F.A.S.T. F.A.Q.

21-Nov-08 – 00:50 by ToddG

Since we announced the new F.A.S.T. coins and made the F.A.S.T. a Drill of the Week, interest (and questions) have gone through the roof. Here is a little Frequently Asked Questions list for the F.A.S.T.:

Q1. How do I win a coin?

There are three ways to win a F.A.S.T. coin.

  1. Attend a pistol-training.com class and shoot a sub-5 second clean run on the test twice (out of a maximum of three consecutive tries). The test is administered at the beginning and end of every training day.
  2. Attend a pistol-training.com event and shoot a sub-5 second clean run on the test twice (out of a maximum of three consecutive tries). Only one chance per day is allowed. The very first time you shoot the F.A.S.T. on a given day counts as your attempt. Shooters can warm up however they wish except by shooting the actual F.A.S.T. drill itself.
  3. Under special circumstances and with the agreement of existing coin holders, certain individuals may be allowed to test for the coin under less formal conditions. However, the same rules apply as at non-class events. Namely, the shooter only gets one try per day.

Q2. How are the records on the FASTest page set?

The best student score from each pistol-training.com class is listed for that class.

The best student score of all time is listed.

The best overall score from any qualifying attempt outlined in Q1 is listed.

There will certainly be better scores than those listed, but the FASTest pages lists the best scores achieved under the tightly controlled standards set out in Q1.

Q3. What is the distance between the 3×5 card head shot target and the 8″ circle body target?

Because there is a reload performed between engaging the different targets, the exact distance between them is not important. The most common way to set up the drill is to use an IDPA target; the center -0 zone is the 8″ circle and a 3×5 card stapled to the center of the head serves as the other target.

Q4. Where did the F.A.S.T. come from?

I created the drill years ago for an I.A.L.E.F.I. class I was teaching. I (and some other instructors) have been using it ever since as a simple, easy to set up, quick test of most of the major handgun fundamentals.

Q5. Why do you take the head shots before the body shots? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do it in the opposite order?

The F.A.S.T. is not a tactical drill, it’s a skills test. The order and number of shots for each target is very specifically thought out.

The first shot from the holster is to the small target. This guarantees that the shooter can make a precise shot on his very first try. For shooters with Traditional Double Action (aka DA/SA) guns, this also guarantees they don’t jerk through the DA stroke.

The second shot measures the shooter’s ability to balance speed and accuracy against a small target.

The last four shots are on the large target. This assesses the shooter’s ability to get on target after performing a slidelock reload, his ability to fire a string of shots with maximum speed while maintaining accuracy (as opposed to touching off a “hammer”), and also verifies that the shooter achieved a proper grip on the gun after the reload.

If you have other questions, please leave them in the Comments section below and we will add them to the F.A.Q. as appropriate.

  1. 11 Responses to “F.A.S.T. F.A.Q.”

  2. Nobody wins a coin like this. It is earned. And by acomplishing this you may have just learned important skills to save your life. The coin looks great Todd. Keep up the great work. I am still a regular visitor to this site and as any good instructor I have used thing learned on this site and incorperated it into my teaching style and training program.

    By Great Bison on Nov 24, 2008

  3. I’m looking forward to trying for this coin again when we bring Todd back up in 2009. I know Mike C is too. well done Todd, stuff like this is what motivates shooters and keeps the training from getting boring.

    By rob on Nov 25, 2008

  4. GB — So what’s your best score shooting it cold so far? 8)

    rob — I’ll bring three coins with me and hope I leave with just one (mine!). Shoot me an email so we can schedule it, my 1Q and 2Q 09 is starting to look a little busy and I’d definitely like to get you guys in there.

    By ToddG on Dec 4, 2008

  5. Does anyone know how far away from the target the shooter is when he conducts this drill? Thanks.

    By Andy Flowers on Jan 19, 2009

  6. Andy, check out the page that discusses the details of the FAST drill

    In case my link doesn’t work, the FAST drill page stipulates:

    Range: 7 yards

    Target: 3×5 card (head), 8? plate (body)
    Start position: weapon concealed or in duty condition with all holster retention devices active; shooter facing downrange in relaxed stance with arms down at sides
    Rounds fired: 6

    Drill begins from the holster, pistol loaded with exactly two rounds. On the buzzer:

    1. draw
    2. fire two rounds at the 3×5 box
    3. perform a slidelock reload
    4. fire four rounds at the 8? circle

    To count, the F.A.S.T. must be shot from concealment or from a recognized retention holster. Open-top retention holsters without concealment (e.g., Blackhawk SERPA, Safariland ALS) add an additional 0.50 to the shooter’s time. Using both a standard duty retention holster (e.g., Safariland SLS, SSIII) as well as flap/retention magazine pouches will result in a 0.50 reduction in recorded time.

    By st_judas on Feb 12, 2009

  7. As many of us have learned “We do what we practice” so I’ve got a concern with the F.A.S.Test. If it is true that in the moment when our training is called upon to save our life or the lives of those around us I recommend a modification to this drill. Most of you will agree that during clearing your house in the middle of the night your first shots should be rapid center mass shots and then a head shot. Or if yu are in a parking garage and a thug tries to rob you at knife point you should first have rapid center mass shots and then head shots. This drill is training us to do it backwards. Please don’t get me wrong I think it is a great drill but I suggest that it is updated to 4 rapid shots to center mass, reload and then 2 head shots.

    By JerryV on Aug 7, 2009

  8. JerryV — Your comment is addressed in Answer #5, above.

    By ToddG on Aug 7, 2009

  9. Is there a revovler version of the F.A.S.T, or revised times since reloads take longer?

    By 167 on Oct 9, 2009

  10. 167 – No. It’s a performance test. If one’s gear limits one’s performance, that’s the shooter’s choice. But unofficially, I’d say give yourself an extra second for the reload for comparison.

    By ToddG on Oct 9, 2009

  11. I’d like to try this test with the guys in our shooting club, but use of retention or concealment rigs is pretty unlikely. What kind of time penalties would be appropriate for doing this test with an uncovered holster without retention devices and uncovered magazine pouches?

    A thought just occurred to me. If people are worried that they will default to shooting headshots first after training this drill, why not just print out the official target and post it upside down? (And also stop calling the first target “the head”…) :) Would this not make the target different enough from a human assailant as to not cause confusion in a combat situation?

    By Tony on Jun 2, 2010

  12. Tony — There really is no “standard” if shot from an open, unconcealed holster. You could still use the drill, the scores just wouldn’t be comparable.

    As for your suggestion about putting the target upside down, that is absolutely acceptable. As a matter of fact, most of the time when I shoot the drill in practice I have to put the 3×5 card to the side of the 8″ target.

    By ToddG on Jun 2, 2010

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