Skip to main content

Practice the X Drill to Reinforce Pistol Skills: Here's How

Simple pistol drills are good, and they're even better when they teach or reinforce a number of skills. This drill does just that, working on accuracy, speed, changing speeds and target acquisition.

Practice the X Drill to Reinforce Pistol Skills: Here's How

The X Drill is excellent training to finetune handgun skills. (Handguns Magazine Illustration) 

Gear: Use a handgun capable of holding at least eight rounds of ammo.

Drill: Place two target stands seven yards downrange. Staple a 3x5 index card at the top of the backer and a paper plate in the center of the backer—labeling the left target “A” and the right target “B.” From the holster or the Ready position of your choice, engage the targets with two shots each in this order: index card A, paper plate B, paper plate A, index card B. Essentially, you’re shooting in an X pattern, hence the name. Then do the reverse, starting on index card B, followed by paper plate A, paper plate B and finishing on index card A.

Goals: The first shots are a challenge, especially when drawing from the holster because the index card is a small target. The paper plate succession gets you moving faster, driving the gun and shooting as quickly as you can without missing. Then you have to slow down for two precise shots at the end, and it’s easy to get caught up in your speed and not bear down on the last index card.

Start out at a pace where you’re getting all hits, then pick up the speed as you progress.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Federal's new.30 Super Carry pistol cartridge offers the equivalent of 9mm Luger performance with recoil and muzzle blast comparable with 9mm. Here's a first look.
Handguns

First Look: Federal .30 Super Carry Pistol Cartridge

Scott Rupp and Richard Nance correct some common shooting advice.
Learn

Bad Shooting Advice

Rich Nance shows us a drill that helps with target transition and accuracy.
Learn

Skills Drills - 3 Second Headshot

It is important to train in various shooting positions. Rich shows us some kneeling positions here.
Learn

Shooting from Kneeling

Scott Rupp highlights the Taurus GX4.
Handguns

Taurus GX4

Richard Nance shows off this easy to carry flashlight from Streamlight.
Gear

Streamlight Wedge

In early 2021, Taurus introduced the GX4, its entry into the micro-compact concealed carry pistol market. Now the company has added red-dot sight capability with the new T.O.R.O. (Taurus Optic Ready Option) version.
Handguns

First Look: Taurus GX4 T.O.R.O. Optics-Ready Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol

Widely known for their duty retention holsters, Safariland is bringing the security and safety of their LE products to the civilian world with the 575 GLS holster.
Gear

Safariland Holsters

Smith & Wesson has expanded their M&P Shield Plus pistol line to include a 3.1-inch optics-ready slide option. Scott Rupp, editor of Handguns, is with Matt Spafford, of Smith & Wesson, to check out this "sweet spot" optics-ready concealed-carry pistol.
Concealed Carry

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus Pistol Series Expanded with Optics-Ready Versions

Handguns Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Handguns App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Handguns stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now