Suggested Drills

Dry fire drills are an excellent way to improve your sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control skills. They are also very useful in improving your shooting speed. Here’s the bonus – it doesn’t cost you a nickel to do dry practice.  If you make a habit of dry practice at home, say 5 or 10 minutes a session, 2 or 3 times a week, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your basic shooting skills will improve. We have provided a number of dry fire drills that you can practice at home. Before practicing, please read and observe these steps:

  1. CLEAR YOUR GUN! Remove the magazines and eject the round from the chamber. (Remove ammunition from the cylinder if using a revolver.)  Double check to make SURE all ammo is removed. Take all the ammunition — including magazines — to the other side of the room from where you are practicing and LEAVE IT THERE.
  2. Click on one of the drills below. Drill 1 is a simple place to start. The images may take a few seconds to load. Maximize your browser window size or try the “Full Screen” option.
  3. Stand about 10 feet from your monitor. Have your pistol holstered and your hand at your side. When you see the image on the screen, draw and fire. Repeat the process again.
  4. To choose another drill, click on the “back” button on your browser.
  5. When you are finished with your dry practice, tell yourself (out loud!), “I’m done.” Then reload your pistol and re-holster.  The practice session is OVER.


Dry Fire Drill #1
Circle Target

Dry Fire Drill #2
IDPA Target

Dry Fire Drill #3
Zig-Zag Target (Slow)

Dry Fire Drill #4
Zig-Zag Drill (Fast)

Dry Fire Drill #5
Lateral Moving Target (Slow)

Dry Fire Drill #6
Lateral Moving Target (Fast)

Other Words of Advice:

  • Rim fire pistols (typically .22) should not be dry fired without a snap cap or dummy round in the chamber or cylinder. You can damage the firing pin with repeated dry fire and nothing to protect the firing pin.
  • Most center-fired pistols (all the calibers that are recommended for personal protection) can be safely dry fired. However, some pistols are more prone to being damaged by dry fire. If in doubt, just insert a snap cap or dummy round into the chamber.
  • If you shoot a double action pistol, practice both double action and the single action fire. The most difficult aspect of a DA is trigger control when transitioning from double to single action.

Even if you are diligent in your dry practice, you must practice “live” too. It’s important to become accustomed to the blast, flash and recoil from live fire. Recency of practice is more important than the number of rounds fired.  In other words, you will be better prepared if you shoot 50 to 100 rounds once a month than shooting 500 rounds once a year.  Of course, you can practice more frequently if you choose.  Make a monthly practice date with yourself (or with friends and family), enter it on your calendar and KEEP THE DATE! Don’t let other things distract you.