Skills Check: Countdown Drill

by
posted on February 26, 2018
drill.jpg

As (SFPD) Inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan reminded us, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Knowing our limitations is a critical skill for defensive shooters, and a couple of them have to do with time and distance. I view these two variables as being the same thing; when there’s little distance (from a threat) there is precious little time to act, but as the distance increases, there is more time. At Gunsite we advise maximizing distance from a threat by simply stating, “Distance is your friend.”

You can run this drill on an outdoor range by using a fixed target starting at 3 yards and working your way back to 25 yards. On an indoor range, you can set the target at 3 yards and send it farther downrange for each stage. I like to run this with my carry pistol and shoot it on an Option target, but you can shoot it with any pistol and target and start either in the holster or from a low-ready, muzzle-depressed position. There’s no time limit because the idea is to see how quickly you can make accurate shots—work as quickly and safely as you can. Here’s the drill:

If you have a shooting partner, try shooting this together as a contest. You stay in and keep shooting as long as you make all your hits—a miss means you’re out. The person who makes it back the farthest is the winner. Tied at 25 yards? Not a problem. Move back to 35 and, if necessary, 50 yards and fire single shots.

Want to make this more challenging? Try reducing the size of the target or timing yourself on each stage, then working on beating your times as you shoot it again. My mentor, Jeff Cooper, felt one of the most-difficult pistol shots is the single shot taken at 25 yards, from the holster, within 2.5 seconds. If you can consistently make this shot, you have earned my respect.

Latest

Galco Underwraps Elite
Galco Underwraps Elite

First Look: Galco UnderWraps Elite Belly Band

Carry your defensive firearm when you can't carry in a conventional manner.

Keeping The Proper Perspective

A firearm is only part of the defensive lifestyle.

New 2011 and 1911 Pistols for 2024

The double-stack 1911 bandwagon keeps rolling right along.

First Look: SIG Sauer 1911-XSeries Pistols

Red-dot ready, right from the box.

Infrared Aiming Devices For Rifles

Using infrared technology can be challenging even with the best equipment, which is why the U.S. Army runs intricate training scenarios to familiarize its Soldiers with these IR devices.

First Look: SB Tactical SBA5 Brace

The latest iteration of SB Tactical's game-changing pistol brace.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.