View Full Version : What is your practice regimen (or recommendations)

Greg Bell
May 22, 2006, 01:22 PM

Give me some recommendations on a firearms practice regimen. I practice with pistol and rifle regularly. My focus is self-defense, not formal competition (although I do compete for fun).

Anyway, here is what I do now.

1. 50 rounds pistol @ 25 yards. Straightforward target practice at bullseye.0
2. 100 rounds @ 25 yards Mozambiques from draw.
3. 50 rounds @ 25 yards two targets. One shot each in head.


1. 20 rounds prone @ 100 yards (irons)
2. 20 rounds rice paddy @ 100 yards.
3. 20 rounds standing @ 100 yards.
4. 20 rounds standing and rice paddy with buddy calling which target to hit (out of three).

That is what I try to do (some variations always crop up).

What do you guys suggest?

Capt. Charlie
May 22, 2006, 01:27 PM
Here's a list of a number of good courses of fire Greg.


May 22, 2006, 02:30 PM
Greg, I'm just curious why your pistol practice drills center around a 25yd target?

Is there a specific reason (maybe something I should consider for my practice) that you do not build your practice routine around a shorter distance, say 15 or 10yds?

Greg Bell
May 22, 2006, 08:40 PM
I have been moving a little farther out each year. Last year I was at 30 feet. Before that I was at 21 feet. Sometimes I do a two target drill with one at 21 and the other at 25 yards. I shoot the 25 yard one first (imagining the 21 feet as a charging nut who has closed in).

Double Naught Spy
May 22, 2006, 11:39 PM
While it is good to have some distance skills, few non-military and non-LEOs ever get into a self defense fight with a handgun at 25 yards. It is usually hard to be mugged, raped, or kidnapped at that range.

While many folks go with the notion that if they can shoot well at distance that they can shoot well close up, that often is not the case in regard to effective self defense shooting. What I am talking about here is speed of interaction. Folks who predominantly practice longer range shooting, from what I have seen, still try to get precise sight pictures at shorter ranges when such precision isn't necessary and hence lose a quarter or half second lining up a precise shot. The opposition won't likely be so encumbered.

Wyatt Earp said that "Fast is fine but accuracy is everything." While he said it, it doesn't make it 100% correct. You need to be fast enough to land shots on target well enough that your opposition isn't able to do the same to you. Your opposition may not be as skilled, but closer distances negate the need for skill to be hitting the intended target. How good will your shot be if he manages a non-lethal but damaging shot on you first. Maybe he jerks the trigger and shoots you in the shin, breaking your tibia. Maybe he wings you in your strong arm shoulder.

Besides, in the quarter or half second spend lining up the precise shot, you can get two or three good shots off, peppering center mass, in the time that it would take you to make one precise shot.

May 23, 2006, 02:28 AM
1. To see how I'm doing when COLD--
Draw and double tap 2 times each at 5, 10 and 20 ft using Quick Kill and recently with CT and hip shooting at 5 ft.

2. I practice SMOOTH drawing to point and dry shooting at the same distances.

3. To increase smooth shooting and deal with any flinching shoot a few cylinders with just a few random rounds inserted at 20 ft.

4. Alternate draw to single and double taps at 10, 20 and 5 ft. Then about 3 Mozambiques at each.

5. Often about one cylinder double tapping Front Sight Press, Aimed and CT at about 40 ft.

finish with a few of 4 again and a little off hand shooting.

Targets are computer paper or magazine pages with 4x5in heads - no dots to mark a center.

May 23, 2006, 12:01 PM
Live fire practice is great. But do not forget do dry fire practice as well. I usually go 10-15 minutes 3x a week.

Varying target sizes in and around the basement.

Draw and shoot (5 minutes)

Shoot and change magazine practice (5 minutes)

Free style (5 minutes)

Magazine changes are something rarely practiced with speed, but could save your life if you run out of ammo.

Dont forget to use some dummy rounds to protect your weapon.

May 23, 2006, 04:26 PM
well, after carrying for some 45 years, and doing a lot of shooting, range time, and practice, I don't really have a 'practice regimen'. I do know where I am weak, and tend to spend some time on things like off hand shooting, and some tactics, but overall, I just shoot for fun now.

