Skills Check: Modified Cooper Cup Drill

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posted on July 6, 2018
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In the fall and winter months, as the weather cools down, it can be hard to stay on top of your concealed-carry training. So, while the weather's warm, here's one drill that will shoot up your daily carry ammunition in practice, and you can replace it with fresh ammo and give your carry piece a good cleaning and inspection. The drill I have for you requires 45 rounds and is roughly based on something we run at Gunsite Academy every year during the Gunsite Alumni Shoot called the Cooper Cup. This drill is challenging and leaves no room for error, as shots outside the head and body scoring rings of the Option target earn zero points.

You can run this on an Option target, a similar silhouette target or you can make your own by shooting into an 8-inch circle for the upper body area and a 3x5-inch rectangle for the head-shot area. Scoring is five points for every shot within the scoring rings, for a possible of 225 points. Passing or failing? I’ll leave that up to you to decide, as the idea is to make the hits quickly, not so much achieving a numerical score.

While you can shoot this with your favorite range or competition pistol, I suggest you give it a try from concealment with your daily carry handgun. Remember, while you can draw quickly, you must holster slowly and carefully. Here’s the rundown:

If the times seem a little fast or slow, adjust them accordingly with the goal of getting the hits in mind. You can use side-to-side movement as well, stepping to one side or the other as you draw the pistol. If you’re shooting at a range that doesn’t allow drawing from the holster, you can run all these stages from the low-ready (muzzle-depressed) position instead.

The important thing is to get out there and practice, and challenge yourself while doing it. Grab a shooting friend, head to the range and give this drill a try.

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