Recently I shot live ammo for the first time in three months, and that brings me to only about 1,000 rounds of live fire for the entire year. With pandemic shutdowns and other challenges, I have simply not frequented the range and I have access to a family private range only every several months. However, due to my almost-daily dry fire routine my skills have not suffered that badly. This has led me to consider what the best drills are for building and maintaining skills during the current time of limited ammo and limited shooting. I always seem to come back to three classic drills that are among my favorites as they hit on the most essential skills for defensive pistol craft. Also, all three of these require only one target at 7 yards. I shoot these all from concealment, and that is what I recommend doing if you wish to get true benefit from these drills in a defensive handgun capacity.
The Mozambique (Failure Drill)
Originally coined the Mozambique drill by Jeff Cooper, some now call it the failure drill. It is done at 7 yards and requires a draw from the holster, fire two shots at the body A zone, then one shot at the head. I do this drill on an IDPA or USPSA target and only shots in the down 0 or A zone count. That means the head shot needs to be in the 3 inch circle or the 3×5 box of the head. This makes the drill much more challenging than simply going for the head in general. The Mozambique focuses on a fast draw to A zone hit, a controlled pair, and a transition to a more accuracy intensive shot. An excellent drill. A good time to work towards on this drill is 3:00 seconds, and being able to do it in 2:00 seconds or less, clean, is advanced. See the demo:
The Bill Drill
Originally formulated by Bill Wilson (hence the name) the Bill Drill is ubiquitous in competition and training circles. It requires a draw and six consecutive shots fired into the A zone of the body. This drill focuses on the ability to control recoil. I find this drill quite challenging of late, and that may be a testament to the fact that recoil control is the one element of shooting that dry fire fails to hone. A good time to initially work towards on this drill is 4.0 seconds clean, and the top shooters in the world can do it in 2.00 seconds or less. See the demo:
Drawing and firing two accurate shots into a small target area is a rather standard drill among many, but I like referring to this as Immediate Incapacitation as it is called by firearms trainer and competitive shooter Gabe While. The drill involves drawing and firing two shots into the 3 inch head circle of an IDPA target, or the 3×5 inch head box of a USPSA target. What is great about this drill is that it requires accuracy right out of the initial draw stroke. A good time to work towards initially is 3.0 seconds and a sub two-second time, clean, is advanced. See the demo:
So, those are three of my favorite drills. They require only a single target at 7 yards and hit most of the important fundamentals. Give them a try.