So spending time on the range for training has to be based on a plan. “Range Masturbation” is showing up at the range with no plan or desire to progress your skills. I guarantee you showing up with 300 rounds and o plan will add 300 rounds of wear to your gun and zero to your skills.
The best drills are:
SIMPLE – Drills I have to read more than three times to understand are out the airlock. If you can’t commit it to memory, if it takes too much time to set up, if it involves special gear or tools or take a ton of ammunition, it’s gone. Simple is repeatable and easier to – Yes you guessed it…
MEASURABLE – If they are not scored or timed, also out he airlock. The idea her is progress and we cannot go forward unless we know where we are and measure our improvement (or lack thereof). The two basic measurements are time and accuracy. Oddly enough, they are applicable in the real world as they are in practice.
CHALLENGING – We are here to grow. Growing means stretching. Again, range masturbation is to be avoided, so if you a re doing the same thing every week and getting the same results, welcome to mediocrity.
Ian Strimbek’s Runenation Cold Start Drill is perfect. It forces you to shoot with no warmup and with a round limit (tick the challenging box). I love this because no one gets in a gunfight after warming up at the range. It has both time and accuracy components (measurable – check) and has a set of instructions that are comprised of 6 sentences.
“It’s all too easy to gain a false sense of security when you do a drill five times in a row to get it “right.” Outside of the confines of your range, there is no “bad run.” It’s either you perform to the high performance standard you’ve practiced, or face the dire consequences.” – Ian Strimbeck
HOW IT WORKS
1) Magazines are staged as (1) of 8 rounds, (1) of 8 round, and (1) full.
2) When you receive slide/bolt lock at the end of the drill, perform another reload so as to not get into the mindset of leaving the gun empty.
- On the buzzer/start draw or mount and fire 1 round into any of the low-probability shapes.
- Immediately transition to the high-probability logo circle and fire 3 rounds.
- Move to the next low-probability shape of your choosing and fire 1 round. Move back to the high-probability logo circle and fire 3 more rounds.
- Repeat until all 4 shapes have 1 round and the logo circle has a total of 12 rounds. Reload as necessary.
- Most importantly, have fun and set a standard for yourself!
The most striking things I have learned from this drill:
- “You fail to the level of your training” holds true. But training here I am not talking about what skills you have learned, but training as the act of performing drills regularly. If I slack off and miss practice, I miss and my times go up immediately and in direct relation to how much I have been copulating with the canine.
- It makes a fantastic first experience for new shooters.
- Done regularly its shows you clearly how environmental factors impact your performance. Cold, wet, windy, tired etc all do different things to your score.
- That goddamn triangle really gives me trouble. I have no idea why but I ALWAYS have trouble hitting the triangle. I need to do some research on shapes and the human brain and see if its a known phenomenon.
The bottom line is you need a touchstone. A baseline. It can be any drill but this one is superior to any others I have seen or used in my limited time back on the range, or prior.
So, as Ian says: