America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 44

GUN SKILLS

Stop-and-Go Drill

O

By Jeff Johnston

ne of the most-common mistakes new gun
owners make is believing that by merely
learning the basics of gun safety and
marksmanship, they'll be prepared
to defend their life with a gun. That's
like someone learning the fundamentals of throwing a football, then
believing they're ready to be a quarterback. In reality, target shooting on
a range is one of the easiest aspects
of defensive handgun use. Equally
important-but far more difficult to
master-are the more-advanced elements, such as moving while reloading so an attacker isn't presented with
an easy target. But if you practice the
following drill until it becomes second nature, your chances of surviving
such an attack will increase.
The " father of modern hand-gunning, " Col. Jeff Cooper, seems to
have been the first to document this
drill, consisting of drawing and firing two rapid shots to a target's chest
(also called center mass), followed by
one shot to the head, all under the
induced pressure of a stopwatch.
This drill (under various names)
has now become standard among
defensive and combat handgun practitioners for its obvious usefulness in
self-defense scenarios. The idea is to
successfully stop an aggressor who
continues to be a threat after the first
two shots. However, there is something important this standard drill
doesn't address-we need to add a go
portion to get out of Dodge after we
take our shots to stop the aggressor.
Stop-and-Go Drill
Start this as dry practice, since you
will need to learn how to move your
feet so as not to trip. Be purposefully slow and calculated until the
movements are committed to muscle memory. Whether in dry practice or loaded, remember to always
keep the gun pointed in a safe

44

direction and always keep your finger off the trigger except when your
sights are actually on target.
1. Stage your firearm by loading one
round in the chamber and two in
its magazine, then holster it in your
preferred everyday-carry method.
2. Load three rounds into a spare
magazine and place it in a weakside pocket or a mag pouch on
your belt.
3. Stand five yards from a silhouette
(humanoid-outline) target.
4. From a " ready " position with
your hands by your side, draw
your firearm and fire two shots to
center mass.
5. Quickly assess whether the target is still attacking (it always is,
for this drill), then fire one shot to
the head.
6. As soon as you fire the third shot,
take two steps to your left or right
while dropping the magazine in
your gun, replacing it with the
spare and chambering a round.
7. As soon as possible, fire two more
shots to the body and one more
to the head.
Strive to complete this drill in
under 10 seconds to start. With practice, you should be able to shoot this
drill in under five seconds. (If you
don't have a shot timer, free apps
are available to download to smartphones.) If you routinely miss, you're
likely going too fast. Slow down and
focus on the front sight and a smooth
trigger pull. Only when all shots
strike the target should you speed up.
Remember, the " go " portion is as
critical as the " stop " portion. It's just
as important to practice moving to
cover and away from danger as it is
to practice shooting well, because
in a defensive-gun situation, you'll
often be reacting to an attack. To
move while simultaneously reloading is akin to rubbing your belly
while patting your head-it's more

FEBRUARY 2021 I AMERICA'S 1 ST FREEDOM

difficult than it sounds and requires
a lot of practice!
In subsequent renditions of this
drill, you may want to introduce
obstacles such as bricks to step over
(again, start with dry practice) or a
no-shoot target that you must move
around to avoid; then you can add
a large cardboard box or a stack
of tires-anything that represents
cover-to move behind before shooting the second string of shots.
Once you master the art of firing swiftly and accurately, all while
reloading as you seek cover, you'll
be well on your way to truly mastering the art of defensive handgun use.
Until then, always follow the NRA
rules of gun safety, train smart and
practice often.
Photos: Author



America's First Freedom - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - February 2021

Contents
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW2
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Contents
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 3
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 4
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 5
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 6
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 7
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 8
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 9
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 10
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 11
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 12
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 13
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 14
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 15
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 16
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 17
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 18
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 19
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 20
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 21
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America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover4
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