It’s not quite the real thing, but shooters are keeping their eye in during lockdown 2 with the DryFire simulator at home.
These are difficult times for shooters, with events cancelled worldwide and grounds closed for practice. But some shooters are managing to stay safe at home and still practise their swing, build muscle memory and keep their eye in – thanks to the DryFire shooting simulator which allows you to practise indoors with a sophisticated system that projects targets and a realistic background onto any light coloured wall
“For almost 20 years DryFire has helped shooters improve their scores by providing intensive practice against highly accurate targets — all in the comfort of home,” explains DryFire’s Andrea Roach.
“Instead of settling down to Netflix box sets, or filling your Kindle with the latest whodunits, why not take the opportunity to spend an hour or two each day improving and honing your shooting skills with DryFire?”
Andrea explains that you can use your own gun and practise Trap, Skeet and Sporting, at any level: club, national and international. Targets follow national and international rules with the same angular trajectories at the same angular speeds as clays outdoors.
You select the layout or target you want, let’s say Olympic Skeet station 4 doubles, stand in front of the wall or screen, take up your shooting position, swing back to your hold point, call “Pull,” acquire the target, start your swing, allow the correct amount of lead, fire and follow through – exactly as you do outdoors.
How to improve your shooting skills – read in full here
“The system provides accurate feedback to where your shot went to the nearest fraction of an inch, above, below, ahead, behind – the sort of feedback you can rarely get outdoors,” Andrea continues.
“DryFire is used by over 20,000 users worldwide helping them to achieve higher scores and perfect hits. All that’s required apart from the simulator is your own gun, an up-to-date laptop and a projector.”
The DryFire system has been improved over the years and is now on Version 5, which has added support for Apple computers and supports targets as laser dots on a wall or as images of clays projected onto a screen in front of the shooter.
The wide variety of optional backgrounds adds a new level of realism to practice. There is also improved animation for broken clays and shot clouds. The standard screen view shows a score card which is updated after every shot, while leaving it possible to do repetitive practice on targets you find particularly difficult.
A dual head laser DryFire system costs approximately £1,000, with projection software and projector extra. There are add-ons for additional shooters, extra gun assemblies and more.
For details see the website: www.wordcraft.com/dryfire
Lockdown on the Isle of Wight
Matt Thomas used to shoot Olympic Skeet but took up ABT when he moved to the Isle of Wight. He’s hoping to make selection for the island’s team for the Island Games – an international multi-sport event held every two years.
“The local club doesn’t put on ABT that often, but when the coronavirus lockdown came I realised I wouldn’t be able to practise at all. I’d been thinking about the DryFire system, and that pushed me to take the plunge.”
Matt bought the system with the projection add-on. “The basic system is a significant investment, although I got a decent discount due to being a CPSA member,” he comments. He is saving up to get a projector to use with it, and in the meantime he is practising using the laser dots.
“Actually the laser dots provide almost everything I need, although a projector will be that bit more realistic. I’m finding the system is really good for practising visual hold, mount, follow through – all the usual skills and drills. It’s certainly much better than just aiming at a mark on the wall.”
Matt says the system has proved its worth. “I see it as just another tool to help you improve,” he comments. “It’s really helping me develop my skills while we’re locked down. And even when we come out of lockdown, I’ll be able to get in more practice than I ever could without it.”