4 Must-Know Handgun Drills

4 Must-Know Handgun Drills

18th Apr 2024

Drilling with your handgun will help build confidence, accuracy, and proficiency, while also helping to ensure you are prepared to encounter a wide range of situations.

It can also help you improve handling, fight bad habits like flinching, and more. So, break out the 9mm full metal jacket and get ready to hit the range. Here are 4 handgun drills you will want to know.


Set up two silhouette targets at a distance of around 7 yards - as long as you are within 10 yards you’ll be good. Place these two roughly a yard or so apart.

For this drill, load four rounds into the mag, charge the firearm, and chamber one round. Start with the gun holstered or in a low-ready position. At the buzzer, raise your firearm and fire a single shot at the center of one of the silhouette targets.

Then, move diagonally to the second target and fire a shot at the head of the silhouette, before dropping to the center of that target and firing a round there.

Finish the drill by firing your last shot at the head of the first target. To complete this drill, you’ll be moving your firearm in an X-like motion, hence the name of the drill.

Repeat the drill as many times as you like. It will help you build accuracy and control. As with most drills, the goal is to fire all shots on target, accurately, in as little time as possible.

VTAC 1-5 Drill

The VTAC 1-5 drill is a variation of the Mozambique Drill (AKA Failure to Stop Drill) that we covered previously in our blog, but in this version, you’ll be firing at three targets instead of one.

To start, at a distance between 5 and 7 yards, set up three silhouette targets about a yard apart from each other.

To complete this drill, you’ll need to fire 15 consecutive shots, so this is a drill reserved for those who carry handguns with extended magazines - like a G19.

Start with your handgun holstered or low-ready. At the buzzer, fire one shot at the center of the target on the left, before moving to the center target and firing two shots at the center. Move to the third (right-most) target and fire three shots at the center.

Transition back to the middle, fire four shots at the center, then finish the drill by firing the remaining five shots at the left-most target.

If you have a handgun with a more limited capacity, consider adjusting this drill to fire at two silhouettes instead of three.

This drill will help you refine accuracy while engaging three targets at a time. Repeat it until you can fire all shots on target, accurately, within 10 seconds.

El Presidente Drill

This is similar to the VTAC 1-5 Drill, but better for those shooting handguns with more limited capacities.

Set up your targets in the same manner as described above; you’ll need three, set about one yard apart from each other, however, for this drill you’ll be firing at a distance of about 10 yards.

For this drill, you’ll start with your gun holstered and your back turned to the targets. At the buzzer, turn, draw, and fire two shots into the left-most target, then two into the center, and two into the one on the right.

Like the drill mentioned above, the El Presidente Drill is ideal for honing your accuracy and confidence when engaging more than one target at a time.

Repeat this drill until you can fire all 6 shots accurately within 10 seconds.

Clearing a Malfunction Drill

                                   9mm full metal jacket

While the above drills will help you develop accuracy and handling, this drill is intended to help you hone proficiency at clearing a jam - a nightmare in a life or death situation, but a situation against which you need to be prepared nonetheless.

Set up a silhouette target at a distance between 5 and 10 yards.

For this drill, you’ll need a charged mag at the ready and on your person. Start with the firearm cleared but charged with an empty mag. At the buzzer, drop the mag, then cycle the action manually several times (between 3 and 5) with the ejection port facing down, to simulate clearing a jam or a faulty round.

Reload the firearm with a new mag, chamber a round, and fire it into the center of the target.

Drill until you can accomplish this sequence of actions within 10 seconds.

Load Up on 9mm Full Metal Jacket

Ready to stock up on some 9mm full metal jacket and hit the range? Get what you need here. We carry the top brands at competitive prices.

We also carry a wide range of defensive rounds, including Federal HST and Hydra-Shok, which you’ll periodically want to train with if you carry them.

Check them out here, and don’t miss a chance to check our weekly specials and police trade-in deals while you’re on our site.