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Tis the season when getting outside to shoot in space can be painful or downright impossible depending on the weather. While shooting and moving is preferable, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some useful work in on a square range, too. Whether it’s something like dot torture, the tri-10 or the circle drill, there are always opportunities to improve your speed and accuracy, even in an indoor environment. While you probably have a variety of routines you run though when you find the time to hit the range, what’s your favorite?

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  1. The first 50 rounds or so are slow.
    Come to a perfect grip, with a perfect draw, two hands in unison, partial extension, perfect sight picture, perfect single shot.
    Exercising and imprinting muscle memory so it’s the same.
    Every. Single. Time.

    • I like the Dot Torture Drill. It is just like you say to reinforce muscle memory.
      You shoot 50 rounds, which is cool, one box full.
      Ten circles (of any size you like) at any distance you like, 5-10 yards is best.
      You work on draw and presentation, sight picture and trigger control. There is also a section on mag changes and some off hand shooting. I do it from concealment.
      One variation I like to do is instead of ten circles, I hang two splatter targets side by side. You end up with 25 rounds on the left target and 25 on the right. It is nice at the end to see two ragged holes in each target with no flyers.
      1st Dot: Draw once and slow fire 5 shots.
      2nd Dot: Draw each time and fire one round. Repeat for a total of 5 rounds fired.
      3rd and 4th Dot: Draw and fire one shot at 3 and transition to 4 and fire once. Repeat this string putting 4 shots on each dot.
      5th Dot: One handed strong hand draw and slow fire five shots.
      6th and 7th Dots: Draw and fire 2 shots on 6 and transition to 2 shots on 7. I usually double tap these but you don’t have to. Repeat for a total of 16 shots, 8 on each dot.
      8th Dot: I like to place the gun on the ground or table and pick it up off hand and slow fire 5 shots.
      9th and 10th Dots: Start with and empty mag in gun and one round in the chamber. Have your back up mag wherever you carry it. Fire once at 9 then execute a slide lock reload and fire once at 10. Do three strings of this and you are done.

  2. Can’t speed draw or move at the indoor range, so one-handed Mozambique Drills from behind concealment will have to do.

  3. I always love the one where you sweep forward and back through three targets firing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 shots for time and accuracy. Always leaves a huge plume of smoke, dust and a lot of whooping and hollering.

    • +1

      Maybe when the lottery comes in I can afford the time and ammunition to do these fancy drills. Until then the only drill I use is made by DeWalt.

      • Take a look into reloading. Since I started this fall I’ve cut the price I pay for 9mm by half and 38spl by 72%. I’ve fully recovered the cost of the single stage press kit I started with.

    • I agree. If knocking tin cans and golf balls around with a .22 counts as a “drill”, then that’s my favorite drill.

  4. Not a shooting drill, but dime/washer drills. It’s relaxing and builds muscle memory, while using no ammo. For those that will be stuck inside during the winter, this is a good drill to practice.

  5. I suppose I’ll earn the wrath of the readers if I say Back and Decker. Drills? We don’t need no stinkin drills! Actually, I just don’t have the money for ammo now.

  6. Being restricted to a square indoor range I take one handed shots from either hand at nominal self-defense ranges to simulate defending myself when walking the dogs. Then there is the walk out the target from 10-25 yards 1 yard at a time and see if I can shoot 100% in the scoring area. What I wish I could do is shoot at a closing or receding target but the range does not allow that.

  7. The kind you cant do at most ranges, typically have to do on your own or a friends land. Throw yourself in the dirt, and do mag dumps on multiple targets while reloading as fast as you can. Or, practicing drawing and shooting from a concealed/open carry gun. I have trained myself to shoot fast so much that I literally can no longer shoot at any range that says “no rapid fire”. I just cant do it. With any gun. Even with a bolt action I’ve been yelled at for shooting too fast. I guess I could always start shooting muzzle loaders at the range but once I get Continental Regular fast and break 3 rounds a minuet I’m sure I will get yelled at again. If I had the money I’d open up my own range for others like me.

    • At least I can dump rounds as fast as I pull the trigger and reload. I can also draw but not from concealment. But no draw, turn and shoot drills for me.

    • Haha, I got yelled at twice during my 20 round CCW test at an indoor range, the second time I couldn’t believe as I was trying to shoot slow!

  8. I have an outdoor range at my house so this is my go to drill. I usually do this when someone is there to keep an eye on my stuff but I do have good line of site great neighbors, and really mean dogs so I don’t really worry.

    Go for a run (half mile, mile, couple miles- depends on my mood that day). Run directly to the range and shoot. Doesn’t matter what position. Doesn’t matter what gun.
    It is the perfect drill!!

