Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Drills For The Indoor Range

Whenever I run across interesting shooting drills online I save them in my notes, and I've put together a pretty diverse catalog. Because of limitations typically found at indoor ranges, I've long kept an eye out for drills suitable for indoor practice.

The main restrictions typically faced indoors are prohibitions on drawing from the holster, lack of movement, use of a single target and sometimes shooting speed. Recently the outdoor range we use has banned movement and also severely limited the rate of fire. Individual strings of fire are now limited to two shots. They've even gone to so far as to ban multiple people sharing a bay from shooting simultaneously in what only sounds like rapid fire.

Fortunately, the indoor range has a less restrictive stance on multiple shot strings. There's no shooting on the move or holster work, despite that it seems the advantage still goes to the indoor range for most practice time.

Below are a few of the drills I've found that are useful for a structured practice session indoors.

Julie Golob 50 Shot Drill

This is one of my favorites. It's simple and uses either USPA or IDPA targets. All strings start from low ready and the target distance is up to the shooter. Your magazine should be loaded with 10 rounds. If you have five mags pre-loaded the drill runs very quickly. Shoot as fast as you can to keep all your hits in the scoring zone.

Magazine 1: 2 rounds, center of this target, repeat 5 times
Magazine 2: 5 rounds, center of target, followed by 5 rounds to head
Magazine 3: 2 rounds, quickly into head, repeat 5 times
Magazine 4: 1 to body, 1 to head, repeat 5 times
Magazine 5: 5 rounds SHO into body, followed by 5 rounds WHO into body

Count only -0 or A zone hits.

Tactical Professor - Establishing Your Baseline

This is another 50 round drill for any silhouette target of your choosing; B-27, B-21, Q, IDPA, IPSC, etc. All shots are from low ready, with reloads on bench. You'll need two magazines loaded with five rounds for each string. Each string of fire consists of a 10 shot sequence and is repeated at 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards.

Shot sequence:
1) One shot at center, follow thru for 1 sec, back to low ready
2) Two shots at center, follow thru for 1 sec, back to low ready
3) Three shot at center; will be at slide lock after 2 shots, reload fire 1
4) Four shots at center (slide lock)

Score only hits in the body or main scoring zone of your target. Be sure to drop the empty mag into your hand, not into the lane in front of the shooting bench.

5x5 Drill

This is a simple 5 shot drill, though your indoor range has to allow fairly fast shooting. From low ready, put 5 shots in a 5 inch circle in 5 seconds. I’ll typically use a “splatter” target stuck over whatever target I’ve shot up with previous drills. The 5 seconds is going to be an estimate unless you can use a timer.

Dot Torture

Though not one I’ve specifically flagged in my notes for indoor shooting, this is a great test of your sight alignment and trigger control. The drill as designed calls for drawing from the holster, but shooting from low ready will provide a significant “torture.” Start at 3 yards until you shoot it with a perfect score of 50 hits. I’ve yet to shoot better than 49/50, but I am overdue to try again.

These drills are all part of my regular range routine. Of course, one could also simply hang a target and run it out to your preferred practice distance and just shoot. And I do that sometimes as well. However, I like to include at least one of my favorite standard drills in each range trip.


  1. I start every range trip with Dot Torture. I have gone 50/50 with .22, but not yet with 9mm. It is as much a test of ability to mentally focus for a prolonged period of time as physical marksmanship skills.

    The Lucky Gunner 5X5 targets are also good for practicing weak hand-only and strong hand-only shooting. If you can get all your shots in those 5-inch circles at 7 yards, then -0 zone on an IDPA target should be a breeze!

    1. You are so right about Dot Torture. Every step completed adds to the pressure on the next!

      Good idea about 5x5. I practice some WHO and SHO shooting at every outing.



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