Most of what we shoot as “drills” are actually some form of a test. They are a measure of performance but are not really designed to actually build performance. This time we are looking at a drill designed to build skill that is called Acceleration. It is less about measuring performance, and more about improving it.
It comes from the guys at pistol-forum.com. For the people that still do the forum thing, P-F is one of the best-kept secrets on the internet. Part of Todd Green’s lasting influence on the segment of shooters who are both performance-driven, and still primarily focused on defensive shooting. Just watch out for the mods. They are crap.
The purpose of Acceleration, as the name might suggest, is to improve draw speed and how quickly we are visually processing our shooting. The internet is all the rage with sub-second draws and uber-fast splits, well here is a way to get there if that is where we are wanting to go. We just need a shot timer, a reasonably sized target (8” circle, USPSA A-zone, etc.), a couple of boxes of our preferred flavor of ammunition, and the usual range stuff that we always need like ear and eye protection.
Let’s Get Rolling
To get started, we set the timer for a 1-second par time, set the target at 7 yards, and start with the gun where the hands naturally meet on our draw stroke. This is usually somewhere near the body, between the mid-sternum and the belly button. On the signal, we present the gun to the target and fire 1 round within the par time. Repeat for a total of 10 shots.
At the end of the 10 repetitions, at least 90% of the shots fired need to have hit the target. To cut out all the math, that means we are allowed 1 miss in the first phase. Assuming we have met the par time each rep and achieved at least 9 hits, we can progress to the next phase.
The only change for phase 2 is that we increase the number of rounds fired from 1 to 2. The start position, par time, and accuracy standard are all the same. We will need 18 hits out of 20 shots fired to continue moving forward on the drill.
Phase 3 is just the same as the others, but now 3 rounds. We will need 27 hits out of 30 shots fired to continue moving forward. Usually, this is where my wheels start falling, but for everyone better than me, just keep going.
Rinse and repeat until we no longer meet the 90% accuracy standard. That is the end of the drill. Theoretically, someone could push this to 5 or even 6 rounds within the 1-second par. That would be some ultra-quick work, but I imagine there are people capable of it.
Accommodate Your Skill
If you cannot reliably get 1 hit with a 1 second par time, try adding a little more time to the par time until you can. You can add time in half-second increments, or if you already know how long it takes you to get 1 hit from this start position, just start there. Adjusting the par time to meet your skill level is perfectly acceptable. Just don’t go below 1 second, and make sure that once set the par time doesn’t change throughout the rest of the drill.
How It Should End
Eventually, we will all fail this drill. That is actually the point. We are pushing against our failure point in order to move it.
If you want to track progress from the beginning of the drill to the end of the drill, you can shoot before and after bill drills and see if any progress was made. Personally, I would just run the drill on a few range trips over a few weeks or months, and then run whatever drill or test I am using to track performance and see if improvements were made.
See you on the range.