Versatile target arrays for practice

There will be a series of posts coming that were posted on the older version of this blog. I had previously been posting them with their original posting dates, but this next set concerns practice drills and exercises, and those are always good to review – so I’m going to post them with current dates! Here’s the first one!

Efficient drills that you can use to track progress from practice session to practice session are important. The vast majority of us don’t have days to spend on the range moving targets and other range props around – efficient use of time is really important. With just three target stands and a few targets, you can run a wide variety of drills, with varying degrees of difficulty, and basically never have to move the stands.

It all starts with this:

What we have here is the standard, classic El Presidente setup – three targets at 10 yards, spaced apart 3 feet at the shoulder. You can run a plethora – that’s right, I said plethora, El Guapo – a plethora of drills using this simple array. Set it up once, and you can do draws, reloads, Triple Six, El Presidente, modified Vice Presidente (in the original version, the targets are 1 foot apart, not 1 yard), Quayle (that’s a short Vice Pres, BTW – no reload or 2nd string), Draw Test, Reload Test, and many more – but those drills alone cover a lot of ground. Grab a 2nd box, or other aid to define shooting positions, and throw in some movement. Don’t be afraid to vary the distance – in fact, I find that working this array at the oh-so-tricky 18 yard distance is a good challenge.

Eventually, though, either due to increasing skill levels (we hope its that), or limitations on the distances you can shoot at your range, this array won’t present much of a pure shooting test. Sure, you can push speed on it as hard as you want. Fair enough. But at some point, it won’t be as useful as it once was. Now its time to mix it up. Same stands. Same array setups. Throw in some hard cover and a no-shoot, and… BAM!

Not hard enough??? Ok….

Getting the picture? Be creative, keep the arrays mixed up – but always make notes about what the array looked like, and what distances you were shooting at for later tracking purposes. You may not set the same drill up exactly the same again, but your performances are still useful comparisons.

Finally, I’ll share a target array that Benoverse member Eric Stanley (aka, dirtypool40) devised to be a real test (especially at 25 yards). He calls it (and give him the award for Best Obvious Title): The Partials !!!

This array, at 25 yards, is a man-eater if you’re not paying attention. This is what constitutes a solid workout drill for a GM – but its a good test for shooters at all levels. If you can’t seem to back off and shoot it clean at 25, move in a little closer. Inside of 15, it should be a no-brainer sort of exercise, but add some distance in, and you must be focused on each and every shot to get your hits – no slop allowed.

Give it a whirl, and let me know what you think!

About the author


USPSA Grand Master, NRA Instructor, http://re-gun.com/about/

Permanent link to this article: http://re-gun.com/2011/04/versatile-target-arrays-for-practice/

2 pings

  1. Standards Drills for Practice | Re-Gun says:

    [...] bag, or insertion into your performance journal (you keeping one, right??). All three drills use the “El Pres” target array. All of them also involve the use of par times, so you may need to brush up on how to set and [...]

  2. More Variations on The Partials | Re-Gun says:

    [...] my original post on Versatile Target Arrays, I received a PM from Eric Stanley on the Benoverse with some up to date notes on the practice [...]

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