Dry firing marksmanship training.

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by whymememe, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. whymememe

    whymememe Former Guest

    Oct 29, 2011
    FEMA Region IV
    Is anyone familiar with dry firing target practice. Its been over 45 years ago, but if I remember correctly, you have three people on each weapon and target. The person being trained to shoot is on the weapon and taking his sight picture, we will call him the shooter. Next to him is a person we will call the adjuster. There is one more person standing by the target with a pencil. We will call him the target guy.

    The target guy places the pencil on the target, the shooter takes the sight picture and verbally tells the adjuster which way to move the pencil so that it conforms to the sight picture. The adjuster tells the target guy the ajustments using hand and arm signals. When the shooter is satisfied he says "fire" and the target is marked. If I remember correctly you could test your grouping in this manner.

    Anybody else ever do anything like this? It's probably an old proceedure. Or maybe a method of training young cadets.
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I am a mere child and I don't remember anything like that, either in the service or in civilian rifle training.

    There was a gadget called the Hollifield Dotter that had a pointed pin that was hit by the firing pin so it jumped out of the muzzle and punched a hole in the bottom target of a two target paper. The "shooter" aimed at the top target and the punch hit the bottom one showing where, presumably the bullet would have gone on a real 100 yard target if live ammo were used.

    I am also familiar with the mirror gadget that slipped over the sights of an M1/M14 rifle and allowed a coach lying beside the shooter to see the sights as the shooter saw them.

    But I am not aware of the three-man technique you describe.


  3. whymememe

    whymememe Former Guest

    Oct 29, 2011
    FEMA Region IV
  4. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Active Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    Ardmore, OK
    There is something to mental practice. I once was exposed to something like it in a seminar about physical skills. It had nothing to do with shooting but emphasized going thru whatever skill mentally, doing mental practice then introducing the hardware. There was benefit doing the same mental practice when the situation made the hardware not available.

    I think most of us do it to some extent with a new tool or procedure to perform, perhaps un- (or sub) consciously. The point was to do it purposefully, recycling it again and again, examining for possible improvement.

    In simple terms I just thought of it as "planning ahead" which I did naturally anyhow. In my work life I saw a lot of people who could have benefittef from it.
  5. This is what I learned from the AMU 45 years ago.

    Dry Fire drill

    Get a plain sheet of typing or copy paper and in the very center of the paper use a fine point pen with black ink and make a little cross with 2.5 cm horizontal and vertical lines. No larger. Fasten that paper on a horizontal surface at shoulder height in a location with good light.

    Pick up your handgun with the off hand and place it in your shooting hand and get a good grip. Grip it firmly like you would a handshake, not to loose, not so tight that you shake. Get your natural point of aim. Get in your natural shooting stance, close your eyes and raise your arm out to the shooting position. When you have your arm extended move it to the left and to the right and feel the tension in your back and chest, when you center your arm in a neutral position you have your natural pint of aim, Open your eyes and look at where your gun is pointing. If you are off the target move your rear foot to correct your position not your arm and not your waist.

    Extend your arm so the muzzle of your gun is no more than a cm away from the paper. Focus on that front sight with both eyes. You will see that the vertical line goes straight up the middle of the sight and the horizontal line sits squarely on the top of your front sight. Your front sight should now be centered in the notch of your rear sight and level.

    Now with the gun cocked, your focus entirely on the front sight you play a little mind game. Imagine the sight is one solid piece attached to the trigger. When you pull the trigger back you are trying to pull the front sight back through the center of your rear sight. If you pull, yank, anticipate, jerk, grab anything but a perfect trigger pull those lines will move away from the front sight like a seismometer detecting an earthquake.

    The objective of this exercise is to get 10 perfect shots and what you will discover is that when your focus is on the sight/trigger you will have no idea when the gun goes off.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    An old instructor summed it up: "Concentrate on the sights and squeeze the trigger."

    If you do that, the usual things newbies worry about, like grip, trigger pull weight, length of barrel, won't matter at all.

  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Excellent old grump. That is exactly the way i was taught and Ive never been able to put it into words so well.

