume when taking the shot. Dry firing comes in handy in developing a solid shooting position and creating muscle memory, which makes it easier to take accurate shots. Once you master dry firing, you won’t need to visit a shooting range to perfect your shooting.

Once you’ve mastered dry firing, consider using real ammunition. This will help you gauge how it reacts to different characteristics, and you’ll then be able to adapt your body to any movement of the trigger.

The Fundamentals of Dry Firing

It’s estimated that it takes 10,000 repetitions to build muscle memory. This requires a lot of time and ammunition. Dry firing solves this complexity.

Before you shoot, ensure that all the guns are unloaded. This is a necessary safety precaution and also the point of the exercise.

Then work towards correcting the errors. When you have mastered accurate shooting, you can start using live ammunition.

While shooting, it’s important to pay attention to every action that’s taking place including the firing sequence and holding the sight picture. Breath in and squeeze the trigger as you breathe out.

Practice Makes Perfect

There are several reasons why dry firing is so helpful for building muscle memory.

No Recoil, Less Flinch
Firing a gun is difficult because the brain tries to resist actions it considers dangerous. The loud noises and jolts make it hard to achieve an accurate shot when you’re handling a gun. The body reacts to the loud gun noises and jolts with reflexive action, which can cause the eyes to shut or look away. We know this as flinching.

When you dry fire, there are no loud noises. You won’t flinch, which makes it easier to learn how to shoot a gun safely and effectively.

Building Confidence
Learning to achieve a perfect shot can frustrate anyone, especially when you’re trying to hit the bullseye to no avail. That, coupled with the cost of ammunition, can frustrate even the calmest shooter. Thankfully, with dry fire, there are no holes in the target that show missed shots. This is a tremendous morale boost for the shooter because they are likely to remember what they did right instead of focusing on their failures. They can also identify areas of improvement.

Practice Non-Shooting Gun Skills
There is more to shooting than taking the actual shot itself. Shooters must also master the right positioning, gun drawing, reloading, one hand shooting, and aiming a shot while moving.

There is Less Trigger Jerking
Jerking the trigger prevents the shooter from making an accurate shot. Two things can cause this: failure to master trigger control and taking the shot too quickly when the shooter thinks the target is at the perfect position.

Dry fire helps a shooter practice firing a gun without experiencing the nuisances of trigger jerking.

Hear It From a Pro!

In a Nutshell

Dry fire helps build muscle memory which helps improve your shooting accuracy. One of its advantages is that shooters get to practice without using ammunition which translates to lowered costs. Besides, new shooters learn gun handling techniques after which they can proceed to use real ammunition. To improve your accuracy, we highly recommend trying the dry-fire exercises recommended above. Happy shooting!


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