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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.


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