Archive for the 'Tactical Drills' Category

How We Protect Our Children At School

11 months, 2 weeks ago

The best way “we” can protect “our” children is not to give them to the government. Or, put another way, avoid crowds; schools are crowds. But for those who can’t or won’t, this information may be valuable.

What does it mean to protect our children at school? For the past decade, I’ve been following a program that protects school children from celebrity-seeking mass-murderers. This program teaches school staff to be first responders who provide both armed defense and medical first aid. We’ve learned a lot over the past decade, but there are still unanswered questions.

Protecting our children at school actually covers a lot of ground. Being “at school” is really a shorthand way of saying we want to protect the children when they are out of their parents care. That includes when they are off campus and on the school bus before school starts. It includes the school events after the last class period ends. We want to protect our children from the ball field to the classroom and into the parking lot.

Once you see the scope of the problem, you realize why a single uniformed School Resource Officer is only the beginning of a safety plan. One defender, no matter how well-trained or effective, can’t be everywhere all the time.

First responders must be near the children because we don’t want to give a murderer time to kill. That means an armed defender has to be within a few hundred feet of every child. The number of defenders that we want depends on the size of the campus and the layout of the buildings. A one-room school house takes fewer defenders than a sprawling K-12 campus.

More at the link.

Practice Shooting From The Other Eye As Well As The Other Hand

11 months, 2 weeks ago


In a recent article, one of our writers addressed the use of the eyes in regards to shooting with both eyes open and he advised we all should. An interested reader then inquired as to whether or not he should shoot off the weak shoulder with his strong eye or weak eyed or crossover. Having dealt with this on a regular basis, I thought to give some insight into what we find works and the why’s, as in why we care, why we should train to the task and why it might make a difference.

Although it sounds a bit edgy, have you ever been in a bar or the like and seen somebody sucker punched? As in our about-to-be-thumped dude was looking in one place and someone from another direction zaps him? The use of both eyes open helps eliminate the proverbial tactical sucker punch. Simply close one eye and see what part of the room or your environment you lose visual contact with.

The simple equation is two eyes open allows for more information to be gathered by the eyes — and remember this isn’t always for direct movement. The peripheral visual is one of the few places where true instincts are at play with guns, shooting and fighting as the peripheral vision picks up movement to which the shooter can shift his eyes directly to confirm potential threats and apply sighted fire according to need. Contrary to some beliefs, we can’t shoot instinctively, but we can in fact use instincts in the form of this “hunter’s eye” which catches or gathers movement if you will. You can then address it as needed.


This is actually not a big deal, as many people are right handed and have a left master eye or vice versa. Probably the biggest eye problem could evolve around a new shooter who might be cross dominant and often sees two or more images. This is most common in handguns. In the use of a handgun, the new shooter may need to feather or shut down an eye until he acquires more skill or simply more exposure to shooting in general with the idea in mind he ultimately will shoot with both eyes open.

More at the link discussing both handguns and rifles.

The Complete Concealed Carry Training Guide

11 months, 2 weeks ago

As internet firearms guides go, this one from the Alien Gear blog isn’t bad. The font is hard to view, though, and needs to be updated.

There are hundreds of very usable holsters and thousands of functional holster and holster retainment (i.e., belt) combinations. Find the combo and weapon body placement that’s best for you to carry a firearm every day. Some folks have different carry options and even different guns depending upon the environment, weather, location, and other limiting factors.

In the video below, the number one mistake is the worst type regardless of how you try to possess a weapon; never give up!

Accepting segregation as a general philosophy, I choose not to go where prohibition doesn’t allow guns. You don’t like my kind, and I don’t like your kind; that’s fair. As to the law, well, let’s not make stupid self-incriminating statements. But in either case, there are ways to safely and securely carry almost anywhere.

Also, see The Beginner’s Guide to Concealed Carry, and not exactly a definitive but informative guide.

Two Men Rob Woman Sitting In Her Car

1 year ago

The doors unlocked and probably had her face in the phone.

The Best Drills to Try at the Range this Weekend

1 year ago

I disagree with starting from the low ready. A total change in training and practice needs to take place in the shooter training sphere; always train from drawing. Ranges need to work on this; it requires all of us, trainers, facilities, YouTubers, political activists, and others, to make this switch. Drawing from low ready is a legacy training approach that needs to be abolished. If the IDPA and others want to run competitions from low ready, that’s one thing, self-defense carry needs to be practiced from the draw. This will force competence not just in drawing, time to muzzle on target, and shooting but will force less experienced shooters to consider more seriously the very limited window in which a self-defense encounter can present itself and the best carry option for them, not the easiest, but best.

There are several drills at this link; the two most basic entries are mentioned below.

