Fun Training Exercises To Try This Summer

BY PGF
11 months, 1 week ago

These look like fun family handgun exercises or for an Independence Day cookout with friends. These drills are functionally important, and a challenge with other shooters is an opportunity to sharpen your skills.

Have you been to the range in a while? If you have, did you do any fun drills or did you just stare at a paper target and dump ammo downrange? A lot of us don’t go to the range as much as we should because life just gets in the way. Work and other activities make it hard to find time, but the cost of ammo is also a contributing factor.

I remember buying ammo by the case and shooting until there were blisters on my finger. But that was back in the day when ammo was about the same cost as candy. Now, ammo is equivalent to little gold coins that make you cringe every time you pull the trigger. I recently sighted a hunting rifle and every time I fired the gun it cost me $1.50. That adds up quickly when you’re not paying attention and get the trigger jitters.

But the good news is there are plenty of fun drills you can do that don’t burn through gobs of ammo. Getting some quality training, having fun, and not spending all your money sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not. You just need to spend a little more time setting up the range for various drills. Drills and exercises on the range are designed to improve specific skills. This could be accuracy, weapon control, speed, or a mixture of them all. And the good thing is most of them do not require a ton of ammo. Let’s look at some fun drills you could be doing this summer.

Mag Change Drills are discussed along with transition drills, but what he calls the Big-Little Drill can be important. It’s good to train your mind in a few things when shooting targets of various sizes and distances. One aspect of handgun shooting distance is to train your mind that the target is just smaller, not further away. The distance challenge can change the mind’s perspective on handgun shooting and cause less accuracy than simply viewing it as a smaller target at the same range. Also, our perception of a threat not standing squarely to us, presenting a quarter turn or only their side, can change our perception of how to hit the target when we can simply view it as slimmer; center mass is center mass. Those are some mental things to consider for practice; it may help.

Shooting at items you can find in the trash.

Here’s the Big-Little Drill, you can always improvise or modify targets as resources dictate:

I have no idea if this is a real drill or if my drill instructor in the police academy made it up, but it’s fun. For this drill, you can use metal targets or random bottles and other items laying around asking to be shot at. This is an accuracy drill, so you start out with the largest item on the left and move to the smallest on the right.

Mixing the sizes up or shooting from the outside in or inside out for subsequent rounds is a good idea.

I set mine up at 25 yards to make it more fun. I normally use a pop bottle or milk jug followed by a 16oz bottle or something comparable. Next a pop can and then a shotgun shell for the smallest item. If you want to add more items in there, go ahead. The idea is to start with the biggest item and move to the smallest. This drill will also work with rifles, you just set it up further out.

I have metal targets in different sizes, but there is something more satisfying about watching the bottles fly through the air when you hit them. I like to run this drill with my lever action rifle at 50 yards and 75 with my AR-15. One of my old instructors would use the drill at the end of the day so we could shoot at the bottles and cans from our lunch break. Golf balls are also fun to shoot at if you want a really small target.

Check out his other drills at the link, and remember, gun time is a fun time.


Comments

  1. On June 22, 2023 at 5:21 am, jrg said:

    I’ve never seen that drill before, but it does make a lot of sense. Targets come in varying sizes in cover where only a part of target is exposed so if you can’t hit when fully exposed … more practice is required.

    Mel Gibson’s character in the movie ‘The Patriot’ said it best – AIM SMALL – MISS SMALL (focus on hitting target exactly on that spot, not up there or right beside it but right THERE).

    What is a good drill for squirrel hunting ? Shooting while aiming high into the tree canopy where lighter shooting windows in dark tree canopy is done. Maybe a target suspended over a cord attached to target to lift into canopy ?

  2. On June 22, 2023 at 11:39 am, Latigo Morgan said:

    When I was a kid we played a game we made up called, .22 Golf.

    The dirt stock pond was dry most of the year behind our place, so we’d dig a hole at one end of it and then shoot golf balls across the dirt to the hole. First one to get their ball in the hole wins – which of course would take the least amount of shots.

    We were just having fun. That we were perfecting our accuracy never crossed our minds. You also learn how to shoot just below the ball to jump it in the air for the longest jump – but too much “English” once side or the other will send it to the wrong part of the range.

  3. On June 23, 2023 at 9:40 pm, X said:

    “I remember buying ammo by the case and shooting until there were blisters on my finger. But that was back in the day when ammo was about the same cost as candy. Now, ammo is equivalent to little gold coins that make you cringe every time you pull the trigger.”

    True. Which is why I have gotten into .22 LR lately. Back during the ammo panic of 2012 when .22 was practically unavailable, I shot more 30-06 than .22. Back then primers were available for three cents each and you could still find .30 cal bullets fifteen cents and ten cents if you looked hard enough.

    Now it’s the opposite. .22 has been available for over a year now and compared to other ammo is quite reasonably priced — in the 7-8 cent range. I just bought a 325 round box of .22s at Wally for under $20. You can blast away all night with .22s without incurring much financial pain. By contrast surplus 30-06, which is not good ammo, is about a buck a round.

    Got a Glock 44 last year for that very reason and have burned a lot of rounds through it.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Tactical Drills and was published June 21st, 2023 by PGF.

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