Folks that know me know that every day I do at least 25 “dry fire” trigger pulls. This means with a safe and empty gun I’m pulling the trigger in order to build muscle memory of what a smooth trigger pull should feel like.
When I’m doing this, I’m aiming at a paper-sized target that is taped to the front of a bulletproof panel. I use a variety of targets to keep things fresh, including the 5-Square Target you see below.
The key to a smooth trigger pull is making sure you’re pulling the trigger straight back. Another way to imagine this is to pretend you’re pulling the front sight directly through the notch of the rear site.
But how do you really know if you’ve got a smooth and solid trigger pull? The answer is easy. If it’s a good trigger pull your front sight will not move. If it’s a bad trigger pull the front sight will move and you’ll see it slightly dip to the left if you’re right-handed (lefties reverse that.)
One of the keys to becoming a good shooter is to make all of your shots as accurate as possible. The fact is, it’s rather simple to have the first shot be smooth and accurate but you obviously want all additional shots to be accurate too.
If you own a double/single action gun such as a Sig Sauer P226 then you can pull the trigger over and over without having to rack the slide during dry fire practice and you can see if your additional shots are quality.
But, even if you dry fire a gun such as a Glock, after your first trigger pull continue to do more pulls on the dead trigger. You will still see if your front sight is dipping on the other presses.
In fact, just this morning I was dry firing my pocket gun, a Sig Sauer P238. I was using the 5-Square Target and would do about 3-4 trigger pulls even though the first one was the only real trigger pull… And I could still see if I was going too fast and if I needed to slow down based on whether the front sight moved throughout the trigger pulls.
The bottom line is, I know ammunition is expensive these days and not many people want to spend the money or have the time to get out to train with their gun that often. But every day you can spend about 10 minutes doing dry fire practice, which is a great investment if the time ever comes where you have to use your firearm to defend yourself.
To help you out, click on the image below and you’ll be able to download the 5-Square Target that I use.
From Osvaldo M: Do you rotate your ammo? If so, how often?
Answer: I rotate my self-defense ammo once a year. When the year’s up I’ll go shoot the ammo and then buy more. I don’t ever rotate my training ammo and just buy more as I shoot it.
From Brooks M: How can a brass belt buckle reliably break auto glass?
Answer: Click here and the third video down shows me smashing out a car window with the belt buckle using the Escape & Evasion Gun Belt.
From Mike P: Jason, do you ever carry a J-frame or LCR? I still like my LCP and Glock 42 much better, but trying a snub recently.
Answer: Years ago I carried a J-frame but these days I carry either an LCP or Sig Sauer P238, which I like better.
From Tom F: Hello Jason, first thanks for all the good information, I read all I can, and recently purchased your Tactical pen. I also just made a round trip to Florida via Jet Blue Airlines and had no problem with the pen and felt much safer knowing I had something I could carry to protect my wife and self.
Answer: I know how you feel, I’m getting ready to head to New York soon and will have my Tactical Pen on me (especially since it’s New York and you can’t have much else on you there.)
From Byron S: I just started following you, anyhow what is AR-15 training?
Answer: I think you’re talking about the Underground AR-15 class where we teach you how to build a rifle from scratch and then we do training at Spy Ranch on your new rifle. Click here if you’re interested in details about this rifle course.