How To Dry Fire A Glock: 3 Challenges, 7 Helpful Tools
This article focuses on how to dry fire a Glock and 7 tools to enhance your dry fire. We will also address three specific problems we need to solve to have an effective dryfire practice. And yes, it is safe to dry fire your Glock handgun.
My focus is to help you maximize the value in a dry fire practice session with your Glock handgun by:
- identifying how to set up and maintain a safe environment
- get a resetting trigger
- discover which dry fire tools work best with a Glock handgun
Two reasons led me to focus on Glocks in this article.
First, the mechanical design of the Glock allows for some tools that wouldn't work with other handguns. And secondly, Glocks are popular, which has led to a large marketplace of aftermarket products Glock handguns.
How to Dry Fire a Glock: The 3 Barriers
Before understanding how to dryfire a Glock handgun, we have to address three unique challenges.
These factors are present when one uses a Glock handgun in dry fire and can minimize the value and safety of dry fire. For that reason, I will focus on solving or overcoming these three challenges. To do so, we must first understand what those challenges are.
Challenge #1: Safety and Rendering the Gun Temporarily Inert
For obvious reasons, when you are conducting dry fire practice sessions, you want to guarantee to the highest probability possible that the firearm won't discharge live ammunition.
Of course, you should unload the gun, double and triple-check its status. After that, you can conduct your practice session in a “clean” environment. Understanding this, I will list below some essential tools and products that can further reduce risk while you dry fire. So, it would be best if you considered how these products could help reduce risk.
Challenge #2: Getting Accuracy Related Feedback
One significant change from live fire to dry fire is the lack of accuracy-related feedback. It is difficult to tell if you would hit what you aim at without a target or visible impacts.
Indeed, in many dry fire exercises, just like some live-fire exercises, you don't need that feedback to achieve your objective. Still, we shouldn't conduct training or practice without some consideration for where we point the gun.
Challenge #3: Resetting the Trigger For Multiple Shots
Glock handguns are striker fire guns meaning they do not have a hammer and are not single or double action. Meaning, when the slide cycles to the rear, the trigger is reset, just like all other handguns with this action.
When you dry fire a Glock, the slide doesn't automatically cycle. A dead trigger that has not reset is what's left. After each trigger press, you must manually reset the trigger. This repeated, unnatural action can lead to a training scar. Indeed, we don't want to build habits while we practice. If we rack the slide after each shot, we are creating this bad habit, or “training scar.”
I should acknowledge that some dry fire practice activities may not be a big challenge or barrier. For example, all you are practicing is drawing the handgun from a holster and putting a single shot toward your target that doesn't require multiple trigger presses. Thus it probably isn't a real challenge for that exercise.
Now that you know how to dry fire a Glock handgun by overcoming some challenges, here are some fantastic tools that enhance dry fire practice.
The 7 Tools For Glock Dry Fire Consideration
Option 1: BarrelBlok – $12.99
The BarrelBlok is a low-cost product package that comes with 1 BarrelBlok and 3 MagBloks. BarrelBlok goes into the barrel through the chamber and is caliber specific. It plugs the barrel in such a way as to render the gun inert. Consequently, a live round is incapable of being chambered or fired.
The “stick” of the BarrelBlok protrudes out of the firearm's muzzle. A visual indication that the gun is inoperable is given to bystanders and the ones practicing.
The MagBloks go into your magazines to push down the follower and prevent slide lock. Disabling the magazine follower like this allows you to train in specific ways. Things like malfunction clearing and reloads or the general ability to cycle the slide without worrying about slide lock.
Pros: Very affordable at only $13 and provides visual confirmation. One can use the MagBlok with other dry fire tools. Quick and easy to install and uninstall. Caliber specific but not gun specific. In other words, to use the 9mm BarrelBlok, you must have a 9mm handgun.
Cons: While it fully addresses our challenge of safety, it doesn't in any way provide accuracy-related feedback or reset the trigger. You will need to cycle the slide after each trigger press to reset the trigger.
Option 2: Glock E-Trainer – $24.44
The Glock Easy Trainer (Or E-Trainer for Glock) is a low-cost and straightforward tool. The device installs quickly on the gun's slide and allows for repeated trigger presses without cycling the slide.
It comes in 3 different sizes to accommodate almost every model of Glock handgun.
