4 Firearm Drills to Hone Your Shooting Skills

4 Firearm Drills to Try at the Range

Whether you’re taking your Knights Armament AR 15 or your Glock to the range, the primary goal is to improve your skills just a little bit while having fun shooting holes in targets. If you want to improve your skills significantly in the long run, the right shooting drills can help. This is especially important if you plan to compete in the future, but even casual shooters can benefit from these range drills. With these drills, you can be faster, more accurate, and capable of handling any malfunctions with ease. 

Practice Clearing Malfunctions

If your gun hasn’t jammed on you yet, consider yourself lucky. No matter the firearm, eventually you’ll face a malfunction, and clearing it quickly and safely is crucial. Start this drill in the ready position with your gun of choice. This could be your SIG Sauer P320 or your Benelli SuperNova. Use an empty brass case or snap cap to simulate a complication or jam with a pistol. Get it caught in the slide to emulate a classic stovepipe. When ready, eject the mag, pull the slide back, and tilt the ejection port down. When clear, reload the firearm and fire. 

The drill is similar with a rifle, though you will need to pull the bolt back as opposed to the slide. On a shotgun with a tubular mag, pull the pump or slide to the back, depending on your type of shotgun. Reach in and clear the shot if necessary. Put another round in the chamber and fire. It’s a simple drill, but it can save you tons of time and frustration in the future.  

Tap, Rack, Bang Like a Pro

Tap, rack, bang is another classic failure-to-fire exercise employed by the military and casual shooters alike. Load a mag with a mix of dummy and live rounds. The dummy rounds should not be next to each other. You can start at any position or in the holster. Fire your gun until you hit a dummy round. When you hear the click but there is no bang, tap the bottom of the mag to make sure it is seated, rack the slide to cycle to a new round, and then fire the round. This drill can ensure you can fire multiple shots without letting malfunctions slow you down. 

Shoot Two, Load Two

This is a shotgun-specific shooting drill and works best with pump-action shotguns like the Remington 870 or semi-automatics such as the Beretta A300. Start 10 yards from your target, such as a clay pigeon on a berm. Load three rounds into the shotgun and keep two rounds ready outside the shotgun. Shoot two rounds and reload two shells with your non-dominant hand while keeping the shotgun pointed at the target. Repeat as many times as you want to get faster. 

Can You Shoot a Ragged Hole in Your Target?

This simple drill tests your fundamental aiming and targeting skills. Start 3 yards away and choose a spot on your target. Fire between three and five rounds at the target. The goal is to aim at the same spot and hit the same hole each time. At the least, the holes should be touching. Don’t chase the target if you mess up and hit somewhere away from where you were aiming. Continue aiming at the same place. You should be left with a single, ragged hole.