I do a lot of rifle training with my .22LR AR conversion, both for reasons of cost (six cents per round vs. 25-50) and logistics (a lot of ranges prefer you not to use rifles in the pistol bays.)
Most of what we do in 3-gun, can be effectively practiced with a .22LR rifle. Slow-fire accuracy, target transitions, setups and position shooting, reloading and weapon manipulations, all of these can be done with a .22LR. The only things that cannot be effectively practiced with the .22LR carbine are recoil control on single targets, and long range holdover and wind doping.
When I’m practicing, especially outdoors, I like to break my training up into blocks. I pick a skill that I want to work on, and do a warmup, some skill development drills, and a more complicated drill that ties everything together. Ideally, I don’t have to change the stage setup for the entire block.
This is a training block that I use for position shooting with the rifle, based on the old Gunsite Rifle Bounce. It’s designed for the .22LR, but it can be scaled up to work with any rifle, or even a shotgun with slugs…
For the targets, I use cheap 2″ steel plates at the indicated distances. This scales up to 8-10″ plates at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You can use other targets, but the drill really works better if they’re reactive and self-resetting. The Bianchi barricade can be replaced with anything sturdy enough to use as a support – a trash barrel, shooting bench, table, or what-have-you.
- From offhand, fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T1.
- From supported kneeling (using the barricade,) fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T2.
- From prone, fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T3.
Skill Development -
- Start standing in Box A, rifle at port arms. On signal, fire one round on T1 from offhand. Record your time. Repeat 10x, and record your number of hits.
- Start standing in Box B, rifle at port arms. On signal, fire one round on T2 from supported kneeling. Repeat 10x, record your times and hits as before.
- Start standing in Box A, rifle at port arms. On signal, drop prone and fire one round on T3. Repeat 10x.
- Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready. On signal, move into Box A and fire one round on T1 from offhand. Repeat 10x.
- Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready. On signal, move into Box B and fire one round on T2 from supported kneeling. Repeat 10x.
- Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready. On signal, move into Box A and fire one round on T1 from prone. Repeat 10x.
The Working Drill -
- Start in Box C, rifle at port arms, loaded with six rounds only. On signal, engage the targets in the following order: T1 from Box A offhand, then T2 from Box B in supported kneeling, then T3 from Box A in prone. Record your time, add 10 seconds for each miss.
- Start in Box C, rifle at port arms, loaded with six rounds only. On signal, engage the targets in the following order: T3 from Box A prone, then T2 from Box B in supported kneeling, then T1 from Box A offhand. Record your time, add 10 seconds for each miss. Score as above.
Running through this entire block takes be 60-90 minutes, and uses up 120-150 rounds of ammunition depending on how many extra repeats I do. In that time, I get a thorough workout in the most commonly used rifle positions in 3-gun shooting, getting into and out of positions quickly, trigger control, and movement. Each individual drill is a building block for the next, and the working drill ties everything together into a pretty good simulation of a 3-gun rifle stage.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be posting some more of these ‘block drills.’ Stay tuned!