Shooting Drills – Keeping It Fresh

shooting-drills-freshI hate jogging.

It is unlikely that there is a sport or activity that I dislike more.  I know it’s good for you, it builds your endurance and you can get that “natural high” from the rush of endorphins your body will produce.

I still hate it.

You’re on a track or out on a jogging trail and it’s just the boring left-right left-right left-right.  On and on and on.

The only way I’ve ever been able to take the monotony of jogging is if I have a partner there with me – someone to share the pain!

For most folks, it’s the same thing with most types of training.  It’s always a bit more fun when you do it with someone else.  You can share techniques and “war stories”, and it gives you one less excuse for getting out of the training.  You’ve made a commitment to someone else that you’ll do this with them.  Peer pressure is powerful!

Not only does having a training partner help to keep you in line, it also gives you the opportunity to do training drills that can’t be done by yourself.

Here are some shooting drills for handguns – and some variations – that are perfect to do with a partner.  What is great about these shooting drills is that, in addition to relieving some of the boredom of training, you are developing self-defense shooting skills for acquiring and hitting multiple targets – accurately and rapidly.

1234 Drill

With these shooting drills and any of the variations, accuracy is the primary goal and speed is the secondary goal.  Shooting fast and missing the target is a waste of time and money, and defeats the purpose of training:  To save your life in a self-defense situation.

Take a standard rectangular target (roughly 2ft x 3ft) and put on 4 small stick-on targets.  Put them in the upper left- and upper right-hand corners (be sure they’re placed low enough to be well below target holder clamps if you’re in an indoor range).  Put the other two stick-ons in the lower left- and lower right-handed corners.  Put the target out at either 7- or 10-yards.

Load 8 rounds into your magazine and Make Ready (load magazine and chamber a round).  Start in the High Compact position  (Two-handed grip, muzzle pointed down range, gun level and held chest-high, with the rear of the gun as close as is comfortable to your chest).

Your partner will now call out a number – 1,2,3 or 4.  You extend your arms and fire at the target your partner called.  Immediately return to the High Compact position.  Your partner then calls another number and you repeat the drill until you come to slide lock (or the cylinder of your revolver is empty).

Set up another target, and now YOU call the numbers for your partner.  If you’re so inclined, you can compare the accuracy each of you has demonstrated and perhaps make a little wager – such as loser pays for targets….


Now that you’re warmed up, kick it up another notch!

1.  If you are practicing at a range that allows double-taps, you can work on your accuracy and your rapid fire skills by doing the same drill, but with two shots each time instead of one.

2.  Call out two numbers at a time.  For instance “1-4” you’d shoot first at target one, then at target four, THEN return to the High Compact position.  Be sure to mix this up with high-low, low-high, left-right, right-left.  And don’t always say the numbers in numerical sequence (i.e., 1 is always before 2).  Call “4-2” or “2-1”.  The human brain is wired to think in sequence, so break up the sequence and re-wire your brain!

3.  Repeat all of these drills with a two-handed weak-side stance.

4.  Repeat all of these drills with a one-handed stance from both the strong and weak sides.

5.  Repeat all of these drills with the stick-on targets set up in a diamond pattern (top, bottom, left side, right side).

Practicing with a partner can make a mundane activity, fun.  Work in a bit of competition and the training session will fly by in no time!


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