Dry fire practice in the time of COVID-19? It’s hard not to be at least a little flip about the pandemic that’s gradually but acceleratingly ratcheting down. I’ve seen the ransacked soup and cough syrup aisles at the local stores as well as the metaphoric crickets chirping at the restaurants and bars I’ve driven by.
For the first time in a while, I’ve skipped the weekly visit to the range despite the easy, reasonable reasons as to the low odds of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. There’s some smudge of irony in that I’d spent all of last weekend at a very intense defensive handgun class, and now… nothing? Well, not nothing.
Dry fire practice? Dry fire practice! Yeah, it may sound about as exciting as a bowl of oatmeal turning to lumpy glue, but I believe my marksmanship has improved significantly through regular iterations of practicing grip, sight picture, trigger press, and follow through. And now that I’ve been exposed (terrible word choice, I know, but…) to holster draw from concealment, I can practice that at home as well.
Here’s a screenshot from the G-Sight app that I use with a laser training cartridge: 10 shots with an M&P Shield 9 Gen1 at 7 yards after drawing from an IWB holster in concealment (a t-shirt and a hoodie). I’m working on the entire sequence of actions from clearing the cover clothing, getting the proper grip on the pistol, drawing and presenting, and finally making an accurate shot.
Speed will come later, as I have a lot of work to do.
To contrast, here’s 10 shots with the same Shield, but without the draw. I am finding that I can make consistent 3" groups while practicing in this manner.
I think this is probably the smallest group I’ve gotten with the Shield, using an alternate target at about the same height as the previous.
I’ve also tried some movement exercises while using the laser training cartridge. Obviously the methodology lacks the boom, snap, etc. of doing this with live rounds, but there is still the challenge of maintaining sight and target while grapevining your way around the basement. There’s also practice using cover (e.g., lurking around the clothesrack or the laundry room door).
And there’s the good old laser-free dry fire, which I really should do more of in addition to the abovementioned shenanigans.
I suspect the current coronavirus crisis will get more severe before improving, and I’m looking at this home practice regimen as a way to maintain some level of training away from the range. That said, it may be training, but it’s also fun.
Unrelated to firearms, but definitely relevant to hunkering in the bunker is to treat oneself well. The local Asian mini-mart has a great selection of vegetables and other ingredients which I’ve been using to learn how to make Thai curry - it’s about as complicated as Wick Fowler chili, thanks to the pre-made curry paste and other ready-to-go bits. So, it’s not all just dry fire practice and tactical pantomime around here. Stay strong, everyone. Endure.