Basic Lesson 23, Dot Drill Target
These lessons are not intended to replace quality instruction from a competent instructor in a formal setting. There are too many small items that need to be addressed in order for this to be done correctly and without thought. Being able to accomplish the correct shooting form without thought absolutely requires perfect practice over and over until the correct neural pathways have been established. Muscle memory does not come overnight and if it is not done correctly time and time again, you will revert back to the incorrect form under stress.
John Farnam has stated: “Amateurs practice until they do it right, but professionals practice until they cannot do it wrong”. Simply put, everyone needs perfect practice.
Dot Drill Version 1
As we said from the beginning, shooting groups for the tactical shooter is a lesson in futility. We do it because we have to, and because it has been the standard metric of performance, however there are other, better ways to gauge one’s progress.
Once we have zeroed the weapon system to our satisfaction, it’s best to avoid shooting groups. They have a dedicated sport for that, it’s called benchrest, and is very competitive, tactical rifles are not designed for this purpose, they are meant to put the round on target with the first shot from any position, under all conditions and sometimes after rigorous use and abuse.
At Rifles Only, we use the Sniper’s Hide Dot Drill in a number of ways. We have even begun to shoot it for score on a daily basis to note the changes and improvements a student is making. We have even incorporated it in our weekly qualification that we have begun implementing in our Precision Rifle Classes. This video is a demonstration of the most common use of the Dot Drill at Rifles Only. Many on this site use the dot drill every week, however most of them, just attempt to put one round on target from the prone or a bench. That is not our focus, we want a effective well rounded shooter capable of engaging targets on command from a variety of positions.
The Drill from Top Down…
1. Single Dot at the Top is engaged from the prone with two rounds in 30 seconds. It should take much less. This is recommended where you start your day – the infamous cold bore shot, with its follow up.
2. First row of 5 dots, with a magazine of 3 rounds and a second magazine of two, the shooter from the bolt open, magazine inserted position, will fire 3 rounds, 1 round per dot, then reload and complete the row with the final 2 rounds. Time limit to start is 30 seconds.
3. Second row of 5 dots, with a magazine of 5 rounds inserted, the bolt back, shooter in the prone, he will put 1 round in each dot from the support side in 30 seconds.
4. 3rd Row of 5 dots, with a magazine of 5 rounds inserted with the bolt back the shooter from the standing will drop into the prone and fire 1 round in the first dot in 15 seconds and reset the drill and stand up. From there he will repeat this with a descending time limit. 12 sec, 10 sec, 8 sec, & finally 6 seconds for each shot.
5. Last row in the dot drill, the shooter with the rifle in the low ready, magazine inserted with the bolt back will drop to the prone and fire one round on the first dot in 30 seconds. He will reset and stand up with the rifle repeating the drill with a descending time limit of 25 sec, 20 sec, 15 sec, and finally 10 seconds.
As you progress it is encouraged to reduce the times and reduce the size of the dots. The 3rd time you ace this drill in a row, means its time to make it harder.