This article, "'Dot Torture Yourself, appeared originally as a Skills Check column in the September 2017 issue of Shooting Illustrated. To subscribe to the magazine, visit the NRA membership page here and select Shooting Illustrated as your member magazine.
The hard part about getting through any extended training drill or qualification course is the ability to keep focused for 30, 50 or 72 rounds, as in the case of the Border Patrol qualification I fired for many years. Small lapses in concentration can lead to big misses. Such is the case with the Dot Torture pistol drill; aptly named because the pressure builds the further you get into it. It requires 50 rounds of ammunition and has no time limit. It’s shot at 3 yards. What could be easier? Nothing at all, except for one minor detail; to pass Dot Torture, you must make every single shot—a single miss results in failure.
I’m told Dot Torture is the brainchild of David Blinder, a man I don’t know, but I assume he is an evil genius. You can Google “Dot Torture” and find a number of websites with information; I found instructions and downloadable targets at pistol-training.com.
The target consists of 10 circles, numbered 1 through 10, each being about 1 7/8 inches in diameter. You’ll need your pistol, a holster and 50 rounds of ammunition. There’s no time limit (another diabolical twist that builds pressure, in my opinion), but 5 minutes is suggested as a par time to work toward. So download some targets, get to the range, step back 3 yards and try this (all shots are fired from the holster using both hands except where noted):
Dot 1: Draw and fire one five-shot group. Try for one hole, total five rounds. Dot 2: Draw and fire one shot, repeat for a total of five rounds. Dots 3 & 4: Draw and fire one shot each on #3 and #4, repeat for a total of eight rounds Dot 5: Draw and fire five rounds, strong hand only, for a total of five rounds. Dots 6 & 7:Draw and fire two shots on #6, then two shots on #7, repeat for a total of16 rounds. Dot 8:From a ready or retention position, weak hand only, fire five shots for a total of five rounds. Dots 9 & 10: Draw and fire one shot on #9, speed reload and fire one shot on #10, repeat three times for a total of 6 rounds.
If this proves too easy, move back to 5 or 7 yards and give it another go while applying the 5-minute time limit. You can shoot it with practice ammunition, your carry ammunition, your favorite training pistol, your everyday carry pistol or a .22 LR target pistol. A couple of hints: Try not to let the self-imposed pressure to avoid messing up get to you. Before starting, be sure where your pistol is hitting and if that point-of-impact changes when shooting with one hand, especially your weak hand. Stay focused, have a good time and don’t let Dot Torture mess with your head.