It is important that we are familiar with how our guns shoot with whatever ammunition we choose to carry in them. This is especially true if you carry a +p load. I currently carry 124gr+p Gold Dots, and they shoot very differently than standard pressure loads. The problem is, depending on where you buy ammo, that stuff comes in 20 round boxes, and still cost twice as much as what we would normally practice with. To make sure I was occasionally shooting up my carry ammo for familiarization, I came up with a 20 round drill routine. Quick sidebar, initially, we should shoot more than just 20 rounds of our carry ammo to ensure function and check zero. This routine is just to keep us familiar with a known-to-be-reliable carry load.
The Drill That Really Matters
The first drill is the FASTest. I have written about the FAST before. This specific drill is as much about maintaining familiarity as it is about tracking skill level over time. Even better that we are tracking that skill level with our carry ammo. That makes it all the better. Fourteen rounds to go.
Do We Really Know How the Gun Shoots
It is important that we know how our carry ammo shoots at distance. I like to shoot further than 25 yards to confirm Point of Aim/Point of Impact, but for the purposes of this set of drills, 25 yards will get us close enough. We will also add some time pressure. Set a shot timer for a 2.5 second PAR, draw and fire 1 round into an 8” circle within the PAR. If you can’t draw at your range, chop the time down to 1.25 seconds and start from a high compressed ready. Repeat this drill for a total of 5 reps. If using a PAR time is a bit above your skill level, run it without a PAR until you can get the hits for all five shots on demands, then start adding time pressure. Over time, as your skill increases, reduce the PAR to match your skill level.
To wrap up the last nine rounds, we can work failure drills (Mozambique drills) from 5yd, 10yd, and 15yd. The purpose is not so much to actually work failure drills but to work on downshifting for the harder target (headshot), after blazing on the two body shots. It requires understanding what the target is demanding from us and being able to deliver just enough to get the hit we need. If there is not a shift of pace, we probably messed something up. We could either go faster on the body shots, or if we miss the headshot, maybe be a bit more careful in the application of our fundamentals.
The Wrap Up
There we have it, 20 rounds. In those 20 rounds, we have drawn the gun nine times, shot a low probability target seven times straight out of the holster. Had six rounds working speed at close to medium distance. Reloaded the gun on the clock once. Verified our zero at 25 yards and probably more important that we know our zero at 25 yards. We fired seven precision shots. That is a lot of ground covered in 20 rounds. Next time on the range, give it a try, let us know what you would change in the comments.