Stupid Shooting Drills

By on April 16, 2015

Shooting Drill

Student Approaches a Doorway During a Live Fire Drill

There are tons of shooting drills out there, some good, some bad, and some stupid. I really only think there should be two categories; Good and Stupid. Shooting drills need to focus on learning a skill. That skill needs to focus on things you want to learn or have an applicable situation towards what you are training for.

For me in the self defense world it’s an easy test. Does this drill help me with a skill that will make me more likely to survive a gunfight? That’s it. All the drills that have skills outside of that realm, I don’t much care about. I also like a balance of safety. Every thing we do with a handgun has an element of danger to it, but that danger needs to be measured against what is to gain. What is an expectable risk is different for everyone, but you won’t find me down range close to the target while someone else is shooting at it, and I won’t be the person shooting if someone is standing next to my target. The risk isn’t worth what is gained.

One drill that I’ve seen a lot is passing the gun from hand to hand to shoot. So you get the go signal, draw your gun (best skill to learn), and fire a couple rounds with your strong hand (okay so far), then pass the weapon to your off hand and fire one-handed, and then pass the weapon back and forth to learn changing hands in a gun fight. I think this drill is on the stupid side. Passing the gun back and forth really has no use unless you are a high-speed operator that is going to run the gun in either hand depending on which one is more advantageous to you going through a building. But then you have to be great at both hands, including reloads, malfunction drills, shooting, and have your gear set up mirrored. So probably not you in the civilian concealed carry everyday life (me neither).

Shooting drill with photographer down range.

I won’t be doing this.

So here is why the drill sucks… The idea is to teach you to swap hands if your strong side is injured during an attack. If my hand still works so I can pass the weapon back and forth, I’m probably not going to need to swap it. More then likely (and the shooting that I’ve studied where this has actually happened) you will have to pry the gun from your destroyed side, or pick it up off the ground after you drop it because your strong side isn’t working like it should. So I miss the advantage this drill gives you.

When you have limited shooting time (like all of us), pick a drill that works on the skills you will most likely need during a gunfight. I like to start with drawing. You have to get the gun out of the holster to start the fight one way or another. Then I like to look at what I’d like to do with the gun and myself. I’d like to move so I don’t get shot. Then I’d like to be able to hit the bad guy. So I do dry fire and live fire drills based around this simple thought. And don’t forget the rule of three’s, three rounds, three yards, three seconds is the most common gunfight. I want to be able to take care of that one first and then move to the weird stuff.

Handgun Draw Technique

Learning the Draw

So when you get a drill that you think would be cool to work on, make sure it’s teaching you a skill you want to learn. Don’t waist your time doing drills that have no likely hood to help you in real life.

There are tons of drills out there. We trainers are always coming up with new ones, some of us try to make drills around learning a skill you may need in a gunfight, others are just trying to come up with something cool and new. I love cool and new, but not when it comes to my self defense training. I’ll stick with those skills I need to survive and you can keep your cool box drill, swipe drill, 2-2-2-2 drills, and even your bill drills. I’ll keep working on hitting the target and not getting shot.

Stay Safe,


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