Here is a fun drill that I like to conduct on the range whenever I’m behind the AR platform. You’ll learn a lot about your platform as well as yourself from this drill, especially if you have a friend record you shooting it.

If you’re unfamiliar with trigger reset, muzzle control, eye/weapon target transitioning, body stance, etc., you will surely learn fast and benefit from this drill. This drill also breaks the standard two shot center mass shots you see on the range.

In the military, the two-shot center mass drill per target is something that is taught time and time again, instilling the mindset that two shots center mass from a 5.56 cartridge is all it takes to eliminate a threat. This is not always the case. Depending on the individual, two shots center mass may not always be the solution, and may need three, four, or five well-placed rounds to take care of the problem. On many occasions while deployed, the average engagement required that a target be serviced with a minimum of four rounds of 5.56.

In order to become faster with this drill, there are a few things you must first become familiar with.

  • Trigger reset
  • Body position
  • Eye transitioning

When your first round is fired, don’t allow the trigger to fully return to its “relaxed” position. Instead, only allow the trigger to come to its reset point. You’ll find its reset when you physically feel or hear a slight “click” as the trigger returns forward. At this point, the rifle is able to fire again. This saves you time between the shots. Remember, milliseconds count in a gun fight.

Your body position also plays a big role. If the shooter is bladed off to a target, or favors to one side or the other, the transition from the left to the right induces a torque in your lower back. Fighting torque slows you down, as opposed to staying relaxed or positioning yourself to service all targets from a beneficial body position.

Eye transitioning plays a big role in this drill as well. When you transition from one target to the other, your eyes should connect to the target first, then your weapon follows. As soon as the last round is fired, your eyes should already be in the transition phase to the next target.


Space three targets, preferably human silhouette targets, about one target-width apart and place them five yards away from you. Start with the rifle butt on your shoulder and the muzzle down, as if you are exiting a vehicle or entering a building.

At the buzzer, shoot one shot on the left target, two shots on the center target, and three shots on the right target. Then shoot four shots back on the center target followed by five shots on the left. That’s a total of 15 shots at five targets, and only “A” or center hits count. Most experienced shooters will do this in about five seconds the first time out. Scoring under 3.5 seconds is getting pretty good. Three seconds or less is excellent.

If the drill seems too easy for you and you need a challenge, try all head shots!

(Featured Image Courtesy: