Mission Spec Talks Dry Fire Practice

Brent from Mission Spec talks about dry fire practice. What do you think?


25 Responses to “Mission Spec Talks Dry Fire Practice”

  1. Interesting not many talk about this as much as we used to. Back in the day when using a lot of revolvers, we used to put empty shell casings in the cylinder for this exact reason. (if your asking why even bother putting an empty shell casing, it’s because it’s easy to cheat and see the empty cylinder 😉 ). Also I’m curious if many still dry fire rifles?

  2. Horshack says:

    My ATL has us do diamond washer drills. It’s what my TL learned in basic and infantry training. Basically, you put a pencil in you barrel and try and balance a dime on it when you pull the trigger. It helps a lot. I haven’t been able to balance it on there for very long, especially when we go from prone to standing. It always falls off.

    • Jon, OPT says:

      Dime and Washer (use either a dime or a washer), easier when placed on the actual barrel (usually with foreign students) or using a pencil or cleaning rod. Common mistake with terminology, this drill has existed forever and is part of PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instruction).

      • Horshack says:

        Thanks Jon, OPT! My ATL has a pretty twangy accent so i thought it was diamond washer! Either way, their hard to do! I can’t clear one room with the dime on the pencil!

        • Jon, OPT says:

          The drill is to ensure breathing and trigger squeeze minimally affect the sight picture of the weapon. I’ve never done them with stance changes or anything like that.

          With pistol and rifle on the firing line conducting ball and dummy drills is also a great way to check flinching (firer doesn’t know if the weapon has a live or dummy round in it, if they flinch when firing it will show when they pull trigger on the dummy round).

          There’s plenty of ways to train on shooting without loading a single live bullet, and in my opinion it is a critical developmental step for any shooter new to shooting or who is refreshing after a lull.

          • Horshack says:

            Jon OPT, I showed my TL your comment and he said that are team needs to focus on room clearing CQB ops and that his drill sargents know what their talking about. He said nobody uses cleaning rods anymore

            • Terry Baldwin says:


              What kind of goofy organization are you and your “TL” a part of anyway? The way you described it you are moving – MOVING from room to room with a pencil in the barrel of your weapon trying to keep from dropping the dime or washer? WTF for?

              Maybe you are just a troll but doing what you say you are doing is ridiculous and serves no training purpose what-so-ever. The dime washer exercise requires you to pull the trigger and then re-cock your weapon and do additional repetitions as Jon was trying – patiently I might add – to explain.

              If you are not a troll you are sadly confused and you and your TL need some serious retraining.


              • Horshack says:

                Terry Baldwin, were a part time team that specialize in swat ops, sting ops, parking summons, low vis and active shooter mainly. My TL amd ATL want us to be tier 1 level and we train A LOT! He said that he saw special forces guys using dime and washer drills and they were so smooth! Almost every guy could clear a room without dropping the dime! That was back during the war in Saudi before it kicked off. He was a E6 at war then and retired in 92.

                • Chuck says:

                  Wow. This comment. Please stop.

                • Derpshack,

                  Seriously, you are violating 4 NDAs talking here:

                  NDA with JSOC
                  NDA with USSOCOM
                  NDA with USASOC
                  NDA with Mega-Force

                  I just happen to know the Mega-Force commander personally, and have worked directly with them overseas and at the Mount Rushmore Compound.

                  You are 3.8 seconds from serious interdiction.

                  Hunker down, shit’s about to get real, Operation Diamond Cleanser is a go.

                • Terry Baldwin says:


                  Partner, STOP…just stop. I hate to break it to you but your TL or ATL are full of shit. The kind of nutty pseudo-ninja crap they are apparently filling your head with is nonsense and dangerous.

                  I can assure you that ‘special forces’ guys are not now nor have never been clearing rooms using your bastardized version of the dime washer drill.

                  Why the hell would you even want to? This is not the place to explain how to do it right. But if you are going into a room focused on keeping the washer from falling off your pencil I can guarantee you are doing it wrong.


