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Shooting Drills – Getting off the X

Shooting Drills – Getting off the X

Defensive pistol experts constantly preach “getting off the X,” and what they mean is you don’t want to just stand in one spot when engaging a threat. This simple drill teaches you to get off that X, and the more you do it, the more instinctive and easy the actions become.


Your daily carry gun and holster, typical concealment garment, shot timer (optional)


Five yards is a good distance because it’s close enough that the perspective on the target changes noticeably when you move. Use an IPSC-type target or a target that approximates the size of a human chest. On the signal—or simply when you’re ready if not using a timer—move in a given direction, draw while moving and fire.


Safety first. Start the drill by doing it dry in order to get used to the movements, and go slow at the beginning. Never push your speed to the point you’re unstable. The idea is to get comfortable with the actions involved; it’s not a race.

Alternate moving left, right, angle back (left and right) and straight back. The key is to be on the move from the get-go. Mix it up by firing on the move or moving to a spot and then firing—just be moving as you draw. Some movements will seem easy, some will seem hard. Practice all of them, but give extra focus to the hard ones.

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