Dry Practice Report #4: Feb 16 – 28

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 to 15: 140 minutes
February 16: 10 minutes SHO presentation
February 17: 10 minutes, SHO pres./trigger, 150-round range session
February 18: 10 minutes, SHO reloads
February 19: 10 minutes, two-handed sustainment
February 20: 10 minutes, SHO pres./trigger
February 21: 10 minutes, SHO pres./trigger (wall drill)
February 22: 10 minutes, SHO reloads, 150-round range session
February 23: 0 minutes
February 24: 10 minutes, SHO malfunctions
February 25: 10 minutes, SHO presentation
February 26: 10 minutes, SHO presentation
February 27: 10 minutes, SHO reloads, 10 minutes, SHO malfunctions
February 28: 10 minutes, two-handed sustainment

Monthly Target: 280 minutes
Monthly Actual: 270 minutes
Cumulative Target:
590 minutes
Cumulative Actual: 610 minutes (6 hours, 10 minutes)

Focus Areas

During this period I focused my energy on strong-hand only (SHO). Over two weeks I worked SHO presentation, trigger manipulation, reloads, and malfunction drills. Because I don’t prefer to shoot with one hand if I have two available, I also worked some two-handed sustainment into my routine. I have formalized my sustainment routine and will talk about it further down.

I missed two days this month. I have a valid excuse for one. . . but not the other. To be honest I just wasn’t feeling great and skipped it. I like that about this system – since I got ahead in January, I’m still not “behind” even though I missed my monthly target by 10 minutes.

Strong-Hand Only Work

One-handed defensive shooting is probably not the skill you are most likely to use. However, it is not completely ruled out, and since I have ample 10-minute dry practice slots to fill, why not? These skills apply to users of both revolvers and semis.  During this two week-ish block I worked on the following SHO skills:

Presentation: I worked on presentation using only my strong hand. Rather than using my weak hand to clear cover garments, I operated under the assumption that if I’m shooting SHO, I’m probably do it start-to-finish SHO. This wasn’t a big deal when wearing a t-shirt, so I made the effort to spend a few sessions in a heavy sweater, and a sweater and coat. This is how I’m normally found outdoors this time of year, and it certainly added a challenge to a clean, one-handed draw stroke.

I also worked on some SHO trigger control. I did this using my carry gun and my 686. My carry gun would be holstered and the 686 would be lying on the table beside me. I would pick up the 686, present from the #3 position (in the 4-step draw stroke) and pull the trigger. I would bring the gun back to #3, and repeat for 5 reps. Then I would set the revolver down, and go back to my carry gun – present, aim, press the trigger. The revolver trigger provides an excellent exercise in trigger management, especially one-handed.

Reloads: Reloads immediately taught me that I need a magazine pouch. I’ve been carrying a spare magazine in my left hip pocket. I’ve gotten pretty handy at getting it out when I have the benefit of two hands. When I have to get my right hand to the left side of my body, inside my pocket, and acquire a magazine, however. . . After my first day of reload practice with this arrangement I broke down and ordered a single-stack magazine pouch. After the pouch arrived (just four days later) my time and smoothness with one-handed reloads improved drastically.

Malfunctions: I’m not going to detail single-handed malfunction clearance here. On these days I worked sequence of clearing Type I, Type IV, Type II, and Type III malfunctions using strong hand only.

Two-Handed Sustainment

I developed a system of sustaining my two-handed shooting skills. Though this segment of the year has seen me focus on one-handed shooting, in all likelihood I will shoot my gun with two hands should I find myself in a defensive encounter. I sustained this skill in two different ways.

Daily Sustainment: First, I spent the first and last minute of every dry practice session presenting with two hands. This still provides recency on the skill I am mostly likely to actually need. The other way I refreshed two-handed skills was a dedicated session every five to seven days.

Weekly Sustainment: When I spent a full session on two-handed skills (roughly once a week), I made it a well-rounded session. The first minute was spent working presentations. Next, I would do about five repetitions of speed and tactical reloads. Next I would go through one rep each of Type I, IV, II, and III malfunctions. Finally, I would close the session with that ever-valuable two-handed presentation.

It’s not hard to find 10 minutes a day to dry practice. 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.

3 thoughts on “Dry Practice Report #4: Feb 16 – 28”

  1. At Brink’s or other armored car companies folks have a bag in their off hand, so SHO shooting may be a necessity. I did rent a range with a co worker once specifically to practice while carrying our messenger bags. I was surprised to find that shooting accurately (at least at close range) was not difficult. Reloading, not so much.

    1. Agreed – you can definitely shoot accurately SHO. I have to slow down the cadence of my shots quite a bit and – you’re absolutely right – reloading is very slow. Most malfunctions are pretty easily dealt with except the Type III (double-feed/FTE) which takes some patience!

  2. Dry practice has become a big part of my training routine over the years. Back when I was firearms instructor with my department I always urged officers to make it part of their routine as well.

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