Shooting is an art form that requires constant practice and patience.  Due to the fact that shooting is a perishable skill, if an individual fails to put in the time and effort at the range, it is very likely that their skills will diminish.  One of the common mistakes that many shooters make, is focusing on drills that only emphasize one aspect of the fundamentals of shooting.  In order to become a well-rounded and proficient shooter, it is important to develop all of the skills associated with shooting equally.  It is important to get the most out of the time you spend at the range.  This blog will discuss three drills that you can use at the range to help develop some of the essential skills to tactical shooting.  These three drills are a great way to hit on multiple fundamentals of shooting if you only have 1-2 hours of range time.

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The first drill is a dry firing drill.  Although conducting dry drills is not nearly as exciting as live fire, it is an essential part of developing muscle memory, and becoming a more competent shooter.  Proper dry firing drills are similar to a dress rehearsal before the big show.  The drill is very simple, get on line facing your target, with an unloaded and holstered weapon.  Draw and dry fire your pistol at the target.  Use this time to focus on the minute details of every aspect of how you shoot.  Your stance, the speed, and fluidity of your draw, proper grip, proper sight alignment and sight picture, smooth trigger manipulation, and not anticipating your shot, should all be considered as you are running through this drill.  Take your time, and conduct approximately 10-15 draws.

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The next drill is a slow aimed fire from the 25-yard line.  Similar to the dry fire drill, it is important to take your time and focus on accuracy.  At 25 yards, any mistakes in your fundamentals will be apparent when you take your shots.  While shooting, focus on all of the same fundamentals you were working on during your dry fire.  Shoot 10-20 rounds, or until you have achieved consistent and accurate shot placements.  After completion of the dry fire drill and the slow fire drill, you should be adequately warmed up to move on to more complex drills.

The final drill is called El Presidente.  The El Presidente is a drill that incorporates facing movements, speed, accuracy, multiple target engagement, and reloads.  Set up three separate targets side by side, approximately one yard between each.  Preferably these should be silhouette targets.  Have six rounds in your weapon, with another magazine of six rounds in your speed reload mag pouch.  The starting position for this drill is on the 10-yard line facing up range with your hands held up in the air at shoulder level.

When the drill begins, turn, draw, and fire two rounds to each target, speed reload and fire another two rounds into each target.  Engage the targets either left to right and back, or vice versa.  The overall goal is to have no misses and to complete the drill in the fastest time possible.  Run through this drill multiple times working on getting faster each time.

By adding these three shooting drills to your range day you will improve your speed, accuracy, and confidence at the range. By gaining brilliance in the basics you will be able to graduate to more difficult drills with confidence. Once the El Presidente drill is mastered you will be able to move on to drills that include movement, shooting and reloading all in the same drill and further improve your readiness for a real-world scenario. For more shooting tips and drills that will take your shooting to the next level go to

For more drills, check out our shooting drills page.