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Skills Check: Failure Drill Speed Reload

Skills Check: Failure Drill Speed Reload

Incorporate something extra into your training for more of a challenge. Shooting drills are meant to serve several purposes, among them increasing speed and accuracy, solving a tactical problem or testing and perfecting gun-handling skills. The balance of accuracy, power and speed is essential. A quick miss is useless, as is a hit insufficient to end the proceedings, assuming we’re talking about defensive shooting.

The classic “Mozambique” pistol drill addressed these elements, being a solution to a problem requiring accuracy, speed and gun handling. It assumed a confrontation by an armed individual with deadly intent. With no choice but to defend yourself, draw your pistol, fire two quick shots to the assailant’s upper chest, assess and finish with a shot to the head if needed. The Failure Drill is the evolution of the “Mozambique,” as the assessment part is removed after the two upper chest shots, which are immediately followed by a head shot.

As you might imagine there are many variations on this theme, some well-known, some not and many with no name or association attached. As an aside, those of us who regularly teach these things are annoyed when folks take them, name them after themselves and announce they have discovered something new.

This drill is a nameless modification of the Mozambique, requiring a magazine exchange before firing the head shot. It’s designed to add an additional element of gun-handling skills and is not necessarily a correct solution to a problem. To set it up you will need your pistol, two magazines, a silhouette target and a shot timer or an assistant to time you. The drill is fired at 5 yards within a time limit of 5 seconds. To set it up, load your pistol, remove the magazine and replace it with a magazine holding only one round. Holster the pistol (holding only two rounds) andhave a full magazine in your magazine pouch for reloading.

At the start signal, draw and fire two rounds to the upper-chest area of the target, perform a speed reload and fire one careful shot to the center of the head portion of the target, all in 5 seconds. Thus:

Draw, shoot two, speed reload, shoot one.

If you’re using an Option or similar target, it’s scored 5-2; five points for all hits in the scoring areas and two points for those outside, for a possible 15 points. Add five points to your score for every second less than the 5-second limit and subtract5 seconds from your score for every second in excess of 5 seconds.

Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and the same is true in shooting. Mixing up your practice drills with new and different challenges adds to your proficiency and makes training fun and interesting.

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