I am two days into my dry fire practice and I am not going to lie: it is BORING AF! I can already tell that this is going to test my patience, my dedication, and my desire. Blogging about it will no doubt help me with my accountability.

Recall that following Dustin Salomon’s advice I picked for my training one platform (Glock) and one system (Mike Seeklander’s American Competitive Shooting Society and his IDPA Mastery Series). The goal here is to become a better shooter and to work up to competition shooting over the course of this year.

Seeklander’s Session One is the two-handed grip. I begin the session with his 11 minute video in which he demonstrates how to get a proper grip on the pistol. I realized from my first round of baseline shooting drills that getting a good grip on the gun was a problem for me so it was excellent to go back to the basics here.

I discovered that I have a tendency to wrap the fingers of my support (right) hand too far around the fingers of my grip (left) hand so the heel of my hand is not where it is supposed to be on the grip. In his video, Seeklander advises to situate the heel of the support hand on the grip and then work backward to the fingers to see where the fingers should be.

From there he advises using a “trigger guard index,” figuring out where the support hand should come up to and contact the trigger guard in order to get the support hand in the right position.

Next you squeeze the grip hard (harder than you think, he says) as if it is a walnut and your hands are a nutcracker with your fingers acting as the hinge. (I don’t know how common the analogy is but I have also heard Travis Haley use it to describe the grip.)

Dry fire practice with SIRT pistol. Photo by Sandra Stroud Yamane

The dry fire practice that goes along with this video lesson is “Extend Prep and Press.” Beginning with the gun in a compressed ready position to the side and with the hands at “trigger guard index,” extend and dry-fire one shot.

Using my SIRT pistol, I do this very deliberately 10 or more times. Beginning from the trigger guard index it is easy for me to get my support hand situated properly on the grip. The dry-firing reinforces the feeling of doing this properly.

Although Seeklander suggests using a small IPSC/IDPA target, I had to change targets to maintain my level of interest.

Carved wood coati targets. Photo by Sandra Stroud Yamane

After doing this deliberately, I follow Seeklander’s program and set my timer for a 2.0 second par time and then drop the par time as I am able to make good dry-fire hits on my target. I get down to 1.4 seconds, but at 1.3 seconds I start to get sloppy (perhaps also getting fatigued).

Seeklander’s IDPA Mastery Series course has 24 sessions and is meant to be completed in 6 weeks, but given my time constraints, I am going to cover the 24 sessions some time in September (less than one session per week). That means I will have plenty of time to repeat this dry-fire session and continue to improve my grip.

Following the coaching about dry fire I received from Steve Hendricks of Custom Tactical Services, I am trying not to rush through the process just to get it over with. Instead, as he instructed, I try to learn something from every dry fire repetition and from the session as a whole.

Using the timer helped to reveal issues with my mechanics that inhibit going faster while maintaining accuracy, in particular building consistent pressure on the grip and seeing the front sight quickly.

I realized that one of the reasons I tended to grip so far around my base hand with my support hand is that my grip strength is poor. A couple of clicks on the WWW and help is on its way in the form of the Gripmaster Prohands hand exerciser – SPECIAL OPS edition!