            • Chuck says:

              What color is the sky in your world?

        • Blue Buffalo says:

          You should use a real Diamond. That is what the guys at Bragg do.

  3. Kit Badger says:

    All pretty valid points. Probably alienated a bunch of people by speaking in absolutes though, and telling people they “had” to dry fire…

    • Mission Spec says:

      In my experience. There are no great shooters that don’t dry fire practice. So in my opinion you do have to dry fire to become great.

  4. Ab5olut3zero says:

    Dry fire training has improved my skills much more quickly than I would’ve imagined possible before I started. I’m not an expert yet, but I’m working on it. The DryFire Training Cards and snapcaps have helped immensely for both rifle and pistol. I’m going to get certified as a pistol instructor this month and I’ll have to remember to incorporate dryfire into the course if I can.

  5. SLG says:

    There is so much more to dry fire than what was presented in the video. Dry fire is possibly the best way to get to a high level of skill, but if you only do what the video talks about, you won’t get there. Also, I have to take exception to the 2011 thing. In circles that actually know anything about shooting, dry fire has been constantly talked about, since long before I ever started training, over 20 years ago.

    • Mission Spec says:

      Could you tell me what exactly you take issue with? The article was written in 2011. That is a fact. I didn’t claim to have invented dry fire practice. In fact I stated later in the video, regarding some of the techniques, that they have been done “forever”. When I originally wrote my article it was my experience that very few people knew anything about dry fire, except in the competition world. Which is exactly what I say in the video. I only recently made the video because many people suggested it would be easier for today’s ‘internet’ers’ to digest.

      • SLG says:

        Well, for starters, the Marine Corps has been teaching it since they spec’d out their first bow and arrow. I can’t say where I first learned about effective dryfire, but I was doing it in the early 90’s, and know that many defense oriented schools were teaching it before then. Gunsite, afaik was. LFI was. Insights was. None of these have much association with competition, though the instructors there all have competed over the years.

        My only point, and I wasn’t trying to be rude, was that if you were not around people talking about dry fire, at any point in the past 20 or 30 years (at least), then you were not hanging around serious, knowledgeable shooters. You said that at the time you wrote the article, not many people were talking about dry fire. That’s all I was responding to. I hang out with a lot of very high end shooters, and not one of them got there without serious time dry firing. What you discussed is the most basic application, and only applies to breaking a clean shot, not to any other aspect that dryfire can help with, which is pretty much every aspect of shooting and handling a firearm.

        Again, my point was not to hit you over the head. SSD asked “what do you think?” I think there is a ton more to dry fire than you presented, and many organizations and individual shooters are well aware of it. I don’t personally subscribe to your method of dry fire, but I chose to ignore that aspect, as I don’t care to dissect what you do to that extent. I chose to not discuss the technical aspects of the video, simply to point out that the video leaves a lot out.
        Did you intend it to be a comprehensive training on dry fire?

  6. John.Tactical says:

    Great tips! Will test some of then.

  7. Dellis says:

    My wife hates my dry fire practice as I do it between commercials while watching news. Stand up, draw, pick an object on the mantle and squeeze trigger. She combats that with other programs by pre recording and ff thru commercials!

    Can’t wait to run a course at the range though with my pencil sticking out my barrel and a dime washer! Now is it cheating if I use a jumbo pencil at first?

  8. Dry fire a secret? Don’t know where y’all have been.
    When I went to Special Forces SOT back in the 1990s Super Dave Harrington made us dry fire for 2 hours every night prior to weapons turn in. Then again in SFARTEAC the same drill. As a young pistol shooter it was drilled into me, dry fire 10,000 times for every live round you shoot. As an instructor over the years, I have continued to require dry fire. In my observation, only the truly skilled and dedicated shooters understand and practice with the required amount of dry fire time, that is why they stay at the top of their game.
    The importance of dry fire cannot be stressed enough. 5 minutes a night, or in my case with my training gun n the office a day will produce wonderful results. Perfect practice, every time!