American Rifleman - July 2011 - 38

self-defense pistol training

The Dot Drill (24 shots)

I

strongly believe that most defensive handgun practice should start
with the gun holstered. This lets you practice your draw stroke or
handgun presentation more frequently. When practicing basic skills
most shooters draw the handgun only once and burn through an entire
magazine before they holster again, if at all, which wastes precious
opportunities to practice handgun presentation.
Position a target with six 2" circles at between 5 and 7 yds. Shoot
one shot at each circle, drawing the handgun from the holster before
each shot. The goal is to fire one shot at each circle and hit each target
once. This is not a speed drill, but rather it's an accuracy and gunhandling drill to help you establish a foundation for gun presentation,
sight alignment and trigger control. Conduct this drill four times at the
beginning of every trip to the range.
When conducting defensive handgun training you should
always work from the holster or the carry method you intend
to employ. A prime element of using a handgun to deal with a
deadly threat is getting it into action quickly.

The Failure Drill (24 shots)

I

l Ling New, an instructor at Gunsite, is one of the best
firearm instructors I know. She believes practicing head
shots at between 5 and 7 yds. is a great way to stay sharp.
Why? According to New, "The idea is to become absolutely
confident in making that shot, at least at that distance, every
time, under all conditions and on demand. If I can do that, I am
well-equipped to deal with bad things that may happen to me.
Vital zone shots at 15 yds. should be easy if one can do head
shots at seven yards."
I agree, but to maximize training opportunities I like to
incorporate head shots with torso shots in what's called a failure drill. The failure drill presents the problem that you have
engaged an attacker with two shots to the torso and they have
had no effect. To stop the attack, you transition to the head as
a target and fire one shot.
Position a silhouette target at between 5 and 7 yds. At
the signal, draw your handgun and fire two shots in quick
succession to center mass. Then, immediately fire one shot
to the center of the head. You'll have to slow down to make
the head shot count. Something between three and four seconds is commonplace. Perform this drill eight times during
each practice session to establish your average time. Work
toward a goal of completing the drill with no misses in less
than three seconds.
New also stresses the importance of practicing head shots
from every position you can think of; not just while standing
square in front of the target. You can do the same with the
failure drill.
Gunsite instructor Il Ling New (above, r.) has been teaching defensive handgun skills for many years. She is a
proponent of learning to deliver accurate head shots as a
means of fine-tuning defensive handgun marksmanship.

36 J

uly

2011

www.americanrifleman.org

FAILURE DRILL
1 SHOT

< 3 SECONDS

2 SHOTS

5 YARDS


http://www.americanrifleman.org

American Rifleman - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2011

American Rifleman - July 2011 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 2
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 6
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 7
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 8
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