This my own opinion on the item sent to me for review.
In the old days it was common to read of instructors suggesting dry firing at least 10 times for each shot fired. Now we don’t see recommendations like that. Part of it is that ammo and ranges are readily available, and dry firing isn’t the sort of sexy action that sells well.
Then comes the issue of damage. You shouldn’t dry fire some guns. Most all .22 should not be dry fired due to that it WILL damage the chamber and firing pins. Other guns may break firing pins or breach faces. Try doing an internet search for “Glock dry fire damage” to see some broken Glock slides. Some firearms just should not be dry fired, others can be with a dummy round in the chamber. Yet there are many that could you dry fire all day every day with out any issue.
Despite the previous issue, dry firing is still the best way to practice recoil control as you are removed from the distracting noise, blast, and cost of live fire. Not to mention the annoyances of other shoots. You can dry fire in the comfort of your own home.
So when you are dry firing, unless you have a double action firearm, you have to reset the action between each trigger pull. This cycling the action can be used as a way to practice your reload or malfunction clearing movements. This is good training, but a distraction from the trigger pull.
This is where a dry fire trainer is useful, it lets you focus only on the trigger pull and repeat the trigger pull with out any distractions. I was sent a Glock E-Trainer dry fire tool to try out. You can get one from glocketrainer.com. Installation is simple, unload the pistol, lock the slide to the rear, then slide the trainer in place. With it installed, you can dry fire to your heart’s content with out having to rack the slide over and over. When you are done, lock the slide to the rear, and slide the trainer out.
The big advantage of this trainer is that you can do countless repeated trigger pulls with out having to rack the slide or risk any damage to your firearm. This additionally allows for practicing trigger follow through so very much easier than having to hold the trigger back when racking the slide.
The disadvantage with the E-Trainer is that you loose the trigger break of the normal trigger pull. Unlike when you have a “dead trigger”, this has the full trigger pull, just no trigger break. I don’t find this an issue, but I imagine that that could be a deal breaker for some. Because of this you can not practice riding the trigger reset (“rolling the link” or what ever you want to call it).
Out of curiosity, I pulled out my trigger weight gauge (of questionable quality) and did some comparisons. First, dry firing the Glock 19 gave a result between 4.5 and 4.75 pounds. (This was a surprise to me as this G19 has a NY1 spring and a – connector which would be expected to give about a 5.5-6.5 pound trigger pull). I tried the index card trick for dry firing and that gave a trigger pull of slightly over 2.5 pounds on my scale. The E-Trainer also gave a result of a little over 2.5 pounds. This seems confusing to me because it doesn’t feel like it. To my finger, the trigger pull felt just as heavy as a regular dry firing.
EDIT: Testing was initially done with the trigger pull gauge at the tip of the trigger, dry firing with the gauge at the center of the trigger gave a ~6 pound trigger pull normally and ~4-4.5 pound trigger pull with the trainer.
There are three models of this trainer and between them they cover the majority of the models of the Glock pistols the exception of the G36 and models with crescent serration. As of the time of this review being published, the E-Trainer is $29.44 shipped.
I would not say this item is a necessity, but it certainly is a major convenience for dry fire practice. After it was easily installed on a Glock 19, I did a hundred trigger pulls right handed only and another hundred with the left hand. It did not take long to get some good practice of only the trigger pull motion.
I wouldn’t recommend this initially for the novice. I would suggest doing fewer repetitions focusing on trying to get that perfect form of the perfect trigger pull. Don’t practice mistakes. Once you have that perfect trigger pull, then something like this trainer become valuable as it helps you get the repetitions to make your perfect trigger pull muscle memory for when you don’t have to time to consciously focus on the trigger. This isn’t something you have to have, but it is rather nice to have.
The novice practices until they can do it right.
The expert practices until they can’t do it wrong.
As I have tried to edit and finalize the wording for this review, I have been walking around my place, balancing a coin on the front sight of a G19, dry firing hundreds of times with the E-trainer. I really like this thing.