Defensive Range Drills

Posted by Brad Fisher on 10/10/2013 to Tactical Tips

Range Drills

By Brad Fisher

Let’s admit it. Ammo is expensive. High cost makes going to the range less appetizing. At the same time, it’s critical that anyone that carries a firearm or has a home defense firearm, practice with that weapon. The last thing you want to do is fumble with a firearm when your adrenaline is pumping and your life is on the line.

We all know the basic range fundamentals: Zeroing, grouping, trigger pull, breathing, and sight picture. Beyond that, too many people simply burn ammo. Ask yourself this question. When was the last time an attacker stood 15 yards away from their victim and waited for the victim to shoot them?

If you’re loading the magazine full and simply blasting away at a bull’s-eye, it’s time to take the range to the next level. The following drills will help you become proficient at using your firearms. This is a serious business and we as a community need to treat it seriously. While performing the following drills it is imperative that you follow basic gun safety and all range rules. Some of these drills may not be allowed at your range, or high activity may also limit these activities.

All of these drills can be modified to challenge the shooter. Additional challenges are reloads, malfunctions, command fire, and weapon transitions. Reloading works best when you are shooting with a partner. Have your partner load your magazines to less than capacity in random amounts. This forces unexpected magazine changes. Your shooting partner can also randomly add dummy rounds to the magazine. This will simulate a weapon malfunction causing you to tap, rack, and reassess. Command fire can be added to any of these drills. I’ll explain more about command fire later. If you have both a rifle and pistol, you can load magazines to the point where you run out of ammunition for your primary weapon forcing you to transition to your secondary weapon.

These are basic shooting drills. Modify them to suit your needs.

Draw

Weapon: Pistol (Full Magazine)

Range: 10 – 25 yards

Set up: One target down range

Action: Draw pistol from holster, fire two rounds, and re-holster. Repeat.

Additional training: Reloads, Malfunctions, Command fire

Command Fire

Weapon: Pistol or Rifle (10 rounds)

Range: Pistol 10 – 25 yards / Rifle 15 – 100 yards

Set up: One command target* down range or 3 – 5 targets down range

Action: Spotter calls out color, shape, or number (or just a number if multiple targets are used). Shooter fires two rounds at appropriate target.

Additional training: Reloads, Malfunctions

*Command targets have colored shapes with numbers in them.

Reactive Fire

Weapon: Pistol or Rifle (16 rounds)

Range: Pistol 10 - 25 yards / Rifle 25 – 50 yards

Set up: One target down range

Action: Starting at the low ready, fire 2 rounds at the target. Return to the low ready and turn to the right. Pivot towards the target and fire 2 rounds. Return to the low ready and turn to the left. Pivot towards the target and fire 2 rounds. Return to the low ready and turn so the target is behind you. Pivot towards the target and fire 2 rounds. Return to the low ready and walk to the Right. Pivot towards the target and fire 2 rounds. Return to the starting position. While at the low ready, walk to the left. Pivot towards the target and fire 2 rounds. Return to the low ready facing the target at the starting position. Take a knee and fire 2 rounds. Stand up, return to the low ready, and begin advancing toward the target. Fire two rounds while advancing forward.

Additional training: Reloads, Malfunctions, Command fire, Transition

1 – 5 Fire

Weapon: Pistol or Rifle (15 rounds)

Range: Pistol 10 - 25 yards / Rifle 25 - 50 yards

Set up: Three targets down range

Action: Shooter fires appropriate number of shots at targets in order. 1 shot left, 2 shots center, 3 shots right, 4 shots center, and 5 shots left.

Additional training: Reloads, Malfunctions

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