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    Setup Notes:

    For this drill you need to make the target an “A” zone only. You should paint around the “A” zone using black (hardcover paint). Another option is to cut the “A” zone out of the target and turn it around so you have an “A” zone surrounded by white, creating a no-shoot all the way around the “A” zone.


    Pick a distance to shoot from. A good place to start is at 10 yards. At the start signal, engage the target with six rounds. Strive to shoot as tight a group as possible in the center of the target. There is no specific time limit for this drill, but you are required to press the trigger again as soon as your sight returns from recoil and stabilizes in the center of the “A” zone. Shoot six strings from your chosen distance, a total of 36 rounds, then assess the target.


    This drill emphasizes both marksmanship fundamentals and discipline.


    Shoot six successful strings at your chosen distance. Do not miss the “A” zone once out of those 36 shots. If you are able, move farther away from the target and do another set of strings. If you are able to successfully “pass” this drill at 20 yards, that is adequate for competition.


    Before I get into the commentary for this drill, I need to clarify the instructions to make sure that confusion is minimized.

    Regarding the time limit: There is no specific time limit for this drill, but that doesn’t excuse you from shooting “fast.” The reason there is no time limit is that I want the drill to work for every level of shooter. It takes you as long as it takes to draw the gun and get a proper grip. You shouldn’t try to fix that here. That doesn’t mean you aren’t concerned at all with speed. When the sights come out of recoil, you should begin to fire the next shot. This is essentially the same thing you ought to be doing at a match. You shoot the speed of your sights; no faster and no slower. If you insist on having some way to measure whether you are going “fast enough,” I think the range of times is between four seconds and six seconds for average strings. This depends on distance (10 to 25 yards).

    Regarding the distances, the usual way I do this drill is to do it at 10 yards, then 15, then 20, and so on. It gets a bit silly at 25 yards just due to the difficulty, but I still do it at that distance…and sometimes further. It is OK to start further back than 10 yards if you aren’t challenged by that close of a target. That isn’t a problem.

    The last bit of clarification required here is to the accuracy standard. Do not use the entire “A” zone as your target. You should strive to lay the shots right on top of each other in the center of the “A” zone. The idea here is to attempt to be perfect with every shot, and not to settle for “good enough.” This is a strange thing because it is different than normal shooting where you shoot “good enough,” and just go as fast as you can.

    With the clarifications out of the way, I can now move into discussion of the actual drill. As far as my own training goes, this drill is a much more useful variation of group shooting. This is about working on the fundamentals of shooting in the context of shooting at realistic “match pace.” Grip, sight picture, and trigger control are the things you should be watching here. You should approach it both from a diagnostic perspective where you try to fix problems, and from an observational perspective where you simply see what is happening. If you detect that you are putting pressure into the trigger a little bit sideways or something like that, then you can implement a fix. You need to pay awfully close attention in order to spot little errors.

    Finally, a big part of this drill comes down to discipline. The directions do not call for one good string every now then. They instruct you to shoot string after string after string, and have them all be good. This builds the confidence to know that you can make tough shots without having to worry. That mindset will pay off big time at major matches when the pressure is really on.


    A common variation for me is to shoot this drill one handed. You don’t fundamentally change anything, just go either strong hand only or weak hand only. Obviously, you will need to push back to 25 yards when you are shooting with only one hand to enjoy any serious benefits to your skill level. It is not an easy thing to even do this drill freestyle, so prepare to really hop on the learning curve if you are going weak hand only.

    Another thing you can do is to work this drill from an awkward position. Leaning around a barricade is a favorite of mine. You should pay attention to the little points when your position gets awkward. The gun will not behave the same in recoil; it will probably feel quite odd. It is good to learn to shoot through that sensation and still produce good results on target.

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