Baselines #2

Part Two

In part one we talked about some standards from 0-500 with rifles. Some will argue that the standards are too loose while some will argue that they are too strict. That’s exactly why they are the standards. You can be above, at or below the standard. It’s easy to understand. Your standard shooter will be able to achieve hits on 20 inch targets to 500 yards.

Now, how do we check this? Every instructor has drills and courses of fire that are used to judge proficiency. They may be made up by him, drills from other places or modified drills. Usually they are conducted on well-known targets from IPSC or the NRA. This is done for a couple reasons one of which is cost. The other is the students can get the targets and compare performance with other people in other classes or later after being with another instructor. As good as it would be for business, we don’t really want students coming back again and again for the same material. We want you to succeed and get better, believe it or not.

The 400-point aggregate.

The 400-Point aggregate is a very simple course of fire that allows the shooter to fire at their own cadence from 4 different positions. Some like to change the range based on position and some like to change the time. When I run this, I use 60 second par times to fire 10 rounds. This takes the pressure of time away and gives me a feel for pure shooting skill in the various positions.

Here is an example. Targets are four B8’s. 80 points per stage to pass first time and score of 320.


100 Prone

75 Kneeling supported

50 Kneeling

25 Standing

Based on the results, I would know where that student passes or fails the standards without the pressure of time. With this drill I know if they can apply the shot process well enough in various positions and understand holds necessary to score well.

 The ½ and ½

The ½ and ½ was developed long ago by Kyle Lamb and Mike Pannone. They both run the drill differently but the version I am most familiar with is the VTAC version. The course of fire is 10 rounds per stage ran on an IPSC target.

20 yards, 10 seconds

10 yards, 5 seconds

5 yards, 2.5 seconds.

This drill shows if you can control your rate of fire and manage recoil well enough to keep rounds inside the A zone at speed.

With these two courses of fire, you can see the capabilities of the shooter under specific conditions out to 100. This is enough data to know if it’s time to go to more distance or spend more time working on weakness in the shot process. If they are unable to hold groups at 100, they can’t at 200. If they can, now it’s time to add pressure or move on to external ballistics and aiming to account for it. I have seen way too many courses that follow a curriculum vs student readiness. Doing this may make the time table run but will frustrate people as the fall farther behind.

I will close with revisiting these two drills. If you are training and do other drills to improve specific parts of these “standards” drills, come back to them so the shooter can see progress. It will either show them they are getting lazy on parts or how much they improved over the day. The key to standards is they need to be understandable, achievable and allow room to exceed them. Nothing says you can’t run a ½ on a smaller target or farther distances. If you train with Failure2Stop you will do both.

Stay tuned for next time

  • Ash


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