Want better trigger control?

If you carry a duty gun designed to handle high pressure cartridges on a regular basis ... why would you not expect it to hold up under a moderate amount of dry firing?

The owner’s manual for Ruger’s SR-Series of handguns (and other Ruger products) states that dry firing is safe and even “useful,” provided the user inserts an empty magazine for the task. The SR-Series handguns include the SR9, SR9C, SR40 and SR40C. I’ve had a chance to try these guns out on the range and I found them to be inherently ergonomic, especially as a duty gun. The fact that they recognize their owners will be dry firing their guns should not be lost on the law enforcement user.

SIG-SAUER states that it is safe to dry fire their handguns, but not their rimfires. Actually, it is not usually a good idea to dry fire any rimfire. SIG-SAUER recommends using snap caps for extended dry firing sessions, similar to Glock’s counsel. I like the Triple K Brand (get them at Brownell’s) for this purpose, but my personal preference is to use Blade Tech’s training barrel. This doesn’t do the same thing as a snap cap, but the barrel can be used for other things like gun retention and gross manipulations, for which the snap caps are not designed. The sear reset drill described here should only be performed with a training barrel, or a device like the SureStrike Laser Training Bullet.

As a rule, never dry fire any partially assembled gun, period. With some guns a few dry fires on a frame without a slide will turn it into expensive metal sculpture, rendering it unsafe. The bottom line about dry firing: If you carry a duty gun designed to handle high pressure cartridges on a regular basis, for the purpose of law enforcement use, under conditions which some may consider abuse, expecting the gun to perform in the direst of circumstances, why would you not expect it to hold up under a moderate amount of dry firing? If that doesn’t work for you, one can never go wrong with a new Ruger. I recommend the SR40/SR40C for on-duty and backup.

The SureStrike Laser Training Bullet is probably the most ideal dry fire training device on the market because it allows complete manipulation of the firearm and still provides the firing pin cushion for safe practice. The SureStrike Dry Fire Training System consists of the Laser Training Bullet, which contains a threaded end that attaches to an aluminum pipe that goes inside the gun barrel. At the muzzle, a threaded cap is attached, showing everyone that the gun is now inert. When one pulls the trigger, the firing pin strikes a switch on the Laser Training Bullet where the primer would ordinarily reside. This activates a momentary switch, which projects a laser dot onto the target. The dot can be seen on most paper targets at close range, or one can use the provided reflective targets for a dramatic effect. Since the entire assembly remains in the barrel, one can do holster work, practice slicing the pie and the sear reset drills described here.

The sear reset drill is one of many methods for inexpensive, productive training. It can be used for briefing training or deliberate practice sessions to maintain a level of competency anytime, anywhere.


Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif. He has a BS in criminal justice and an MS in online teaching and learning. Bertomen has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. He enjoys competing in shooting sports, running and cycling events. He welcomes comments at lbertomen@letonline.com.
  • Enhance your experience.

    Thank you for your regular readership of and visits to Officer.com. To continue viewing content on this site, please take a few moments to fill out the form below and register on this website.

    Registration is required to help ensure your access to featured content, and to maintain control of access to content that may be sensitive in nature to law enforcement.