Here’s the second part of my previous blog on 16 range drills you can do if you’re not allowed to draw from your body holster. I covered the first eight in Part 1, so here are the last eight drills. Try each of them at your next range session to improve your gun handling skills, your sight picture, your accuracy, and your fun quotient.
Range Drills: Part 2
9. Bench Holster Drill
Okay, so if you can’t draw from a body holster, it can help to draw each of your guns from the holsters you keep them in or wear, from the range bench. As long as you keep the barrel pointed safely downrange as you draw, the range safety staff should have no concerns. You need to get the feel for each of your guns as they clear the leather, nylon, or Kydex. Some holsters are too tight, some are too loose, some have leather top straps or Velcro thumbreaks, and some require a bit of maneuvering to get the gun out. You can use your range time to practice safe holster removals, over and over, until you start to build the necessary muscle memory.
10. Moving Target Drill
Two ways to do this one: with a buddy or alone, one handed. Since many new-school indoor ranges have electronic target systems, to vary the distance of your target, you can use this back-and-forth movement to create a tactical drill. Your pal can stand behind you and to your side and operate the target movement, either sending it away from you or toward you. He or she can say, “Fire!” and you have to shoot at the target as it approaches you or moves away.
A version of this drill I like is to have my gun at the low-ready position downrange, and keep my eyes closed until I hear the “Fire!” command. Once I open my eyes, I have to get up on target and make accurate shots at a target that could be right on top of me or moving far away. You can do this alone, with one hand on the movement button – as you keep your gun pointed safely downrange.
11. Dot Shooting Drill
Get yourself a bunch of bright orange target spots, in different diameters, from about the size of a dime up to a fifty-cent piece. Put these dots on various spots on your targets and aim for them as you shoot, at various distances. A common drill for me is two orange dots on the center-mass chest area ten-ring and one between the eyes of my human paper target. You may be able to hit the head of the target, but can you hit it between the eyes over and over again? Same as center mass; can you place your rounds within that small orange circle of the chest, at a variety of distances?
12. Mozambique Drill
You may call it something else, but the course of fire for this drill is three rapid shots: two in the chest at center mass, one in the head. Some shooters can hit the center mass with two well-place shots, but they rush the head shot, hitting the target’s earlobe or missing the head completely. Even if you’re firing quickly, you need to focus on your sight portrait in both areas, not just pop off three and hope for the best. Practice becoming smooth in your movement from the chest to the head. Don’t jerk your gun into position. Acquire the sight portrait on the way to the head as you move smoothly into the upper firing position.
13. Squat and Fire
Maybe you need to get the Range staff’s permission for this one (and the next drill, Kneel and Fire) or maybe you don’t. For this drill, squat down at the range bench in your lane, point your pistol across the bench, down range, acquire your sight picture, and fire. This drill simulates you having to shoot from behind cover or concealment, like a car door or a low wall. It also helps you shoot from a different eye height, by having to aim your pistol slightly upward.
14. Kneel and Fire
Same song, different verse. With the Range staff’s permission, see if you can fire from one knee. With practice, and if you don’t have too many age-related aches and pains, this can be a stable shooting platform. It also lowers your target to an armed bad guy. You have to get used to this position and adjust your sight picture for the angle to the target.
15. Sunglasses Fire
Who wears sunglasses inside an indoor range? Rock stars and rappers? You should try it. Wearing your shades as you shoot indoors helps simulate low-light conditions. Plus, consider that in a real outdoor daylight shooting situation, you may be already wearing your sunglasses. In that case, best to know who to shoot with them on. Make certain the sunglasses you wear at the range are shatterproof. You can also do the Flashlight Drill below while wearing your sunglasses
16. Flashlight Drills
Most home defense situations take place at night. There are armed robbers and there are so-called “hot prowl” burglars, who break in when they know people are in their homes and are therefore more dangerous than the average thief, who doesn’t want to encounter the homeowner. As such, you need to know how to shoot accurately in low light, and with a flashlight, in no light. Using a flashlight and your gun requires both safe dry fire practice at home, and bringing your tactical flashlight to the range.
You have three choices for using your flashlight at the range (and in a low or no-light situation): holding the light directly against your forehead (which sounds and looks goofy, but it works), so that your light sees the same as your eyes see; holding your flashlight off to the side, using your support hand, with the theory being that an armed bad guy may shoot at your light and not hit your center mass; and lastly, the “LAPD method,” where you hold your flashlight in your support hand and place that wrist under your gun hand wrist, offering the most stable way to hold a light and shoot.
What did you think of Can’t Draw From Your Holster at the Range? Range Drills: Part 2? Let us know in the comment section below.
Contact Steve Albrecht at [email protected] or on Twitter @DrSteveAlbrecht