It has been a few months since I have posted any observations or experiences from my “random trips to the range”, so I thought I would post a few here. In this particular article, I will be referencing some different drills that I tried during a few different trips to the range.
Having successfully completed Dot Torture at 3 yards with my Glock 19, 26, and 43, I thought it was time to move the target to 4 yards. I decided to try it with my Glock 19, as it is my most utilized handgun. As can be seen, I missed one of my support-hand-only shots (dot #8) considerably low, nearly off the paper. I also nearly missed another high and to the right on the same dot, but it did JUST clip the line. As “passing” is 50 out of 50, this is a fail. I must say that nothing is more motivating than forcing yourself to write “FAIL” right on the target. More work to do.
The NRA Basics of Pistol Course of Fire
I have posted in a prior article my efforts to pass this basic skills test. Up to this point, I had passed—without great effort—this test up through the “instructor” level with my Glock 19 and my Glock 26 (never did an article on passing it with the 26, but I did it!). More recently, I decided to try to pass this with my Glock 43. I must admit, this test was MUCH more challenging with the Glock 43, particularly at the Blue level (20 feet) and also at the “instructor” level. At the Blue level I had to focus a LOT more than I had to with either the 19 or the 26. While I like the Glock 43 a lot, my grip on it is not as “sure” and it is just a less-forgiving platform, at least in my hands. At the “instructor” level, the target is set up at 15 yards and requires 16 out of 20 shots to hit within a 6 inch group. The circle itself is 8 inches in diameter. Nothing I read said that the shots all must hit within this 8 inch circle. When I was breaking my very first shot, I was hit forward of my left ear with brass from a shooter in a neighboring lane, and I missed low and left. With all of the other rounds grouped easily within 6 inches of each other, I am calling this a pass. If any of our readers discovers that ALL rounds must hit within the 8 inch circle (16 of which must be within a 6-inch group), show me where you saw this and I’ll shoot this portion of the drill again. Absent that, I am calling this a pass.
This drill has been appearing more and more on various websites and blogs I follow. Greg Ellifritz’s Active Response Training site comes to mind, where he said that he considers this a baseline, and that many “experienced” shooters he instructs—including police—cannot pass this drill (see here). The 5×5 Drill is 5 shots in 5 seconds in a 5 inch circle at 5 yards (done four times, though a fifth iteration can be done first to confirm the zero on the handgun). Claude Werner’s 5^5 Drill is virtually identical, but requires 5 strings rather than 4 (Claude Werner, per his writings on his site, the Tactical Professor, is a big fan of consistency).
As can be seen, I shot this drill with my Glock 19 with the times in each string of 3.36, 3.98, 2.88, and 4.89 seconds, all from the low-ready position, and got all of my hits. I like this drill a lot as a useful measure of accuracy, sight-tracking, and recoil-control. Honestly, from a ready position, this drill is not too terribly challenging. One day I will shoot it from concealment and see if I can manage it, as I would definitely have to push it and would have no real wiggle room without a clean draw.
There are several more drills I am looking forward to trying out in upcoming trips to the range, so our readers can look forward to reading about my experiences with them, and perhaps adding them to their own trips to the range. Remember, always go to the range with a plan about what you want to work on and how you want to challenge yourself.
As always, thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below or on our Facebook page, as we welcome civil discourse.