Standards Drills for Practice

Another blast from the past!

What does the word “Standards” make you think of? Torture? Inhuman cruelty? Sadistic match direction? Or, does it inspire thoughts of confidence? Smug satisfaction at free match points? I’ll bet its one of the first ones, isn’t it?

Why do standards exercises invoke such fear and concern in most people? Hmmmm… Can it be that we’ve forgotten how to actually SHOOT in the midst of all of our running around and whatnot? I suggest that you lose your fear of standards by facing them in practice. In fact, I have several standards drills that I track progress with that I’ll share with you in this article…

Standards separate the men from the boys (or, the women from the girls, if you prefer). They are pure tests of shooting skill – no movement skills, no contortions to gain an advantage on a shooting position. They emphasize the D in DVC (that’s Diligentia, or accuracy), but you must still execute the skills quickly enough. Spending some quality practice time on them will not only increase your confidence on match day when you encounter a standards on the dance card, but will also give you a chance to develop and improve all of your basic shooting skills in a definitive, trackable test format.

Put me in the camp that wants a traditional, 50-yard timed fire standards at the Nationals – complete with appearing/disappearing targets. I’m all about that, man!

I have three different standards drills to share with you that I have practiced off and on for quite a while now. Each drill has a description document, and a score sheet. These are formatted in a “2-up” fashion, so they can be easily folded in half for travel in your range 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 change par times on your shot timer. They’re all different, but its usually pretty easy to do.

Download these descriptions, and take ‘em to the range! Post your scores in the comments below!

Like anything, there is a downside to these drills. They take some time to shoot, since there’s a lot of back and forth to the targets. You may not want to work one at every practice, just for that reason. Do your best to be efficient – when heading down to score a string, drop your bag off at the next yardage line.

If you don’t have a range that allows for shooting at these distances, just start at the longest distance string you can fit, and work in from there – and figure your score against the maximum number of points you can get for those strings.

The Ronin Drill, aka The Central Texas Standards, was developed by Chip McCormick and Ronin Coleman (from PACT). Its a pretty complete test, in that every basic “stand and shoot” (or, prone and shoot) pistol skill you’ll encounter is covered. Its shot in 6 strings, and requires 125 rounds to complete. Here’s the drill description, and the score sheet. The term “Mozambique” refers to Cooper’s Mozambique Drill – two to the body, one to the head…

Bryan Williams’ Drill, courtesy of my good buddy by the same name. This 136 round drill places a slightly different emphasis than the Ronin Drill. Here’s the drill description and the score sheet.

The Classic Drill came about from a desire I had to run a standards drill on the so-called Classic Target. The target has a different presentation to it than the Metric Target, and sees some use at big matches – notably the Florida Open and the Nationals. The only way to get used to the target and its scoring zones is to shoot at it. Weighing in at 165 rounds, this is the longest drill of the three, but the last string moves you up to 3 yards for some inclusion of raw speed in the standards. Heres the drill description and the score sheet.

About the author


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

Permanent link to this article: http://re-gun.com/2011/05/standards-drills-for-practice/

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