Single lane revolver drills

A lot of people are restricted in where they can practice.  Not everyone has regular access to an outdoor range, or a facility that allows holster draws, rapid shooting, reloads, etc.  Let’s say that you’re restricted to a single lane at an indoor range, and that for the sake of practice it’s one of the ranges that allows holster draws.  The situation is complicated further if you’re practicing for Enhanced Service Revolver or USPSA Revolver division with a gun that feeds from moonclips, as taking rounds in and out of moonclips on the range just isn’t a feasible practice idea.  So what to do?

Single lane drill at West Coast Armory

What I do is break each moonclip down into a “chain-drill”.  That is, within the six shots in the moonclip I’ll do several different drills that all “chain” off one-another.  I usually warm up with a walkback drill or a 3×5 card drill.  There is no such thing as being “too accurate” with your shooting, and a cold walkback drill is a great way for me to start my practice.  At the end of the walkback drill, I’ll want to make sure I only fire 5 rounds out of the moonclip in the gun, leaving 1 round left in the gun.  Then I’ll start my chain drill, which goes like this:

  • 1-reload-1 drill – fire the last round in the previous moonclip, reload, fire 1.
  • Draw, fire 2 shots to the body
  • Draw, fire 2 shots to the body
  • From aimed in at the target, do another 1-reload-1

You can work this drill in all sorts of different combinations as well; sometimes I’ll do 1-reload-2 if I’ve noticed I’m struggling with follow-up accuracy.  You can use a 1-R-2 drill as the initiator for this practice session:

  • 1-reload-2
  • draw, 2 to shots to the body and 1 to the head (IDPA target)
  • aim in, 1-reload-2 drill

And repeat as needed.  You may have noticed that I try to incorporate reloads as often as possible in my revolver shooting drills – if I have a 300 round practice session, I will spend 150 of those rounds on a variation of the above breakdown.  Practicing reloads with a revolver is tremendously important, since that’s the thing you’re going to spend the most time doing during a USPSA or IDPA match with a revolver.

I have noticed that when I walk away from a match where I’m happy about my reloads, that usually means I’ve done pretty well.  If I’m frustrated with my ability to get rounds in the gun, that usually means I’ve not done so hot.

1 Comment

  1. Reloads are the only thing I can really practice at the range and push myself on. I have 4 magazines loaded with 1 round each, and one in the gun with a single round. Then I shoot all 5 at an 8-inch circle at 7 yards (the closest allowed at this range).

    I had been working on my splits. But I’ve gotten fast enough at them (which isn’t really that fast) to run into two problems. First, the Surefire app and/or the microphone doesn’t seem to work inside at less than .50 seconds. Second, I now shoot splits fast enough to get yelled at for shooting too quickly (No Rapid Fire rule).

    I really need to get into one of the private clubs here. Stupid waiting lists.

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