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Basic Firearm and Defensive Skills and Training Discussion Section.
Original post by ssgndoc on the old Canik Fanatik Forum

I'd like to launch a section to encourage people to train and practice shooting skills that they may overlook in their regular range sessions.

Many folks go to the range, shoot bullseyes at 5,7, 10 or 25 yds, then pack up and go home. This is usually all that they do. This is also usually done as slow fire, shooting at a single target or maybe a couple of targets. This is good for basic marksmanship and is a fundamental and foundational part of shooting which other skills are built on.

Lot of gun owners, however, bought their firearms for defensive use. This could mean home defense, or in the role of a concealed carry firearm. Other folks bought guns or competition use. How well does static practice shooting at bullseyes, translate in these other areas of use? Are there other skills that are being neglected when we don't practice them? Can we incorporate other skills into our regular range sessions? How can we get more training value out of 50-100 rounds of ammo with our range fees? How do we measure improvement? how do we establish a base line of where our skills are at versus where we want our skills to be? Are there goals I should set for myself as a shooter, and how do I track my progress?

In an effort to push myself to do more than bullseye practice at the range, and push myself to develop other shooting skill I often neglect to train in routinely, I've been researching different drills and trying to incorporate them into my sessions. I'm trying to learn from attempting these drills where my current level of performance is and what goals I want to set for myself in order to gain more from the time and money spent on ammo and range time.

I thought I would offer up a monthly drill challenge for folks on the forum to try if they are interested in pushing themselves further in their own practice.

The drill I selected to open up this idea is the Dot torture drill. It is featured on many forums and on the web. Many competitive practical shooters use this drill for warm up or skill maintenance. Many defensive trainers also use an d recommend this drill. Targets can be downloaded from Pistol Training.com, here: http://pistol-training.com/drills/dot-torture

Dot torture target

The basic drill is run as follows:

Dot #1 - fire 5 shots for best group, slow fire (goal is a single hole group).

Dot # 2 - draw from a holster and fire one shot. Repeat this for a total of 5 shots on dot #2.

Dots #3 and #4 - Draw from holster and fire one shot on #3 and one shot on #4, and holster. Repeat for a total of 4 shots on each dot (8 shots total).

Dot #5 - draw from holster and fire one shot with strong hand only. Repeat for a total of 5 shots.

Dots #6 and #7 - Draw and fire 2 shots on dot #6 and 2 shots on dot #7. Repeat for total of 8 shots on each dot. (16 shots total).

Dot #8 (one of my least favorite) - from the ready position, fire 5 shots using the weak hand only.

Dots #9 and #10 - Draw and fire one shot on #9 perform a speed reload and fire one shot on #10. Repeat for a total of 3 shots on each dot. (Prep for this section is to load one round in your first mag, and two rounds in your spare mag. This way when you draw and ire the slide should lock, prompting the reload. Then you perform the reload, and fire one shot. Return the pistol to the holster and load two rounds into the discarded mag, and repeat until you have fired three shots into each dot.)

This drill can be modified a bit to suit experience level, equipment and range rules. For example, when starting out it is recommended to shoot this drill at 3 yds or 10 feet as a baseline. There is no prescribed time limit when starting, so you can walk through it slow. If you are shooting this clean (meaning no hits outside the circles) right of the bat, then consider moving the target back to 5 yards, or setting "par" times for yourself if you have a shot timer or shot timer app on your phone and push the speed up. As you increase the difficulty, by setting time or distance goals more value can be added to your training sessions and you can measure your improvement. This drill tends to point out areas where you are weak and can use some extra practice. (My weak hand shooting and mag changes are not where I want them to be, so I may spend a few more rounds working on those skills on the next few sessions until I hit my goals.)

Range rules may prohibit holster use, or shooting faster than x-number of rounds per x-amount of seconds. If you can't use a holster, then start from low ready, or tabletop pick up, which ever is acceptable at the range you use. If shot-per-second rules keep you from pushing par times, then push back the distance.

To score the drill the goal is to keep all hits inside the 2" circles. It is a 50 shot drill, so a "clean" drill is 50 shots out of 50 shots inside the circles, or 50/50. If this was done at 3 yds it would be 50/50-3. IF it was done at 5 yds and 2 rounds were dropped outside the circles it would be scored as a 48/50-5. Some folks may want to argue that hits which break the black border line of the circle are counted as hits while others will treat the lines as a "poison" line and not count anything touching the line. I say you can set your own standard based on your goals and level of experience. If you are at a level where it is a challenge to keep rounds even breaking the border lines form the outside of the circle, then you may want to count them. If you are really pushing yourself for perfection and higher performance, you may want to count any contact with a line as a dropped round. In other words, your training goal = your standards.

One more modification of this may depend on the type of pistol being used. If you are using traditional double action (TDA) AKA double action/single action pistol, then there is a TDA version of this drill. This would mean starting every stage of the drill with the pistol decocked, and decocking prior to holstering between stages. this is to build those DA first shot skills, as well as Da to SA shot transitions. (TP9, TP9V2 and future TP9DA owners, this is an option for you.) People who own other models of pistols that they carry or compete with are encouraged to participate in the challenge as well. (I plan on running a few pistols on this drill, to include my PX4 Storm compact. Glock 19, and Sig p226, etc.)

Now as part of kicking this off I discussed this with the site staff and one of the remaining Distressed Canik Fanatik ball caps is being set aside for the end of this month. This will be done by drawing a screen name of one of the participants. (hard to run this as a competition of scores, since distances, times, equipment and range facility limitations may play some pretty significant roles in how even the playing field can be. Future drills of the month may be able to be more directly competitive.

Weekend is almost here. Let's see what ya'll can do.

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