A long, long time ago, a sagacious and scholarly fellow who understood the application of violence by virtue of various tools wrote a series of articles called Friday Fundamentals. It was a great series, but alas this Perspicacious Professor stopped writing them after a while. We’re reprinting them here, with permission, and to be honest we’re hoping to woo him into picking the series back up. Here on our site, of course. Read on, if you wish to learn. Stop here if you’re a hippie, sissy, anyone who thinks capri length skinny jeans are manly, or someone who needs a safe space. You’re reading the wrong online magazine. Mad Duo
Friday Fundamentals 01 – Establishing Your Baseline
As seen on tacticalprofessor.
My friend Mark Luell, the author of Growing Up Guns suggested I provide a ‘Friday Fundamentals’ post weekly. We got the idea from my colleague Cecil Burch who wrote a blog post about Fundamentals. It’s a great idea to stay in touch with the basics.
The first installment is Session 01 of my Pistol Practice Program – Establishing Your Baseline. As in any journey, you have to know where you’re starting from before you can get to where you want to go.
The objective of this drill is to determine what distance you can make 100 percent hits on the vital area of a silhouette target. My feeling is that we need to work on achieving 100 percent accuracy because errant rounds in our homes or neighborhoods could be a major problem. Since I also think the first shot is the most important, I structured the session with a lot of first shots but also included multi-shot strings. A lot of people ‘walk their rounds’ into the target even with handguns. This is a huge problem and liability.
We don’t count hits on the head in this drill because they are actually misses if you are aiming at the body. The head is more than a foot away from the center of the body, if you hit the head when you’re aiming at the body, it’s just a lucky shot and doesn’t count in terms of performance measurement.
Any silhouette target; B-27, B-21, Q, IDPA, IPSC, etc.
Masking tape (preferred) or magic marker to mark the target.
Pistol, 50 rounds of ammunition
Eye and ear protection
This drill consists of five (5) Sequences of 10 shots each. The Sequences are untimed.
Place target at three (3) yards
Start loaded with five (5) rounds only.
The starting position is Low Ready. This means the pistol is aimed at the floor below the target. For double action pistols, you will decock after each Step.
Sequence 1 (10 rounds)
1) Start with handgun held in both hands, aimed at the floor below the target. Spare magazine loaded with 5 rounds or speedloader with 5 rounds or 5 loose rounds on the bench.
2) Bring the pistol up on target and fire 1 shot at the center of target. Followthrough for one second, then return to low ready. Decock, if appropriate.
3) Bring the pistol up on target and fire 2 shots at the center of target. Followthrough for one second, then return to low ready. Decoct.
4) Bring the pistol up on target and fire 3 shots at the center of target. After two shots, the pistol will be out of ammunition. Reload it and fire the third shot. Followthrough for one second, then return to low ready. Decoct.
5) Bring the pistol up on target and fire 4 shots at the center of target. After the shots, the pistol will be out of ammunition. Hopefully, the slide has locked back if it’s an autoloader.
6) Place your pistol down on the bench.
7) Bring your target back and mark all the hits, preferably with tape but a marker will do.
8) Write on the target how many hits you made in the body scoring area. I prefer to not count the outer scoring area as I mentioned in Why I hate the -3 zone.
Use this format: (3) X/10, X being the number of hits. For this drill, do not count any hits in the head, they are actually misses.
Sequence 2 (10 rounds)
1) Send the target out to 5 yards.
2) Repeat Sequence 1 but with the target at 5 yards instead of 3 yards.
3) When you write on the target how many hits you made in the scoring area, it will be (5) X/10. The number in parenthesis is the distance in yards.
Sequence 3 (10 rounds)
1) Send the target out to 7 yards.
2) Repeat Sequence 1 with the target at 7 yards.
3) Write on the target how many hits you made at 7 yards. (7) X/10
Sequence 4 (10 rounds)
1) Send the target out to 10 yards.
2) Repeat Sequence 1 with the target at 10 yards.
3) Write on the target how many hits you made at 10 yards. (10) X/10
Sequence 5 (10 rounds)
4) Send the target out to 15 yards.
5) Repeat Sequence 1 with the target at 15 yards.
6) Write on the target how many hits you made at 15 yards. (15) X/10
When you finish the drill, record your score for each yardage. Make this a part of your practice record. Shooting this exercise will give you a good idea of what your current proficiency level is.
That’s an important starting point.
This article was brought to you today thank in part to the support of Sonoran Desert Institute (@sdi_school), a member of JTF Awesome.
We hope you got something out of this article. If you’re looking for more fundamentals and critical thinking, visit the author’s home page at The Tactical Professor. While there take a few minutes to read through the Gunfights and Gunbattles section. Some great stuff in there.
Come back at 13h00 Eastern/noon Central/10h00 Pacific every Friday through the rest of the month for more Friday Fundamentals.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
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About the Author: Tactical Professor is about as good a term as could be used for Claude Werner. A retired Army Captain with 10 years service in Special Operations Forces, former Match Director for the IDPA GA State Championship and IDPA Area Coordinator, he’s a Four Gun Master, Master shooter in several categories, an accomplished competitor, and more importantly an extraordinary (and justifiably storied) instructor. He’s also a fan of baked pork chops and rye whisky. Werner served in the Ranger Regiment and commanded an Army SF unit, and was for many year the Chief Instructor at the widely acclaimed Rogers Shooting School. You can follow Werner on Facebook at The Tactical Professor or online at tacticalprofessor.com. We’re pretty sure he doesn’t Instagram, and almost certain he never Snapchats, and we’re guessing he doesn’t have a Tinder account, but who knows? The rest of his online presence, however, is a wondrous place. He describes it as the, “…great Venn Diagram of Life where guns, tactics, data, training, and public policy merge into a spot occupied by a few others.” We like that definition. You don’t have to agree with everything he says (nor should you, ever, with anyone) but you’d do well to ruminate upon it.
“If you don’t own a rifle, you’re wrong. Doesn’t matter what caliber, even .22 Long Rifle such as a Marlin 60, own one. Have some basic idea of how to use it and practice periodically.” Claude Werner