Drill of the Week: One-Handed Speed

4-May-08 – 15:19 by ToddG

Ernest Langdon shooting strong hand onlyOne of the worst habits most shooters get into is avoiding the “hard stuff.” We love to practice what we’re already good at, because it makes us feel skilled and accomplished. But instead of spending an afternoon trying to shave two hundredths of a second off your draw, you would be much better served working on the aspects of your shooting skill that are weakest.

So this week, we’re going to take the Changing Gears drill from last week and throw a wrench into it.  Same drill, same goals … but using only one hand to shoot the gun.

Targets will be a 3×5 card and either a paper plate or a sheet of paper.  Start by taking some slow marksmanship practice on the 3×5 card, shooting strong hand only.  Can you hit it every time on demand at seven yards?  If not, you need to work on your fundamentals before you’re ready to start trying to go fast.  Next, try hitting the same card while shooting weak hand only.  Remember, take your time and make every single hit count.  Can you make all your hits at that range shooting only with your support/”weak” hand?  If not, work on that before you work on speed.

Once you’ve reached a point of hitting the 3×5 card every time whether strong or weak hand only, you’re ready to do the Changing Gears drill.

From a one-handed ready position, on the start signal fire two rounds at the small (3×5) target and then two shots at the large (paper sheet or plate) target.  Remember, your speed with the small target should be slower because it’s hard to make shots that precise, and you should speed up when transitioning to the large target.  Try it about  dozen times strong hand only, then switch and do it weak hand only.

Be precise enough on the 3×5 card shots that you hit 100%.  Be fast enough on the large target that you’re really pushing yourself; if you miss 10-15% of your shots, you’re probably pushing yourself just right.

If you don’t normally practice strong and weak hand shooting, make it part of every range session.  Even if you only shoot a few groups or do a few one-handed Bill Drills, start to practice operating the gun with just one hand.  Because whether it happens in a competition or a fight, sooner or later the odds are that things won’t be going your way and the time will come when you’ll need to shoot with just one hand.

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: One-Handed Speed”

  2. “One of the worst habits most shooters get into is avoiding the ‘hard stuff.’”
    If you keep reminding me of these unpleasant truths, I may have to start avoiding this site.

    Maybe not. 😉
    Thanks for giving me something to do later this week when I go to the range again.

    By JohnO on May 4, 2008

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  2. May 24, 2008: Pistol-Training.Com » Blog Archive » Drill of the Week: Switch Hitting

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