Tom Laye on “Dry Practice”

Tom Laye “Practice at Home”
Regarding fast. Smooth is fast. Practice the Zen of presentation also. Do the complete presentation from holster to hammer fall on target but take like say 10 seconds to do it. Do that 10 times. No jerks, no twitches, no stops and starts. One continuous movement with you being aware every instant where the gun, you hand, your finger, your body, etc are. Total awareness.

After you think you’re good start with your eyes closed and don’t open them until after the hammer falls. Were you on target? Probably not. Readjust your stance to the target until you are.
Relative to recoil. Recoil only counts on multiple shots. And then very little. If you practice your first shot to be in 1.1 second, and with your splits of .3 to .4 seconds you’ll be under 1.5 for 2 shots COM. Head shots are single shot events and recoil isn’t a factor.

Recoil is over thought until you get to 44 Mag and up. And for some folks not even there. Just get back on the sights, return to target, reset the trigger and you’re good.

Isometric tension, properly applied, will reduce felt recoil and after awhile you won’t even notice it.

One time I was doing a hammer for demonstration and I place two shots COM separated by about 1/2″ in less than 1.2 seconds with 45ACP hardball. I by the way do not practice with anything but full power loads in what ever caliber I’m practicing. There’s no benefit in doing so. Not counting .22 cal of course.

Airsoft, or laser cartridges, anything that gives you feedback will help. One of the international IPSC champions lives in Japan. He shoots only airsoft until a week before a competition where he practices with his guns, in the location he’s competing, not Japan, and he’s good to go.

Look into the BeamHit 190PST (?) system. Gives an audible buzz when it’s hit. It can also do par time but I don’t much care for that function in it. I just set it to buzz when it detects a hit and use my timer for the par time. I go for hearing the BeamHit buzz just before my timer beep. With the random wait times for start on my timer it can be challenging. NRA used to partner with them and you could get an instructor discount.

LaserLyte and Bullite (not sure still in business) also have a similar system. They might offer an instructor discount.

Convert-A-Pell will allow you to use a pistol primer in a brass cartridge that has a .177 cal pellet in it’s nose to shoot from your personal gun. You have to use hearing protection as the primer is loud, you have the lead styphnate issue, and the gun will be a single shot unless you’re using a revolver. And then there is having to punch out the old primer and seat a new primer (use a Lee hand priming tool). They are quite accurate however.

The last option is LaserShot. That allows multiple shots, multiple targets, scores your hits, provides shoot/no shoot options and just a lot of fun. Not inexpensive. Susan has been bugging me to get ours set up in the living room as she wants to practice. You can get a drop in kit that allows trigger reset without having to cycle the slide. I think there might be a kit for the 1911 but I just use DA/SA guns with restrike capability instead. Or you can buy LaserShot arms but I don’t care for them. Their triggers don’t feel like real guns.

You can also get Daisy, Crossman, Umarex, etc pellet pistols that are multi-shop capable and use either CO2 or compressed air to function. Many are exact replicas of centerfire pistols. I first used a Crosman model that replicated an S&W Model 28 to train with in the Navy. Shot 50-shots every work day at noon and greatly improved my scores on the semi-annual range qualifications. Still have it somewhere. They offer instructor discounts.

If you can shoot a gun with a bad trigger well you can shot a gun with a good trigger great! Any gun will do if you will. Not a phrase original to Front Sight but they marketed it better.

There are a lot of ways to practice without going to the range. If you consider the pros and cons then you can train to levels higher than you might have thought possible. All of these can be acquired for long guns also.