Advanced Drills

  1. Put your hands in ice water, snow, or salty ice water for as long as you can take it…30 seconds if you have arthritis up to 2 minutes, and then go through your drills. It’s your choice on whether to dry your hands off or not.
  2. Do calisthenics/workout until you’re out of breath and then do your drills. If you notice that you’re a little shaky and your fine motor skills aren’t working quite right, go through your drills then. You won’t be able to simulate the exact fight or flight response, but you can inoculate your brain to many aspects of it by doing firearms training when you are out of breath and or when your muscles aren’t responding the way you expect. This may cause you to simplify your techniques considerably.
  3. Video tape your technique and analyze it. Most new digital cameras have a video feature that you can use for this, or you can even use a $10-$20 webcam if the frame rate is smooth enough. As you analyze yourself, look for wasted motion. Try going through your drills at ½ speed and playing back at 2x speed.
  4. Practice malfunction drills with snap caps. (plastic shells that are the same size as real ammo that will cycle through your firearm) Practice failure to return to battery, slide lock malfunction, double feeds, and stovepipes if you’re using a 1911.
  5. With a partner, have them stand to the side while you press the trigger. While remaining aimed at the target, have your partner grab the slide of your gun and forcibly rack it backwards with approximately the same force as you’d get with a real discharge. Practice trigger reset, managing the recoil and reacquiring your sights as quickly as possible. If you have snap caps, you can also do malfunction drills and reloads using this technique.
  6. Dry fire training time is also the perfect time to practice keeping your sights on target while moving. The most accurate description that I’ve seen for this technique is calling it a “duck walk.” In short, stand like you’re going to start walking forward, drop your center of gravity about 6 inches and then move forward keeping your waist at exactly the same height. Put another way, bend your knees so that your belt buckle drops 6 inches and then keep it at that height as you walk.

Imagine that you’ve got a rail running through your belly button towards your target that is straight as an arrow. The rail doesn’t go up or down or right or left… it simply goes straight and your belly button needs to follow it.

This will give you a stable, consistent shooting platform so that you can aim, make accurate follow-up shots, and even make precision shots with enough practice while moving.

Another way to practice your duck walk is to do it while holding a video camera instead of your firearm. Ideally, your technique will be so smooth that your video looks like you’re simply zooming in with no bounce or waving back and forth. You can practice it going forward, backwards, side to side, or even going up & down stairs.