Survival Shooting Drills
A few months ago I posted about a shooting drill which applied to the average shooter and is within the capabilities of almost anyone.
Since then it has been a hot topic in my inbox, with shooters asking me to clarify the 3-3-3 drill and how they can learn to be more accurate at longer distances than 10 meters.
To rehash what it is.
Starting from your every day holster, which for most of us will be a concealed carry holster. If you need to take off your outer layer to get the technique of drawing your weapon as muscle memory that’s fine.
Do not believe the lies you will tell yourself about how fast you are, until you have learned your draw stroke and can present the pistol 100% of the time from concealment, in less than 1 second.
This is not a fast draw competition, a tactical match, or any kind of ego stroke.
You must draw, present the pistol safely without shooting yourself or any bystander, and fire 3 rounds into a 3 inch circle. You have 3 seconds to complete this drill.
Simple isn’t it. Unfortunately this drill starts with admitting to yourself you really cant shoot very well.
That’s ok. After growing up convinced I was a natural pistol shot just because I watched westerns on TV, it was a disappointment to me too.
So admit, you really aren’t as good as you think and we can work from there. Personally I suck, I cant shoot a 3-3-3 out to 20 yards any more. That’s life, and getting older with less range time compounding it.
Breaking it down
3 seconds is a very long time. Stop and count to 3, or use a stop watch. I can get up and be in the next room in 3 seconds.
Your draw should take 1 second or less. You should be practicing this along with presenting the pistol at home with an UNLOADED weapon.
Start without a cover garment, stand facing your target ( I use a light switch on the wall), draw your weapon. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Baby steps here.
When your pistol is clear of the holster, pivot the muzzle toward the target as you bring your support hand to your firing hand.
Establish your 2 handed grip and extend your arms toward the target while you lock your eyes on to the front sight as it come into your field of vision as your pistol comes up to the firing position.
When the front sight centers on your target, allow the rear sight to align behind it, in a flash sight picture.
If your daily carry has a manual safety you should be wiping it off with your shooting hand thumb as the pistol comes on target.
Press the trigger 1 time paying attention to your front sight and keeping it centered on the target.
This should be accomplished in 1 second or less. Yes you can do it.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
At no time should you loose sight of your front sight, from the time you see it during your draw to the completion of the drill, either at home or at the range. Train your eye to never loose track of the front sight.
This drill requires you spending 90% of your training time refining your draw and presenting the pistol to the target. You succeed with this on your training muscle memory at home, not on the range.
Range time is for learning how to index your trigger and firing 2 rounds in 2 seconds.
Putting it together the range
Start at 3 yards from your target, with an unloaded pistol take a few practice draws and dry fire. I use either playing cards or 3×5 cards stapled on the target backing.
When you are warmed up, load your pistol and repeat your drill you’ve practiced at home, draw and fire 1 round.
Hold for a few seconds making sure your front sight stays on the target.
When you are comfortable with firing 1 round in this drill you should start over only instead of firing 1 round you fire 2 using the same flash sight picture. If you have kept your eye on your front sight you will have no issues returning it to the target and firing round number 2. The same with round number 3 as you progress.
When you can fire this 3 round drill successfully at 3 yards move the target to 5 yards and begin again. Then 7 yards, and at 10. This is a slow progression and fewer rounds are needed that you think if you practice your draw and trigger squeeze at home.
This is another area requiring minimal time from you on the range but programming the muscle memory is totally on you. Dry fire and physical simulation are the key to getting very good at this drill.
Survival Shooting Drills