I follow a guy on YouTube named Armed Threat Solutions TV, and he recently posted a few videos on a 100 round practice session. The premise being that most people don’t have access to free ammunition, or the resources to burn up a bunch of ammo in practice, so there is a need for efficient practice with minimal resource input. This is actually something I have written about before (HERE, HERE) in regards to performance tracking, and one of the reasons why performance tracking is so important. It helps us to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of our practice.
The Armed Threat Solutions guys did a decent job putting something together if you have access to a range that allows you to draw, move while shooting, etc. Sometimes that isn’t option, so I wanted to come up with a default practice session that can be used regardless of the range limitations. If I shoot on one of the local indoor ranges because I need something close and quick, drawing and shooting on the move are out, unfortunately. I also wanted something a little more technical. This is what I cam up with.
Each practice session would start with a cold drill. This is a drill that can be shot at the very beginning of each range trip, with zero warm up of any kind. This drill tells me how good I actually am. It should be something that is easy to set up, quick, doesn’t require many rounds, and is contextually appropriate for the intended use of the handgun. I tossed a few options around, but settled on an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) drill at 5 yards on a folded 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper with a 2 second PAR. So the target size will end up being 5.5″x 8.5″, and 5 yards I feel is an acceptable distance for most people. The way an AMRAP drill works is that you try to get as many hits as you can within the PAR. Misses subtract one hit. If you are getting more than 4-5 rounds on target within the PAR, then add distance or reduce the PAR. The reason I chose this type of drill is that I can run a PAR time on an indoor range without having to worry too much about interference from other shooters on the range. I also like using a PAR time because I feel like it applies more pressure to the shooter. Unlike other PAR time drills, the scoring is still limitless because the goal is always to shoot one more round than last time.
After working the speed cold up close, we shift gears and back it up by shooting the “300” at 25yds. The “300” is an abbreviated and slightly modified version of “The Humbler”, or 700 point aggregate. The original drill is shot on a complete B-8 target, and includes more strings of fire. The “300” is shot only on a B-8 repair center, and only has three strings of fire. Ten rounds each freestyle, strong hand only, and weak hand only. If there are fundamental issues, this drill will bring them out. At closer distances, small mistakes in sight alignment, sight picture, or trigger control don’t seem to be as big a deal on the target. With the “300”, small mistakes equal misses and zero points. The target for this drill is available HERE, and more detailed directions if necessary, HERE.
Of course we have to work in reloads, but we are not going to spend much time here. Reloads will occur throughout the practice session, take advantage of those opportunities and don’t stop running the gun as it should be just because you fired the last round of the drill and so now we switch into an administrative mode to accomplish the reload. Stay in practice mode until the reload is complete and get a good rep in, then we can switch gears if we need to. The goal here is to get a couple reloads that are unexpected. So to set this drill up, use three magazines and load them with 3, 4, and 5 rounds. Mix up the magazines as best as possible, and using a reasonably sized target at a reasonable distance, shoot 2-3 round strings, varying the number, and complete the reloads as they come. This is not a scored part of the practice session, but notes should be taken about any issues that are noticed.
The next drill is one of my favorites, but also very challenging. It is called Finding Your Level. The target pretty much explains the drill (available HERE), but the idea is to have a simple drill that allows for performance tracking, and in our case working small targets at speed at relatively close distance. There are several levels for this drill, just go as far as you can. If you get to the point that you are acing the drill in its current form, then start upping the required number for rounds per target.
One of the shooting task that people seem to struggle with on a regular basis is making the transition from a large target to a small target, or the reverse. This drill will also allow us to work a little more speed are large and small targets at various distances. Set up a target with a large target zone, like a full sheet of printer paper (8.5″x 11″) and a small target zone like a 3″x 5″ index card. Shoot 2 rounds to the large target area, 2 rounds to the smaller target area, and then another 2 rounds to the large target area. Shoot the drill once at 5 yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards. This isn’t a timed drill, but pay attention to the speed changes. There should be a distinct shift in how quickly I am shooting the large target, and how quickly I am shooting the smaller target. That shift should be recognizable visually as well as audibly. The amount of refinement in sight alignment and sight picture necessary to get the hits needed will shift, which will lead to a speed change as well. It may help when doing these drills to run a timer just to make sure there is a speed shift, or use video. Either one would work.
The final drill is The Test. This drill is intended to reign us back in after the shifting gears drill, and give us one last metric of performance. The Test, or the 10-10-10 is shot on a B-8 repair center target (HERE) for score, with a 10 second PAR time, and at 10 yards. It is a good moderate speed drill while maintaining a moderate accuracy standard. A good score on this drill is 90 points or above within the PAR time. It can be run from the holster, or from a ready position depending on shooter skill level, or range limitations. Just be sure to note the starting position in your training notes.
If you have a spare 100 rounds, and a shot timer (The free iPhone app would work fine for these drills), give this a try and let me know your thoughts on it in the comments.