Skills Check: Three-Stage Security Drill

posted on May 20, 2019

A topic I’m very interested in is security for large groups of people. Regardless of why people are gathered, large groups have always been, and will remain, targets for those with nefarious purposes. As such, selecting, training and qualifying security teams is on the rise. I have worked with and trained several of these teams, and Gunsite Academy offers a couple of classes a year devoted to this topic. A question that frequently arises is how to determine if someone is qualified to carry a concealed firearm as part of a security team and is there a qualification we can use as part of our ongoing training?

Toward that end, here’s a three-stage drill you might want to consider using. All shooting is done from concealment using the firearm(s), ammunition and holsters to be carried while performing security-team duties. These drills are shot on an Option or standard silhouette target. The targets are scored 5/2, meaning each shot within the head or center-scoring rings is worth five points and each shot outside is worth two.

Stage 1: This is a modification of the Gunsite School Drill with a little time added to each stage to account for shooting from concealment.

3 Yards, single shot to the head in 2.5 seconds. One round total.

3 Yards, two shots to the center in 2.5 seconds. Two rounds total.

7 Yards, two shots to the center in 3 seconds. Two rounds total.

10 yards, two shots to the center in 3.5 seconds. Two rounds total.

15 yards, two shots to the center in 4.5 seconds. Two rounds total.

Stage 2: This is a modification of the Tactical El Presidente Drill. Starting position is with the back to two Option or silhouette targets spaced 1 yard apart, 5 yards from the shooter.

On the start signal, turn, present the pistol and engage each target with two center shots, perform a speed reload and engage each target with a single head-shot. Six rounds total. Shooters are awarded five points for every second under 8 seconds and lose five points for every second beyond 8 seconds. 30 points possible, although a better score can be achieved by shooting quickly and accurately.

Stage 3: At 25 yards, fire a single shot to the center of the target in 4 seconds. Repeat five times. Five rounds total.

This three-stage drill consumes 20 rounds and a perfect score is 100 points. I’ll leave it up to you to decide the passing score, but I would suggest 70 percent isn’t good enough and something like 90 percent should be your goal.


cylinder and gauges
cylinder and gauges

Tech Wisdom: 45 ACP Revolver Conversion Cylinders

I am hopelessly enamored with .45-caliber, single-action revolvers, especially those that accommodate the .45 ACP cartridge for everyday use, plinking and informal target shooting. My hands appreciate the reduced recoil of the .45 ACP as opposed to the heavier loads I use in the .45 Colt cartridge for hunting as well.

First Look: Streamlight Dualie 3AA Color-Rite Flashlight

A rugged, industrial-strength flashlight with a host of great features.

First Look: iRayUSA RICO HD RS75 Thermal Optic

Setting the standard for other thermal optics with an outstanding resolution and a great feature set.

Shotgun Light Roundup

When it comes to home defense, a shotgun brings a lot to the party. Bring some light as well.

Controlling Our Fear

Having the ability to stay calm when trouble shows up takes time, effort and training.

First Look: Riton Optics Thunder Ranch LPVO

A new 1-6x rifle optic designed in conjunction with a renowned rifle training expert.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.