Training when not on the range


Hi everyone,
I would like to start a conversation about methods of training that does not include live fire.


To start things off, the primary way that I train when not on the range is dry fire practice. I like to use a barrelblok along with a mantis x to analyze my steadiness before during and, after trigger pull. To spice it up once in a while I will do my dry fire practice while I’m on the elliptical which really tanks my ability to hold steady but, it’s improving.


That’s awesome, @Thad! I do dry fire with snapcaps and am looking to take it to another level this year.

You do dry fire on the elliptical? Dang! That takes some balance.

Do you do any drawing from a holster drills?


I do practice my draw but, not as much as I probably should. I’m still better on my draw from a pocket holster than my preferred pancake style.

Yeah, the first time I tried dry fire practice on the elliptical it was just as a goof but, then realized it’s rather difficult and, now its a good challenge to gauge my progress.


I use laser ammo training system with my handgun once a week. I love it. I can practice not only drawing from under cover garments but also draw speed, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger control, breath control, and reloads. Clearing all live ammo from the room is necessary. Zero, zip, nada. No live rounds anywhere in the room.

Follow through is important because it shows visual on how you squeeze the trigger. Someday when I can afford it I want the target range simulator. That is another great training tool.


Hey Dawn. I have a really good question for you. My Springfield is a DA/SA semi automatic pistol with a decocker and an external safety. I’ve been practicing disengaging the safety when I do my draw practice while dry fire training. Until disengaging that becomes second nature, is it safe to carry my gun in the holster with the safety off in DA mode when I am conceal carrying with a round in the chamber?

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Hey Lakerfan34, from experience and, everything that I have read on the subject it should be perfectly safe to carry your firearm in double action without the safety engaged. Many da/sa handguns come from the factory without a safety. Prime examples are; Walther P99as, Ruger P89dc and, Beretta 92G. The main thing is, are you comfortable carrying it in that condition

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Oh yeah. :+1: The ruger LCP I used to carry was double action only with no safety. I kind of figured with the longer heavier trigger pull that it would be but just needed a 2nd opinion. Thanks man.

Now SA mode that would be a completely different story. I would need to have the safety engaged.

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You’re welcome, I’m happy to have been able to help.


I use the SIRT system, it’s a little pricey but works really well, I think having the software and a webcam to go along with it is very important. It has 2 lasers, and it really focuses on trigger control, not only squeezing the trigger but the reset as well. Check it out on YouTube.


You guys are awesome! Thanks for jumping in to answer @Lakerfan34 's question, @Thad!

Quick question Lakerfan34 – What Springfield are you carrying? As you both eluded to, some DA/SA are designed to be carried cocked and locked, others aren’t. I’d suggest checking out the exact specs for your gun to make sure you’re carrying it the most efficient way possible.

Here’s a link to Springfield’s site for you:

I’m thrilled to hear that you’re training how you carry by disengaging the safety! If you make adjustments to how you carry, you’ll have even more reason to train :slight_smile:

I have a Sig 238 that is designed to be carried cocked and locked. I’ve also got a Sig 320, which I prefer to carry because it isn’t designed to be cocked and locked in the holster. Personal preference 100%, but that’s part of training - know what you like and are comfortable with.


I have the Springfield XDE 9mm. :slight_smile:


Looks like you have some options for carrying: :smiley:

And the video on this page is done well - makes me want an XDE!

Hmmmm… Wonder if the Range has it to rent. I’ll have to check it out. :wink:


It is an awesome firearm dawn. You would love it. I have both carpal tunnel and arthritis. This one has barely any recoil for a 9.

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That is actual a great question. Sorry, it wasn’t meant for me. It is perfectly safe to carry without a safety on. My EDC has no safety, I actually prefer no safety. A criminal won’t be willing to wait for their intended victim to take off the safety. It’s more of how you feel comfortable.

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Awesome feedback, @ShawnT!

Very true that a criminal won’t wait until the safety is off to attack.

That leads me to another question - do you carry with a round in the chamber?

(@Lakerfan34, @Thad, @Steve-G, and everyone else here - this question is for all!)


@Dawn, always. Just as with the safety on our off. A criminal or dangerous threat won’t wait for you to load either.

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@Dawn I always carry chambered. Not only does it eliminate an unnecessary step in a crisis situation, it also eliminates any guess work for people like me that carry semi auto primary and, revolver backup.

Almost forgot this part, My preferred primary is my Walther P99as and, my preferred backup is my S&W 637. Neither have a manual safety.


I don’t have any special system or anything like that. I did buy what looks like a 9mm round with a laser in it that gets chambered. Every time you squeeze the trigger the laser blinks. Being disabled and without a vehicle I can’t get to the range very often, but I practice with that, it is good for accuracy training. The firearm has to be racked before each shot but I like it.


My personal sidearm I carry when not at work is a Iver Johnson 1911, obviously has a safety on it. But if you train to disengage the safety while drawing, it won’t matter if you have a safety on a weapon or not. But I must follow that up with, in shorts and a t-shirt, I carry a Springfield XDS 9mm in the small of my back. No safety to noted… But it will be safe either way, unless you try to reholster like the old western movies