It's up to the shooter/trainer. Dot Torture is a just a [great] drill used as part of a training program. If the dots were 8" round steel plates at a range that made them appear smaller, would a hit on the edge make noise? If you used B8 repair centers at 25, would you count hits on the edge of the "8"?
I think the key is be consistent with yourself. Calling edge hits misses, then starting to count them is probably going to artificially increase your score. The inverse if you counted them then stopped counting edge hits. They whole idea is the drill is scale-able. Start closer, when you can clean it move it back. I have even heard of people using time pressure with dot torture, which sounds valid, just not something I have tried yet. If you use it as a guide for your own personal improvement, either way works fine.
I applaud you to holding yourself to a higher standard on Dot Torture. However, for the rest of your training I'd count the entire scoring area including the edges. That way you're focusing on the mechanics of achieving an acceptable sight picture most of the time and building up some practical speed in doing so.
Dot Torture is an excellent way to spend 50 rounds and I use it at the front end of nearly every pistol training session. If I were strapped for resources, I'd only shoot Dot Torture and save my money/ammo. That said, if you've got more than 50 rounds available per training session, shoot Dot Torture as well as you possibly can in as much time as it takes, and then move on to something else. The only "modification" I'll make to it is to load only the amount of rounds required per sub-drill in my magazines so that I'm hitting a reload with each one (including strong and weak hand only reloads). No timer or pressure; just mindful repetition.
In most target shooting competitions, broken lines count for the better score. (meaning, a bullet hole touching the line between X and 10 ring for example counts as an X, regardless which side of the line it's on.
Think of it like shooting an eyeball; if you hit the edge, that's still going to get the job done.
But, as long as your consistent in your own scoring it doesn't matter, if you're not comparing score to anyone else.
Well, I tried this for the first time this morning, and it was indeed torturous. I have been putting some focused work in on getting faster, and I think finishing with this will balance that work out nicely.
At what ranges are you guys shooting it at?
I ran 3 guys through it today several times, all brand new shooters but none cleared it at 2 meters.
I cleared it second time at 3 meters with a Jericho. First run was my Glock 17, had 1 outside the scoring area.
Just wondering how I should progress on it.
Well, today was my first time with it, and I shot it twice, both at 5 yards, neither clean. I will stay with that until I can reliably shoot it clean, then maybe introduce time factors rather than backing off, but 5 yards will keep me gainfully employed for a while, I think.
As for distances, start @ 3 yards. When the shooter can run it clean (on demand or 2x in a row), move back a yard. As the distance increases so do the need for precision. My rule of thumb for this drill is if the shooter is beyond 3 yards and shoots below 40, we move a yard closer. 5 yards is dicey for me, but I have heard of some shooting it clean out past 10 yards.
If you want, TLG created a target called the Q-PT which will allow Dot Torture, Fast Drill, and many other drills to be shot on the same target. He wrote a blog about the different drills you can perform on the Q-PT. The blog located here on the Pistol-Training.com site.
I've been shooting it at 5 yards but haven't done it in a few months. It's frustrating me because I can shoot it all clean except the left hand only circle, regardless of going fast or slow. This is a good target for pointing out your deficiencies in shooting skill.
My opinion only: I have plenty of drills available that involve a time standard, and dot torture is not one of them. I have never put a timer on myself on any of the dot torture strings. The only thing I do is make sure I am not turning it into a bulls-eye session. I use the whole drill almost like the first dot on the press six drill: working on braking the shot right as I get to extension on a draw, or as soon as the front sight returns to the dot I am aiming at, without adding time pressure. That comes in my practice sessions, just not with dot torture. Once again, just my opinion and personal way of practicing. I am sure others use a timer, and also get a lot out of it.
Usually I do dot torture as a warm-up, a few times I have done it as a cool down, but not for some time.