Firearm training on a budget; persistence pays off, and not just when you’re looking for online porn. There are few sins more egregious than when an armed professional refuses to hone and maintain their skills.
This article originally ran on 6-27-17.
It’s drilled into most young cops, especially those just out of the academy, that they must practice marksmanship otherwise those skills will atrophy.
Most young cops, at least in my experience, do try to get to the range at least a little bit. But before you know it, there’s a young spouse who wants more time spent with them, there are babies on the way, and shift work invariably beats them up. All that free time the rookie had is suddenly gone, replaced with trips to Home Depot and other family outings — that all takes money, too.
I know, I’ve lived it. But it doesn’t mean that your skills need to completely atrophy — and this applies to everyone who goes heeled, not just the LEOs.
All you need to keep your skills intact is about fifteen minutes and fifty rounds a week. This is the exact program I used when I was working patrol and then assigned to a specialized unit where my range time was limited. Now look, this isn’t going to get you better. It’s a pure sustainment program and is what I consider the bare minimum for anyone who carries a pistol professionally. If you added a couple of five-minute dry practice sessions per week, you’d be way ahead of the game, but hey…let’s not get all crazy here.
Naturally, this program will help any armed professional (or citizen) much as someone On The Job.
Marksmanship Sustainment Program
Stage # Rounds Distance
1 5 7 Yards
Drill: Slow fire, smallest group possible, no time limit, out of battery speed reload with 6 rounds
2 6 7 Yards
Drill: Three controlled pairs, each from the holster. Maintain 10 ring accuracy. Out of battery speed reload with a 10-round magazine.
3 9 7 Yards
Drill: Three failure drills. Push the speed a bit, 9 ring hits are acceptable in the body, slow down for the head shots. Each failure drill is shot from the holster. Perform a retention reload (there should still be a round in the chamber) with a 5 round magazine.
4 6 10 Yards
Drill: Three accelerated pairs. Push the speed just a bit, but try to maintain good combat accuracy (9/10 ring). If you start to get into the 8 ring, slow down. Each pair should be shot from the low ready. Out of battery speed reload with a 5-round magazine. Stage an additional 5-round magazine in a pouch.
5 10 15 Yards
Drill: Draw and fire 5 rounds slow fire, reload with the 5-round magazine and continue with another 5 rounds. Slow fire, focus on accuracy and follow through. Reload with a 4-round magazine. Draw quickly and reload quickly, press the trigger slowly.
6 4 20 Yards
Drill: Draw the pistol and assume a kneeling position or a prone position, fire all four rounds slow fire. Reload from your firing position with a 10-round magazine.
7 10 10 Yards
Drill: From the low ready, come on to target and finish with your final 10 rounds, slow fire.
This is not a qualification course and it sure as hell won’t allow you to improve if it’s the only thing you do.
Any jackass can blaze away at the target, but the focus on good shots allows for sustainment of baseline skills.
What it does is allow the shooter to work fundamental marksmanship skills as well as some fundamental manipulations. To make it challenging and worthwhile, I impose a fifty-burpee penalty for anything outside of the ten-ring on the slow fire phases and anything outside of the nine-ring on the faster phases.
I’ve found that the self-imposed physical penalty allows me to give myself “permission” to slow down and focus on quality shots, which is the whole point of the process. Any jackass can blaze away at the target, but the focus on good shots allows for sustainment of baseline skills.
I can’t emphasize enough that this sustainment session is just that – sustainment. If you want to get better, you need to put in the time on the range as well as getting good dry presses at home. Law enforcement is not a job, it’s a profession. If you want to be a professional, act like it and stay on your game.
That’s just my tip, promise…
Is reading Breach-Bang-Clear worth at least $1 month to you? That’s not even a lapdance! Consider backing us!
What is Patreon? It’s a crowdfunding platform. Breach-Bang-Clear readers pledge from $1 to $50 a month to “House Morningwood” (our Game of Thrones house, complete with sigil!), to help us with expenses. We, in turn, give our supporters unique content, membership to a closed discussion group, and access to the “Morningwood Bazaar“, which is basically helluva lot of unique discount codes (up to 60%) to numerous manufacturers and retailers. “Bend the knee” to House Morningwood and help us cover costs. Rise Before Dawn!
If you wish to cite, syndicate, or curate our material, or if you’re wondering about our please be so kind as to read our Terms, Conditions, and Disclosures.
Take heed! We have advertisers, sponsors, and affiliate relationships with some of the companies you will be reading about (particularly, but not limited to, archival posts). If you purchase one of those items, we will get a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to you. A lot of work goes into Breach-Bang-Clear; by making your purchase through one of our portals you’ll be supporting our work. This will help us buy beer, bullets, and barbecue, and we won’t have to put pop-up ads and other such stupid shit into our articles to pay our expenses.