Monday, March 17, 2014

Bullseye and combat accuracy... you need both!

My friend and I were out back on our shootin' range putting some lead downrange and the discussion of bullseye verses combat accuracy came up after some recent blog posts out there on the interwebs. I think both are important and I've used a lot of different drills I've found online, but here are some drills I've developed myself.  We started out shooting some bullseye targets with our everyday carry guns at fifty feet.

The protocol was to draw and shoot one-round into the black bullseye of the MidwayUSA free, printable pistol target in under five seconds at fifty feet. Repeat this five times. This is a drill to check and enhance fundamentals such as grip, sight alignment, trigger-squeeze, breathing, follow-through. Think carefully about your draw too... and carefully looking and re-holstering your gun.

Next, we did a similar drill at fifty feet... but now you have to draw, aim, and fire one round into the bullseye, strip the magazine (you can drop, we strip), reload and fire a second round into the bullseye... in under seven seconds.  Your time does not count, you just have to be under the time-alloted and have EVERY round in the bullseye. Slow and smooth are the keys... and you'll likely find yourself having far too much time at five and seven seconds for these drills.

The next drill we worked on for accuracy was a kind of dot-torture test at twenty-five feet using an International Benchrest Target for 50-yard Rimfire. Loading ten rounds into two of your magazines and then nine rounds and one random dummie round into one magazine, you then mix up the mags so you don't know which one has a dummie round in it.

There are twenty-nine bullseyes on the International Benchrest Target... and you have twenty-nine rounds... put one round in each bullseye circle.  Using a shot-timer, like our PACT shot timers, you draw (or from low-ready if you can't draw on your range) and begin firing at the beep.  This will involve two reloads and one failure-to-fire malfunction clearing. This is about accuracy under pressure... so add five-seconds (ouch) to your time for each miss. Try to complete the drill, shooting clean, in less than sixty seconds as an initial benchmark or goal.

After some fundamental refreshers with my accuracy drills, I like to mix it up with some combat-accuracy drills... and I don't shoot with just any Tom, Dick, or Harry! Our Tom, Dick, and Harry are nicknames for our three one-quarter sized armor-plate targets from Arntzen Targets.  We have some full-size targets from Arntzen, but I figure the quarter-sized targets force me and the gals to be better with our shot placement... we're not going for bullseyes... we're shooting for incapacitating hits on people... for combat - or as we call it - self-defense accuracy.

I won't run through our various drills because we have some regular ones to check our progress and we constantly visualize and set up various scenarios to challenge ourselves. We always try to incorporate some reloads and malfunction clearing while using cover and concealment. Shooting and moving are done to raise our heart-rates and stress... all while under the timer.

There are a lot of good drills and practice scenarios from far more skilled and smarter folks then me... but these are some of the things we do... to keep up our skills... because... Bullseye and combat accuracy... you need both!