Many students have asked for a simple practice drill to help their shooting fundamentals. Here is one of several I use and suggest, the “5-Shot Touch-Group” Drill. It is a very basic and helpful drill for practicing and mastering shooting fundamentals and accuracy with both the strong and support hand. This drill is basic, easy to perform, but challenging to master. You can use any type of target like a blank 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper, a 9-inch paper plate, or even a similar-sized used target with a small empty area for your 5-shot groups. Shoot four 5-shot groups for a total of 20 rounds fired and try to get ALL five shots to Touch each time or at least be within 4 inches. Here are the 4 stages in the simple “5-Shot Touch-Group” Drill:
- While focusing on your Grip, Stance, Trigger and Breath Control, slowly fire ONE SHOT at any place on the target using a standing TWO-HANDS stance. Use that bullet hole wherever it hit as your target for the next four rounds you fire.
- Next, focus particularly on proper Aiming and Sight Alignment and fire TWO SHOTS in rapid succession at the previous bullet hole using a standing TWO-hands stance.
- Now fire ONE SHOT standing from the Low Ready Position using your STRONG-hand ONLY.
- Your fifth and LAST SHOT should be fired standing from the Low Ready Position using your SUPPORT hand ONLY.
NOTE: Low Ready position is the most common ready position for practical shooting. It is especially handy when facing a potential target or threat in front of you and is a fast ready position to move from to a shooting position. The picture to the right shows what it looks like.
The GOAL of the 5-Shot Group Drill for a new shooter is to make All five rounds Touch or achieve a 4-Inch Small Group.
The above target shows 4 separate five-shot groups fired from a pistol at a distance of 15 feet. Note that only two groups (#1 and #2 indicated by arrows) of the 4 groups meet the Drill Goal, since they are the only ones with all 5 shots touching or within 4 inches. This is a real challenge that requires considerable practice, so be patient, practice regularly, and don’t get discouraged. Your real immediate Shooting Goal, especially if you are a new shooter, is to know and apply the shooting fundamentals, rather than to initially be highly accurate and shoot fast. For any shooter this accuracy and speed come with time and practice.
When I do this drill with inexperienced students, I generally start them at a distance of 3 yards or 9 feet from the target. Then I graduate them out to 4 yards, then to 5 or 7 yards. Experienced shooters should be successful with about half of their groups touching or within 3″ from about 4 yards or more. For more challenges as your learning curve improves, add Stage #5 where you shoot this drill advancing on your target from a distance of 15 feet and Stage #6 shooting it retreating from your target at 4 yards. BE SAFE and make certain you are ready for these stages! When focusing on refining your Trigger Control, do the drill at about 15 feet and consider timing yourself. Also, you might add speed reloads between every other 5-shot group for more of a challenge. It’s very challenging to meet the goal at this distance for most. This is a great simple drill for a quick practice or for fun competition with friends. The shooter with the closest touching shots or smallest group in the 5-shot group after the 4 stages is the “Winner.”