I thought it would be fun to post one last time in 2017 the results of a few of my range trips as well as describe a few drills that have not yet appeared on our blog. As such, combined with a few of my related articles (see here, here, and here), those who read this article can attack 2018 with some (I think) useful drills to try.
I have seen credit for creation of “The Test” variously attributed to Larry Vickers and to Ken Hackathorn. Although some seem to disagree about the origins, one thing I will note is that I have read that Vickers and Hackathorn score them differently. While Vickers demands all shots “in the black” on the B-8 Repair Center target, Hackathorn, from what I have read, seems to do a straight point total, with no penalties for hits in the white rings. To read Larry Vickers’ description of the drill and scoring, check this link. The fast version is that, from a realistic ready position, the shooter has to shoot 10 rounds in 10 seconds into the black of the B-8 repair center at 10 yards (the black of the B-8 repair center is 5.5 inches in diameter).
I like this drill for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think it is a useful drill that demands good sight tracking and grip/recoil control. If you do your part, your sights will settle after each shot right where you need them. Also, due to the distance and the small size of the target, the shooter must use the sights. I cannot imagine too many people “index” or “point shooting” their way through a drill like this. Finally, I like the drill because I can perform it even at crappy indoor ranges that do not allow drawing from the holster.
As can be seen, my group was quite good except for one shot low and out of the black. Also, my time was just over at 10.58 seconds. Per Vickers’ scoring, my errant shot in the 8 ring counted as a one-second penalty, so 11.58 seconds. Per Hackathorn scoring, I shot a 96, but I was over in time regardless.
I next tried the drill in early November with my Glock 26, and yet again demonstrated to myself that I am at least as accurate with my Glock 26 as with my 19s. On this occasion, my time was 9.47 seconds and my score was a 95.
I shot The Test one more time, later in November, this time with my black Glock 19. This time my score was again 95 in a time of 9.81 seconds. My shots were a little to the right on this occasion, which is odd considering I typically pull my shots to the left.
“The Super Test”
This test is the brainchild of Darryl Bolke and Wayne Dobbs of HardWired Tactical Shooting, and Greg Ellifritz wrote a bit about The Super Test here. It is basically “The Test” on steroids. It consists of three strings of 10 rounds each, fired in the following manner: 10 rounds at 15 yards in 15 seconds, 10 rounds at 10 yards in 10 seconds (“The Test”!), and 10 rounds at 5 yards in 5 seconds. At the end you add up your points, with a total possible of 300 points.
So far, I have only shot this drill once, using my black Glock 19 (the same day I passed “The Test”). I shot the 15 yard string in 12.43 seconds, the 10 yard string in 8.57 seconds, and the 5 yard string in 4.39 seconds. I put one shot into the 7 ring, 3 into the 8 ring, and 11 into the 9 ring, so my total score was a 280.
I like this drill for several reasons. For one thing, it forces the shooter to shoot at different cadences depending on the distance of the shots. The further out the target, the more time is needed to ensure accurate shots, while up close it is all about recoil management and sight tracking. Thus, with a mere 30 rounds, the shooter gets to evaluate several aspects of the fundamentals. I also like this drill because, like “The Test”, it can be shot from the ready at ranges that do not allow drawing (though you can challenge yourself and shoot it from the holster, in which case it becomes known as “The Advanced Super Test”!). The drill can also be useful to test the shooter’s skills with different handguns (for example, comparing a full-size to a compact, or a compact to a pocket gun, etc.). Finally, I like this drill because it provides a score that the shooter can try to surpass in subsequent trips to the range. I will also note here that, for you wheel-gun practitioners, there is a snubby revolver version of “The Super Test”, which Greg Ellifritz tried out here.
Overall, I have been happy with my performance on these two drills, especially considering my only limited experience in shooting them. I look forward to continuing to utilize both of these drills to evaluate my skills from time to time, with the goal of making sure I am not backsliding and, hopefully, actually improving in both speed and accuracy. Thus, as we move from 2017 into 2018, I will try to keep our readers informed of how I progress and hopefully inspire everyone to do the same.
As always, thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please post below or on our Facebook page, as we always welcome civil discourse.