    I also dry fire exercise at the range with my rifles. Ill sit on the bench for hours sometimes just drawing sight pictures and breaking the trigger whilst maintaining the perfect sight picture.
  8. whymememe

    whymememe Former Guest

    Oct 29, 2011
    FEMA Region IV
    Thanks old grump, It sounds like a good drill.
  9. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Ohio NRA Member
    What Old Grump said and
    + 1 with Josh!
    I too spend alot time with the rifle with no live ammo on the becnh getting and
    practicing sight picture and control before the trigger breaks.

    Now this is going to sound waaay off base and you all might think I've done lost it!
    But this works for me with handgun practice.
    If I'm home alone and usually I am late nights. I'll be watching TV and I'll usually
    get out a hand gun.(I always double check to make 100% sure that the gun is unloaded)
    My tv and monitor with security camera are in the same area,about 3 feet apart.

    With the tv usually on the outdoor or sportsman channel and the security cam
    watching my feeding area, there is usually always "targets" that are constanly
    moving. With both "monitors" haveing constant moving "tagets" and switching
    to and from with my sight picture, it's non stop sight picture practice.

    With that said, I'll have usually a SA handgun out as I sit and practice sight picture
    and trigger break and if you think this isnt good practice, one might try it,.. til
    someone knocks at the door and you try explaining why you always have an emty
    handgun out while ansewring the door!
    Really though, it's excellent practice while away from the range and in the comforts
    of your own liveing room and nothing like non-stop practice.
    While at the range and wihile your resting in the evenings!

    As crazy as it may seem, it's helped my hangun shooting groups tighten
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  10. jerry52

    jerry52 Former Guest

    Jan 22, 2013
    I use the laser lite target system.
    The laser works like a snap cap in chamber and target records your hits
    I do this once every week off the range to keep my concealed weapon deployment crisp.
    I also instruct my wife to draw and fire from her purse.
    Everyone who carries a concealed weapon needs to do this. Like and instructor told me it needs to be mindless automatic, because you have to much to process once you have decided to defend with deadly force.
    Personally bought one at Midway. about a $150.
  11. ejkoechling

    ejkoechling Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2012
    Imperial, MO
    Hey Jerry , are those caliber specific, Or one fits multible cal??
  12. jerry52

    jerry52 Former Guest

    Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  13. jerry52

    jerry52 Former Guest

    Jan 22, 2013
    Just want to put this out there
    When you practice dry fire drills pay attention not to get sloppy, never hurry when you train. Make sure you focus on every shot. The biggest mistake I catch observing shooters in their drills is the lack of being serious because they are not shooting live ammo. This is a big attitude error, after all rule 1 says it is always is a loaded gun, so drill that way. (if you practice wrong you will be really good at being wrong)
    The second big error that shooter blow is when they are bringing the gun up to aim their finger is on the trigger, not good.
    Almost all of the negligent discharges during shooting are due to a finger being on the trigger when it shouldn’t. Once you have a sight picture downrange and you have made sure of the other basic rules, you may put your finger on the trigger.
    Identify the target, if it is a bad guy he may retreat at the sight of the weapon .
    only if they threaten does your finger move to the trigger.
    Be safe
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  14. Archie

    Archie Active Member

    Greetings, Whyyouyouyou.

    Yes, I was shown and participated in the drill you outline whilst enduring Marine Corps Basic Training in San Diego. It was a bit different, as only the 'shooter' and the 'marker' were involved; the 'shooter' was close enough to simply tell the 'marker' where to mark the target. It works to some degree, depending on how accurately the 'marker' pays attention to directions and how closely he marks the target.

    I haven't used it since as I've never had anyone willing to assist me, or interested enough to act as 'shooter'. I usually dry fire all by myself and watch for where the sights are aligned when the trigger breaks.

    For what it's worth, ten good calls dry firing will do more for marksmanship than one hundred rounds flung wildly down range.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Technical Questions & Information mosin nagant firing pin spring Saturday at 5:52 PM
Technical Questions & Information Mossy and Sons 640 KD "Chuckster" misfiring Sep 30, 2016
Technical Questions & Information Savage 755a firing pin replacement , any suggestions ? Apr 15, 2016
Technical Questions & Information Stevens 311 "sticking " firing pins Mar 6, 2016
Technical Questions & Information sig mpx firing pin Missing? Jan 19, 2016