Three Drills for the B-8 Target

Three Drills for the B-8 Target

B-8 targets are all the rage these days. The cool thing about B-8’s is they are cheap, allowed at pretty much any range, and are of a practical size. The black (9 ring and in), is 6” in diameter. The 8 ring is 8” in diameter. Both useful sizes for the defensive-minded shooter. Here are a few drills from legit been there done that guys shot on B-8’s.

Chuck Pressburg’s No Fail Shot

Want a drill that is really hard to do? Well, here you go. The drill works as follows. The target (B-8) is set at 25 yards. Par time is 3.5 seconds. Hits have to be in the black (9 ring or better). Rounds fired per rep is one, and a total of 10 reps to complete the drill. Any rounds outside of the black and you lose. You are allowed one round over the par time, though. Points are scored actual point value.

This is actually a decent drill to track performance over time because the scoring is variable enough that small changes in performance should be detectable. The par times are not super tight, but that is by design. This is supposed to replicate conditions where missing is absolutely, 100% not allowed. Sometimes, shooting is a zero fail business. That is what this drill is about.

I usually think of myself as having pretty decent 25 yard shooting skill with a handgun. Even under the mild stress of a 3.5 second par time, putting off enough accuracy to hit a 5.5″ circle is difficult. My results were not pretty. I missed 6 out of the black. I failed bad enough that I will be spending a bit of time on this one down the road.


Bill Blowers’ Hateful 8

Bill Blowers is like the cop ninja master of shooting. He is really good. His drills usually demand no less, the Hateful 8 is definitely not an exception. The drill has the target set at 8 yards. The par time is also 8 seconds. The total number of rounds fired is also (you guessed it), 8. Just for good measure, Bill throws in two reloads, though. The goal is to keep all hits inside the 8 ring, so an 8″ circle.

The first magazine in the gun is loaded with 4 rounds. The next two are loaded with two rounds each. The drill should run as follows. Draw and fire 4 rounds. Slide lock reload and fire 2 rounds. Slide lock reload and fire 2 more rounds.

This drill works the reloads, but probably more importantly, the reloads cause a mental gear shift. The task change forces us to change focus, and then go back to the shooting only to change focus again. If our shooting skill is programmed into a subconscious level of competence, the gear changes are easier. If it isn’t, this is where hiccups happen because we are having to process and think about solutions. Which slows us down. This got me on my second reload. There is a notable pause where I should be starting to load the gun. I was still thinking about shooting and not about fixing the gun. There is a lot going on with this drill, and it definitely takes no prisoners.

The FBI Qual on Hard Mode

I have written about the FBI qualification before. Normally, it would be shot on the FBI’s qualification target, which is a bottle shape. Quite honestly, in its standard guise, the qualification is not difficult. So how do we make it a more notable assessment of skill? Given the title of the article, you have probably already figured it out. Instead of using the FBI’s qualification target, we can use B-8’s, and the score is actual point value. Instead of a course of fire with a possible 100 points, we bump it to a possible 500 points, and give ourselves a percentage score.

We’ve now gone from easy 100% scores to struggling to meet the instructor standard (90%), or even the passing standard (80%). Having messed around with it a bit, I would recommend shooting the course on three separate targets to make scoring a bit easier. I shot the first four strings of fire on one target. Strings 5 and 6 on a second target. The final two strings on a third target. This made it pretty easy to track the score, and didn’t burn up a whole pile of B-8’s in the process.

Using B-8’s really ups the accuracy standard for the qualification. Even with the generous time standards, trying to squeeze out that level of accuracy is a challenge. I went from being able to pull an easy 100% score to a 96%. Trying to reign in that last 4% is going to be a tough road to travel I have a feeling.

Conclusion

These are all difficult drills. The accuracy and/or time standards are all pretty high. If you think you are ready for them, go give them a try. Let us know how you do in the comments.

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techs

It doesn’t stick with the theme of your article, but making the FBI test hard is easy — just shoot to the “A” zone. Everything else is a miss. Or titrate to a desired difficulty: down one for the rest of the bottle, or down one for “B” zone beyond 7yd, or full score for any hit at 25yd, etc. If you’re not actually qualifying for a standard, the sky’s the limit. Even just shooting a blank sheet of paper is tighter than the QIT.