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Dry Firing - What You Need to Know

Dry firing is the act of shooting a firearm without ammunition in the chamber. It is a great technique that allows gun owners to practice their stance, grip, sight, and pulling the trigger, without needing a lot of space. A gun owner can really get to know the firearm this way. Dry firing, enables you to get used to the weapon you intend to use. The technique is safe for most handguns, but your owner’s manual should tell you if it is safe for your specific gun. It is generally ok to practice dry firing on most centerfire firearms without cartridges. If you are worried about the disintegration of the firing pin, you can always purchase snap caps that cushion the blow of the firing pin when there is no ammunition. These can be useful if you intend on practicing with dry fire a lot. It is recommended to supplement live firing into your practice, so you can ensure you are practicing the same way in both scenarios.

Dry firing can help you hone in on specific pieces of your shot that might otherwise be looked over at the range. For example, it gives you the opportunity to practice pulling the trigger. A good trigger pull will not move the gun at all. It can also help develop muscle memory and fight fatigue at the range.

While dry firing can be great for practicing and getting acquainted with your gun, there are very important steps you should take before and after to ensure safety. First and foremost, the most obvious, but an important step is to ensure the gun is not loaded. You should make this a habit. Before ever using the gun, ALWAYS check for ammunition, even if you are at a firing range. Realistically, you should completely empty the gun and have no ammunition even close to it. If necessary, add your snap cap that we discussed earlier. Even when dry firing, do not aim your gun at another person, always use targets when practicing sits and aim. Do not just play around while handling your gun to “practice.” Practicing and dry firing should be a methodical technique that takes time and focus. Always practice as if the gun is loaded and ensure proper safety techniques.

If you reload the gun to store it, make this piece memorable. Think about what you are doing. Immediately after reloading the gun, put it into its proper storage place. If you intend on doing anything else with the gun, like cleaning or maintenance, keep the ammunition out. If you are done dry firing, return the gun to its appropriate spot before doing anything else. Do not leave the gun out loaded or unloaded.

When practiced safely and meaningfully, dry firing is a great opportunity for gun owners to practice their mechanics. You know what they say, practice makes perfect!

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