Drill of the Week: Circle Drill

20-Apr-08 – 18:43 by ToddG

After spending a couple weeks working on accuracy, it’s time to ramp up the speed again. No drill serves better as a bridge between “slow” and “fast” than the Circle Drill.

The Circle Drill is intended to teach students the relationship between speed and accuracy, and how time affects marksmanship fundamentals.



Use a paper plate of similar target that gives you between a 6″ and 8″ circle as a target, at a range of seven yards.  The drill begins by firing six rounds at the plate at a slow pace ( about 1 shot per second). Repeat for a total of 2-4 runs. This is fundamental marksmanship with little or no time pressure.  You should get very close to your tightest possible group at this speed.

Next, pick up the pace. Fire six rounds at a moderate pace (about 2 shots per second). Repeat for a total of 2-4 runs. This speed is the “comfort zone” for most shooters, they should still get reasonably good hits.

Finally, maximize speed by firing six rounds at the fastest pace you can get most of your hits. Repeat for a total of 2-4 runs. This pace should push a shooter outside of his comfort zone and force him to work harder at recoil management and sight tracking. Accuracy will suffer but the goal is to keep 90%+ hits on the plate.

For added challenge, also perform the drill one-handed both strong- and weak-hand. Note that the times, especially the “fast” time, may need to be adjusted for one-handed shooting. The goal remains the same. First speed is slow marksmanship, second speed is a steady comfortable cadence, and finally maximum speed without losing control of the gun.

Training with firearms is an inherently dangerous activity. Be sure to follow all safety protocols when using firearms or practicing these drills. These drills are provided for information purposes only. Use at your own risk.

  1. 2 Responses to “Drill of the Week: Circle Drill”

  2. Todd, what type of target is pictured in the photo?

    By JLM on Jun 4, 2008

  3. STS 8″ Big Dot targets

    By ToddG on Jun 5, 2008

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