May 27, 2006, 11:34 PM
Based on a practice drill described by
Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch
In American Handgunner Magazine
(July/August 2006)
Page 24

Target: 18 x 30 inch cardboard. Primary zones are two 8-inch paper plates, aligned one above the other, and a 3x5 index card aligned above the plates. If using an IDPA or IPSC target as the backer, the 3x5 card is centered in the head. These simulate the three primary target zones on the human body, head, chest, and pelvis. The A-zone is the head, the B-zone is the chest, and the C-zone is the pelvis.

STAGE ONE: From the ready position, come on target and fire one round to the B-zone. Remember proper follow through, and get a follow-up sight picture after the gun fires. Sight picture -- one shot -- sight picture. 6x total of 6 rounds.

STAGE TWO: From the ready position, engage each zone A-B-C with one round. Change the order with which you engage the zones and repeat. Focus on accuracy. 2x total of 6 rounds.

STAGE THREE: From the ready position, engage each zone A-B-C with two rounds. Perform a mandatory reload and engage each zone again with two rounds each. Change the order with which you engage the zones. Total of 12 rounds.

STAGE FOUR: From the ready position, engage the target in the center zone with one round. Repeat firing two rounds. Repeat firing three rounds. Total of 6 rounds.

STAGE FIVE: From the ready position, strong hand only engage the target in the center zone with one round. Repeat firing two rounds. Repeat firing three rounds. Perform a mandatory reload with both hands and switch the gun to weak hand only. Engage the target in the center zone with one round. Repeat firing two rounds. Repeat firing three rounds. Total of 12 rounds fired.

STAGE SIX: From the ready position, fire 4 rounds slow fire at the A-zone (head), perform a mandatory reload, and fire another 4 rounds slow fire at the A-zone.


These exercises can be performed at 5,7 or 10 yards. An 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper can be used instead of the paper plates. Perform the drill the first time from the ready position, the second time from the holster and the third time from the holster with concealment. Increase the distance as your proficiency increases.

June 6, 2006, 01:22 AM


Check out the links posted on the website. They have a reformated/updated version of the Handgun Drills & Standards Page posted there.



June 6, 2006, 01:25 AM
THE DOT DRILL (Personal Defense Training, Inc)

This is a marksmanship drill, fired at 3 yards or further. Targets are ten 2" dots numbered 1 through 10. A total of 50 rounds is needed. You will perform: 22 draws and holster, depending on magazine capacity 5-10 administrative or speed reloads, obtain 83 sight pictures and press the trigger 50 times.
• Dot #1- Draw and fire one string of 5 rounds for best group. One hole if possible, total 5 rounds.
• Dot #2- Draw and fire 1 shot, holster and repeat X4, total 5 rounds.
• Dot #3 and 4- Draw and fire 1 shot on #3, then 1 shot on 4, holster and repeat X4, total 8 rounds.
• Dot #5- Draw and fire string of 5 rounds, strong hand only, total 5 rounds.
• Dot #6 and 7- Draw and fire 2 shots on #6, then 2 on #7, holster, repeat X4, total 16 rounds.
• Dot #8- From ready or retention, fire five shots, weak hand only, total 5 rounds.
• Dot #9 and 10- Draw and fire 1 shots on #9, speed reload, fire 1 shots on #10, holster and repeat X3, total 6 rounds.
When you can do this clean on demand, extend the length or start timing and work on speed but maintaining accuracy. If a single shot is missed, you flunk. Only hits count and only perfect practice makes perfect.

The target that PDT uses has the #1 dot centered on the top row and then the other dots below in three rows of three dots.


June 6, 2006, 09:48 AM
I like to shoot one magazine/cylinder and see how that goes at 7 meters or so.
Sometimes I'll go to the range after I leave the gym on my strength training days. My entire body is shaky and I have to focus to steady myself, since I do whole body strength training on one day.
And, sometimes I'll go into the back yard and shoot after I've shot 5 ends of 6 arrows just to see how I'll react to that stress.
My distances never go over 10 meters, since my primary focus is shooting form at combat ranges, and I shoot instinctively.

Edited to add:
Part of my shooting training is physical training so that I can have a stable platform. This includes Yoga, core strength training, overall strength training, and flexibility. This is not to say that I'm an avid powerlifter. My physical training focuses on explosive strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. Leaving out physical training, or not training holistically, is only doing half the work, for me.
Plus, when I look around the gym and see lots of 'roid users I am reminded that not every aggressor will be a 100lb craquehead, so placement will always be key.