Balance of Speed and Precision Drill
The Balance of Speed and Precision Drill is an advance and complex defensive shooting drill. It is fast paced and requires combat accuracy rather than precision accuracy(explained below). You will need to picture yourself under an attack and shoot from your body’s natural reaction positions. For example, during an ambush type attack you will immediately bend your knees slightly, turn towards the target and have your hands out in front of you. This is the body’s natural bracing for impact reaction.
How it works
You will need a partner or a recording of the commands.
- Caller calls out command “Up”, “Threat” or “Draw”. Plus a number.
- Shooter will draw and shoot 2-6 shots in the center square on the chest as fast as accurately possible.
- The Shooter will then shoot 1 shot in the numbered circle.
This to remember:
- You will start this drill from a startled stance. Knees slightly bent, arms out in front, facing the target, kind of a partial crouch type position.
- Once you have identified the target you will then start your draw from this position.
- You will need to keep a firm grip through the entire shot process.
- Your arms should be out front with elbows locked when shooting.
- You will be focusing on the target the whole time(even when reloading). Your sights will need to be lined up within your field of view and balanced but the target is the focus not the front sight. Only use your sights when you have too.
- Distances will start at 3 yards(9ft) and work your way to 7 yards(21ft)
- The caller needs to mix up the numbers.
- The shooter only shoots the numbered circle once.
- The Shooter should mix up how many center shots he fires each time. (never fire the same amount twice in a row).
- This drill is done as fast as the shooter can go.
- If you are missing you may need to slow down or correct some issues(suggestions below).
- If you are getting nice tight groups you are going to slow and not gaining the benefits of the drill.
- Push yourself outside your comfort zone. You will fight hard to survive so train the same way.
- Only draw after you have identified the target/threat.
- If you are recording your own calls make sure to leave 5 -7 seconds between each call on the recording. This will allow you time to re-holster.
- As with every new drill take the time to safely learn the steps prior to doing the drill full speed, to avoid an accident.
- You should only reload at slide lock, this will help your to work on your reloading under stress and realistic situations.
- If you make a mistake on the draw, don’t stop just keep pushing through the drill. It’s crucial that you train in the need to push through mistakes rather than thinking you will get a do over in a real life situation.
Combat Accuracy vs Precision Accuracy
The two targets on the left show precision accuracy. The shots are placed in a nice tight group. This type of shooting is great when target shooting at the range or competing against someone. It does not depict an accurate response to a self-defense ambush.
The two targets on the right show combat accuracy. It is done with rapid fire. The goal is to hit the area you are aiming at. Every shot on target is considered correct and accurate.
When dealing with a self-defense attack you will likely need to draw your weapon quickly and respond to the threat accordingly. That is where combat accuracy comes into play. Repeatedly people have stated they either didn’t have time to lock onto their sights and/or they needed to fire quickly to stop the threat. Meaning they didn’t have the luxury of slowly aiming until they could get the perfect shots.
Objective of the Balance of speed and precision drill
- This drill will improve your response time to a threat.
- Increase your ability to identify an attacker.
- Ensure you are only drawing once a threat has been identified.
- The goal with this drill is to train in the need to think and respond when under an attack.
- Place your shots quickly and accurately on the target to stop the threat.
- This drill teaches you to have a fast and accurate response.
- It will improve your draw, target acquisition, and combat accuracy.
- Drill Variations:
- The caller can add more than one number to the end of the call
Example, Threat: 5, 3
- The caller can use math to determine which number to shoot.
Example, Threat: 4 – 1. The shooter would then shoot center chest and the number 3.
- The caller can call out a color
Example, Threat: blue
The shooter would then shoot center and one shot to each color ( you can also use targets that have different shapes and include the shapes in the call.
- The caller can simply call out a number
- The caller can also trick the shooter to reinforce that he is training to respond. Without training in a choreographed response.
Example, caller calls out 7 or 5 + 2. If the shooter draws he is failing to identify the target prior to his draw. It is unlikely you will be able to anticipate an ambush type attack which is what this drill is preparing you for.
- Change up the size of the target used.
- Practice from different distances to the target.
Things to check before slowing down
Everyone will reach their maximum accuracy and speed at some point with this drill. While it may improve over time. It is important to know that we all have limits. If you are finding that you are getting a miss here and there(and you should be if you are pushing yourself). First check on the basics before slowing down.
Check that your stance has you slightly crouched and leaning forward, the same as you would be by a surprise attack. You stance needs to be as balanced as realistically possible. Then check and make sure you are not loosening your grip in between shots. Make sure your arms are all the way forward and elbows are locked. If none of this fixes the issue than it’s probably time to slow down a little bit. This is a very complex drill and there are many things to need to be trained in the right way to be able to efficiently do this drill.
Remember this is a drill of Balance of speed and precision. Meaning your speed will need to be as fast as you can accurately shoot. Until you are familiar with the drill it may help to go slower but once you have the mechanics down it is time to speed up.
Summary of the Drill
- Caller determines the targets never calling out the same target twice in a row.
- Use a Startled stance
- Consistent grip
- Focus shooting or point shooting rather than locking on the front sight. It is unlikely you will be able to focus on the front sight during an actual attack. As long as the sights are aligned the gun shoots straight.
- Shooter mixes up the amount of shots to the chest each time.
- Don’t stop on mistakes finish the drill
- Analyze your mistakes
- Try to fix the basics before slowing down.
- Don’t draw until after the target is acquired.
- Accurate hits are anywhere inside the target zone. The Balance of speed and precision drill is not a scoring drill for competition.
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Check out our other training drills here.