50 Round Defensive Practice Plan

I do the majority of my practice with dry fire, but I realized on the way home tonight that it had been a few weeks since I’d done any real live fire practice.

Now dry fire is absolutely the best way to practice if you want to learn quickly and refine your technique, but it works best when combined with live fire to validate and verify that you’re doing your dry fire correctly.

So sometimes, I’ll do a quick 50 round live fire session to make sure that I’m not getting sloppy with my dry fire practice.

Historically, my weak points have been that my support grip gets looser than it should be in dry fire practice and I cycle the trigger faster in dry fire than in live fire.

Occasional live fire keeps me in check and gives me immediate feedback if I’m getting sloppy in my dry fire practice in some way that I’m not aware of.

Tonight, what I did was load up 7 magazines with 5, 6, 7, or 8 rounds in 6 of them and 13 in the 7th and threw all but the 13 round mag in a bag to grab randomly.

Then I got about 30 feet out from an 8” steel plate.

I started out with an unloaded pistol in my in-waist-band holster with my t-shirt over the top.  The exact same gun, holster, and shirt I wore today.

I set the par time on my shot timer to 2.5 seconds and did 10 slow reps where I timed it so that the trigger broke RIGHT at the 2.5 second mark.  I focused on forward tension on the holster as the muzzle left the holster, locking my wrist and elbow until the slide was under my dominant eye, horizontal, and pointed at the target, and smoothly raising it up into my line of sight and taking up the slack on the trigger as I extended almost to full extension.

After 10 reps, I sped up to a 2.2 second par time.

I repeated this at 1.9, 1.6, and 1.3, looking for the point where my technique dropped off.

Normally, I’m comfortable reacting, drawing, and making hits in about 1.2 seconds from concealment with a Glock 26 on an 8” target at 30 feet.

Normal isn’t always.

As an example, I had a short night last night, haven’t eaten in 8 hours, and had a long day.

My technique fell of considerably when I went from 1.6 to 1.3.  I don’t want to practice missing, so I slowed down to 1.4, 1.5, and found that 1.6 was about as fast as I could go and constantly get my “hits.”

Keep in mind that everything up to this point has been dry fire, but now I know the speed that I’m going to practice at for the next 50 rounds and know that there’s a very good chance that I’ll get all 50 hits and reinforce the performance that I want in a self-defense or competition situation.

I grabbed 2 magazines, put one in my pistol, and one in my mag holder and practiced single shot first hits on target from my concealed holster for the first magazine.

When my mag ran dry, I reloaded and fired one round for time.

At this point, I picked up my empty mag, swapped it for the mag in my gun, and put the mag with rounds in it back in my mag holster and reholstered my pistol.

So I had 1 round in the chamber, an empty mag in the gun, and a magazine with an unknown number of rounds on my hip.

I repeated this drill (shoot, reload, shoot) for the rest of that mag.

Then I got 2 more mags and did the sequence again.

With the next 2 mags, I did 2 shot sequences instead of a single shot.

For the last mag, I used the 13 round mag and practiced my transitions between 2 targets.

Your ability to shoot this course of fire is going to depend on the rules of your particular range.

You may need to start at a high compressed ready position instead of from the holster.

You may need to practice 2 shot sequences by putting 1 round in the chamber and no mag in the mag well so your first shot is live fire and your 2nd trigger press is dry fire.  (this is a sneaky way to practice fast 2 shot sequences on a range that won’t allow you to shoot faster than 1 round per second.)

You can also do this by following your live rounds with a snap cap and then practicing a malfunction drill.

The important thing is to know why you’re going to the range.

If you’re going to the range to have fun, blow off some steam, or have some “group therapy”, I suggest using a completely different gun than your carry gun.

If you’re going to the range to practice with a gun that may save your life, then have a plan and work your plan.

This 50 round plan could be your plan for the day.  There’s nothing magical about it…it’s just one that works well for me.  You could focus on precision, speed, distance, movement, or diagnostic drills, but have a plan.

Incorporate dry fire into your live fire routine, use a shot timer, and make sure that every round has a purpose.  It will stretch your training dollar AND help you get more gains from your training time and money.

Learn to trust your eyes and let your eyes dictate your speed for the day.  The faster you can see accurately, the faster you can shoot accurately…but keep in mind that vision changes from day to day and throughout the day and so will the speed that you can shoot at and still get your hits.

I’ll tell you one of the best things for making your range time more fun…

Shooting fast and making your hits 🙂 and the fastest and most affordable way to make that happen is with dry fire training, particularly dry fire training like 21 Day Alpha Shooter that takes advantage of lessons learned from over 2,500 years of martial arts testing combined with cutting edge neuroscience.

When you sign up now by clicking >HERE< you’ll get a free set of our famous Dry Fire Training Cards!

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