Circle Drill

attributed to George Harris, SIGARMS Academy

Range: 7yd
Target: 8″ plate
Start position: any
Rounds fired: 36

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

The drill begins by firing six rounds at the plate at a slow pace (1 shot per second). Repeat. This is fundamental marksmanship with little or no time pressure.

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

Finally, maximize speed by firing six rounds at a pace of about 4 shots per second (or as fast as possible if 4/second is faster than the gun can be kept under control). Repeat. 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.