Even though ammunition prices are slowly on the decline, a day at the range can put a substantial dent in your pocketbook.

Not only does a day at the range use up your ammunition but in the summer heat it can be downright miserable. Not to mention the time traveling to the range and trying to fit it into your already hectic schedule.

I enjoy shooting and spraying lead downrange at a target as much as the next guy, but I really wanted to find a way to become a better shooter without all the distractions.

A good friend told me that during college he joined a competition pistol shooting team and he had to train a minimum of two hours every day with his pistol. My first question was how the hell a college student found the budget for that much ammunition. He looked a little surprised and told me about the merits of dry-fire training.

With dry-fire training there aren’t the distractions of checking the target to see where you hit, no anticipation of the recoil or report, and you’re not waiting and listening for instructions from the range officer. This allows you to hyper-focus on the basics. And as a former high school and college concert musician I know how important the basics are for any art form.

Honestly, I kind of felt like an idiot at that point. Why wouldn’t I have even considered concentrating on the basics for training with a pistol? Maybe it’s too much fun to actually shoot a gun!

I was able to achieve amazing results when I went back to the. I’m not a competition shooter by any means, but I’ve been able to impress some fairly accomplished pistol shooters. Now that we’ve gotten through the importance of the basics, lets get into the execution.

Have the Right Gear

Many modern firearms whether rimfire or centerfire are perfectly safe to dry fire without ammunition. You can check your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for confirmation. However it’s a good idea to use a snap cap to help protect the firing pin and the breach. Snap caps are available at virtually any sporting goods store and are very affordable.

Since my pistol has to be racked every time to reset the trigger it gets annoying and I sure don’t want to put any undue wear on my firearm which I rely on for self-defense. I still dry fire practice occasionally with my home defense side arm and my concealed carry – enough to stay familiar with each one – but it made sense for me to purchase a training pistol.

There are a few options on the market for training pistols. Some of them fairly pricey – and some very affordable. Guess which option I chose?

Trusty Amazon.com has the Trigger Time training pistol from Laserlyte for under 50 dollars. It has the feel of a real pistol and the trigger mechanism is authentic enough to be effective for dry fire training. It could be a little heavier to simulate a real pistol’s weight but it’s probably lighter to prevent arm fatigue.

Training at Home

Many instructors recommend that you seek professional training in person regardless of whether you train at home or not. YouTube videos are not a replacement for live training.

However, in my opinion any training is better than none. You should practice your grip, stance, breathing, muzzle awareness and all safety procedures as if you are firing live ammunition.

Find a reputable and well-known trainer that offers online videos and courses. Don’t focus solely on trainers that provide only free content. You get what you pay for, and when it’s your life – or your families – you should look for the best.

The Trigger Time training pistol is already teaching me better trigger control and is making my grip and stance second nature when I get onto the range. Since it doesn’t have a removable magazine, or a moving slide it’s still necessary to train with a real pistol to do reloading drills and stuck round clearing.

I’ve chosen to primarily focus on trigger control when training at home. I haven’t purchased the laser, or laser target yet so that I have even less distractions until I have my basics down pat.

When you’re ready the laser target would be a great addition to your at-home pistol-training regimen.

What I do is stand in front of a mirror so that I can see the simulated muzzle of the practice gun. That way I can monitor my stance and grip, and watch the steadiness of my gun as I pull the trigger. When you pull the trigger on the Laserlyte pistol is has a crisp break like most double action triggers, and a fairly smooth pull.

It reminds me of the trigger on a Glock type pistol. The trigger reset is even similar to that of a Glock pistol as well. The trigger itself is more squared off than I would prefer and I’ll be sanding and smoothing it down.

I Can’t Teach You How to Train

Since I’m not a pistol shooting expert I feel that if I gave you any more advice on training I could be doing you a disservice.

This video has some tips, and opinions from other shooters who dry-fire train.

Is 70% of Your Practice Dry Fire?

If you’ve been training with dry-fire and have tips for our readers please hop below and let us know what results you’ve had and what you think about pistol training. We could also use some info on the best trainers in the industry!