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Pistol Drill: Restaurant Defense at 20 Yards

This is a simple drill for exiting a restaurant seat to take a lower profile and put a couple rounds on target at 20 yards (presumably after having told your friends or family members to find floor behind cover away from you) on a half-size torso target (the little red one).

It’s just a drill to practice efficient, safe movement for direct engagement. It’s about technique rather than realism. This is not a scenario drill that accounts for lines of sight or other people. Technical skill first.

Pistol Drill: Two at 20 Yards from “Hostage” Position

This is a simple drill that works from a prone, “hostage” position. Moving quickly to cover, clearing garments, and getting the gun up and putting critical hits on target at 20 yards in just a couple of seconds involves a lot of kinetic skills. Good practice.

I did 50-ish reps of this one today. When I replace the magazine, I just rack the slide and don’t worry about the lost round. It’s best to chamber a round regardless of whether or not there’s one already in the chamber. I just had a gunfight and likely have no idea how many rounds I fired. Gas it up and chamber a round to be certain.

Four From Cover

by Andy Rutledge 1 Comment

This is a drill to practice good hits at medium range from different angles while using cover.

The point here is to properly use cover of an odd configuration to engage a target several times while never emerging from the same place twice. Four shots from four different positions forces you to learn to use your body to provide a stable platform based on what the cover requires of you…all while maintaining good accuracy on a small-ish target (here 8″) at medium range (in this case, 23 yards).

You’ll notice that I finish with covered sul position. This is so that I can scan my area for more threats while not looking like a deadly threat to friendlies in the vicinity. Most folks won’t even notice that there’s a gun in my hand (have a care not to unnecessarily frighten folks when you’re doing good).

Three Compromised Positions

This week’s drill works on ground mobility/dexterity and marksmanship from compromised positions. Good to know how to handle shooting from your back and while prone. I had to spend an extra round or two in each of these reps. MOAR TRAINING.

Wearing some knee/elbow pads, as ~35 reps of this drill is a bit punishing on the skin!

Fatigue Drill Variation

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

Here’s a drill you can do to test and develop your ability to maintain accuracy and concentration as your heart rate and blood pressure rise (simulating stress).

This particular pass was not my best, as I was already pretty fatigued. But that’s kind of the point. Repetition and concentration on fundamentals helps to improve performance as you learn to adapt.

I’m placing 2 shots from each position as a means to train followup-shot ability.

Two-Shot Fatigue Drill

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

8″ plate at 23 yards. Instead of my standard fatigue drill, with this one I’m focusing on accurate follow-up shots. So I’ll take 2 shots from each position instead of just one.

Not my best effort here. Moar training!

Ten Shots at 25 Yards

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

This is something I’m going to do every week so that I can track progress (I hope!) for putting 10 shots on target at 25 yards. I’d like to keep the time under 9 seconds and the shots within an 8″ group.

It’s a process. This particular effort was pretty underwhelming. :-/ Moar training!

Training With Kyle

After years of acquaintance on Twitter, I finally met and got to train with Kyle Southerland at the Proactive Defense gun range. We did lots of good pistol work and rifle drills. It was a blast and I look forward to the next time. Gig ’em!

100% Headshot Accuracy for Time and Distance

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

Today I spent time at the practical range doing something different than my usual.

At the practical range, I’m typically pushing boundaries and exploring my limits with regard to practical and situational defensive drills. This means that I’m riding the edge of my abilities for accuracy and timing, going as fast as I safely can go. The result is that I run at best somewhere around 50% accuracy for the specific hit zone I’m gunning for. I learn much in these training sessions, but what is absent is knowledge of what I’m 100% capable of doing with regard to timing and accuracy (and the HABIT of doing so—important!).

Today’s effort was concerned exclusively with confirming my 100%-accuracy & timing capability for a headshot—4″ x 7″ eye-width face zone measuring from the top of the eyes to the Adam’s apple—while moving off the X and drawing from concealment with my EDC setup (which is the only way I ever train). I worked from 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards, measuring the time for 10 consecutive good hits in the 4″ x 7″ zone. In every case I only counted the slowest time of the 10 consecutive scoring hits. The result is the time, per distance, that I’m confident I can make a human-stopping headshot with 100% accuracy.

My target area

Some caveats:

  1. Yes, the target zone I’m going for here is taller (twice as tall) than merely the oculonasal area one typically associates with a “turn-out-the-lights” facial headshot. I’m using this larger area for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’m not yet good enough to hit the 4″ x 3.5″ oculonasal area at 20 or 25 yards consistently, but secondly, supersonic hits to the extended area will still traumatize either the spinal cord or the vital arteries of the lateral neck areas. So this extended area is still a lights-out hit.

  2. Yes, this is a very simple drill: one shot from concealment while moving off of the X, and while under no physical or emotional distress. The point is I need to establish baselines before I can effectively measure more complicated scenarios.

My times for 10 consecutive in-target hits:


  • At 5 Yards: 1.7 seconds
  • At 7 Yards: 1.75 seconds
  • At 10 Yards: 1.8 seconds
  • At 15 Yards: 2.1 seconds
  • At 20 Yards: 2.1 seconds
  • At 25 Yards: 2.3 seconds

Observations

I have training scars! Timing was not too much of an issue until I got out to 15 yards, at which point my pushing-boundaries habits had me consistently going too fast and missing often. I had to deliberately slow down the time from presentation-to-shot in order to find 100% accuracy. This tells me that I need to spend not nearly so much time racing the clock and far more time insisting on quality hits in my training.

My suspicion is that my 20 and 25-yard times are a bit off, because by the time I got to those ranges I had put quite a few rounds downrange and my technique was well practiced (for this session) and my presentation was near flawless. This happens in any training session, where you’re better after a 100 rounds or so than you were for the first 10. I expect that, when cold, I’d be .1 to .3 seconds slower than what I achieved today.

*Upon reflection:* Next time I’ll start at 25 yards and work inward. I want to know my cold 25-yard 100%-accuracy times!

All told, I found today’s training session to be valuable and instructive. I’ll make this a regular part of my training. You might consider doing so yourself!

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Below: Here’s a look at what I was doing. This video is from months ago and on a plate twice as wide as my target area today. Just contextual reference.