Drill of the Week: The Wall Drill

20-Jan-08 – 19:45 by ToddG

walldrill.jpgOver the past few weeks we’ve worked on getting smoother and faster. Invariably, when shooters focus on their speed they start to lose a certain degree of precision. This week, we will address that with a great dry-fire drill called The Wall Drill.

The Wall Drill was developed by George Harris and is one of the most effective ways to perfect your marksmanship fundamentals.

Like any dry-fire drill, it is critically important that you follow proper precautions. First, you must always obey the Cardinal Rules of Firearms Safety even during dry-fire practice. Also, all weapons must be completely unloaded and double-checked before the start of this drill.

Once you have cleared your weapon and verified both visually and physically that it is empty (twice), remove all ammunition from your training area and find a wall that can serve as a proper backstop in case of an accident. The wall should be blank, with no visual distractions and most importantly nothing to “aim” at during the drill.

azoom.jpg (pistol-training.com also recommends that you use a snap-cap, such as the A-Zoom Action Proving Dummy sold by Lyman pictured on the right, to protect the internal parts of your handgun from excessive and unnecessary wear)

Holding your unloaded pistol in a normal shooting grip and stance, press the muzzle to the wall until it just barely makes contact, then back off about an inch. Because you are using a blank wall as your backstop, you effectively have no target. There is nothing for you to focus on except your front sight.

From this position, practice your trigger manipulation. The goal is to press the trigger straight back with consistent pressure until the “shot” breaks without disturbing your sight alignment throughout the process. Remember, that is the key to accuracy — a proper trigger press that doesn’t mess up your sight picture.

If your front sight moves around or “hops” as the trigger breaks, slow down and pay more attention to your grip and finger movement. Are you putting pressure on the grip with your other fingers as you press the trigger? Are you pressing the trigger too fast or too hard, causing it to move at the last moment? Just work on keeping everything still except your trigger finger, and move your finger in a slow, smooth, relaxed trigger press.

Work on this for about ten minutes. If you are using a Traditional Double Action gun with both double- and single-action trigger pulls, give equal time to each. Work on this drill three to four times per week for a month. You are guaranteed to see significant improvement in your accuracy.

Also, if you find yourself getting a little too wild at the range during normal practice, and your shots just won’t seem to come together into as tight a group as you want, clear your weapon and work on this drill using a target backer or blank spot on a large target as your “Wall.” Never waste ammo by sending shots downrange in random directions. Whenever your accuracy suffers, spend a little time on the Wall.

This is a dry-fire drill; all weapons must be completely unloaded and double-checked before the start of this drill.

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. 7 Responses to “Drill of the Week: The Wall Drill”

  2. I’ve incorporated the wall drill into my dry fire practice routine. When I do it, the sights stay on ‘target’. However, when I get out to the range and live fire, I still hit low and left (I’m right handed).

    Another exercise I came across, and I can’t remember if it was posted here or else where is a bumping drill. You can do this at the range or dry fire. Hold the pistol in a normal grip and stance, and repeatedly squeeze the trigger with increasing amounts of pressure until you get a surprise release of the sear. I have found when I live fire this exercise, I am surprised at the ‘bang’ and my shots typically land in the black.

    Despite my steady dry fires, I still seem to be jerking the trigger, or rolling the pistol downward in anticipation of the recoil. Other than more range time and practice, is there something else I need to concentrate on and/or focus on to get my shots more consistantly up in the black?

    By JoeB on Jan 25, 2008

  3. I remembered where I saw the bump drill:


    There’s a lot of good stuff there…

    By JoeB on Jan 25, 2008

  4. re: the “bump drill,” I’ve seen it and tried it. To be honest, I think it has limited usefulness. It will help you learn what a surprise break will feel like. But because you are applying different pressure and trigger pull strokes each time, you’re not really learning ow to pull the trigger the right way on demand.

    Some things to try if you’re anticipating recoil: the ball & dummy drill (load your mag with about 1/3 dummy rounds at random; when you get to a dummy, the gun shouldn’t bobble; if it does, do ten perfect dry-fires and then continue), even simply shooting from a rest or sand bag will help you get used to recoil without letting you yank the gun off target.

    Another thing to try is simply doing some close-range “point” shooting. Get used to indexing the gun and pulling the trigger without worrying about perfection in your sights. Once you get used to the recoil, you can start on finer accuracy. I don’t think this is ideal, but it is a good solution for someone having trouble anticipating recoil without the benefit of regular instruction.

    By ToddG on Jan 26, 2008

  5. Thanks Todd:
    The ball and dummy drill is really a good tool, and the guys that work on the range I visit have a good time loading up my magazines for me. However, the tip about the dry fire follow up sounds like the ticket. When I click a dummy round, I typically see the barrel/front sight ‘dive’ and realize I’m so busted. I think I’ll spend more time on a sand bag too.

    Thanks for the tips and thanks for this web site; it’s a terrific resource.

    Also, good point on the bump drill; while it does provide a surprise, various trigger pressures are in fact a little weird!

    By JoeB on Jan 26, 2008

  6. Giving credit where it’s due, that tip about following up a “bad” dummy with ten dry fires is from Larry Vickers. It definitely makes the drill substantially more useful. Another part of Larry’s way of doing the drill, which he actually calls Dummy & Ball, is to use a lot more dummy rounds than live rounds. It makes the live rounds more of a surprise, so it has a similar benefit to the “bump drill” but you are doing a proper trigger pull every time.

    By ToddG on Jan 26, 2008

  7. Good words.

    By Eupemia on Oct 27, 2008

  8. If you’re flinching, try practice with a .22. It’s cheap and it really helps, even .22 rifle will help the trigger break on your pistol shooting.

    By Adam on Sep 5, 2011

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