The Glock E-Trainer prevents the connector from resetting when installed, which keeps the striker in contact with the sear. Thus the firing pin does not come forward and thus renders the firearm inert and incapable of firing live ammunition.
Pros: Affordable. Easy and fast to install and uninstall. Provides a visual confirmation that the firearm is safe and inert and allows for repeated trigger presses. You can use it with the MagBlok but not with LaserDots.
Cons: No accuracy-related feedback. The trigger cycle of takeup, wall, break and reset is effectively gone. And, while you can work the trigger as much as you want without racking the slide, the usual trigger break is not felt.
Option 3: LaserDot Ammo Cartridge – $59.95
A LaserDot (or any other comparable competing product) is a cartridge-shaped tool inserted manually into the chamber of the firearm. On the rear of the cartridge is a button. When engaged by the firing pin, it temporarily “fires” a red laser dot from the front.
The laser provides immediate accuracy-related feedback as the red dot on your target acts as an indicator of your point of impact.
Further, the presence of the LaserDot in the chamber prevents the firearm from chambering or firing a live round, thus rendering the gun entirely safe and inert.
Pros: Not expensive. Easy to install and uninstall, and provides accuracy-related feedback. Renders the firearm inert. You can use it with MagBloks. Caliber specific but not gun specific. The 9mm LaserDot works with any 9mm handgun.
Cons: Does not address our challenge of resetting the trigger. You will need to cycle the slide manually after each trigger press to reset the trigger. You cannot use it in conjunction with the Glock E-trainer.
Option 4: Dry Fire Mag – $98.99+
The Dry Fire Mag is a product designed to replace your magazine in your mag well and provide the user with a resetting trigger.
It simulates the trigger break and reset and provides an audible click sound. The design allows repeated trigger presses without any need to cycle the slide.
Pros: Get an actual trigger break and reset in dry fire without any cycling of the slide. The product comes with an alternative spring if you want a lower trigger “weight” than the 5lb stock spring. Renders the gun inert.
Cons: Not inexpensive. Not available for all models of Glocks. It doesn't provide any visual accuracy-related feedback and doesn't work in conjunction with a LaserDot.
Option 5: Reset Trigger Kit – $199.95+
A Reset Trigger is an aftermarket tool installed in the gun in place of the stock trigger housing and striker. This tool does one core thing. Reset the trigger automatically without cycling the slide.
Many companies manufacture a reset trigger kit for Glock handguns. Still, they all effectively work the same way.
Pros: You can use your actual gun and get a real resetting trigger with the complete take-up, break, and reset.
Cons: It isn't your trigger, so that it won't feel the same. It doesn't render the firearm inert, so you can/should consider using it with a LaserDot or BarrelBlok. The installation and uninstallation process is slightly complex and time-consuming. Model-specific, so you can't use it on every Glock handgun you own.
Option 6: SIRT Training Pistol – $210+
Next Level Training makes the SIRT training pistol. They are dedicated training tools designed to look, feel, and weigh the same as a live firearm.
SIRT stands for Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger. As such, the trigger does reset on its own. As well as having a built-in laser module that “fires” a laser dot to provide a point of impact.
As of this writing, there are 5 different models of SIRTs, and as it relates to Glock, the only model is the SIRT 110, modeled after a Glock 17.
Pros: Fully resetting trigger and built-in laser for accuracy-related feedback, absolutely inert and safe. The Sirt overcomes all three challenges as well. No installation at all is necessary with the SIRT. You don't have to modify or install something on your actual gun.
Cons: Cost runs over $200, and it isn't your actual gun. Depending on the make/model of Glock you have, this may or may not mimic the feel of your gun and may or may not work with your holster.
Option 7: Cool Fire Trainer – $329+
The Cool Fire Trainer is a kit that comes with a replacement barrel and recoil spring for your handgun. It is make/model specific.
This tool converts your firearm into a CO2-based airgun. The barrel acts as the CO2 storage system and needs to be refilled regularly during use.
The gun recoils, and as such, the slide cycles and resets your trigger. Additionally, with the Cool Fire Trainer installed, the gun is inert and will not feed normal ammunition.
The Cool Fire Trainer comes with a TRT tool comparable in functionality to the MagBlok previously mentioned.
Optionally when you purchase, you can buy an addon laser tool that projects a laser when you fire, providing accuracy-related feedback.
