Dry Fire Cord Drills

Dry Fire Cord can help you improve your ability to isolate your trigger finger, run the gun as quick as possible without disturbing sight alignment, and find your optimum grip intensity and trigger speed.

When people first try Dry Fire Cord, they immediately notice that the trigger doesn’t “break” or reset like a trigger does with live fire—that’s one of the keys to it’s effectiveness.

This gives you the ability to isolate parts of your technique that are hidden by the “click” of a traditional trigger press.

Eliminating variables will allow you to improve your trigger finger isolation quicker and easier than with a “clicking” trigger.  In other words, it allows you to practice more efficiently so you can make more progress in less time.

What you want to be able to do is train your brain to be able to run your finger back and forth through the entire range of motion of the trigger as PRECISELY as possible without disturbing sight alignment.

The hand tends to develop sympathetic movement any time we try to do something with one finger with speed or intensity.

That sympathetic movement regularly causes people to miss man size targets within spitting distance.

So, once we can run the trigger finger with precision at low speed, we want to maintain precision and add speed.

We specifically want to run the trigger at a speed that’s too fast for us to think about consciously, because that is an indication that it has become a conditioned response stored in the part of the brain that we’ll actually have access to under stress.  (more on this in a minute)

This is easier to train and refine without the “click” because you know that any movement that you see is due to you moving the gun, not the release of energy/tension caused by the click.

After we can run the trigger with precision at high speed, then we want to start doing so while increasing the intensity of our grip.

This will give us our performance envelope and tell us what the right combination of grip intensity and trigger speed is for you.  Not for your instructor.  Not for some guy on a video.  But the right combination of grip and speed for you.

With that in mind, here are some drills that are particularly suited for doing with Dry Fire Cord.

#1.  Disconnect aiming from trigger manipulation.  Hold your pistol at high compressed ready aimed at a safe backstop with Dry Fire Cord inserted, and all ammo removed from the training area.  Now, see how quickly you can run the trigger without moving the gun.


Multi-tasking, as we know, it is a myth and for many shooters, it’s easier to focus on isolating trigger press from aiming.

#2.  How fast can you run the trigger?  Your setup is going to vary, but the distance between the dot on my front sight and the wall of the notch on my rear sight is between 1/32nd and 1/40th of an inch.

That works out to about 8” at 30 feet.

It means that as long as I can see my entire dot in the notch of my rear sight during my entire trigger press, I’ll hit an 8” target at 30 feet.

So, what you want to do is see how quickly you can run the sights and keep the entire front sight dot in focus.


When you’re first learning to shoot, most people use a slow trigger press with a surprise break.

But when you need to shoot in a self defense situation, you want to be able to press the trigger as fast as you possibly can without disturbing sight alignment.

Then the question becomes, does your brain know how fast it can press the trigger without throwing the shot?


Can you improve it?

The answer is that if you haven’t practiced it…no…your brain doesn’t know, and you’ll probably throw the shot in a high speed, high stress situation.

But with Dry Fire Cord, you’ve got a ridiculously simple way to assess and improve the speed that you can run the trigger.

How fast do you want to go?

The faster the better.

In a high stress situation, you’ll only have access to limited parts of your brain…limited packets of memory.  We want to store skills that we may need under high stress in those packets.  The packets are called implicit memory or long term procedural memory.

Practicing at a speed that is too fast for you to think-your-way-through the individual steps is one way to test whether or not a skill is stored in the right memory.

If your performance falls off a cliff, then you need to slow down and do more reps.  If you can increase speed without losing precision, the it’s a great sign that you have created a conditioned response that will be more dependable under stress.

#3 Up & Out for 5 seconds.  For this drill, what you want to do is start at high compressed ready with dry fire cord inserted, all ammo removed, a target 10 or more feet away at chest or head level, and a safe backstop.

Slowly lift your sights up between your dominant eye and the target.

When your sights are lined up between your dominant eye and the target, start rapidly pressing and releasing the trigger as you extend the pistol to full extension.  Run the trigger at whatever speed you can and still keep either your front sight post or your front sight dot between the walls of your rear sight notch.  You want to move slowly enough that it takes roughly 5 seconds to go from high compressed ready to full extension.

Here is a video of these 3 drills:


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  • Don Hutchins DC DACS

    Reply Reply January 28, 2021

    When will cords for 22 and 223/556 be available?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply January 29, 2021

      We’re not going to make them for .22 because the cord fills the chamber and there’s no room for a spacer. You could try “carmalizing” a length of 550 or 450 cord so that it’s stiff enough to push through the barrel.

      For .223 and 5.56, the 9mm cords work…you just put them in backwards and gently ride the bolt carrier group forward. We haven’t had enough demand for .223/5.56 versions to make them, but that’s definitely an option.

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