subscribe: Posts | Comments

A New 3-Gun Pistol Drill


Today is December 24th – Christmas Eve.  We’ve had several weeks of bitter cold weather, as you would expect for this time of year in Ohio.  Today hit the mid-40’s in temperature, so it was important for me to take advantage of the relative heat wave and get out to the range.

I decided that to try something different in my pistol practice – change things up a bit.  I wanted to add some point-to-point movement, so I spray painted two circles onto the steel patterning wall on the right side of the pistol bay, approximately the size of 3-Gun paper targets.  On the left side of the bay I would use the existing six-plate rack.  Starting on the right side at a distance of 10 yards/30 ft. from the targets, on the “beep” of the timer I would draw and shoot my two “paper” targets – two shots each.  Sprinting to my left approximately 20 ft., I would then shoot the six steel plate rack targets, for a total of ten rounds for the drill.  Here’s a photo of the steel bay at my club, set up as I have described:

Having never set this drill up before, I had no idea what a “good” time would be.  The first time I ran it, I got just over 9 seconds:

I ran the drill several more times – it was great fun, incorporated the explosive, point-to-point movement that is common in practical shooting and exposed both some strengths and weaknesses in my dry fire training.  On the plus side, coming out of the holster I was extremely fast and accurate on right side of the course.  At this point, my SIG P320 Compact which I shoot in competition still uses the factory trigger.  The groups on this next run were darn near perfect, center target hits:

I attribute the speed and accuracy goodness seen in the portion of the drill to my 3 timex weekly dry fire with my pistol.  Unfortunately, this run was also slower – largely due to the makeup shots taken on the steel plate rack.  It took 16 shots to complete a ten-round course of fire.  Not good.

Slowly, my times started coming down below the nine second mark:

The makeup shots weren’t improving though – 17 shots were entirely too many.  Still, I was really happy with my hits on the right side – check out the dead-center double tap on the left circle target:

In my best run of the session, I turned in an 8.22 second time- dropping a full second of my worst time of 9.22:

14 shots taken was an improvement over some of my worst runs, but not great. For future live fire practice sessions, I need to practice running the six plate rack – it’s a common target array in the 3-Gun matches in which I shoot.


For future sessions, I’m thinking that a 7 second time will be my goal which should be quite attainable with fewer makeup shots on the plate rack.   It may also be a bit easier/faster to run the drill when it is warmer and I’m not layered up with clothing:

If I go one for one, improve my sprinting, and were wearing less cloths, a six second time may be attainable.  But I’ll set a goal of 7 seconds for the time being and hope I get some more unseasonably warm, dry weather to practice this new drill.

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.


  1. Practicing The Plate Rack Drill | ThruMyLens - […] DR_id = "1378"; A New 3-Gun Pistol Drill share…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: