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DOTM: 1-5 Drill

June 9, 2018


It’s time once again for a new drill of the month.  This month I will be shooting it with one of my fully semi-automatic AR15’s that I just rebuilt the upper on with a criterion barrel, look for a review on the barrel in the future, but like most of the drills we have presented to you it can be ran with any rifle or pistol of your choosing.  Hell if you want to get creative it can be shot with both as you will see below. 

As with anytime at the range this drill can be shot with some friends.  This is one time you can let your ego have a say and it benefit you if you make it into a fun competition between friends.  I was lucky enough to have not 1 but 2 of my shooting buddies join me today. Patrick, his specialty is more of a long range precision guru making hitting golf balls at 300 yards look easy, seriously we have the videos, but he blows up because he tries to go too fast when he is in close.  Then there is Devon, who was an m249 gunner when he served our country in the army and was deployed to Afghanistan.  While he may have been able to lay down the lead on the M249 Devon has issues with slapping the trigger when he shoots a pistol or his AR15 and we have been working with him to break that habit even loaning him the Mantis X we did an article on a couple of months ago. You will see more of these guys in a minute.

The drill this month is the 1-5 drill from Viking Tactical.  The purpose of this drill is to break a habit a lot of shooters eventually find themselves developing, being great at putting 2 rounds on target quickly and then stopping.  You will actually see this with one of the videos later in the article causing the shooter to lose a good .5 seconds. There is no magic number of rounds to put the bad guys down unless you shut down their CPU.  Someone can be shot in the heart and then continue to live for 10 minutes.  So if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to use your firearm for defense, and I really really hope you never do find yourself in that situation, 2 rounds may not be enough to take care of the bad guy.

This drill will require 3 targets.  If you want to break out the fine china and use paper plates for the hit zone go for it, but I’d suggest using the 8” diameter plates. Why the 8” plates? Well the actual area of those plates is close, actually 16 square inches smaller, than the 6×11 A zone found on USPSA cardboard targets.  Targets will need to be about 1 yard apart.  Guys who are familiar with the El Prez or the 2x2x2 drill will recognize this setup.

Drill will be shot at 7 yards.  You can shoot it close or further if you want.  The closer you are to the targets the more you will have to drive the gun, not a bad thing.  Here is a picture of what the setup should look like.


You will work from one end of the targets to the other and back.  Typically if you are right handed you will naturally want to shoot from left to right, if you are a southpaw then the opposite will be true.

For simplicity sake I am going to number the targets from left to right T1, T2, T3.  So 1 shot will go on T1, 2 will go on T2, 3 will go on T3.  With me so far?  Good.  Then you will go back putting 4 rounds on T2 and 5 rounds on T1 to finish. Oh and be sure to actually stop on your targets and not just shoot as the gun is moving.

Remember last month where we talked about using a timer?  This is a great drill to put the stress of the shot timer in.  Shot timers are evil just pure evil little things but can teach you so much about how you shoot.  If you have any of your shots outside of the A zone add 1 second onto your total time.   

Don’t have a timer or the splitz app?  Ok then you just do it as quickly as possible any shot outside of the A zone is +1 point and like in golf, yes that deliberate and willful misuse of a perfectly good rifle range, you want the lowest possible score.

We had the shot timer app so Patrick and Devon decided to go head to head using my rifle.  Wait what they are going to see who is the better shooter using my rifle?  How the hell did that happen?  Oh well someone had to be the camera man.

1st up was Devon.  Pay particular attention to him when he gets to target 3.  You will notice there is about a .5+/- second hesitation between the 2nd and 3rd shot.  This is exactly the type of habit this drill is designed to break.


I should apologize in advance I tried to get the orientation right on the videos but the software isn’t wanting to cooperate



2nd up was Patrick. One thing about Patrick is up close this guy is all about speed, so much so it usually is his downfall. In this case it worked for him and he was able to get one of the cleanest runs of the day and beat Devon’s time by about .7 seconds.


It pains me to say this but Patrick was the better man with this drill on this day.

Want to throw a twist on this drill?  Shoot the first 6 shots with your long gun and then transition to your pistol for the last 9 rounds.  Want even more fun?  Shoot it the opposite direction than you normally would, if you are right handed start from the right if you are left handed start from the left.

Drills like this are great because not only do they help you break habits you may not even realize you have but they allow you to get creative and you can run multiple variations of the drill and not fall into the trap of gaming the drill just to make a better time.

Don’t be afraid to try this out or better yet try it and get it on video and we will post it to the GSL facebook page.

Thanks to Dave Clark and Xring Custom out of Toledo, IL for letting us use his range.

We at GSL would like to give special thanks Devon for his service and sacrifice for our country.