Skills Check: Double Dozier

posted on August 31, 2020

The Dozier Drill develops close-quarters speed and accuracy so you’ll hopefully gain the skills to extricate yourself from the sort of bad situation in which BG Dozier found himself.

The Dozier Drill we run at Gunsite Academy is reminiscent of the kidnapping of an American general in Italy in December 1981. BG James L. Dozier answered a knock on the door to find four armed men, members of the Italian Red Brigades, a Marxist terrorist group, dressed as plumbers. Forty-two days later, a counter-terrorism team located him, freeing Dozier and capturing the terrorists without firing a shot.

BG Dozier did not have the advantage of foresight, nor was he armed, but had he been, the story might have ended differently. Given that the “plumbers” had their submachine guns concealed in tool bags, Jeff Cooper surmised the general could have easily defended himself from the terrorists, bunched together in the vestibule, if he had been alerted to danger and armed with a handgun.

Here’s the Drill:
As a slightly more difficult adaptation of this scenario, we run the drill at 7 yards with five Pepper Popper falling steel targets placed 1 yard apart. It would be nice if we could bunch the targets together and shoot them at arm’s length to simulate Dozier’s situation, but steel cannot be safely engaged that closely, so we back off to an appropriate distance. On the start signal, the shooter presents the pistol and shoots down all five targets. There are a number of variations: It can be shot starting faced away from the targets, seated behind a table or fired one-handed. 

The Double Dozier variation is one you can shoot competitively, with a shooting partner or set up as a match stage. You will need 10 steel targets, either fixed or knock-down, and a stop plate. If you don’t have access to steel targets, you can shoot it with paper targets and add more difficulty by scoring the targets. 

Set up your steel at a minimum of 7 yards from the shooting position and make sure everyone, including spectators, are wearing eye and ear protection. At Gunsite we also require billed caps to keep hot brass or lead fragments from coming down behind your shooting glasses.

On the start signal, both shooters present their pistols and engage their set of targets. Oh, and I may have failed to mention, a reload is required before engaging the stop plate. Speed loads are recommended. If you aren’t comfortable with drawing from the holster, or you’re on a range that doesn’t allow it, you can start the drill from a low-ready, muzzle-depressed position.

This drill combines a number of essential skills including presenting the pistol from the holster, shooting quickly and accurately, performing a fast reload and shooting under competitive pressure. Round up some targets, call your shooting buddies and head for the local range.


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