Drill of the Week – Bullseye
Strong Hand/Weak Hand
If you can’t remember the last time you practiced shooting with just your strong hand or weak hand the next few drills are for you. Strong hand only (SHO) and weak hand only (WHO) shooting is one of those challenges avoided by most shooters. It just isn’t always fun practicing something your are comfortable with or even bad. The next few drills will address just this area of shooting starting with the basic function of slow fire groups through more complex drills with multiple target transitions. This drill is based on a basic bullseye match. Bullseye is shot strong hand only at 25 or 50 yards. It will focus solely on accuracy and build fundamentals in stance, grip, sight alignment, trigger squeeze and breathing. All of these fundamentals will make you a better shooter whether shooting right handed, left handed or free style with both hands.
What you will need
- Target stands
- NRA B-16 Targets (or any X ring type target)
- Target Pasters
- Shot Timer with par function (phone applications are available)
- tape measure (for setting up the drills)
- Holster, Magazine Pouches etc.
Targets: NRA B-16 Targets (or any X ring type target) 3 to 50 yards
Start Position: Low ready
String 1: 10 minutes 5 shots slow fire
String 2: 20 seconds 5 shots timed fire
String 3: 10 seconds 5 shots rapid fire
If you are new to shooting SHO/WHO start with firing a few slow fire groups from 3, 7, 15 and 25 yards. Really pay attention to your trigger squeeze and how the sights react. Shooting with one hand can be very revealing when it comes to how good your trigger control really is. I sincerely believe if you can shoot well with one hand, shooting free style with two hands will be effortless. Start near and work your way out to 25 yards. Don’t move to the next distance until you can consistently group in the A zone with each hand. There is no point in moving to the next part if you can’t shoot accurately. Don’t get frustrated, it takes practice.
Trigger control involves the entire finger. If you just move the middle joint of your finger when you squeeze the trigger you will push the entire gun to the left (or right if using the left hand). You have to use the entire finger including the joint where your finger meets your hand to pull the trigger in a straight line all the way to the rear. To illustrate this take a ruler and place the butt in the web of your hand between your thumb and index finger as if you were holding a gun. Pull your finger lightly along the axis of the ruler and watch how all of your joints have to move to keep your finger straight on the axis.
Grip the gun as tightly as you can without losing dexterity in your trigger finger. Relax your thumb so that it isn’t putting uneven pressure on the pistol itself. Your arm and wrist should be locked out to minimize the recoil of the gun. Pull your support hand into your chest and lean forward slightly keeping your upper back tight for stability. This is a deviation from bullseye shooters who typically put their support hand in their pocket and lean back a little. Spending a few days practicing just this part in dry fire will return huge dividends when you get to the range. Especially if you haven’t practiced in a while.
After a warming up with slow fire groups at various distances decide on a distance that you can shoot consistently. For new shooters this could be as close as 3 yards. More advanced shooters will shoot as far as 50 yards. If you can’t get on the paper at the distance you select then it is too far. Bring the target closer. When shooting String 1, the slow fire groups, use the full 10 minutes. Relax to low ready between shots. If you aren’t confident with the sight aliment or begin to shake don’t break the shot. Take a break and then try again. You are trying to hit the X ring as many times as you can with 5 shots.
During the timed fire (String 2) and rapid fire (String 3) use your par timer for the start and stop. It will be challenging at first to use this time well. The natural tendency is to rush. This portion will force you to track your sights as the gun recoils and quickly break very accurate shots at a long distance.
Run each string twice before scoring and pasting your targets. Don’t be afraid to increase the distance if you are doing well or decrease if you are doing poorly.