Dry Practice Report #19: October 1 – 15

My first post of this year briefly discussed my goal of doing 3,650 minutes of dry practice in 2019. These posts are mostly for my own accountability. Here are my results to this point in the year.

January 1 – 11: 200 minutes, January 12 – 31: 140 minutes
February 1 – 15: 140 minutes, February 16 – 28: 130 minutes
March 1 – 15: 160 minutes, March 16 – 31: 160 minutes
April 1 – 15: 140 minutes, April 16 – 30: 160 minutes
May 1 – 15: 140 minutes, May 16 – 31: 170 minutes
June 1 – 15: 180 minutes, June 16 – 30: 160 minutes
July 1-15: 150 minutes
, July 16 – 31: 130 minutes
August 1-15: 150 minutes, August 16-31: 170 minutes
September 1-15: 140 minutes, September 16-30: 140 minutes

October 01: 10 minutes presentation (CKC)
October 02: 10 minutes presentation (CKC), 10 minutes presentation (EDC)
October 03: 10 minutes presentation (CKC)
October 04: 10 minutes presentation (CKC), 10 minutes presentation (EDC)
October 05: 10 minutes presentation (EDC)
October 06: 10 minutes presentation (CKC)
October 07: 10 minutes reloads (EDC), 10 minutes strip reloads (640P)
October 08: 10 minutes reloads (EDC), 10 minutes strip reloads (640P)
October 09: 10 minutes presentation (EDC)
October 10: 10 minutes presentation (EDC), 10 minutes HKS reloads (CKC)
October 11: 10 minutes presentation (EDC)
October 12: 0 minutes
October 13: 0 minutes
October 14: 10 minutes presentation (CKC), 10 minutes presentation (EDC)
October 15: 10 minutes presentation (EDC)

Monthly Target: 310 minutes
Monthly Actual To Date:
190 minutes
Cumulative Target:
3,040 minutes
Cumulative Actual to Date:
2,950 minutes (49 hours, 10 mintues)

Focus Areas

During this period I decided to do something a little different. I am attending Ellifritz’ Snubby Revolver class later in the month, so I wanted to get tuned up. I want to get as much as I possibly can from the training – not be fumbling around with skills I haven’t accessed in a while. So, I worked with some revolvers. As the Patreon members are also aware, I’m working on a huge article (or two. . . or three) on revolver reloads. I did some work with reloading revolvers from strips and speedloaders to support this research.

I didn’t want to give up practicing with my EDC handgun, so I worked in some two-a-days.

If you aren’t dry practicing. . . WHY NOT? It’s not hard to find 10 minutes a day to dry practice, and it’s COMPLETELY FREE. Take ten minutes you’d be spending vegging out on Instagram or in front of the TV and turn it into a tangible skill.

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Author: Justin

Justin Carroll is a former MARSOC Marine and veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Leaving service after eight years in the U.S. Marines, Justin continues his involvement with a variety of government agencies to this day. Justin began RevolverGuy.com in late 2016 with an simple idea: provide an source of high-quality information for revolver enthusiasts.

10 thoughts on “Dry Practice Report #19: October 1 – 15”

  1. Thank you, Justin, for highlighting the value of dry practice.

    No longer having easy access to a live fire range was an unanticipated consequence of retirement from law enforcement for me. Dry practice is critical to maintaining skill at a level that will hopefully allow you to autopilot presentations, trigger control and reloads in the amped up physiological environment of a critical incident (big nasty gunfight). Col. Dave Grossman teaches extensively on this, and also on the effects on the subconscious mind that the lack of practice will likely cause. Most cops and service members are probably familiar with his research and presentations- excellent stuff.
    I recall having the “gunfighter dream” often as a young officer where my gun had a 2000 lb. trigger pull, or it shot those yellow plastic bb’s at about 50 fps, or it actually worked but had absolutely no effect on the bad guy. Grossman explains those dreams as your subconscious letting you know it’s worried about your state of readiness for that possible big nasty.
    The way to make the dreams go away is to get to the range and practice. They went away for me when I became a firearms instructor and had the time/ammo to practice more. In retirement, I’m currently shooting much less than I like, maybe once a month or even less frequently. I dry practice a lot, and to date it has satisfied my subconscious that I’m ready. No gunfighter dreams and when I do get the chance to live fire, I don’t feel like skills hard earned have perished. I have no doubt your quest for 10 minutes a day has been beneficial in maintaining and improving skill. Rock on!

