Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review: The Dry Fire Primer

There is copious material available both in print and online on the subject of dry fire practice. Books by Ben Stoeger, Mike Seeklander, and Steve Anderson have long been on my reading list. A new publication, The Dry Fire Primer by Annette Evans, is the latest edition to my shooting library. The book comes at a good time for me as this is the time of year I typically step up my dry fire time.

One might wonder if there is anything left to say on the subject. However, the Dry Fire Primer takes a slightly different, but highly useful, approach to the topic. The book is not a compilation of specific drills. Instead, the author discusses in detail the reasoning and techniques behind dry fire practice. Annette Evens expands on the topics that others might only touch on in an introduction.

Available in Kindle format, the 66 page could be easily read in one sitting. Despite the brevity, the pages are filled with useful information. It's not all new or ground breaking, but it is helpful to both new and experienced shooters. Many times I found myself thinking, "Exactly!" as I read something that matched my experience. Or even, "I never thought of it that way.

A major focus is on safety. The author frequently reminds us that dry fire is silent, there should be no "bang." Throughout the book, tips are included that help emphasize that point. Consistency of technique between live and dry fire is also a well-covered point. Since there is no "bang" it's easy to get sloppy with things like grip pressure or safety. The book includes tips and reminders to avoid such issues.

Honesty in practice is another important topic throughout. Did you really beat that par time beep? Did you really have a good sight picture? Evans provides advice on overcoming those slips, and making the practice time truly beneficial.

The author is a proponent of using a shot timer in dry fire. I always use a timer for the starting beep to begin a drill. Evans' focus is on the par time to add further benefit to the practice. Besides a good measure of improvement, the pressure of beating the clock adds stress and can one help discover weaknesses in technique. To be honest, in the past I made use the par time feature of my shot timer frequently, but eventually got away from it. I will be taking Evans' advice going forward.

Besides all the useful hints and advice on how to, where to, and when to dry fire, the book is also motivational. While few would deny the benefits of regular dry fire practice, no matter how brief the sessions, it's often difficult to find the time in a busy day. The Dry Fire Primer offers the motivation to actually work it in to your regular routine. The emphasis is on quality practice, not the quantity of time spent.

The Kindle book is packed with useful tips and suggestions. It's a short read. But you'd rather be doing the practice than spending a lot of time reading about it. Right?

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