How Can I Train Without Live Rounds?


Practicing marksmanship on a regular basis is the best way to boost your confidence behind the trigger. However, ammunition is expensive, and firearm training with live rounds is dangerous. While frequent practice makes your marksmanship perfect, you may not want to waste your live rounds shooting at nothing in the course of training. Thankfully, there are ways to practice your shooting lessons without using live fire. Want to hone your rifle shooting skills? Here is how to train without live rounds.

Dry-Fire with Snap Caps

Dry-firing is the act of pulling the trigger without actually loading your gun. It’s similar to practicing a golf lesson without hitting the ball. Dry-fire practices allow shooters to master fundamental shooting skills. It’s the first step to learning trigger-pulling without any fear of recoil. The idea behind opening dry fire is to perfect your vision with respect to your target. You could use a snap cap to practice dry-shooting in a remote area. Basically, snap caps are fake or plastic bullets with no primer or propellant. Double-check to ensure that your firearm is unloaded with live ammunition.

Laser Trainers

Laser-training is a modified version of dry-firing. With a laser installed on a gun, the shooter’s motion is easy to see, and you can position the laser on your target. This way, shooting trainees can learn how to maintain the laser on their targets before and after releasing the trigger. One company called Laserlyte introduced Trainer Pistol Cartridge for accurate shooting practices without live ammo. It’s a caliber-specific cartridge case that shoots out a laser beam when the firing spring hits it. With this tool, shooters can simulate where their bullets would land if they were live rounds.

Pellet Guns

These are also cool materials you could use to train without wasting your expensive bullets or detonating your gunpowder. Pellet guns are relatively affordable, and you could get 50-round boxes of 9 mm target ammunition for about $15. They are also convenient for neighborhood practices as they pose no real threat to lives if you use them wisely. You could hang tin cans from trees and aim at them with pellet guns. Improve on your ability to locate the target in the scope and hit it once without using real bullets.

Trigger Squeeze Practice Drill

This is a crazy drill that can be used to teach trainees how to keep a consistent trigger squeeze and vision during shooting. The United States’ military even applies this training technique to teach new recruits how to shoot without wasting live ammo. To practice trigger squeeze, you will need a penny and your firearm. You could either kneel or stand during the practice.

Load your snap cap and place the penny on the top of your gun’s barrel near to the muzzle. Assume a comfortable shooting posture with your feet the same width as your shoulders while facing your target. If your trigger-squeeze is perfect and your sight picture is great, you should be able to aim at your target without the penny falling off. And that’s how to train without opening live fire.


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