Friday, January 19, 2018

Book Review: DryFire Reloaded

DryFire Reloaded by Ben Stoeger is the newest addition to my shooting sports library. The book is the latest of several shooting books penned by the repeat USPSA Production champion. This book reflects what Ben is currently teaching in his classes, and doubles as the "homework guide" for those classes.

The focus of the book is geared to the USPSA shooter, but the drills and exercises are applicable to all action pistol sports. After a brief introduction to the basics of dry fire or dry practice, the book is divided into sections based on the skill focus. The sections on Elements and Standards are the areas where most shooters will concentrate. As expected, the drills in the Elements section focus on basic fundamental shooting skills, without distractions or complications; Trigger Control, Draws, Reloads, Target Transitions and Movement are covered. Each skill is practiced in isolation. All exercises include detailed commentary to remind the shooter of the focus of the drill.

The Standards section brings the basics together, with the added element of some strict par times. Classics such as Bill Drills and El Prez are included, along with other multi-target drills. Later chapters introduce more complex stage or scenario setups, where the par times and specifics are left to the shooter.

I spend most of my time on the Elements and Standards, especially the former. I find the breakdown of the skills to be beneficial. Since one of my weaknesses is getting sloppy with trigger pull under speed and pressure, I typically start each dry fire session with both the slow trigger press and speed trigger press exercises. Then, depending on the time I have that day to devote to practice, I add in various other Elements such as Reloads, Draws or Transitions.

As noted, the book's main target audience is the USPSA shooter. Since I'm focusing on IDPA, the exercises are easily adapted. For example, I always wear a cover garment when doing draws and reloads. When practicing reloads, I start with the slide locked back with an empty mag in the gun, and finish by racking the slide to chamber a dummy round, then present the gun to the target. Various props add an element of realism. Hanging different reduced scale targets helps to simulate distance in the small practice area I am using. I always use a timer to initiate the drills, and of course for tracking par times.

I'm making regular use of DryFire Reloaded in my daily (well, almost daily) practice. I find the breakdown of the skills and the commentary to be beneficial. Over the past few weeks, my concentrated practice has even led me to make some adaptions to a few of my "skills." I'm looking forward to putting the practice sessions to the test in the upcoming match season. Whether you are trying to get started with dry fire practice, or just looking for some new practice inspiration or guidance, DryFire Reloaded is a good place to start.

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