Self Directed Shooting Practice

Georgia convention with ArmedCandyLast week I shared the begining of a talk given by gun expert and instructor Claude Werner at the Georgia convention recently. I’d like to continue the discussion of how each of you continues your training once you leave the classroom and share some of the tips I learned from Mr. Werner.

One of the first things Claude shared with the group nearly floored me. He said he was in the midst of a commitment to complete 1000 days of consecutive dry fire practice sessions. Now, I have heard and repeated the advice that one should dryfire twice as much as they shoot, but Claude’s commitment, I consider, a whole different level of impressive. He told us he will be done in January.

The importance of training, Claude Warner was stressing, was not putting holes in paper, but productive and regular use of ones time behind the gun. If a shooter created a performance standard that they use to measure their skills and continuously updates the measuring stick, as they improve their performance, then they are likely to grow as a shooter far more than if they only take an 8 hour class.

The key to this advice, Claude divulged, lies in a relatively unknown program available through the NRA. It is a self directed supplement to the Personal Protection courses, available here. One follows the steps and measures their success in order to build their competence as a shooter.

Have you tried Defensive Pistol I or II? Does it seem like a good way to structure your range time?


  1. Claude’s dry fire challenge was 1000 days, not 100 days. Small typo but the difference is significant. 20 years ago IPSC World Champion Ted Bonnet told me his dry fire to live fire ratio was 10:1; IPSC Grand Masters Ben Stoeger and Steve Anderson both dry fired significantly more than 2:1 getting to the GM level; IDPA/IPSC champion Robert Vogel, in a recent class, said his dry fire to live fire ratio was 5:1. The vast majority of shooters do far too little dry fire and fail to appreciate the value of dry practice. Aside from learning recoil control, every other skill you need to master the handgun can be practiced dry, at home, for free, with better results than you’ll get from ingraining a flinch through live fire practice.

    1. You are absolutely right! I had 1000 in my notes and then second guessed myself. I guess I just found it unbelievable. Fixing it now… Thank you

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