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Dry Fire Practice Safety Rules


Regular Member
Aug 10, 2008
People's County of Fairfax
In light of this recent opencarry.org thread:


I thought it may be useful to post my safety procedures for dry fire practice.

These rules prevented me from shooting my TV set. Talk about an "OH S---!" moment! I managed to avoid that ND...but I was only five pounds of pressure away from having a major problem.

This requires that the user purchase Snap-Caps. The reason I use Snap-Caps is that loading Snap-Caps forces me to fully unload my handgun. They also help protect the firing pin and associated parts. However, this is merely a bonus considering the man mentioned in the article

Generally, I verbalize each step. It sounds goofy, but it reminds me of the formal range commands from my competition days.

I practice in the basement. I typically point the gun at the ground outside or at a concrete wall. I use a book on the bookshelf as a target...one thick enough to stop a 45 caliber handgun bullet. A Post-It note with dot will do as a target.

If you choose to dry fire at the TV, make sure the TV is lower than your gun so the gun is pointed downward (unless you live in an apartment above the first floor). This way, even if you do ND, the bullet will go through the TV, through the wall and into the dirt outside. If there is concrete back there, I wouldn't do it since the bullet will travel parallel to the concrete until it hits something.

1) Remove loaded handgun and ammunition from the area.

I generally place these in my safe. I have a shelf labeled "LOADED" and it is where I place the gun that is on "guard duty". If you don't have a safe, just put it on the far end of the room, preferably in something. A lock box is a good way to go.

NOTE: I have multiple copies of the same handgun. I double-check to verify that I am not mixing up the guns. I NEVER take the practice gun to the location of the loaded gun.

If you're not wearing the holster and ammunition holder, put them on now.

2) Double-check that your loaded handgun and all ammunition is elsewhere.

If you only have one gun, TRIPLE check that there is no ammunition in the gun. Search yourself to verify there is no ammunition anywhere on or near your body.

3) Load an empty magazine with a Snap-Cap and "load" the gun.

4) Perform a chamber check to verify you have loaded a Snap-Cap.

Remove the magazine and verify that it is either empty or has another Snap-Cap in it.

5) Announce "This is a non-firing drill."

6) Practice.

If you need to take a SHORT break (less than a few minutes), take OFF the gun and holster. Remove the spare magazine with Snap-Cap(s). Place them in a location away from the loaded gun.

Go do whatever it is you have to do.

When you return, verify that the gun you're going to practice with is loaded with Snap-Caps. I just download the gun completely and start over. Announce "This is a non-firing drill."

Practice some more.

During practice, you should periodically do a chamber check before dry firing. Just get into the habit of checking.

7) Ending practice

Once I am done, I announce "Practice ended". I immediately remove the Snap-Caps and return the practice gun to the safe. I remove any gear, unless it is the same as my carry gear.

8) Announce "Practice Ended" as you get your loaded weapon and place the gun and magazines into the appropriate places on your belt.

9) Announce: "LOADED GUN" when everything is in place.

Under no circumstances should you touch that gun! Do not mix up practice time with carry time!

If you always do this in a formal way, you will not have an ND. You will likely ND as soon as you become casual with your gun handling during practice.
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