The Perfect Shooting Drill to Save Ammo

Do you have what it takes to pass The Test?

posted on October 8, 2021
The Test

The Test was originally disseminated by Ken Hackathorn (top), but has lately been more associated with Larry Vickers (bottom).

As far as I can tell, ammunition remains expensive and in short supply, so here’s another drill that consumes only 10 rounds. But there’s a problem: It’s a bit addictive and you may want to shoot it several times and with several variations.

Back in the dark ages, Ken Hackathorn may have devised The Test, but in more recent times it has been popularized by Larry Vickers. While its origins are murky, its utility remains, and I recommend you give it a go.

Here’s the Drill:

Simply put, The Test involves firing 10 rounds in 10 seconds at 10 yards on an NRA B-8 bullseye target designed for 25-yard pistol competition.

• The target is 8 inches across, with 8, 9, 10 and X rings. This is a scored drill, with a passing score of 90 points and a possible score of 100.

• You shoot this from a ready position—two hands on the pistol with the muzzle depressed. On the start signal, fire 10 rounds within the 10-second time limit. There are no bonus points for shooting faster than allowed, but any shots fired after 10 seconds do not count.

• Variations include shooting it from the holster and shooting it from concealment. If shooting it  from 10 yards proves too easy, back up to 15 yards and try it again. You can shoot it with your favorite range gun and ammunition or your carry pistol with carry ammunition. If your pistol holds fewer than 10 rounds, you can add 5 seconds to the time limit and include a reload.

• You’ll need a shot timer or a shooting partner to time you, your pistol, ammunition and several B-8 targets. Lacking any B-8 targets, I looked online and found a free, printable B-8 target at

While doing a mag dump and throwing shots all over the target might have been something of a fad at one time, the necessity of conserving ammunition has put an end to that practice these days, and hopefully that increased wisdom prevails in the future.

I like this drill because it emphasizes speed, but more importantly, accuracy. From the standpoint of defensive shooting, it’s all about delivering quick, well-placed, fight-stopping hits.

Look at the sights, control the trigger and follow-through, 10 times in a row. That’s what it takes to pass The Test.


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