Pocket Pistol Dry Fire Practice


It is important to be able to practice your draw from concealment and trigger control even if you cannot make it out to the gun range. It is also important to be able to practice wearing clothing that you are most likely to find yourself having to deploy your firearm in a defensive use situation.

Pocket pistols are the kind of guns that are carried often and practiced with very little. This is usually because pocket pistols have a bit more felt recoil than what the buyer expects when handling the gun in the gun store and they often have a very heavy double action trigger pull. They are just not that comfortable to shoot.

As Kelly McCann (AKA Jim Grover) says, “You have to love to do the things you hate to do.”


  • Remove any live ammunition and/or live weapons away from the training area
  • Double check your magazine pouches
  • Make sure that your magazines are empty if you are going to practice reloads
  • Remove the magazine from your pistol
  • Check the chamber to be sure there is no live ammunition in it.
  • Check the chamber to be sure there is no live ammunition in it.
  • Triple-check your pistol to ensure that there is no live ammunition in the chamber

Pocket Pistols

  • As a refresher pocket pistols are often defined by the following traits
    • Semi-automatic
    • Small Frame
    • Single stack (all the cartridges are in a straight line as opposed to being staggered) magazine to ensure a thin profile
    • Usually chambered in .380 ACP9mm, or .32 ACP
  • The following models of pocket pistol are generally good to go when it comes to this category of handgun.
    • Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380
    • Ruger LCP
    • Beretta Nano
      • I like striker-fired guns a lot but you will need to rack the slide each time to reset the trigger after dry firing the gun which means that you run the risk of developing bad habits from training.

Things you will need

Configuring your pocket pistol for dry-fire training

  1. Drop the magazine from your gun
  2. Check the chamber of your gun by racking the slide back with no magazine in the gun
  3. AGAIN Check the chamber of your gun by racking the slide back with no magazine in the gun
  4. Insert your .380 ACP or 9mm LaserLyte cartridge into the chamber
  5. Pull back and rack the slide into battery
  6. Insert the EMPTY magazine into the gun

Training Drills

This is where it can get really fun! 🙂

There are a wide variety of training drills out there. You can find them online by going to online forums like  www.totalprotectioninteractive.com

Be sure to incorporate the following elements into your training drills. You can set up drills for yourself that focus on one particular element or set up drills that incorporate all elements

  • Drawing your firearm from a belly band holster
  • Drawing your firearm from a bag or purse
  • A sudden signal to draw your firearm
  • Targets placed in unpredictable and irregular spots by your training partner
  • Fast and explosive movement from one spot to another
  • 360 degree awareness
    • This means placing targets at opposite angles of attack
  • Irregular shooting positions
    • Seated, On your back, On your side, etc.
  • Reloads or a transition to a secondary weapon
  • Escaping the area


You’ve gotta do the work. (Hat tip to SouthNarc (Craig Douglas))

Dry fire practice, movement, and weapons manipulation are far more important to developing defensive skills than just popping off rounds at the square range.

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Posted in Handguns, Mindset, Training
One comment on “Pocket Pistol Dry Fire Practice
  1. […] Dry Fire Practice: Getting Started with a Pocket Pistol (homeguntraining.com) […]


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