Shooting Exercises „Drills“

Handling firearms, whether long or short, requires systematic and repeated activities that help shooters develop and improve their skills. These exercises can encompass various aspects of marksmanship, including accuracy, speed, weapon manipulation, tactical skills, and proper responses to different situations.

Published 16.04.2024 / RaptorX

Shooting exercises are an important part of training in the military, police, sports shooting, or for individuals practicing personal protection. We will mainly focus on shooting „drills“ for personal protection. Shooting exercises for firearm holders may involve several key aspects that improve skills and safety in handling firearms.

During shooting exercises, it is essential to adhere to safety rules, including proper firearm handling and adequate hearing and eye protection. Firearm holders should also comply with all local laws or regulations at the shooting range. Nobody will appreciate you „drying firing“ while endangering those around you. Therefore, even exercising with an unloaded firearm needs to be done in designated areas. Professional training and supervision can contribute to the safe and effective development of shooting skills.

Shooting skills exercises

Safe firearm handling: includes basic rules for firearm handling, checking the direction of fire, and regular safety checks. Furthermore, determining a safe space and safe manipulation.

Weapon manipulation: involves various skills related to controlling and manipulating the weapon, such as loading, magazine changes, safety disengagement, and weapon locking. This exercise is particularly important if the shooter is practicing with a new firearm and is not yet empirically familiar with all its features.

Practical shooting: improves accuracy and the ability to react quickly to stationary or moving targets.

Speed: focuses on increasing shooting speed. The shooter works on reducing the time between individual shots and increases efficiency in quick aiming and target acquisition.

Quick weapon draw: training for quick and safe weapon draw. The exercise can be divided into two further sub-exercises. The first involves drawing the weapon from a holster, useful at the shooting range or if the trainee is employed in units allowing visibly carrying the weapon. The second exercise involves the issues of drawing when carrying concealed, which is very extensive in itself and we will address it later.

Shooting at various distances: covers shooting exercises at both short and longer distances to strengthen comprehensive skills. It also includes work with sights, familiarization with the ballistic properties of the firearm, and effective and efficient shot placement. If the shooter owns a firearm with optics, then also work with optics and proper aiming.

Multiple shot exercises: specialize in shooting from a weapon where we fire multiple shots in one or more sequences. It involves exercises using several shooting skills that the shooter tries to maximize.

Shooting accuracy: aims to achieve the most accurate results when shooting at a target. The exercise includes stable positioning, proper aiming technique, and breath control. It also focuses on slow, deliberate shooting, where the shot can be a surprise. Proper posture and grip are important for shooting at short distances. At longer distances, breath control comes into play, especially with long firearms with optics.

Shooting at moving targets: simulates situations where the target is moving. It develops skills in tracking the target and prediction. The exercise can be divided into short, medium, and long distances, where with increasing distance from the target, the shooter must predict where the target is heading. Especially if the shooter aims for precise shooting or shoots at small moving targets from medium and long distances.

Tactical exercises: include situations that may occur in real life, such as concealed targets, cover behind obstacles, object reconnaissance, and room clearing. They also simulate various tactical situations that require the shooter to decide on the correct use of cover, movement between them, and possible cooperation with other shooters, if it is a joint exercise. These drills develop and support strategic thinking and quick decision-making. Increased caution and awareness of other team members are essential for exercises involving multiple shooters.

Shooting under limited visibility: using lighting aids and adapting to different lighting conditions. This exercise can be performed outdoors as well as indoors. Outdoors, the shooter can take advantage of natural low light conditions at dusk, when shadows merge in the dark and visibility decreases. In darkness, flashlights, various lighting aids, or night vision devices can be used. The technique and execution of the exercise vary depending on the available resources. For example, shooting with a flashlight has a fundamentally different issue than shooting with night vision.

Simulation of stressful situations: incorporates stressful elements into exercises, such as time pressure, loud noises, or physical fatigue. It helps prepare the shooter for real situations where fast and precise action is crucial.

Emergency response: simulates situations where quick and effective response to a possible threat is needed. It is actually a comprehensive summary of previous exercises. It is suitable for shooters who already have the aforementioned exercises „down pat,“ are familiar with the features of their firearm and with their equipment.

In previous paragraphs, we outlined what to expect in the following posts. First and foremost, we will focus on how to handle a firearm correctly in private and at the shooting range. What it entails to own a firearm and subsequently how to handle it properly. To all this, we will add a nice portion of exercises that you will be able to try out for yourself. Of course, instructional videos from our instructors will also be included, which will briefly and clearly describe what each exercise looks like, what is needed for it, and how it is done.

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