Training Methods And Drills For Sport, Hunting, Selfdefence And Long Range Shooting

Dry Fire Firearm Training

Dry firing  training is the practice of "firing" a firearm without ammunition or practicing the manipulation of a firearm with an inert training platform such as a MantisX. If done incorrectly, dry firing may be mechanically damaging to some firearms – especially rimfire weapons, where the firing pin in most designs will impact the breech face if the weapon is dry-fired. Because of this, precautions (such as the use of snap caps) need to be taken if such a weapon is to be deliberately dry-fired.


There are many benefits to dry firing. Learning is faster and can be safer with dry fire. It's easier to practice without developing a flinch. Dry fire allows shooters to practice in locations where they couldn't practice with live ammo. You can practice grip, drawing, sight alignment, trigger control, reloads, malfunctions, and more during dry fire practice. The technique allows people to conduct a safe, economical form of training to improve their shooting skills. An emphasis is placed on safety to prevent an accidental discharge. Training should be conducted in an area with no ammunition and with a suitable backstop.[1]

In recent years, a number of companies have developed methods of enhancing dry fire practice to improve skills. Products that fire a laser, as opposed to a solid projectile, have become increasingly popular. These include chamber inserts available for various caliber firearms, as well as dedicated training pistols or replacement AR-15 bolt carrier groups. There are also a number of target systems for these laser dry fire training aides and electronic devices combined with smart application such as MantisX , that are becoming more affordable and popular. These products help people get more from dry fire practice by providing feedback on shot placement and times, and make dry fire a more enjoyable experience. In addition, there are training aids such as training cards that provide shooters a variety of drills to do that will help them develop skills that will carry over to live fire.[2]

Dry practice (dry fire training) can be boring and monotonous if you don't add in new drills once in a while.  It's also important that you include new drills to make sure you are preparing for a variety of circumstances.  Here is a specially prepared list of some of our favorite dry practice drills, and variations on drills you probably already do.  We do these regularly in our dry practice/dry fire training and they've helped us improve. 

A MantisX is not necessary to perform these drills, although we highly recommend using one!  

List of Dry Fire Training  Drills

Perfect Trigger Control

Take your time pressing the trigger.  Watch your sights to make sure they do not move when the shot breaks. (And use a MantisX for instant, actionable feedback!)

  • Perfect trigger control
    Take your time, this is to fine tune your trigger control.
  • Compressed surprise break
    On the signal from the buzzer, press the trigger smoothly, as quickly as you can while maintaining perfect control. 
  • Primary hand only
  • Support hand only

Presentation and surprise break

Safely present the gun to the target, acquire your sight picture, and achieve a surprise break. Work on speeding up over time. Only go as fast as you can do it safely.

  • Target in front
    All draws can also be performed from concealment.
  • Target 90 degrees to the right
    Pivot as desired.
  • Target 90 degrees to the left
  • Support hand only (with primary side holster)
    Draw the firearm with only your support hand.
  • Draw from sitting, target in front
    You can stand for the shot or remain seated.
  • Draw from sitting, target 90 degrees to the right
  • Draw from sitting, target 90 degrees to the left
  • Draw from sitting at a table, target to the rear
    Pivot and stand during presentation, maintaining muzzle control.
  • Draw from behind cover
    Use right and left side cover. Practice standing and kneeling.
  • Draw while laying on your back, targets in all 4 directions
  • Draw and fire with Harris Flashlight Technique
    Draw the flashlight and the pistol in the same motion. Make sure not to muzzle your flashlight hand.
  • Shot from the guard
    With your firearm in the guard position, bring the gun onto the target and fire.
  • Shot from hoster to Close Contact
    Draw only to Close Contact.  

Malfunction Clearing and reloading

Use dummy rounds to set up the malfunctions. All of these can and should be practiced one handed as well.

  • Type I Malfunction (Misfire)
  • Type II Malfunction (Failure to Eject)
  • Type III Malfunction (Feedway Stoppage)
  • In Battery Reload
    In battery = slide forward.
  • Out of Battery Reload
    Out of battery = slide locked to the rear.
  • Tactical Reload
    A tactical reload occurs when there is still ammunition in the magazine being removed from the gun.

Malfunction clearing and reloading in the dark

Simulate effective malfunction clearance and reloading in the dark. Use dummy rounds to set up the malfunctions.  Close your eyes or blindfold yourself to simulate low light conditions.

  • Type II malfunction clearance in the dark
  • Type III Malfunction Clearance in the dark
  • In Battery Reload in the dark
    In battery = slide forward.
  • Out of Battery Reload in the dark
    Out of battery = slide locked to the rear.
  • Tactical Reload in the dark
    A tactical reload occurs when there is still ammunition in the magazine being removed from the gun.

Weapon Transition

  • Retrieve a rifle from the safe and fire one shot
    This drill should be timed.
  • Transition from rifle
    Simulate transition to pistol when rifle is no longer operable.