Do the 5×5 from the holstered position, not low-ready. Attaining 5 seconds may not be doable for the 5×5 drill, but taking longer than five seconds, if realistic for real life, is what better training should simulate and prepare you to face.

Know Your Basics: 5×5

The 5×5 (or 5^5) drill is a true test of your foundational skills. If you do well, it’s a good reassurance that you have your basics covered, and a sign that pursuing intermediate to advanced drills may be a good idea. If you struggle with this drill, it can help you realize where improvement is needed. Remember, as nice as it is to see perfect drills, it’s also good to find out where you need to improve.

It’s simple: starting from a low-ready position, stand 5 yards from your target and fire 5 rounds within 5 seconds. Simple, right? The target usually has a five-inch diameter circle, but not always. The overall goal is to make all shots within the said circle.

If you want an added challenge, draw from the holster or try it four times in a row (passing would be 25 shots without missing).

Don’t Flinch: The Coin/Brass Drill

This drill is super simple and great for beginners. To do this drill you need an unloaded gun and a penny (or, alternatively, you can use spent brass). Rest the penny on [or near] your front sight so it’s balanced. Your goal is to aim and pull the trigger without letting the penny fall. This can be a great way to weed out flinching in beginners and help commit to squeezing the trigger properly. Trigger control is vital to hone, and you’ll find the further you are from a target during live fire, the more trigger control problems will become clear. Say it with us: dry fire is your friend.

Wilson’s Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency Drill

1 year ago

The below is not the Bill Drill. Previously at TCJ, this post includes the Bill Drill

Designer: Bill Wilson

I saw this new drill from Bill Wilson online the other day, so I set it up and shot it. He calls it the “Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency” drill, which aligns with our interest in minimum competency and standards generally. It includes a concealment draw, emergency reload, engaging targets at 7 and 12 yards with 12 yard head shots (simulating 24 yard body shots), stationary target transitions within a single target and across a wide space, shooting on the move, and thinking (surprise reload).

It’s an easy drill to set up if you have an outdoor range and space to move. Not a drill well suited to single lane practice at an indoor range. This stage will definitely be set up and run during one of our summer USPSA matches.

CHP DRILL (Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency)

Purpose: This drill is designed to test as many basic defensive shooting skills as
possible with a quick to administer single string of fire and minimal ammunition required,
that can be shot on basic ranges, even indoors.

What This Drill Tests: Draw/presentation, multiple shot control, target transition,
movement under time, shooting on the move, target acquisition after movement,
emergency re-load and precision shots.

This practice starts from the holstered position using IDPA targets with variable scoring for head or body shots. The complete drill is at the link.

The Most Important Pistol Skill

1 year ago

This post on drawing a handgun covers a critical skill gap suffered by many concealed carriers. Time to muzzle on target wins gunfights. Or, as this very essential short article points out: draw to a first solid hit is most important.

The most important skill with a pistol, as it pertains to self-defense, is being able to deploy it efficiently, safely, and quickly.  We could say that the draw to a first, solid hit, is most important.  I would submit that the draw itself can be separated out from the first accurate hit to an extent because most defensive gun uses end with a gun displayed yet no shot fired.

Ironically, many self-pronounced practitioners of defensive pistolcraft tend to ignore this skill.  I see at public ranges, all the time, people practicing only from ready positions, usually not even wearing a holster.  Similarly, even some serious shooters who are technically skilled and focus on competitive shooting do practice from the holster, but from a holster that is not applicable to concealed carry.


The draw needs to be well practiced for any number of scenarios.  Most people who do actually practice the draw tend to focus only on the best-case scenario or performing the draw from a standing position with the hands in an optimal position, with both hands available to work on the task.

At the link, this drill offers 8 different situations or types of draw to practice.

A 25 Round Shotgun Practice Routine

1 year ago

There isn’t a lot of shotgun training available these days. Everybody has gone tacticool, but this is a good primary starting point for an average home defense family. There’s been a recent self-defense situation that’s come up with somebody I know, and the primary weapon selection for their home has been a 12ga pump shotgun. One reason is small children, therefore, a desire for limited penetration. I’m not a shotgunner. Any help in the comments would be appreciated.

This three-part shotgun drill at what some consider a reputable resource looks helpful for starters.

I tried to really give this some thought with regard to what is required to actually work in live fire with a shotgun, since a lot of it can be worked dry fire. Also, to set the context, this is meant to be a basic “I have a shotgun for home defense” type thing. Obviously there are skills above and beyond what is covered in this short range session, but those skills are less likely to be used in this context. So what we have here is a narrow focus on the key aspects of shooting a shotgun for home defense.

