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Old 06-09-2009, 06:03 AM   #1
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Dry firing a semi auto handgun, safety

Firing, safety

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Recently, one of my students e-mailed me and credited me with a drill that perhaps saved someone's life. I gave this same advice at LFI I in Phoenix when Mas allowed me to give the study classes in the eveningss following the regular instruction.

Perhaps I'm paranoid but there is simply too much old platoon sergeant in me to take anything for granted when it comes to safety.
Especially since I'm getting older with the whimsey tha follows that affliction and having many students who are young with the impulsive audacity of their age.

You MUST dry fire if you are to maintain your skill level with a firearm. In the Army, on the Berlin Brigade Rifle team we would dry fire up to 6 hours a day, the 6th Army AMU did the same as did Col. DePasque of the 63 ARCOM AMU.
But you must take every precaution NOT to let a live round go.

Take two magazines, paint them a bright color, white, bright yellow, a color you can identify in low light. Put only snap caps in them. No other bullet will ever be inserted in these magazines.

Then make certain you begin your session with no magazine in the gun, pull the slide back and feel into the chamber. This is very important because a live round from the mag you dropped may very well be in the chamber and in some handguns it is hard to see.

Once done put the painted mag in the handgun and dry fire untill you are tired, then quit.
Drop the mag, pull the slide back, take you expelled snap cap put it back in the mag and then use your normal safety routine to reload a live magazine when necessary.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:31 PM   #2
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Re: Dry firing a semi auto handgun, safety

I would like to add a thought to your well-written and useful essay on dry-fire practice.

I suggest from my own experience that dry firing until you are tired can be counter-productive.
When learning "muscle memory" skills, like shooting, practicing until you're tired ends up teaching you the wrong skills. When you begin to tire, you also begin to become sloppy, and even lax. Your skills suffer.
A better way, I have found, is to practice for 10 minutes, and no more than 15, at a time. No matter what the time, if you begin to tire, stop immediately. Rest. Do something else, unrelated to shooting. Then go back to your dry-fire practice for about 10 minutes...and so on. You learn more "muscle memory," I have found, in short learning spurts, than you do in long, tiring sessions.

Of course, that's just my own personal opinion.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: Dry firing a semi auto handgun, safety

Hi, I agree with you, what I meant to say was stop when you are tired. For exactly the reason's you give. Thank you.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:10 PM   #4
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Re: Dry firing a semi auto handgun, safety

Quote:
Anytime you handle a semi-automatic pistol, particularly indoors, always make a habit of doing the following-

1. Insure gun is pointed in a safe direction.

2. Remove the magazine and set it down- get it out of your hands.

3. Immediately retract the slide and lock it open using the slide stop. Let any ejected round fall onto the floor- you can pick it up later. Step on it so you can feel it, and know where it is.

4. Look down through the open ejection port and out through the magazine well- make sure the magazine is out, and that you can see daylight all the way down.

5. Tip the muzzle down slightly, and look into the chamber to insure that it is empty. Check it with your little finger. (Be careful not to drop the slide while you're doing this. One time will be enough to teach you better.)

If you close the slide for any reason, repeat this process and check the chamber again before dryfiring, disassembly, etc.

If my guns are loaded, they are fully loaded and in the holsters I carry them in.

If I have them out for any reason, they are unloaded and locked open until the magazine(s) & all ammo are removed from the area. Then and only then do I dry fire, strip for cleaning, etc.

And ALWAYS observe the FOUR RULES:

Rule 1: ALL guns are ALWAYS loaded.

Rule 2: NEVER let your muzzle cover ANYTHING or ANYONE you are not willing to destroy.

Rule 3: Keep your finger OFF the trigger until your sights are ON the target.

Rule 4: Be SURE of your target, and what is behind it.
http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2006 ... roper.html
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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Re: Dry firing a semi auto handgun, safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge
Quote:
Anytime you handle a semi-automatic pistol, particularly indoors, always make a habit of doing the following-

1. Insure gun is pointed in a safe direction.

2. Remove the magazine and set it down- get it out of your hands.

3. Immediately retract the slide and lock it open using the slide stop. Let any ejected round fall onto the floor- you can pick it up later. Step on it so you can feel it, and know where it is.

4. Look down through the open ejection port and out through the magazine well- make sure the magazine is out, and that you can see daylight all the way down.

5. Tip the muzzle down slightly, and look into the chamber to insure that it is empty. Check it with your little finger. (Be careful not to drop the slide while you're doing this. One time will be enough to teach you better.)

If you close the slide for any reason, repeat this process and check the chamber again before dryfiring, disassembly, etc.

If my guns are loaded, they are fully loaded and in the holsters I carry them in.

If I have them out for any reason, they are unloaded and locked open until the magazine(s) & all ammo are removed from the area. Then and only then do I dry fire, strip for cleaning, etc.

And ALWAYS observe the FOUR RULES:

Rule 1: ALL guns are ALWAYS loaded.

Rule 2: NEVER let your muzzle cover ANYTHING or ANYONE you are not willing to destroy.

Rule 3: Keep your finger OFF the trigger until your sights are ON the target.

Rule 4: Be SURE of your target, and what is behind it.
http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2006 ... roper.html
This is good, but the procedures will have to be modified somewhat if you are using a pistol with a magazine disconnector.

One more thing I like to do with a 1911 I'm dryfiring is to point it toward a bright light and look right through the gun (out the barrel) around the ejector. I have yet to see a 1911 you couldn't "see daylight" through if it's empty. Can't say what other guns this trick might or might not work on.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:24 PM   #6
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Re: Dry firing a semi auto handgun, safety

Don't own any, Snake; scarcely acknowledge that the things exist. You do raise a valid question though. I believe the sacrifice of a cheap magazine might be required to solve that problem.
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