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Personal Defense Shooting Tips

Skills Drills: El Presidente Drill

by Dave Spaulding   |  June 3rd, 2015 5

Illustration by Alfredo Rico.

Years ago while visiting Col. Jeff Cooper at his home, he told me the el Presidente was never meant to be viewed as a multiple target drill but rather a test of combative handgun shooting skills. He liked the combination of essential skills needed to shoot the drill clean.

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Three targets with a realistic high-chest region (such as an IPSC or IDPA) target set one yard apart, 10 yards from the shooter. Shooter faces away from the target with hands in a surrender position. On the beep of an electronic timer, the shooter pivots 180 degrees and engages each of the three targets with two rounds, performs an in-battery reload, and shoots each target again with two rounds for a total of 12. The par time is 10 seconds with all A-zone hits. (The drill can also be shot with the second string being one round to the head of each target with the same par time.)

The shooter must turn, present to the target, control the trigger and recoil repeatedly, reload quickly and do it all again. Col. Cooper used a 10-inch scoring ring for his drill—what he called “10, 10, 10” (yards, seconds, scoring). Regardless of how fast you see the top shooters do this, 10 seconds with all hits is still a great goal.


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