The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Skills and Drills: Breakdown Drill

Become a Better Shooter with the Breakdown

Every day we face the challenge of maximizing training time in facilities that might not be as friendly to realistic training practices as we’d like. Not all ranges allow drawing from a holster, for example. Additionally, shot timers become all but useless when other shooters are nearby.

However, you should be able to use the compressed ready position (often referred to as the “count three” or third step of drawing from a holster) no matter how strict the facility is.

So, here’s a drill and target that you can use to train effectively just about anywhere. You’ll still need a few pieces of equipment to get full benefit out of your training session: targets, smart device, Sharpie, and 50 rounds of target ammo.

To overcome the inability to use a physical shot clock, use a dry fire/shot timer app — one that allows for countdowns/par times (Splits is a very comprehensive app if you’re an Android user). When you use a par time on a timer, it gives you an initial audible beep followed by a second audible beep after a designated period of time. Don’t worry if you don’t have the latest in Bluetooth-capable ear pro, simply tucking an ear bud under your muffs will allow you to hear the start and par tones.

You can download the suggested target for this drill HERE.

The Why

One way to improve anything that we do is to break a complex action down into the component simple actions. Today we’ll break down presentation of your gun to the target to the following four aspects:

Grip: Starting from where your hands come together naturally and lock it in

Final presentation: straight and level out towards the target

Front sight/dot acquisition: Find it quickly and line it up with minimal adjustment

Trigger prep/press: Straight to the rear

Download and print this drill HERE.

Break Down Drill at 3 yards

Stage One: Box 1 — 10 single presentations from count three of the draw stroke (see left) with a one second par time. We want you to prep the trigger right until the point it is about to break. This is the goal for stage one; acquire the front sight on Box 1 and prep the trigger BEFORE the second beep.

Stage Two: Box 1 — ten single one-shot reps with a one second par. This time, break the shot as soon as you hear the second beep. Establish your grip at count three, break the shot on demand, and push your reaction time.
Stage Three: Box 2 — five reps with the same one second par time, but this time fire two rounds instead of just one with the goal of firing the first shot before the second beep.

Stage Four: Box 3 — 10 single-shot reps with a 0.5 second par if you’re not having any issues keeping up. If you’re slow or not keeping your rounds on target, then stay at a one second or somewhere in between. The goal is to break the shot prior to or right at the second beep while getting your hits on target.

Stage Five: Box 4 — two five-round strings with par time of 2 seconds to work on recoil management. The goal here is to hear the par time beep; that’s 0.5 to get on target and 1.5 seconds to make five shots. The goal is 0.3 splits at the most while keeping rounds on target.

Stage Six: Box 5 — five two-round strings with a 2-second par. That’s a 0.5 or less first shot and a 0.25 split time on a credit card size target. The goal is to hear that par beep after the second shot.

Run through this drill a couple times until you can clean it or get at least 90 percent, then either add distance or reduce the par times. Just remember to get your hits while pushing your speed; you don’t gain anything by staying in your comfort zone.

Train safe and remember to post up your results on social media and let us know how you liked the drill.


Want Swag? Download this Skills & Drills target on RECOILweb, print it out, and give it a go! Toss a target or range pic up with it, and tag it #RECOILskills for your chance at some choice gear. Don’t bother cheating, because it’s a random drawing!

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