Dry firing is by far one of the most important tools a pistol shooter can use to improve their aim, accuracy, tension, and consistency. It will also help perfect your stance, grip, breathing, trigger control, mental discipline, and position. And, not only will this practice cost you nothing in terms of ammunition, but you can do this from practically anywhere.
Dry firing will also help you regardless of what style of shooting you do. Whether you’re a bullseye shooter, IDPA, IPSC, silhouette, etc. this is by far one of the best (and cheapest) practices you can partake in to improve your shooting. And, if you’re more of an action-shooter, you can easily incorporate the movement of drawing from your holster into the routine. This practice can make an enormous difference.
Unfortunately, dry firing is a lot like doing your homework to pass a test – it can get monotonous (and even boring) after a while, and it can be hard to keep up your motivation to do it consistently, even when it’s the best thing for you. However, it really does pay off in the long run, especially considering you can improve so much about your shooting at absolutely zero cost.
One of the ways dry firing is so effective is that it can make you much more aware of how your grip has been helping – or hurting – your accuracy and consistency. For instance, this can be the best way to figure out your proper trigger placement. If you’re a right-hand dominant shooter, and you start to notice the sights on your pistol are moving to the left once the hammer/striker falls, this is a clear sign you aren’t applying enough pressure on your trigger finger – thus, your finger is moving the pistol to the left.
In another scenario, if you’re a right-hand dominant shooter and the sights move to the right once the hammer/striker falls, this means that you are more than likely using the joint of your finger as your trigger finger. Thus, this action is bringing the sights over to the right.
While you’re paying attention to all of this, make sure you’re also avoiding something shooters know as “milking the grip.” You’ll know you’re milking the grip when you begin to shift either your hand’s position, the tension you have on the grip, or both – just before (or during) the firing of your gun.
When it comes down to it, the grip you have on the pistol needs to provide you the opportunity to have a natural point of aim. This basically means that, when you bring up the pistol to face the target, both your pistol’s front and rear sights should naturally align with each other. And you shouldn’t need to shift the pistol or move it in any way for this to happen.
If you enjoy bullseye shooting, you can often gain this natural grip even before the load command is given. Furthermore, if you prefer to draw from a holster, you should know that the grip you have coming out of the holster should be the exact same grip you use when shooting starts.