For a weapons operator, dry practice is the process of practicing gun handling skills such as presentations, reloads, malfunction clearances, movement techniques, tactics, etc. with an unloaded firearm to gain real measurable life-saving skills.
Take away: Dry practice is an inexpensive yet invaluable tool in helping you to quickly gain important motor skills.
Dry practice isn’t new, it’s been around for a very long time and its benefits are well known.
Dry practicing to gain weapons and tactical skills can take on many forms.
At the individual level dry practice can encompass learning new gun handling skills quickly, perfecting and retaining known gun handling skills, breaking bad habits, learning individual movement techniques, etc.
At the team level, dry practice can take the form of vivid mental and physical rehearsals using training exercises such as “tape drills” which are the standard leading up to and utilized between RBT, scenario, and other team training events. These dry practice training drills help the team to stay sharp when they don’t have the time, money, ammo, or space for full-blown and complex training scenarios.
Dry practice spans the life of all professional firearms operators and is the secret that is hidden in plain sight.
Proper dry practice allows you to quickly adapt to any situation in the shortest amount of time with the highest amount of skill possible.
Operators throughout the ages have used dry practice and vivid visualization to not only train on new weapons and equipment but to better prepare for the fight.
In this sense, the value of dry practice is measured in lives saved. To many of us, that’s invaluable – and that’s enough. From a practical, everyday training point of view, the ability to get serious training, almost anywhere, and on the cheap, is just the cherry on top.
There are other measurable benefits that come from a solid dry practice routine as well, not the least of which is the discipline to do the work required to pick up new skills.
While delivering the benefit of learning (or relearning) a new physical motor skill quickly, dry practice costs only the investment of time and focused attention to reap huge benefits in your preparation for the fight of your life.
When you dry practice you save on gas, range rental, ammo, and very importantly – the time it takes you to drive to the range and back.
Don’t read into what I am saying here. Live fire is of paramount importance, but so too is your dry practice.
Dry practice is the place you can hone your live fire and tactical skills at no financial cost, and live-fire confirms the effectiveness of your dry practice program. The two enhance your training program when utilized, and your training program will suffer without both.
Even if you are burning through 100,000 rounds a year in focused live fire training, your live-fire can still be enhanced by a proper dry practice routine of some type.
Whether you’re rolling in the dough and you have full discretionary time, or you’re tight on time, dough, and ammo (like most military and LEOs), a good dry practice routine is your ticket to gaining new skills quickly and maintaining a sharp edge between range and qualification days.
While you can enhance your dry practice by purchasing relatively inexpensive equipment and accessories in order to add realism to your dry practice (which we recommend); you can, when needed, dry practice effectively with only the equipment you already own, and never have to spend a penny past what you need for your regular live-fire training.
For those who want to gain solid skills quickly, it’s not a “one or the other” proposition — it’s “both” to varying degrees depending on your current needs and goals.
Dry practice is an invaluable tool to have on your side; don’t let anyone undersell you on its benefits to your training routine. You’re only handicapping yourself if you’re not utilizing the tool of dry practice to speed your training along.
If you need to add dry practice to your toolbag stay tuned and follow along, we are about to give you some hard-won lessons learned to help you master your gun handling skills quickly by using the invaluable tool of dry practice.
Next step: Selecting a Safe Dry Practice Area.