Defensive shooting drills: Handgun Combatives 5 in 5 (VIDEO)

11/13/18 8:00 AM | by

Shooting the drill at 10 yards is fast and fun, but as the range works back all the problems with your fundamentals start to show. At 25 yards this drill can be stressful to say the least. (Photo: Chase Welch/Guns.com)

Drills That Thrill

In this installment of our defensive shooting drill series, we are going to be running the Handgun Combatives “5 in 5” drill. It’s a great way to test your pistol skills and see what areas you need to focus on for improvement. Designed by Dave Spaulding, this drill pushes the shooter to maintain their accuracy while keeping within a small window of time. To further increase the demands and test the shooters skill sets, each stage of this drill is shot at increasing distances.

The Drill

The “5 in 5” drill is shot on a custom Handgun Combatives target which you can print for free from their website. It is five separate strings of fire, shot form the five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 yard line. At each position the shooter must draw and fire five rounds inside of five seconds. All hits must be inside the 6×10 inch rectangle to count, and there is no time penalty for going over the five seconds. Instead, this is shot as a pass or fail scenario meaning any misses or a string time over five seconds and you fail the drill.

The Takeaway

I won’t lie to you, this drill is tough. So tough that after repeated attempts, I have yet to shoot it clean. It starts off easily enough, the five, 10 and 15 yard strings aren’t too hard, but things can fall apart quickly at the 20 and 25-yard lines. We all tend to go a bit too fast trying to make the time standards and our accuracy starts to suffer for it. At 20 or 25 yards, you have to work diligently to be both fast and accurate.

While this was not a pass, I learned a ton and have specific skills to work on to help out the next time I run the drill. (Photo: Chase Welch/Guns.com)

Like all good drills, the “5 in 5” shines a bright light on the skills that we really need to improve. To quote Spaulding himself, “you don’t practice the drill, you practice the skills that make the drill a success.” If you are put in a real life pass/fail situation, you have to be able make your hits as fast and as accurately as you can. Using drills like this to measure just where your skills are should be an indispensable part of your regular training.

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