Dry Fire practice is the act of practicing shooting skills without ammunition. You can practice almost any skill without live ammunition. Almost everything can be done dry. Especially all those skills most ranges won’t let you work on, like drawing from concealment, magazine changes, and malfunction drills.
You do need to remember safety when doing this. I only mention safety because it can’t be mentioned enough when dealing with firearms. First, make sure you unload your gun in a safe manner, and then leave all ammunition in one place and move away from it. Double check you magazines and pouches. I’ve had rounds pop out of my magazine and end up in the bottom of my magazine pouches. So physically and visually check everything. If possible, dry fire into something that will stop a bullet if the worst happens. I use body armor or my refrigerator. Never dry fire at a wall that has someone in the room behind it. I used to use my TV, but now a flat screen just isn’t going to stop a bullet from anything. Last, when you are done, make sure you are done. A lot of accidents happen after someone loads their firearm and then decides to practice one more shot. That’s why I like the separate rooms. When I’m in the room with the ammunition, no practicing is done there.
I also have an extra problem with my dry practice routine. I have a 3-year old son who wants to do everything that daddy does. I wait to dry practice when he is sleeping or when he is gone with his mother. It limits my time to practice, but I simply stop what I’m doing and dry practice as soon as my wife and he are gone. I try to practice 15 minutes a day, everyday. I never practice with my son watching because I don’t want him playing with my guns. He has been shown them and taught not to touch, but I still keep them on me or locked up so he can’t get to them.
Other considerations you might want to think about are closing the blinds and who is at home while you are practicing. Don’t practice where the neighbors can see you. Close the blinds. Your neighbors may not be gun people and might call the cops on you. My neighbors don’t know I have guns and don’t need to know until they become close friends. Also, think about others that live in your house. For a long time, my wife didn’t like me having the guns out, but has come around to it. I plan my practice time when people aren’t in my home so there are no questions or concerns from them. It’s just easier that way.
The skills I work on are the ones that I think will be necessary to save my life the most. First is draw to the first shot. After talking to people that have actually been in a gun fight, almost every single one of them said that was the most important skill to practice. I always practice that. Next I work on fundamentals of trigger squeeze and sight alignment. I will also work on reloads and malfunction drills. If you are in a gun fight you are having one of the worst days of your life, about the only way it can get worse is for you to run out of ammo or have your weapon malfunction.
On and off, I’ll practice one hand shooting from the holster, shooting from the ground and other weird positions, touch distance shooting, and moving through and clearing my house.
Almost 90% of all shooting skills can be worked on dry practice. A lot of them should be tried dry before doing live fire. But most importantly it gives me the opportunity to practice shooting everyday for free. The more you practice dry fire, the better shooter you will be. I suggestion you practice a little each day over trying to do one big cram session once a week or a month.
Here are a couple articles on skills you can work on with dry fire.