    It gets you heart going, heavy breathing, clouds judgement, a little adrenaline, you body is really hot or really cold(depending on the season). What could prepare you more for a self defense fight or when the monster bull comes storming in? Your body could feel any of these sensations in a situation when you really need great shot placement. Why not prepare for it?

  9. Steel Challenge, IDPA and USPSA.

    CQB matches on occasion. (I have shot a Garand and a Ruger Gunsite Scout in CQB. It was amusing to see the steel poppers get flattened while the 556 rounds sort of just “pinged” off the poppers.)

  10. As a kid, my favorite shooting drill was to shoot hornets out of the sky with wasp spray after hitting the nest with a rock. It’s great training under realistic movement conditions. I went through a lot of Raid, and even got stung. A lot. I also sprained my ankle. Good times.

    • This summer I shot 7 carpenter bees out of the air with a pellet revolver. It is a great shoot/no shoot drill because as they are whizzing around, you have to make sure your windows or pets or wife isn’t in the background or that the shot may fly over to your neighbors house. I took one out with a head shot from 15 ft.

  11. My favorite?

    Go to a friend’s property, or some state land up north. Have wife or I put empty cans on the forest floor, or hanging low on a branch/ stump; avoiding any areas with rocks or dumped metal (ricochets)

    Have the shooter walk in front of a “rso” with pistol or rifle in preferred carry condition. The shooter walks looking at the ground directly in front of their feet. Down a trail.
    The RSO yells target left or right. The shooter draws, finds the can, and shoots. Reholsters after the can is hit, and they have relaxed.

    This is tons of fun to do with my wife. There are infinite ways to mix it up. Currently we will add commands to shoot two, three times. Or, say “again” when the can is hit to keep the shooter on their toes and avoid bad habits. Also add two cans fairly close and tell the shooter to hit them both. Changing pitch and intensity of commands can help with the startle response too.

    I prefer to set up the course on a “trail” walking down hill into a valley so the backstop is known and controlled, and the wife and I both make it a point to stay safely on the weak side( and behind) the shooter, giving commands only to targets in front of them.

  12. No single, set in stone drill. Do a lot of dry fire, draw from concealed with both pistols. Run on the treadmill wearing chest rig and carrying rifle, bring to shoulder and get sight picture in mirror, using left or right hand. Wifey thinks its crazy, she is just happy I am on the damned treadmill!! Got to get that cardio. Actual shooting? I like to shoot balloons, staple them to a section of plank loose enough that they move randomly in wind. Its a quick, cheap and easy setup and you can vary it quite a bit. Have a partner call shots by color or position, have multiple planks with 10 or more on each and compete.

    The one thing majority of people don’t do is the draw from concealed and reload drills. Reloads especially! Reload under stress is one people really should be pushing. And breathing! Do Col Grossman’s breathing drill. It’ll change your life, brah!

  13. I shoot at an indoor range with the targets fixed at 50 feet, with no drawing from a holster or “rapid fire” allowed. At home I practice dry fire and drawing from concealment. At the range I generally shoot 100 rounds, with the first 25 or so being slow fire, going for minimal group size. I’ve been carrying a SIG for the past 5 or 6 months so I would do 10 rounds or so of double action only, and then presenting from the holster (gun held at waist next to holster, as per rules), firing first DA shot, transition to SA follow up shot, then speed reload from concealment for a follow up shot.

    I figure in three rounds I get to practice my presentation and push-out, DA shot, transition to SA as quickly as possible, a speed reload, and presentation again. It’s very basic but considering the practical limitations that my range imposes, I feel it’s good exercise.

  14. I put a few hundreds rounds down range each week. But where I’ve really made improvements is from a whole lot of draw and dry fire. I’ve seen huge improvement over time and accuracy just drawing and dry firing for at least 10 minutes every day. I mix it up as much as I can with that.
    For live round training, I love to move and shoot, which is absolutely vital. I always spend some of my range day advancing on the target.
    But there are two drills I always do at the range, and I’ve seen them make a difference. First is the classic Bill Drill.
    Next is standing with my chest against the target. Chest actually touching the target. A 4 inch circle is drawn somewhere on the target. A partner taps my shoulder from behind, I draw and fire into that circle as fast as I can while I create distance. The goal is 7 rounds into the circle on the target, with no more than 3 seconds from the time the partner taps my shoulder to all 7 rounds in that circle, and then reposition, reload, and reevaluate. Anything less is a failure. It took me a surprisingly long time to be proficient at this. Shamefully long. Brian Enos’ book helped.
    The start position is my normal concealed carry position. As in, what and how I carry every day. Gun has to be on safe, gun must be completely concealed in my normal daily wear. Don’t cheat that.
    It is a very simple drill, and probably the most real world, practical drill I’ve seen. And it is surprisingly difficult. A lot of great shooters I’ve had out at my place fail at this one. JWT


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