From time to time, I shoot with Todd Green, of Pistol-Training.com fame. So I’ve had the occasion to shoot the F.A.S.T. drill a time or two. I normally turn in a pretty fair score on this drill, in fact I still hold the student record for the year 2009.
What I have never been able to do is shoot two consecutive sub-5-second F.A.S.T. drills. The highly coveted F.A.S.T. Challenge Coin has so far eluded me. Now to be fair, I have never really trained on the FAST drill skills. It appears that if I’m going to get that coin, I’ll need to make a systematic effort at it.
To start, I broke down the FAST Drill by each shot:
|Draw, fire shot 1
|Fire shot 2
|Reload, fire shot 3
|Fire shot 4
|Fire shot 5
|Fire shot 6
The first element of the FAST Drill is also the easiest to practice. Starting with a concealed, holstered pistol, draw and fire two rounds into a 3×5″ index card at 7 yards. This drill, or something like it, is already a staple of my practice routine (and the routines of many others, I’m sure.) I just need to work the time down and the accuracy up. My current time for two rounds on a 3×5″ card is about 2.4 seconds. I need to get it down to 2.0, with at least 90% accuracy.
Element I – Draw, 2 shots on 3×5″ card @ 7yds. Current time: 2.4s Goal time: 2.0s
The second important part of the FAST Drill is the reload, and this is the thing that has been eating my lunch lately. I like to practice the reload starting from high ready, press out to fire one shot on an 8″ circle, reload, then fire two more shots. I need to get my reload down to two seconds, which equates to a 1-R-2 of about 3.25 seconds. I’ll run this a few times with the shot timer and adjust it as necessary.
Element II – 1-R-2 from high ready. Current time: 4.0s Goal time: 3.25s
Last, of course, is recoil control on a fairly large target. This can be simulated with the Bill Drill, six shots from the holster at 7 yards. In order to win the coin, I need to get my splits down to about 0.25 seconds, which equates to about a 2.5 second Bill Drill. I can already do that most days, but I’ll spend some time on it anyway. I’d like to get my time down to 2 seconds flat.
Element III – Bill Drill @ 7yds. Current time: 2.5s Goal time: 2.0s
That’s about the whole thing. If I get those three elements down on demand, I should be able to hit a FAST Drill between 4.5 and 4.75 seconds, allowing for slippage.
I’ll be running the FAST drill as my cold drill for the next month at least, and practicing the three elements two or three times a week. By the end of Feburary, when the competition season has started up again, I’ll either have my coin or a good idea of why not.