Dry fire is extremely important at getting better on the range. However, what also gets you better is actually shooting. People have the tendency to do one of two things when they hit the range. They either go without a plan of what they want to work on (you wouldn’t go to the gym without a plan), or do drills that they have repeatedly done in the past. While certain drills are important to practice (up drills, rifle transition) it’s important that we don’t do the same drill, at the same distance, and pat ourselves on the back when our times are ridiculously fast. Muscle memory is important in many cases. However what is important is training our bodies to react to stimuli and situations rather than running through the motions of a choreographed drill.


There are tons of different training programs and targets out there. I would encourage you to try them out. Haley strategic, Baer Solutions, TREX Arms, LuckyGunner and many more have free ones that can be printed from your computer.

Round Count

Besides trying out different types of targets try altering the round count. If you’re a competition shooter, chances are you may have become comfortable with a 2 shot cadence then moving on. Try pushing yourself to a 3 or 4 shot cadence on targets. Work on controlling the firearm through longer strings of fire.


A simple two to the chest one to the head drill can become much more interesting depending on the distances used. Try running the drill at 3 yards, then 50. By altering the distance we change how we bring the weapon to bear and how much we have to drive the weapon to get the hits we need

Keep Your Training Fresh
HHV Helmet with DD MK18 and Crye JPC


Change up your stance, bring a small element of physicality to your range sessions. Start standing then drop to the prone and try the drill, or drop to a kneeling position. Start sitting in your car or sitting in a chair, small changes in stance can drastically alter your body mechanics while shooting.

Keep Your Training Fresh


Most of us could stand to move some more. Add sprints in to your shooting drills, sprint to pre set distance then engage targets. Sprint into cover, sprint away from a car. By adding movement you drive your heart rate up and force yourself to learn to deal with a fast heart rate while pulling a trigger.

This list isn’t all-inclusive. There are a multitude of different things that you can do to make shooting more interesting and to break through a plateau. Feel free to comment with some of the things you do to keep your training from stagnating.