Dryfireonline.com recently approached us and asked us to review their website and app. They gave us access to their app and shared a discount code for our readers: DOUBLEEAGLEGUNWORKS for a 4-week free trial.
Dry Fire Online is a fun way to practice dry fire shooting and get some feedback about your aim with a paid subscription, or just practice target shooting without feedback on the website for free. You need a smartphone or tablet so you can install the app plus a computer or television for viewing the targets and a laser cartridge for shooting.
The graphics are simple, colorful, and straightforward. You need a fast internet connection to use the program in real time and you need to understand how to hook your phone or tablet to your television or computer.
Chris figured out how to use the app and then did a 30-minute video review and showed you how to install it and do some basic troubleshooting. Watch the video below.
The Cost for Dry Fire Online
In order to use Dry Fire Online, you need a smartphone with an Android or Apple operating system. We downloaded it our iPhones and received access to the Expert Level in exchange for a review. At the time of this review, prices were $2.99 to $9.99 a month depending on the level you choose, but they were discounting those prices by about half.
Normally they give you a one-week free trial of the program but they gave us the code DOUBLEEAGLEGUNWORKS so that our readers could have a 4-week trial. You can also choose to use the website for free, which enables you to shoot at the targets without receiving feedback on your accuracy.
What You Need to Use Dry Fire Online
In addition to your smartphone and the downloaded app, you need internet access. The internet at our house is slow because we use a hot spot connected to our phone signals. Wired internet never made it out to our rural area. We can use Dry Fire Online but it takes a little longer to register the shots than it would with a better connection.
You need a tripod or stand that will hold your smartphone or tablet in one position facing the television or computer. The app on the phone is the brains of the operation and your TV or computer is the dummy.
You also need a gun with a laser. You can use a real gun with a laser cartridge (never real ammunition, of course), or you can buy something like a SIRT Pistol, a realistic gun model with a built-in laser. If you buy a SIRT Pistol, use our code DEG10 to save 10% off your purchase.
For the video review, Chris alternated between a SIRT Pistol and a Sig P320 with a laser cartridge. See the Sigs available on our sales site, shop.doubleeaglegunworks.org, or shop for laser cartridges for your gun.
How to Set Up Dry Fire Online
The first thing to do is visit your app store and search for Dry Fire Online. Download the app and put in the code for a 4-week free trial, or just go ahead and purchase the plan you want. Register and establish a password using the menu at the top of the page, and then sign in.
Open the app and choose Quickstart or Stages. The Quickstart screen will ask you for your screen’s diagonal size. Ours was 50 inches. The screen distance is how far you are from your television. We put in two yards. I am 5’2″, so the height to the center of my eyes is about 4’6.”
If you are using the app, click the box that allows you to connect the camera to your screen. If you are using the Stage Builder, choose a background and your preferred audio. You can choose from gunshot, beep and gunshot, and competition commands.
At the bottom of the same page is the Start Stage button. Click it.
The Safety Check screen will come up to remind you that your gun must be unloaded, and the computer will generate a 9 digit number. Hit Connect on the app and it will ask for the 9 digit number in the lower left corner of the screen. Enter the number into your phone to connect the app to the website. Hit Calibrate on the upper left hand side of the app.
Tap the center of the screen and zoom until the four corners are at the edges of your smartphone screen. Make sure that only the scene is in the viewfinder, not your computer’s browser bar. Hit the auto-calibrate option on the right side of your smartphone screen and wait for the camera to calibrate with the green screen on the TV. Once the green screen goes away, the outline of the target area appears on the phone screen.
After calibrating the screen you will need to calibrate the laser. Hit the laser icon on the left side of the app. Then click auto on the top right of the app screen. The app will check the camera first and then it will tell you to fire the laser at the screen. If the auto calibrate does not work, you can manually adjust the setting so the laser is picked up better.
Troubleshooting the Dry Fire Online App
At this point my iPhone 12 was not calibrating completely, so we forced the app to close and then reopened it. We turned off a few lights to avoid confusing the camera. It started working, but the accuracy was suspect. It was recording the hits slightly to the left of where the laser showed it was hitting.
To adjust where the laser hits the target, go back to the Quickstart screen and adjust the X/Y coordinates of the Hitmarker.
We switched to Chris’ iPhone XS and the calibration worked well. We went searching online and discovered that my newer phone had different settings. Auto calibration of the laser produced poor results because the screen was too dark. We had to calibrate the laser manually to compensate for the camera settings.
Using the Dry Fire Online App
After setting it up, we had fun running through dozens of target options. The names of the targets were evocative but not descriptive. Perhaps they are derived from competitive shooting. We shot Western Bottles and Cans, which depicted a row of cans and bottles on a wall against a desert background.
We got a warning that the targets did not fit our screen, and it took extra shots to hit the targets. It worked better when we decreased the distance setting to 1 yard.
We then tried IDPA El Presidente, which was three silhouette figures against a tree-covered mountain scene. My phone had better accuracy with this one because it fit the screen better. It worked better when we set it for one yard from the TV even though we were actually shooting from two yards away.
If you already have all the equipment you need (camera, TV, computer, stand, laser cartridges), I wholeheartedly suggest downloading the app and trying it. A four-week free trial is plenty of time to decide whether you like it enough to pay for it.
If you have to buy equipment, you might think longer about it. Of course SIRT pistols and laser cartridges are fun and useful on their own, so you should get those anyway.
Other Systems To Try
Give Dry Fire Online a Try, and look into some of the other dry fire training options available while you are at it. We have done this article that describes methods that range from low-tech and free (dry firing your empty gun) to high-tech and complex (training systems.). Check out my articles on the Mantis X and the SIRT Pistol. Chris has done videos on the Strikeman, the SIRT, and the Mantis X.
If you would prefer individual instruction, find a firearms instructor to give you lessons. Here in the Upstate of South Carolina, Chris is available for individual or group sessions. Contact us or sign up for our CWP class at shop.doubleeaglegunworks.org. We schedule our calendar a month or two into the future.
When you are ready to purchase your next firearm, please browse through shop.doubleeaglegunworks.org. We’d love to help.
Thanks for reading my blog! We look forward to interacting with you again in the future.