  • The ability to quickly mount the gun properly, acquire an acceptable sight picture, and fire an accurate shot.
  • The ability to manage recoil and fire multiple, quick shots as required.
  • Building good habits with proper follow through and maintaining a fully loaded shotgun as much as possible.
  • The ability to recognize an empty gun and quickly get the gun back to a fighting condition with an emergency reload.

If someone had the ability to set up multiple targets, or wanted to add movement to these drills, that could easily be done while still shooting the same basic drill. The assumption in this case is that range limitations prevent those sorts of things. For the minimal investment of about $10 in 12 gauge ammunition and maybe 15 minutes of time, that is a lot to check off the list with regard to the shotgun.

Full drill at the link.

Edit: Also see, Understanding Different 12-Guage Ammo at Widener’s. Includes pics of patterns for buckshot and slug results.

El Presidente and Other Handgun Training Drills

1 year, 1 month ago

Training Drills, by Rob Leatham

Here are several, perhaps, warm-up drills

Slow Fire Drill — Five shots on target, unlimited time, two hand standing position. Done once each from 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 yards. Each shot reinforces the basics and the shooter also verifies sight zero.

Five-Second Drill — The shooter has five seconds to draw and fire a single shot. This is an opportunity to refresh muscle-memory and make sure every moment from the draw to the shot placement is correct. Then the shooter repeats the Drill with three rounds, then with four rounds, then with five rounds, etc. all the way up to ten rounds in five seconds. Distance begins at 3, then to 5, 7 and 10 yards. All shots must be in the A-zone of the target.

Three-Grasp Drill — The shooter draws and fires two shots from their preferred two-hand stance, then shoots two rounds strong hand only and then two rounds weak hand only. (An alternate version is to fire one shot from each position). This is conducted from 3, 5, 7 and 10 yards, all shots in the A-zone of the target.

Shoot And Move Drill — Fire five shots moving forward. Then five shots retreating. Then begin at the 10 yard line and leave a magazine on the ground at the 3 yard line. At the start signal, move forward firing until you have reached the point where you placed the fresh magazine. Pick up the magazine from the ground and reload and then fire as you retreat back to the starting point.

Shoot – Reload – Shoot Drill — At ten yards, facing a single target. Draw and fire six rounds, reload, and fire another six rounds. The shooter should fire as fast as they can and still keep all hits within the A-zone of the target.

For the average CCW holder, drawing and shooting while retreating could save your life. Practice this because, innately, you may begin to withdraw from a surprise situation. Thousands of rounds down range in training scenarios can help to mitigate this desire, but you just won’t know until heaven forbid, you’re there.

Mr. Leatham offers El Presidente as a concluding drill in this set, but we thought to provide Jeff Cooper’s version below.

El Presidente, Jeff Cooper

El Presidente was designed by Jeff Cooper as a rough benchmark of handgun skills. It is probably the most widely known handgun standard around.

Setup: three IPSC targets, spaced one yard apart, 10 yards distant.

Starting Position: gun holstered, spare magazine on belt, hands held above shoulders (surrender position), facing away (180 degrees) from targets. With standard IPSC comstock scoring.

Drill: At the signal, turn and draw, firing two shots into the A-zone of each target. Reload, and fire two more shots into each target. As originally specified, the Drill only counts if all shots are in the A-zone. A missed A-zone counts as a missed target. But when shot in competition, all hits on the target usually count, Grandmaster.

This set of drills comes to you via Handgun Law dot US. Always check their webpage before traveling between states to make sure you know the latest and important laws of the states you’ll be in.


Texas DPS 25 yard course of fire (Jan 2021)

1 year, 1 month ago

This drill is better described as a Course of Fire and comes via Active Response Training. It’s (was?) used by Texas DPS in their handgun training program.

It’s intended to be shot on the giant B-27 target [full-size man silhouette], scored like the Texas License to Carry test (8-9-10 rings score 5, 7 ring scores 4, on target but outside the 7 ring scores 3). To make it harder I’ve been shooting it using a Shoot Steel target center, where the B zone (center circle) scores 5, the C zone (roughly same size as the 8-9-10 ring on a B-27) scores 4, and everything outside the C zone scores zero (unacceptable hit). The images below are NOT to scale, since the B27 is 24″x45″ and the Shoot Steel target is 18″x24″.

The course measures the quality of shot placement in multiple situations, including switching hands, more than one body position, and several distances up to 25 yards. I don’t like the scoring system. I prefer a tighter scoring system with less allowance for poor shot placement in the time allotted. I’ve not shot this course or the Texas Carry Qual. It looks like a better challenge with the more difficult target (pictured above) that the author uses. It would be fun to run against buddies as a friendly challenge. Go to the link for more background and full instructions.

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