A couple of weeks ago, I found myself bored and browsing the Apple App Store for something to keep me entertained. On a whim I began searching for IDPA, USPSA, and General Shooting apps that may come in handy for matches and practice.
Variety was lacking but one particular app caught my eye. iDFT – Dry Fire Trainer for the iPhone had a cost of $2.99 and appeared to be a rather customizable dry fire tool. In a nutshell, you program a drill into the app then setup your phone as a target. Options can be enabled so that your phone will deliver range commands (Shooter Ready – Stand Bye – Beep!). A target can be setup to appear on your phones screen and be configured to disappear at a pre-determined time.
After downloading, I was a bit disappointed to see that iDFT isn’t pre-loaded with drills. Adding a drill isn’t a big deal but it can be kind of annoying. My first try had me punching in arbitrary numbers and setting ten repetitions. With no way to stop the app mid-run, I found myself annoyed and force-closing it to make alterations.
I found that the best way to create a drill was to go all out and strap on my gear. With a holstered gun on my hip, I was able to fine tune the drill to meet my needs. By a setting low number of repetitions, I could dry-fire along with the app then go in and edit the times until I felt they were correct.
Tonight I decided to take it a step further than just drawing and firing one round at my phone. From a distance of about 12 feet (which is much harder than it sounds considering the target is an X within the screen of an iPhone 4S) I would draw, fire one round, reload, and fire a second round.
Setting up this multi-step drill took a bit of trial and error (more so than usual) but I wound up with a final product that was fun and challenging. Upon the start signal, I would draw and fire one round within 1.85 Seconds. At that point the target would disappear while I reloaded. I would be given 1.50 Seconds to complete my reload before the target reappears for another 1.85 seconds.
The most challenging part of the drill is getting a good hit on the first target. You must be honest with yourself and see where the shot breaks, otherwise all of this is pointless. I found that I could make a good hit on the first shot if I pushed the speed of my draw. The second target took a bunch of tweaking because I found that I was beating it by a large margin, holding the gun on target waiting for it to appear. Unless I bobble the reload, I find that 1.50 seconds is a comfortable speed.
I’ve run this drill about 50 times tonight and found it to be a lot of fun. With the app having voice commands and re-running itself a set number of times (or for a specified time period) it keeps things fun. Typically, by 50 repetitions of ‘draw and fire at a spot on the wall’, I’m bored. Tonight I would have gone for another 50 reps had I not had other things to do.