Scored Shooting Drill #1

May 5th, 2012No Comments

To master a skill it is helpful to know where you started and where you are.  By measuring your progress you are better able to determine if your training program is doing its job.  One way to do this is to periodically shoot a specific, scored course of fire.  I developed the following drill when I bought my S&W 642 revolver.  Before I share it with you, here are a few thoughts.

No pistol of any caliber is a “one shot stop” weapon.  The projectiles are too small and muzzle velocities too low.  You might stop the bad guy with one shot, but even with the vaunted .45 it’s no guarantee.  (There are lots of articles and real world examples on the subject.  You can start with Steven A. Camps’ excellent article, Have no Faith in Your Defensive Handgun Caliber or Load)  To reward shot placement, this drill uses a target that shows the internal organs and scores highest for brain, heart, and spine shots.  (I use a TQ-15 Target with Anatomy Scoring)  Luck counts in a gunfight, so all spine shots, even those outside of the primary scoring zone, get maximum points.

This is a short range drill.  A self defense shooting is likely to be a close in, bloody affair, so this course of fire is shot from between 3 and 10 yards.  If you are consistently scoring 500, then feel free to extend the distances.  Better yet shoot it from unusual positions, such as on your back, or with an elevated heart rate to simulate the stress of a real confrontation.  You can also add a time limit to each stage.

To stress reloads, most of the stages are shot with four rounds in the weapon and a four round reload.

Use dummy rounds to practice the one handed reloads and support hand draw before going hot.  The one handed stage is intended to be shot and reloaded with the weapon and reloads where you normally carry them.

The course of fire requires 50 rounds and has a maximum score of 500.

Heart, Spine, and Brain shots score 10 points

Primary Scoring Zone (small square at center of mass) scores 8 points

Other Body Shots score 5 points

Misses deduct 10 points each.  Yes, you can have a negative score.  Your misses can kill innocent bystanders in the real world, so you get penalized for missing here.

All shots are to center of mass unless indicated.

Scored Drill Stages:

– Precision shooting, from the high ready position, requires 4 rounds in weapon and two 4 round reloads

  • 4 shots each at 3, 5, and 10 yards (no time limit)

– Double Tap, start from the holster, requires 4 rounds in weapon, one 4 round reload and one 2 round reload

  • Draw, fire 2 rounds, scan, and reholster.  Shoot this three times at 3 yards and two times at 5 yards (may be timed)

– Failure Drill, start from the holster, requires 3 rounds in weapon and two 3 round reloads

  • Draw, fire 2 rounds center of mass and 1 round to the head, reload, scan, and reholster.  Shoot at 3, 5, and 7 yards. (may be timed)

– One Handed, start from the holster, requires 4 rounds in weapon and three 4 round reloads

  • Draw, fire 4 rounds strong hand only, scan, reload strong hand only, and reholster.  Shoot at 5 yards (may be timed)
  • Draw, fire 2 rounds strong hand only, scan, and reholster.  Shoot at 5 yards a total of two times (may be timed)
  • Reload and then repeat with the support hand only.

– Precision shooting, from the high ready position, requires 3 rounds in weapon

  • Fire 3 shots at the head from 5 yards

This is a good 50 round workout without being overly difficult.  The one handed drills, in particular, will force you to think about gear placement and weapon manipulation, so take it slow at first.  As always, have fun, shoot safe, and I’ll see you on the firing line.

© 2012, mjshozda. All rights reserved.

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