    1. Thank you, Kevin!
      I’ll be honest – I’ve been slacking on these dry practice posts. The numbers don’t lie – out of tens of thousands of visitors every month, only a hundred or so bother to open these posts. It’s easy to focus on that, and forget that I still owe something to those hundred or so that do open them! Thanks for reminding me of that!
      I’ve read Grossman’s On Killing and On Combat. Both are decent works and there are definitely some things to be learned from Grossman. I can’t wholeheartedly endorse him, though. First, Grossman has never “seen the elephant” so he writes and speaks from an academic remove. He also leans heavily on S.L.A. Marshal’s work – which is fairly suspect – to support the idea of a natural aversion to violence and killing. That said, there’s no one I agree with 100% and I’m not saying his work is without value.
      Grossman’s most entertaining work is undoubtedly his philosophy on the necktie as a symbolic phallus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJyGzJ5PXAo
      Thanks again, Kevin!

      1. You’re welcome!

        I’m not sure you owe anything to those hundred, but you do set a good example for them to follow. I suspect the diligent dry practice has made you better, especially when live fire opportunities are limited. That has certainly been the case in my experience. Keep up the good work!

      2. I’m not sure about Grossman’s “natural” aversion to violence, but I think more than a few people are raised that way, so there seems to be something to it nevertheless. I just think it doesn’t apply to all of us.

    1. I’m one of them. I frequently don’t comment, but I read all of these posts as a reminder to myself to keep up with dry practice (I don’t really manage a regular schedule and haven’t been tracking my time, but it still helps). I also figure it can’t hurt as moral support for Justin to see that there are people reading these even if it isn’t the majority.

  2. Justin, the low reads for this series may come from the reality of gun ownership: most of us are not as enthusiastic as gun writers or competitive shooters. It’s rather like the neighbor who wants to take me scouting in the woods before deer season. Hw plans all year long. For my part, I do not want to spent the time and will wait until season, as for me deer hunting is not as much about a kill as it is about being in the woods, alone. Fishing is the same way, though I do catch my share.

    I wonder if you might recommend a version of these drills for shooters who might only practice dry-firing a couple times a month? My level of enthusiasm just is not there. I do my “dime on the top strap” drill monthly, and do live fire at best twice per month. I suspect that is still more than 90% of gun owners do, and certainly more than my three shooting pals.

  3. I’m one of the ones who regularly looks at the posts on dry-fire.

    I CONSTANTLY preach the value of dry-fire to my clients who I work with on repeat basis. When a person is having an issue with their draw stroke I suggest dry-fire. When they snatch the trigger, I mention dry-fire. Honestly,,, it is very easy to spot who does and who does not,,, the proof is in the pudding. Typically most seem to brush off dry-fire.

    It’s 4:28 AM my time, and typically I arise at 4 AM. I already have some (2-3 minutes) dry-fire under my belt for today. I will arrive on the range today before clients do,,, and I will again,,, dry-fire. After my day on the range is done,,, dry-fire.

    I now despise the NFL,,, but a typical NFL quarterback throws 300 footballs each day (so I have read). When defense is on the field, you often see the QB on the sidelines practicing his throws (AKA dry-fire).

    While I don’t time my sessions, and usually work on dry-fire for 3 – 4 minutes at home, a range session of dry fire might last 10 minutes or longer. I feel it’s not effective if my mind begins to “drift”.

    For me,,, the aspect of dry-fire I most appreciate is the potential to remain “mentally engaged”.

    Tangentially related: Try a drill known as The Blind Swordsman. Target (basic IPSC or IDPA) at 5 – 7 yards. Low ready, eyes open. Close eyes, raise gun to target & fire 1 round. Remain steady while still holding back on trigger,,, open eyes and note shot. Reset trigger. Repeat.

    The fight will be won in the mind folks!

    1. About the Blind Swordsman drill:
      Most people don’t give a lot of thought to “natural point of aim” with handguns. It does seem like the domain of the rifle shooter. However, Kyle Lamb mentions it in Stay In The Fight, so I’ve been paying more attention to it. I’ve found that (even with eyes open) turning my body a bit this way or that way can have a huge impact on speed and accuracy, and it seems like it would be imperative for the drill you mention.

      P.S. I’m only twenty minutes behind you posting this reply!

  4. The man who works with the stick beats the man who plays with the sword indeed… Dry practice only if getting better and staying that way is important. Revolvers may be simpler for the first cylinder full, but to keep them running is not as easy as with bottom feeders. If you carry a revolver, it stands to reason you should dry practice. A lot.

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