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2021 Update

The great ammo shortage of the 2020s is upon us! As a little update to this post, I’m adding some new low round count drills, I will be adding to the range day mix.

Low Round Drills with Matt Tran and Ninebanger

Some drills from Jim’s Goon Life channel. Mixed in with the drills there are some tips thrown in to help improve your shooting technique.

3 Round Concealment Drill

This drill comes from the indominable force that is @amy.556. You can find details on her 556traininglab.com website.

12 Round Drill to stay proficient (By Chris Way!)

Here’s a drill modified by Garand Thumb. This looks like a fun way to use only 12 rounds and be on the road to proficiency.

2020 has really been an incredible year for the shooting community. The industry has sold more firearms than ever before, ammunition is in shockingly short supply and we’ve gained countless new gun owners that have realized that their personal safety is solely up to them. In this short Tips & Tricks article, I am going to share a low round count drill for the range and a few dry fire drills you can do at home.

Dot Torture

Dot Torture has to be one of my favorites. This test (it’s not actually a drill) was originally from David Blinder and had been adapted by the late Todd Lewis Green. The target is free to download from pistol-training.com.

The drill is 50 rounds, but it works multiple fundamental skills. It is normally executed from the holster. However some ranges don’t allow drawing from a holster. In those situations start from a ready position.

Get the Dot Torture Drill

Download the drill from Pistol Training

Download

Dot torture is a series of ten 2 inch dots. Each dot contains instructions below to let the shooter know what the string of fire is for each. The goal is to get a perfect score of 50. The drill isn’t timed, so you can take as long as you need to. Take your time when you’re starting out. No need to rush through, we want to improve our accuracy here. Start the drill at 3 yards. Once you have shot the drill clean at 3 yards you can increase the distance or try to complete the drill in a set time limit. If you’re a seasoned shooter, you might want to start at 5 or 7 yards.

Here’s what you do for each of the dots:

Dot 1: Draw and fire 5 rounds
Dot 2: Draw and fire 1 round—do this five times
Dots 3 & 4: Draw and fire 1 round into Dot 3 then 1 round into Dot 4—do this four times
Dot 5: Draw and fire 5 rounds with your shooting hand (SHO)
Dots 6 & 7: Draw and fire 2 rounds into Dot 6, then 2 rounds into Dot 7—do this four times.
Dot 8: Draw and fire 5 rounds with your non-shooting hand only (WHO)
Dot 9 & 10: Draw and fire 1 round into dot 9, reload, then fire 1 round into dot 10—do this three times.

Note: In the link above, there is a DA/SA version of this drill by Sean Leffler

It helps to keep a fresh copy of the drill to reference as you are shooting. The more you do this, the more it will become second nature. The great thing about this drill is that each dot or set of dots isolates a specific shooting skill.

It’s not just for pistols

You can use the Dot Torture drill with carbines also. Instead of drawing from the holster, you can practice shooting from different ready positions or carry positions. Set the dot torture target at 7—10yds to start. This drill works basic fundamentals with a carbine in 50 rounds. It is also a great way to learn the mechanical offset of your red dot, optic or iron sights.

Dot Torture can also help in learning the height-over-bore of red dots, even offset-mounted red dots.

Here’s an example of what you can do with the same Dot Torture target and your carbine:

Dot 1: 1 round, 5X from the low-ready
Dot 2: 1 round, 5X from high-ready
Dot 3 & Dot 4: 1 round into each dot from the low-ready 4X
Dot 5: Opposite shoulder, 1 round 5X from the low-ready
Dot 6 & 7: 2 rounds into 6, switch shoulder, 2 rounds into 7, 4X
Dot 8: Opposite shoulder, 1 round 5X from high-ready
Dot 9 & 10: 1 round into 9, reload, 1 round into 10, 3X.

Before you start doing this drill with you carbine, you might want to figure out the mechanical offset of your sights. Get creative with this, turn the paper target 90°, shoot it in reverse. shoot it out of order.

Other Low-Ammo Training

Here’s a video with some other low-round count drills from Carry Trainer

Dry fire at home

Before you start any dry fire session, ensure you gun is clear. Remove the magazine. Ensure the chamber is clear. Then visibly and physically check the magazine well and chamber are clear of any ammunition. THEN DO IT AGAIN. It is also recommended to keep any live ammo source outside of the room where you will be practicing. Building good dry fire safety habits is very important.

Dry fire is great way to improve away from the range. You get to work on refining your technique in manipulating the gun. There are a lot of commercial tools available to help, but you can simply start out with a Dot Torture target on a wall in your basement. If you have the room, set the target at 7 yards and dry-fire the drill. Focus on not moving the sights as you’re pressing the trigger. Focus on getting perfect draws from the holster. Build perfect repetitions to build myelinated neural pathways.

Below is a 2-part video series with a couple of dry fire drills you can also try at home.

Conclusion

These are just a couple of ideas to help you get better without emptying your stash of ammo. Get creative with your dry fire and low-round count drills. If you can, add in some movement.

Do you have any dry fire drills or low round count drills you like? Share them with us. We’re always looking for new ways to make our practice more fun.

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