Drill of the Week – Bill Drill


Welcome to the Inaugural “Drill of the Week.” Magnolia Shooters will publish a new drill each week that is nested in a long term goal such as improving on a USPSA classifier or a Steel Challenge stage . For the next few weeks we will be working towards improving the El Presidente (CM 99-11). If you don’t already have a score for this drill I highly recommend running it a few times to get a baseline of where you’re starting. Score the drill using USPSA hit factor scoring. If math isn’t your strong point you can use a hit factor calculator. This week we will focus on the Bill Drill.

Each drill will start after a quick warmup. After the warmup we will break the drill down into a few fundamental abilities or tasks by using some supporting drills to refine these abilities.

What you will needphoto

  • Target stands
  • USPSA Metric Targets (B-29 or similar targets can be used as substitutions)
  • Target Pasters
  • Shot Timer (phone applications are available if you don’t already have a timer)
  • tape measure (for setting up the drills)
  • Holster, Magazine Pouches etc.

Bill Drill (overview)

Targets: 1 Metric or B29 target 7 yards away
Start Position: Facing downrange, wrists above shoulders
On start signal draw and engage 1 metric target 6 times

Warm Up

First warm up by firing a few slow fire groups from 7, 15 and 25 yards. Focus on grip, stance, breathing and trigger control. Start near and work your way out to 25 yards. Since this is just a warm up don’t spend much time or ammo on this. A 5 shot group at each distance will suffice unless you are really struggling.

Bill Drill Part 1 (Berm Drill)

Target: Berm
Start Position: Standing 3 feet from the berm pistol loaded and aimed anywhere on the berm
When ready fire 6 rounds into the berm as quickly as your sights align while focusing on your focusing on your front sight.

If your pistol is a SA/DA start with the hammer cocked. The point of this drill is to draw your focus to the front sight post of your pistol. Your focus and attention should be all on the front sight. We don’t care where the rounds go as long as they hit the berm.

While you are shooting this drill pay attention to what your sight does. When you break the shot is it lifting straight up from the center of the notch or is it ducking behind one of the blades? If it ducks to the left your shots will fall left, if it goes to the right your shots will hit to the right. This is fine for this drill. You simply need to be cognisant of where your shots are going. The second thing you should watch for is what happens when your sights return after the recoil. Are the falling directly centered between the sight notches? Are they landing high forcing you to fight the gun down? Are the landing low causing you to correct or break a low shot?

The feedback you get from this drill will accomplish two things for you. It is the beginning of learning to Call your Shots and it will help refine your grip for quicker follow up shots. Try different amounts of pressure between your left and your right hand and see how it effects recoil and sight tracking. You can also try different weights of recoil springs if your pistol has them available. You might be able to tune your pistol to your technique. For someone who shoots slightly high you might be able to put in slightly heavier recoil spring to help the settle further down. If they settle low try a lighter spring.

Bill Drill Part 2 (6 Shots to Paper)

Target: 7 yard metric target (or B29)

Start Position: Gun pointed at the target. If the gun has a DA/SA mode start in double action.

On start signal fire 6 rounds into the A zone (or 9 ring) as quickly as possible. Focus on the front sight instead of the target. You should be able to call any shots not in the A zone: high, low, left or right. Paste the target in between runs. Record your total time, hits and average spits.

Bill Drill Part 3 (Dry Fire Draw)

While shooting quickly and accurately will get you the biggest gains on this drill, the draw should not be ignored. Position your pistol in a way that your hand naturally comes to the grip. If you feel you are having to bend your wrist forward or backwards once you get to the pistol try adjusting the holster. Some can rotate and others might need a shim or zip tie to get it into a good position.

Practice this drill at the berm just like the berm drill. This is a dry fire drill and no ammo will be used. For this drill just draw as quickly as you can and be sure your front sight post is centered at the end of the draw. You don’t even have to pull the trigger. Do not draw to any particular target, just focus on picking the front sight up as quickly as possible.

Some common things I see that really hinder the draw are tension in the shoulders, fingers, back and neck. Stay loose and agile and don’t duck your head or bend at the waist or knees. Also be sure your support hand and your strong hand are both moving at the same time. I see many people leave the support hand up in the air until they get their pistol out. This is a time killer. Quickly get your hand to the pistol. Your support hand should meet the pistol in the same spot you naturally clap your hands.

After making a few draws and getting comfortable with it try drawing with your eyes shut. When you open your eyes are the sights lined up naturally? If not keep practicing until they do. It might take a few sessions before you are able to do this consistently.

Bill Drill Part 4 (Live Fire Draw)

Targets: 1 Metric or B29 target 7 yards away
Start Position: Facing downrange, wrists above shoulders. Gun loaded and holstered
On start signal draw and engage 1 metric target with 2 shots

I’ve noticed drawing with only one shot doesn’t often portray our actual draw. For some reason adding a second shot slows most people down .1 to .2 of a second. Record the times for each first shot you make in the A zone (or 9 ring).

Bill Drill Part 5 (The Bill Drill)

Starting with wrists above shoulders, on start signal draw and engage one 7 yard metric target (or B29) 6 times. Record time, hits, first shot and splits.

Targets: 1 Metric or B29 target 7 yards away
Start Position: Facing downrange, wrists above shoulders
On start signal draw and engage 1 metric target with 6 shots

Everything done above with the exception of the berm drill can be practiced in dry fire. If you have the time to run through each part in dry fire before going to the range I think you’ll see even better results.

Post your results or question


Leave a Reply