We spent a morning recently with Steve Smith and Stu Bresson of Asgard National Training Group at Astro Shooting Range north of Austin. These are two guys who have pretty much seen and done it all. Among a number of drills they demo’d for us was this three-distance drill in which the shooter has progressively less time to get ten rounds on target. The idea: work on trigger control and sight picture as distance and time decrease. Trigger work becomes more important as sights become less so. What’s your favorite (non square range) rifle drill?

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29 Responses to Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Rifle Training Drill?

  1. Whats my favorite rifle drill? Why it’s a # 28 drill, for an 8-40 tap, to mount a scope!
    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  2. My favorite drill is loading a musket making smoke and loud noise. More soothing than double tap and yapping about it.

    • Agreed. My local range has a blackpowder club. Usually finish up our shoots with a “mad minute” (usually actually 3 minutes) to practice our speed reloads. Nothing more fun than scrambling with the .50 cal Hawken to get off 3 shots a minute. Also, when we’re done, it looks like a scene from ‘Apocalypse Now’, billowing clouds of sulfurous smoke that take forever to clear even with a stiff breeze. Really gives you a feel for what war was like before smokeless. Eyes nose and throat burning, barely can see the man to your left/right, the only way you know there is someone beyond them is the nebulous flashes of muzzle blast coming through the smoke from both sides…. Really is quite fun.

  3. I like the 5 target V-drill. Targets 1-5 placed in a V shape, target 3 being closest to you, 2 and 4 equidistant a few yards further back, as targets 1 and 5 the furthest back at equal distance to each other. Drill as follows for time and accuracy:

    T3 – 2 rounds
    T4 – 2 rounds
    T3 – 2 rounds
    T2 – 2 rounds
    T3 – 2 rounds
    T5 – 2 rounds
    T3 – 2 rounds
    T1 – 2 rounds
    T3 – 2 rounds

  4. I have this drill that I try to as often as possible:

    Step 1: Using a 5.56, .300 BLK, .308, in bolt lever, semi auto, etc.
    Step 2: Sling rifle and head into woods
    Step 3: Attempt to shoot deer
    Step 4: Unload rifle
    Step 5: Grab beers and / or scotch and tell grossly exaggerated stories about steps 1-4.

        • Its not just the deer. Squirrels love watching hunters stumble about in the woods looking for deer.

          Little do you know their arboreal relay network has already warned them off 😉

        • All true. But there is also the mid-day naps on a warm, sunny, south facing slope and finding country that hasn’t seen by a person in years. Grilling the first steak from a successful hunt isn’t so bad, either.

        • I agree with Frosty45. Some of the best hunting memories are just lying down in the woods out of the wind and in the sun. Then wandering back into camp in time for the Jack Daniels, poker game, and food (depending on whose turn it was to cook).

  5. Place 3 8″ dots 25m away vertically. Start at 25m, all shots for drill are standing, unsupported. Place 10 shots at top target, run to 15m line, place 10 shots on middle dot, run to 5m, place 10 shots on final dot. This is a great speed drill. Race a buddy. Winner has most shots in dots in fastest time. You can subtract time penalties for misses, or use fastest time as tie breaker or any other way you wish to score.

    I wasn’t a great sprinter in my group, but I can shoot fast and accurate, even out to 25m with an AR. I would usually win amongst my buddies due to their flyers, or me finishing a 10 shot iteration before them and having a head start on the short sprint. Variation on drill: take it to 100m: prone, 50m kneeling, 25m standing. You’ll be surprised how easier 25m is after just shooting 100 and 50. Good times had by all.

  6. Most of my drills are geared toward reality as I would use the rifle: scrambling to get to the rifle from different paths, hitting each target once in succession, with some dummy rounds randomly distributed throughout the magazine to simulate FTFs.

  7. Recently my drills go like this:

    1. Open safe.
    2. Remove rifle from safe.
    3. Hold rifle for a minute, smiling.
    4. Remember that it’s raining / it’s too late to use the range / all the chores you need to do today / the puppy needs walking / etc.
    5. Sigh.
    6. Wipe off imaginary smudges.
    7. Replace rifle iin safe.
    8. Close safe.

    It also works for shotguns and pistols.

  8. My favorite drill is to see how hunched over I can get and still sort of shoot. If I hold the fore-end funny, I get bonus points.

    Seriously though, for centerfire, I shoot at 200 standing, kneeling, and prone, with and without a sling. For rimfire, I shoot standing at 50, with and without a sling. I occasionally shoot prone with a sling at 600.

    I also hunt squirrels with a .22lr and aim for the head. I figure if I can hit a squirrel in the head at 20-70 yards, I’ll be ok with torso-sized pieces of cardboard should I ever feel the need to shoot at those at close range.

  9. Seriously, the best drill and the one we were taught in the military is acquire target, shoot target, acquire next target, shoot next target, etc……..

  10. With an AR, my favorite drill is getting back a bit, no farther than the 50 yard line and fire from the kneel. Get up and walk, starting your string of fire at the target while you walk. Keep walking toward the target, never stop walking, never stop firing. Go through at least 40 rounds while walking all the way to the 10 yard line. Magazine change behind cover or from the kneel. All hits have to land inside the 8 ring. Anything outside the 8 ring is a fail for the exercise. Compete for time.
    With a bolt gun, my favorite is simple. 3 round groups at a 6″ target at 300 yards. Fire 3 from the prone, get up and fire 3 from the kneel, get up, fire 3 from standing. Reload when necessary. Try for speed in transitions as well as the strings of fire. The prone and kneel I can usually get, the standing, rarely. A good shooting sling is a must.

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