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A Great “Tune up” Shooting Drill – Dot Torture


I make the most of the limitations the Ohio seasons have with them by changing up how I train.  In the warmer months when I can shoot in the outdoor pistol bays of the club I belong to, I work on improving speed.  But during the cold winter months when I’m primarily training indoors, I work accuracy.  However, shooting on the indoor range isn’t nearly as fun or challenging as what can be done in our outdoor pistol ranges with steel targets, so I’m always on the lookout for challenging drills which are fun.  The Dot Torture target is both enjoyable and challenging.

I first learned about the Dot Torture target from Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Greg a bit during some classes I’ve taken under his instruction at Tactical Defense Institute.  The beauty of the drill and target is that it can be performed using just a single box of ammunition (50 rounds) and challenges all the fundamental skills you need as a CCW holder – marksmanship, drawing, reloading, and shooting off-hand.  I’ve long taught in my own CCW classes that shooting skills are perishable – if you don’t practice, you’ll loose any proficiency you may have developed.  Unfortunately too many people who have their CCW permits don’t continue to train and practice.  If you did nothing but dry fire at home, and the Dot Torture drill once a month, I believe you could maintain a very good level of proficiency.

The drill itself is the brainchild of David Blinder at Personal Defense Training – like Greg Ellifritz, I prefer to use the version of the target created by Todd Green at, which has the instructions for each segment printed beneath the corresponding 2 inch. circle.  Here’s a photo of the target – those circles are darn small:


Greg states that he usually shoots this target at 10 ft. (and usually gets a 49 or 50 out of 50….jerk!)  As most defensive shootings happen at a range of 8 ft. or less, that’s a fine distance to use, especially considering the size of the targets.  As I’m also a competitive shooter trying to push my skills, I shot the below target from 15 ft.:


To jazz things up, vary the distance or perhaps introduce a timed element.

My typical training routine is to practice first with my M&P 22, so I usually shoot the target with with that once before switching over to my M&P Compact chambered in 9mm.

Give it a try your next time out to the range and let me know what you think!

EDIT:  Here’s another shooting drill that also requires just 50 rounds and doesn’t require any special targets, and will go a little quicker if you’re short on time.


About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of, as well as and *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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