Monday, 25 March 2013

Handgun Training: Resources and Targets


‘It is in most shooter’s best interest to become as proficient as possible with a handgun. The reasons are very simple; because of amount of concealed carry permits issued around the country most people are most likely to use a handgun in a lethal encounter. In addition, sight alignment and trigger control are most difficult to master with a handgun so this causes a trickle down effect; the better you become with a handgun you are automatically becoming a better shooter with virtually every other small arm.’
-Larry Vickers, MSG, US Army (Ret)

Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm VTAC
The object of this year's training concentration


For the last few years, I have been training heavily with a carbine or rifle. This extended to foreign weapons as well. As I was spending most of the last decade, either in Afghanistan, preparing for deployments or preparing others for their deployments; it made sense.You work with your primary but your secondary saves your life.  That is not to say I did not practice with a sidearm. Every time I went to the range, I carried and used my pistol as a secondary weapon. My pistol skills have been neglected compared to my carbine/rifle skills. This year, bar operational commitments and career courses, my intention is to dedicate more time to handguns skills.

This primary intent of Whiskey Delta Gulf is information sharing for armed professional. The purpose of this blog post is to distribute a few of the resources I have found to aid me in my goal of increasing my handgun proficiency.


Dry Practice

In 'The Five Fingers of Tactical Proficiency' , I promote Weapons Manipulation as the second most important principle after Safety. Dry practices are key to mastering weapons manipulation. Notice I did not say dry firing. Dry Firing is a portion of dry practice. Below is an excellent guide to dry practice:


'Change it up. Don’t practice circus tricks. Too often I see people take a YouTube video of a drill and do it 30 or 40 times. I saw this with a drill I created in 2009 while with VTAC that Kyle subsequently made into a video called the Triple Threat. I had some guys literally shoot it 30 times in a row. They did well but it became a “circus trick” at that point and not a true test of skill. It went from a great training tool to a waste of time and bullets. Vary drills, modify drills, and challenge yourself. If you don’t, you’ll be great at a certain drill but not a great shooter.'

Practice Drills to challenge yourself. 
Not to master the drill.

Additionally, constantly practicing the same drills gets boring. Variety will maintain your enthusiasm and increase skill sets.  Below are a series of links to PDFs of various handgun drills. I have printed and 'binderized' this collection of drills which now lives in my range box. This is a compilation of drills and were intended for CCW. However, by practicing them in you duty rig or fighting rig, they are quite viable.

Handgun Drills Part ONE

Handgun Drills Part TWO

Handgun Drills Part THREE



Combat Focus Shooting has an iPhone App
 that may be useful for some of the targets below


Targetry

These are some targets that can be printed out on 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper and used for dry practice/3 meter range practices. 

A simple target with realistic strike zones.


Click on the target to bring up the full-size version
 which you can then print out.

Blank silhouette target with Numbers, Shapes and Colors sub-targets. This is a command style target used by calling out any possible combination of identifiers for single or multiple engagement drills. Examples: ‘Hammer,  1’, ‘4, controlled pair’, ‘Red, 1 rounds each’, ‘Square, controlled pair each’ or ‘Green Circle, hammer’.  I refer to the Blank Silhouette as ‘Threat’.  Example: ‘Threat, controlled pair’ or ‘Non Standard Response, Threat’.



Click on the target to bring up the full-size version
 which you can then print out.


Colors/Number Silhouette target; another command style target used by calling out numbers or colors for single or multiple engagement drills. Examples: ‘Hammer,  Yellow’, ‘4, controlled pair’, ‘Red, 1 round’, or ‘Green, hammer’.  Or, order of engagement. Example: 'Red, One, Three, Yellow'



Click on the target to bring up the full-size version
 which you can then print out.

This Target is a variation of the Dot Torture Drill. The Dot Torture drill is an excellent 50 round practice from David Binder. A marksmanship drill, fired at 3 meters. Targets are ten dots numbered. You will perform: 22 presentations and SCORE drills,  5-10 SLAPS  and/ or reloads, 83 sight pictures and press the trigger 50 times. If a single shot is missed, you fail. When you can run this clean every time,  use a shot timer and increase speed while maintaining accuracy. By adding colors to the target, it can be used as an command style target as well. 

  • Dot 1 – Present and fire one string of 5 rounds for best group. One hole if possible, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot 2 – Present and fire 1 shot, holster and repeat X4, total 5 rounds.
  • Dots 3 & 4 – Present and fire 1 shot on #3, then 1 shot on #4, holster and repeat X3, total 8 rounds.
  • Dot 5 – Present and fire string of 5 rounds, strong hand only, total 5 rounds.
  • Dots 6 & 7 – Present and fire 2 shots on #6, then 2 on #7, holster, repeat X4, total 16 rounds.
  • Dot 8 – From ready or retention, fire five shots, weak hand only, total 5 rounds.
  • Dots 9 & 10 – Present and fire 1 shot on #9, speed reload, fire 1 shot on #10, holster and repeat X3, total 6 rounds.
  • Dot #1- Present and fire one string of 5 rounds for best group. One hole if possible, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot #2- Present and fire 1 shot, holster and repeat X4, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot #3 and 4- Present and fire 1 shot on #3, then 1 shot on 4, holster and repeat X4, total 8 rounds.
  • Dot #5- Present and fire string of 5 rounds, strong hand only, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot #6 and 7- Present and fire 2 shots on #6, then 2 on #7, holster, repeat X4, total 16 rounds.
  • Dot #8- From ready or retention, fire five shots, weak hand only, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot #9 and 10- Present and fire 1 shots on #9, speed reload, fire 1 shots on #10, holster and repeat X3, total 6 rounds.




Click on the target to bring up the full-size version
 which you can then print out.

Whether on a military pistol range, training students privately or just working on my own skills; I can never find one of these when I need it. So I made one. This chart to be invaluable in diagnosing persistent pistol marksmanship errors. Remember, this chart or target is set up for a right handed shooter; reverse the diagnosis for left handed shooters. Sharing it here for all to use:


Click on the target to bring up the full-size version
 which you can then print out.

These are a few of the resources that I have found or created to aid my goal of increased handgun proficiency. Please feel free to post other drills or links to drill in the comment area.



“A gun is like a parachute, when you need one to save your life nothing else will do but you have to have one on and know how and when to use it long before then.”



Take care out there.

6 comments:

  1. I really like how the M&P VTAC shoots. Hope it works well for you as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I put a Apex DCAEK in it. Very happy with the improvement on the trigger and reset. Runs even better now.

      Delete
  2. Operating the handgun is not an easy for everybody because it is necessary to have proper knowledge about target and handgun functionality. Handgun training is essential for beginners to know about handgun structure and trigger functionality to achieve a target successfully.

    handgun training

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. The focus of this blog is the armed professional including soldiers, LEOs and private security. It is not intended for basic instruction. It is about information and resource sharing of proven doctrines and innovating TTPs.

      The link you posted links to a Tennessee business instructing personnel self defence. I have no experience with this company so I cannot, and will not, comment quality or veracity of instructing and TTPs.

      Delete
  3. A major problem that detracts from working on shooting skills is a lack of upper body strength. Effecting particularly small-framed men and women, handguns made heavier with ammunition and long guns such as shotguns strain and distracts struggling shooters from refining their skills.

    Handguns florida

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fitness is an important part of any training regimen, not just tactical training. Strength lets us accomplish tasks with reduced fatigue. Stamina allows to train longer, with greater alacrity and situational awareness. A fit lifestyle control the affects of stress and better recovery time.

      The link you posted links to a Florida business. I have no experience with this company so I cannot, and will not, comment quality products available.

      Delete