6 Types of Shooting Drills that’ll Keep you On-Target with Your 1911

The range is a great place to practice the fundamentals of shooting— everything from your grip to your sight picture and shooting stance. For gun owners focused on self-defense, operating quickly and efficiently in the heat of the moment can be the difference between life and death.

Some ranges have strict rules regarding drawing from your holster and shooting rounds down range at a rapid pace. This may seem discouraging, but there are still ways to practice the skills that will keep you safe in a defensive gun use situation.

All of the drills below should keep you in compliance with the strictest range standards.

The 5 and 5 Drill (Emergency Reload)

The 5 and 5 Drill aims to train your muscle memory, speed, and accuracy when operating your firearm quickly. Please know: This drill is ideal for more experienced shooters. Novice shooters should have a more experienced shooter to guide them through the drill.

Check it out in action:


The Square Drill

The square is a classic drill designed to prepare the shooter to reposition quickly while putting shots on target and maintaining accuracy. Arrange four cones in a square with five yards on each side. Set up three targets at approximately ten yards. Start in a corner and work your way around the square, firing 2 shots at each target from each corner.

The Headshot Drill 

This drill is incredibly simple, but difficult for a number of shooters. The Headshot Drill conditions shooters to avoid jerks and flinches. Set up one target at 20 yards, take aim, and place five consecutive headshots. Advanced shooters can combine this drill with the 5 and 5 for added difficulty.

The Bill Drill

The Bill Drill is all about rhythm and accuracy. Fire six consecutive rounds at your target's center mass with a steady rhythm. This drill is intended to help shooters with recoil management, sight acquisition, and shot-to-shot placement.

One-Handed Drills

If you can, it's obviously best practice to shoot two-handed when practicing self-defense. However, when it comes to defensive gun use, you may not always be able to use both of your hands to eliminate the threat. Knowing this, it's important to practice one-handed shooting drills in order to prepare for that possibility.

Strong Hand



Weak Hand



Tap Rack Bang

It's every shooter's worst nightmare: a gun malfunction while defending yourself from a threat. Whether your magazine isn't fully seated, your round had a problem ejecting, or any number of other possible malfunctions, there's one simple cycle that can get you out of a jam and allow you to continue to fire: Tap Rack Bang. Watch the guys over at Tactical Rifleman explain the drill and how you can practice your malfunction management at the range.


For more guidance check out our Shooting Techniques Page.

Beginner or advanced, you can always improve your shooting technique.