One of the people who comments here made the comment that no shooter should ever dry fire a firearm. I would say that if you are not making dry fire a part of your training regimen, you are missing out on an important training tool that will make your trigger control much better.
It isn’t just me who says that. The shooting instructors at the Sig Sauer academy recommend it:
“The key to shooting is manipulating that trigger to the rear without adding movement to that front sight,” says SIG SAUER Academy instructor Allison Glassick. “That’s the secret to shooting.”
For beginners, the blast and recoil of a live round often causes a natural human reaction to flinch or anticipate the shot which can disrupt their grip and trigger manipulation. But taking away those live fire distractions and working through some drills with an empty handgun can pay dividends when it’s time to head to the range.
“The bang inevitably will disrupt my senses and my ability to focus in on what’s important—that slow, deliberate process of pulling the trigger from front to rear while managing that sight alignment,” says SIG SAUER Academy instructor Justin Christopher. “The best possible way to train your body how to do this is without any bullets in the gun.”
Even the people at the US Concealed Carry Association recommend it, as long as it is done in a safe manner. When I dry fire, I make sure that there is no live ammunition in the same room. That way, you are less likely to have an ND (I learned that one the hard way- I once shot my dresser when dry firing) because you aren’t tempted to load and then pull a trigger on a loaded firearm. From the USCCA, dry fire safety rules:
1 No interruptions! Turn the ringer off the phone and make sure the front door is locked. If you are interrupted, start again from the beginning rather than picking up where you think you left off.
2 Unload your gun.
3 Check that the gun is unloaded. Use both your eyes and your fingertips. Lock the action open and then run your pinky into the empty chamber to be sure it’s really empty. If you have a revolver, run your finger across each hole in the cylinder. Count the empty holes to be sure you touched them all.
4 Remove all ammunition. Get it out of the room and out of sight. I even go so far as to lock the door to the room where the ammunition is kept so that it takes several deliberate steps to get the ammunition back together with the gun.
5 Choose a safe backstop. A backstop is anything that will reliably stop a bullet from the most powerful load that your gun is capable of firing. Never dry-fire without a solid backstop.
6 Place a target in front of your backstop. To avoid a “just one more” mishap, do not dry-fire directly at anything that will remain in the room. Use a target that will be taken down when you are done.
7 Double-check that the gun is still unloaded.
8 Mental shift to practice. Say to yourself, “This is practice. I have checked and double-checked the gun. Ammunition is not present. This is only practice.” Say it out loud, and if you find yourself wondering if it’s really true, go back and check again.
9 Dry fire. Ten to 15 minutes is as much dry-fire practice as most people can safely handle. If your mind begins to wander, stop immediately. That’s a sign that you are not paying attention to what you are doing — an important red flag.
10 Take the target down immediately — before leaving the room and before reloading the gun. Never leave the target up after you are done practicing. As you take the target down, say aloud, “Practice is over. No more dry fire. Practice is over.” This helps you make the important mental shift back to the real world and prevents the infamous “just one more” mishap.
11 Put your gun in the safe or if you are unwilling to lock your defense gun away for an hour or two, at least get yourself out of the practice room. Stay out of that area until your conditioning to pull the trigger there has been replaced by conscious thought.
12 Reload out loud. When do you reload the gun, say aloud, “This gun is loaded. It will fire if I pull the trigger. This gun is loaded.” Say it three times and say it out loud. This allows you to think, speak and hear that the gun is no longer in dry-fire condition.
If you want to do it on the cheap, balance a coin on your front sight. Pull the trigger without losing the coin. It’s a good way to learn to pull the trigger without moving your point of aim. Once you see the improvement, you can try a training system like MantisX.
Once you are proficient with dry fire from a prepared stance, you can advance to trying it while drawing.
In summary, dry fire is an important part of my firearms training. Maybe you should make it a part of yours.