Don't Just Shoot, Train - 3 Drills for a Static Range

By DrewR

A large percentage of the People of the Gun are relegated to shooting in a “static” or restrictive range, often indoors and sometimes lorded over by a range master calling when to fire and when to stop. I’ve been there, and I know how difficult it can be to meaningfully improve practical shooting skills under those conditions.

Following are the top three drills I found when I was relegated to a static range. I hope they help you as much as they helped me.

Dot Torture

Don't Just Shoot, Train - 3 Drills for a Static Range

A 4 yard example shot with a Ruger 22/45  MKIV

This is probably the most difficult drill of the three, and you can download the PDF here. The directions are printed under each of the two-inch circles.

I recommend starting this drill at three yards, as even some high level shooters have trouble clearing it at five. The drill calls for drawing and firing, but if your range doesn’t allow that the next best thing is to set the pistol on the bench and start each string with your hands on your head. If you can’t do that, then low ready will have to do. If you have a laser trainer of some sort this makes a great dry fire drill at home.

Triple Ten

Don't Just Shoot, Train - 3 Drills for a Static Range

A pair of sloppy reloads kept this from being a Level 2 time

TRex Arms has a number of great free downloadable targets and shooting drills, but my favorite is the Triple Ten. This is a timed drill, so it’s best if you get yourself a shot timer, but I think it’s worth investing in one anyway.

This is a seven yard drill. Draw and fire ten rounds each at a two-inch, a three-inch and a four-inch circle, reloading between each string.

The time constraint and the various sizes work together to make you really think about which target to go for first while also allowing you freedom to experiment. Do you want to shoot for pure speed from the draw and make your way down to pure accuracy? Maybe you start large, transition to small, and finish with medium to control the margin of error. It’s up to you.

50 Round Drill

Don't Just Shoot, Train - 3 Drills for a Static Range

A fairly typical 10 yard result

This is my favorite drill for a static range, as it works nearly every aspect of practical shooting. In a nutshel the drill is as follows: five sets of double-taps to the body, five rounds slow fire to the body, five  rounds slow fire to the head, five sets of double taps to the head, 10 rounds alternating head and body, five rounds strong hand only, five rounds weak hand only, reload as needed. The full version can be found here.

When first starting this drill I recommend shooting from low ready until you get the hang of things, then start incorporating draws as you see fit.

This drill has no time or distance requirements, but you should try to go as fast as you can while keeping all shots inside the A-zone of an IPSC target or the 9-ring on an LE style target. Start at the furthest distance you can consistently sweep the drill and add distance as your skill level improves. If your range lets you shoot multiple targets you can alternate between them for added challenge.

– / – / – / – / –

Shooting drills like these is an excellent way to improve your shooting skills while keeping your range sessions fun. I like to shoot different guns against each other on the 50 Round Drill as a basis of comparison of how I perform with different types of guns, and it also makes a great teaching aid for new shooters. So get out to the range and have some fun!


  1. With regard to personal defense, not a big fan of shooting at, or training with static targets –or ‘anything’ that is not simulating movement.

    The only fruit we get from shooting/training with static targets is trigger control.

    • I could not disagree more. When it comes to self defense, 90% of the relevant practice doesn’t even involve a round in the chamber.
      Getting the gun out quickly and pointed in the right direction is where people should spend most of their practice time.

      • I’m seconding. Ive always shot on private property, any which way I wanted, and it helps. However, getting the gun out and on target, delivering the first couple of shots…thats most of what’s needed. The rest begins to cover topics that aren’t likely to be encountered in the already rare SD situation.

        If you can’t do draws to target and move to cover at the range, the living room with an empty gun will suffice. In fact, it’s how I stay sharp without going broke on ammo even though I can and do shoot in the front yard. I think I even practice some fundamentals better without shooting at all, but maybe that is just me…

      • I agree. Having seen many folks grab their pistol in their retention holster (open carried) and not be able to draw it quickly at shooting events like IDPA USPSA yadda yadda. Even non retention holster draw is hard especially when concealed. Best case you are slow worst case you are too late.

        I practice drawing and hip shooting right out of the holster too. Or draw and shoot belly, chest, then head is a good drill too.

  2. It would be nice, sadly, in my great state of CA, I dont believe there are any ranges that let you draw from the holster.

    We’re all much safer, i’m sure. [*sarc]

    Still a nice training aid, I’ll try to do the drill from some kind of non-draw stance.

    • The local indoor range doesn’t allow drawing from the holster either, but they did allow you to set the gun on the bench and grab it quickly and start shooting. That’s been the best alternative I’ve found so far.

  3. My local sportsman club has a 3 seconds between shots rule. It’s fudd city–their clay and trap area is where 90% of their money goes. The joys of living in southern WI. XD

  4. If you don’t have a shot timer, I recommend acquiring one. They add a whole new dimension to training and are fun for friendly competition.

    Don’t bother with the cell phone apps. The timers from Competition Electronics (like the Pocket Pro II shown) are made in America.

    • Yup, I just got this one a week or so ago and I love it. At $105 shipped there’s really no excuse not to own one IMO. The phone apps I tried before all counted echoes, they were useless.

  5. In my experience most ranges have strict rules in regards to holster draws and rapid fire, probably for liability reasons. The best thing to do is to go out in the desert, but that requires a truck.

  6. I have no excuse for not doing the drills! My club gives members 24/7 access to the indoor range with NO Range Officer and NO RULES against drawing OR firing as fast as you can!!! I’m REALLY LUCKY!!!

  7. Our range does not require full time RSO’s, but only time holster draws are allowed is when one of the Action RSO’s is on site. FWIW- only gunshot injury we’ve had in 27 years was a calf shot while drawing.(45 caliber, ouch)
    Cool targets !


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here