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Dry Fire Builds More Effective LEOs

academy fitness academy prep cop fitness program dry fire grip strength law enforcement officer police academy police fitness police training Feb 05, 2023
police officer dry fire


“Excellence is not an act, it is a habit.” – Aristotle


There is one habit that has contributed to the success of every world champion shooter in the world: Dry Fire.


Dry fire is basically a simulation of shooting technique without the use of live ammunition. Every world champion in the shooting sports has used, or still uses, dry fire to hone their technique. Competitive shooters such as Ben Stoeger, JJ Racaza, Rob Leatham, etc. use and continue to push dry fire for their students’ success. 


Pre-Academy Firearm Fundamentals Training Course

Available 2/12/2023 


If you think about shooting and break it down into its individual components, you can quickly see that most of those components do not require going to the range and firing live rounds to practice them. Sure live rounds are needed for recoil management but a primer doesn’t have to be ignited to practice your draw, reload, grip, movement, target transitions, etc. So if dry firing contributed to the success of the best in the world, then it’s only logical that officers will benefit from it as well.



Consistency and Confidence


Dry fire will develop consistency in your shooting technique. Through that consistency, confidence is also developed. The ultimate goal is subconscious competence. When confronted with a lethal threat drawing your service pistol will become automatic, your conscious mind will take in the information, suspect actions, and trigger your subconscious to just perform. This will also free up your conscious mind to make more accurate decisions to fire or not fire due to the fact that the action of drawing and presenting your handgun to where you are looking is on autopilot. That is just one of many examples. The confidence comes from higher skill level. 



Speed and Accuracy


Speed and accuracy are often debated as opposites in law enforcement circles. They are far from opposites; you can be fast and accurate at the same time and dry fire will contribute greatly. In dry fire you can push speed to find the edge of your ability without having to worry about sending a live round into the unknown.


Accuracy is a simple concept: align sights and press the trigger without moving the gun, simple but not necessarily easy. It’s not difficult to see that the concept of pressing the trigger without moving the gun can be practiced without the use of live ammunition. 


Dry fire and even live fire should mimic the speed of reality. Those tight groups on a B8 bullseye target are nice but how much time did it take to get the groups that tight? We have all seen body cam footage of officer involved shootings and they are typically fast and statistics show that whoever gets the most hits the quickest wins. The great Rob Leatham once said, “Accuracy only counts if it is fast enough to matter.”


Frequency and Duration


Dry fire should be done in a room with no ammunition in the gun or even in the room. Any magazines or firearms that are going to be used should be double checked to make sure there is no live ammunition in them before beginning.


The frequency of your training will be heavily dependent on your work and family schedule but improvement is simple: Consistent effort over time. A good minimum frequency is 10-15 minutes 3 times per week. Compound that over the course of six months or a year and you have thousands of reps that you would have otherwise not gotten. Those extra reps will accelerate your ability to perform with your duty weapon.



Pre-Academy Firearm Fundamentals Training Course

Available 2/12/2023 


Wrap Up


Dry fire has made world champions for decades, it allows you to get repetitions free of charge, and by increasing your ability it will increase your confidence. Obviously if you are independently wealthy and can afford to shoot live ammo every day do that, but if you live on a police officer’s salary like us, then dry fire is the most sensible way.


It’s just a few minutes of focused effort over a longer period of time. While this article is brief and hits the high points, have no fear, we have a program coming that will guide you through dry fire and other shooting techniques to make you more effective! STANDBY.