Dry practice, the single best way to spend your time! Print
The Basics
Written by Flea   
Hey Folks,

I can't begin to tell you how important dry practice is. If done correctly your skill level will go through the roof! To tell the truth it's perfect practice. Why? Well, lets see......no wind, no recoil, no rain, no ammo, no conditions at all! That makes it perfect practice.

Here's how you should IMHO start: Find a place away from your gun room where you can lay down (if using your rifle) and see outside. Place all your ammo in your gun room well away from your practice area. Make sure your weapon is not loaded. If using your pistol make sure you place a target in an area that could take a round safely if an accident occurred. (that's why I prefer practicing somewhere not close to the gun room.)

If using your rifle, find a place comfortable, using your bipod and rear bag place the weapon to where you can see outside. Bring the rifle back into your shoulder fairly tight (not to the point where your shaking) and get a good solid cheek weld. Find a target like a knot hole in a tree, nail head in a fence something again that has a good back stop. Practice as follows:

  1. Make sure you have "no" parallax. I like to align my scope on the target and then without toughing the rifle move my head back and forth until my crosshairs do not move. This puts both my scope and target on the same focal plane.
  2. Once your crosshairs are on the target and locked in, close your eye's for 5 seconds. You should be in the middle of the target upon opening them. If your crosshairs are to the left of the target move your body 1" to the left and recheck and vise versa to the right. This is also the time to make any adjustments in your stocks length of pull and check weld.
  3. Snap caps: I like using snap caps because it's simulates using bullets and the mechanics of loading.
  4. Once locked in on the target, with your crosshairs I'll say to myself "Shooter ready", then "Spotter ready". This is just good range protocol for stay in practice once your with a spotter or instructor.
  5. Then place your finger on the trigger and press hold, press hold, until the trigger breaks. Every time your trigger breaks it should be a surprise. DO NOT COMPROMISE ON YOUR CROSSHAIR, keep it aligned with the target as you press hold, press hold on the trigger.
  6. As the trigger breaks your crosshair should be on the center of the target. Watch to see if they move as the trigger breaks.
  7. Without raising your head, rack the bolt and start over.

The first week practice about 15 minutes a day (or night) five nights a week. The next week push your practice to 20 minutes and the week after to 30 minutes. You will see after the end of the first week your eye relief and hand placements will be right on the money. This also builds muscle memory.

Eventually the mechanics of practicing will over come your brains urge to jerk the trigger. If you remember each time to press hold, press hold on the trigger your repeatability will go through the roof. It's a matter of doing the same thing each time, over and over again.

Pretty much the same for the pistol, carbine and shotgun except you will need to choose a stance for each weapon. If you practice sight alignment and trigger control your shot placement will be right where you want it. Dry practice will help you with each weapon become a more solid marksman.

Have fun with this and at the same time you will build your repeatability with all weapons.

Take care, flea