The “Bill Drill” created by Bill Wilson is one of the most well known handgun drills. Even so, far too many people have never done this drill before or don’t spend enough time practicing it.
This is probably because it’s such a simple drill. You aren’t shooting and moving, you aren’t shooting steel, and you’re not doing anything “super tactical.” With that being said, the Bill Drill is one of the most practical drills you can ever do that may save your life one day in a self-defense situation.
The target that you use for the drill is a standard International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) target. Only hits in the “A” zone count for this drill. The “A” zone on an IPSC target measures 6 x 11 inches. What this means is that instead of going out and buying an IPSC target you can make an “A” zone target yourself. What I do is take a regular white sheet of paper and measure 6 x 11 and then cut the target out and staple it to my cardboard backer.
You shoot the drill from the 7-yard line and the goal is to fire six shots as quickly as possible while getting all six shots in the “A” zone.
Don’t let the simplicity of this drill fool you. This drill teaches you to develop a smooth trigger pull because if you jerk your trigger you’re not going to get all 6 shots on the target. It teaches you how to manage recoil and also how to track your sights.
The reason to practice this drill often is because in a real life situation, where deadly force is justified, you’ll likely end up doing this drill. What I mean is, you’ll likely end up drawing your gun lightning fast and firing multiple shots as quickly as you can. Thankfully, I’ve never had to fire my gun in a self-defense situation, but I can tell you from very intense training scenarios that this is what you’ll do.
And, of course, in practice if you’re not able to fire off quick and accurate shots, then there’s little chance you’ll be able to do it when it really counts.
If you’ve never practiced the Bill Drill before or haven’t done it in a while, you need to start off slowly. The first time you do the drill take as much time as you need to ensure all six rounds end up in the “A” zone. If it takes you 10 seconds to do this then so be it because now you have a starting point.
After practicing more, your goal should be to get it down to 9 seconds, then 8 seconds, then 7 seconds and so on.
Once you’ve mastered this drill to a time that you’re comfortable with it’s still a good idea to practice this drill at least once a month, if not more. Because again, if your life is on the line you’ll be doing exactly what this drill teaches.