Pros: As close to real firearm training and manipulation, you can get in dry fire: simulated recoil, resetting trigger, your gun, your trigger. Optionally can provide visual feedback and renders the gun inert. Overcomes all 3 of our listed challenges if used with the addon laser module.
Cons: Most expensive option on this list. If you add the CO2 tank and laser module, you are in the cost range of a new or used gun. While not as complex as the resetting trigger kit above, the installation and uninstallation process still requires a basic field strip of the gun.
So What Is the Best Approach on How To Dry Fire A Glock Handgun?
Any of the tools included in our analysis have potential value as a part of your overall toolkit. I use 4 of these products regularly. I pick one based on what I plan to do in my practice session, knowing what I'll need the gun to do and the easiest way to achieve that objective.
Let me and other readers know in the comments below which of these tools you prefer or if you think I've left something out!
If you love Glock handguns or ever wanted to know how to disassemble completely, reassemble, clean, and safety-check your Glock:
Already knew all this, but wish I had had this article awhile back to save me the time and energy researching all of them!
If I buy a 2nd handgun, the challenge of dry-firing a Glock has given me an incentive to buy a hammer/DA/SA, not another Glock or striker-fire.
Surprised you didn’t mention the Mantis products.
Bill the Mantis products don’t fit with my theme. They in no way alter the functionality of the Glock or render it more inert or safe than before. Using a Mantis doesn’t overcome or address any of the 3 challenges I listed in this article. I do think the Mantis is a great diagnostic tool and we have a lot of other content about it here on the website but it has no effect on the functionality or safety of the gun during dry fire. If on the other hand you are thinking of the Laser Cartridge product sold by Mantis then it is comparable to the LaserDot mentioned above in every respect.
I use the Mantis X10 along with a Pink Rhino laser trainer cartridge.
Why do you need the Pink Rhino Laser Cartridge if you have the X10? I thought the X10 has its own laser?
It does not. None of the Mantisx devices have built-in lasers.
I just got my laser dot in the mail today and enjoyed training with it. That’s the first dryfire tool I’ve purchased and the next one will probably be the e-trainer to be able to do some training without racking the slide.
The only issue I have found when using a laser cartridge in a Glock is that the firing pin can wear out the rubber switch/end cap in the end of the cartridge. This will render the cartridge inoperable in the Glock unless you replace the switch/end cap of the laser cartridge. This in and of itself is not difficult but finding a replacement for just the switch/end cap for your laser cartridge may be a challenge. At roughly $60 a pop, this can get expensive replacing the cartridge. I ended up getting the SIRT 110 and I am very satisfied with it.
Great point and comment. Thank you.
Thanks for the analysis of these tools for dry fire Jacob. For a couple of years I’ve been playing with; Dry Fire Mag, Laser cartridge with Laser target (lights up when hit) and the Glock E. Trainer.
Have to say nothing like live fire but expensive too. Just as you stated there pros and cons. Thanks again.
I have my whole family using the Manix System for dry-firing. Based on your article, if I include the Glock E-Trainer, I will not have to reset the trigger. This may be the perfect system for dryfiring.
Mike the Glock E-Trainer will not work with the MantisX. The Mantis operates by detecting the movement of the gun when the trigger breaks. The Glock E-Trainer removes the break from the trigger. The Mantis would work with the SIRT or the Cool Fire Trainer.
I don’t like any of these devices. I would rather rack the slide to reset the trigger. If you can pull the trigger without disturbing the sight picture on the target you can pretty well determine the impact spot of the bullet if you were firing live. Trigger control and sight picture are the most important steps to accuracy anyway.
I respect that opinion, though I don’t see why you wouldn’t consider the BarrelBlok just for the sake of added safety.
Thank you for this information Jacob! The method I use to prevent the sear from tripping is to put a thin plastic tab or folded paper on the breach face of the Glock pistol. This prevents the pistol from locking into battery and you can then pull the trigger and it will return to its forward position when released. You don’t get the same feel of the trigger breaking with each pull but at least you don’t have to manipulate the slide each time.
Yep, that is a popular solution. Works fine as long as you don’t cycle the slide and cause your object to fall out. Has a similar effect as the Glock E-Trainer mentioned above.
These are all great options, but few really solve the problem. For me, I purchased a gas blowback airsoft Glock. It feels just like my Glock in weight and trigger pull with recoil. I’m sure I can pair it with a Mantisx to get feedback if I wanted but for now, I get all the feedback and live-fire action in a safe manner. $150ish on amazon