Swinging Tennis Ball Dry Fire Drill


Here’s a great drill that will help you draw and get on target faster AND engage moving targets faster and more effectively, as well as a few other “hidden” benefits.

It’s from Force Recon Marine, Chris Graham’s 3010Pistol Course and here’s the drill (it’s from when my 85 pound Malligator was just a pup)

If you’ve got low ceilings, do the drill kneeling or sitting instead of standing and make the string longer.

For more difficulty, toss the ball slightly to the side so that it travels in a circle instead of just back and forth.  I would never suggest attaching a wiffle ball to a ceiling fan for this drill 😉

One of the drills that Chris has people do with the hanging ball is to hold the ball with your left hand, start your drawstroke as you let go of the ball, and get off a dry fire shot as the ball apexes at the other end of the arc.  This version of the drill gets more difficult with shorter string and easier with longer string.

Another variation of this drill that you can do is to do the drill with a camera phone OR just using your thumb and focusing on your thumb nail as if it’s your front sight.  That way you can get away with doing the drill at work and just call it a “vision exercise.”

So, like I said, this drill comes from Chris’ 3010Pistol Course.

Chris is former Force Recon Marine and founding member of the Marine Anti-Terrorism Battalion, trains some of our country’s most elite military, security, and close protection personnel before they go overseas.

You could look at him as the guy who takes the already-sharp tip-of-the-spear and sharpens it to a razor’s edge.

Even though he works mostly with high speed guys, he found that a shocking number of his students were rock stars with their carbines, but they simply didn’t have pistol skills that were solid enough to depend on downrange when the bullets were flying.

Their replies were normally something to the effect of, “My carbine’s my weapon.  If I ever have to pull my pistol, it means that things have gone REALLY bad and I’ll just throw it at them.  My pistol skills are ‘good enough.”

But Chris has been in the mix enough to know that this was completely wrong.  It was inaccurate.  It was potentially deadly.  Good enough just doesn’t cut it with a pistol in a gunfight.  So he runs them through >THIS TRAINING<

In combat, primary weapons fail or can’t be deployed fast enough.  In special operations and close protection, the pistol is oftentimes the primary weapon–much like for concealed carry holders and home defense.

To compound the importance, weaknesses in pistol shooting fundamentals carry over to carbine, rifle, and shotgun shooting.  It’s a core skill.  It’s foundational.  And improving your skill with the pistol will improve your skill with every other small weapons platform.

Chris continually found himself in a tough situation.  He had to deliver the high-speed content that he was contracted to provide in the limited amount of time that he had, but he also had to stabilize, reinforce, and strengthen their core/foundational pistol shooting skills.

As a result, he developed a 30 day program that high speed operators could do at home in 15 minutes per day to completely transform their shooting ability and consistently put them in the top 10% of all pistol shooters.

It meshes seamlessly with all of our other training and it’s consistently worked for elite military and close protection personnel, law enforcement, and other high speed operators.

Now you can begin using the exact same training to shoot faster than a SWAT cop and more accurately than a competitive shooter.

Click here to learn more now.

How accurately?

You’ll learn fundamentals that will allow you to confidently engage man sized targets at 100 YARDS with a stock pistol using iron sights.  And when you’ve got those skills mastered–in the next 30 days–making fast, precision shots at the typical self-defense distances of 10-20 feet will seem like child’s play.

Whether you’re looking to max out your next qualification, win more matches, impress friends, or be more confident about your ability to defend yourself with a pistol, you owe it to yourself to check this out by going >HERE<

Questions, comments, thoughts?  Share them by commenting below…

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  • SSgt Herrington, J

    Reply Reply October 24, 2018

    As a retired Marine Raider, I like any drill that’s new and totally adhere and respect anything a Force guy has to say. Thanks and Semper Fi.

  • Alan Henning

    Reply Reply January 29, 2018

    Sorry, re-read my comment. Dumb oversight, on my part. I’d have to put up a canvas backstop, to catch my plastic bullets, on that swinger. I’m sure the wife would frown on little dimples in the wall.
    Also, I have a blowback Glock airsoft pistol, that is hard to distinguish from the real deal, except for the orange tip. Great “force on force” training tool. Same deal on the backstop. This will shoot through both sides of a cardboard box.

  • Alan Henning

    Reply Reply January 29, 2018

    I have some powderless practice cases, that are yellow plastic case, with a black cylindrical bullet. I’ve had these for quite a while, and haven’t seen any lately. You put a standard pistol primer in them, and they have a plastic bullet. They are quite accurate, out to 25′, and punch a nice round hole in the target. Hmmmm, swinging ball. Might have to get those out of mothballs.
    Unfortunately, I only have them in .38 special, and .44. I don’t know if these were ever designed for pistol calibers, since most of those are rimless, and running these through the ejectors, would probably ruin these in a big hurry.
    I suppose you could use these as snapcaps, in a revolver, because they are certainly different from brass.

  • left coast chuck

    Reply Reply January 26, 2018

    For cheap snap caps, knock out the spent primer and fill the empty case with silicon sealer, making sure you fill up the primer cup, If excess exudes, wait until it is hard and trim it with a razor blade so that it is flush with the base of the case. By flowing the silicon into the case itself, you insure that there is enough silicone in the primer cup to absorb the impact of the firing pin.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply January 29, 2018

      I’m not sure that this is a good place to skimp. There’s a lot of value in having your snap caps look as different as possible from live rounds. To be clear, I DO have snap caps that are exactly like what you’re talking about, but I have recommended them less and less as time goes on.

  • Leon Lasher

    Reply Reply October 7, 2016

    Is it better to dry fire a revolver on empty cartridges or empty cylinder ? The moving target lesson was good but expected the target to move left to right.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 8, 2016

      It’s better to have something in the cylinders to absorb the impact of the hammer…I prefer snap caps to empty cartridges so that it’s easier to positively identify that you’re using dummy rounds.

      If you want lateral movement, just throw the ball slightly to the side and you’ll have your left-to-right movement.

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