Pistol Warmup Target

Pistol Warmup Target

(Author) allow me to describe to you how this target came into being. During the time I was actively conducting missions as Navy SEAL or otherwise, the first target I would put up when I went to the range was a hostage scenario target. I would shoot it cold before I had warmed up, as it would be if I had to take the shot for real. Also, for a period of time it seemed that my instructors were fond of these shooting drills known as Dot Torture. It was something they printed out on a 8.5X 11 size sheet of paper, so the dots were quite small; a little too small. So, I enlarged the circles to 2. 5 inches and included the hostage scenario on the same target. So, all of my favorite warmup drills are included on just one target. When running a formal course of instruction this will be the first target I put up for the group, which consists of 108 rounds fired, if you follow what is printed on the target. 


Primary Learning Objectives:

  • Shot grouping from the High-Ready
  • Shot grouping from the Ready position
  • Off hand/ strong hand shooting
  • Drawing from the holster
  • multiple target engagements
  • magazine changes

 It's recommended that the shooter fire the first 5 rounds into the hostage takers head. Then, follow the printed instructions that accompany each circle. Then, fire the last 5 rounds into the hostage takers head (again).

  Circles 6 & 10 - the shooter will fire a total of 5 rounds. Start from whatever position you feel comfortable with, if you are wearing a holster it's recommended that you begin with the pistol holstered. Draw and shoot 2 rounds into circle number 6 then immediately engage circle number 10 with 3 rounds. Do that sequence 3 times. So, you'll fire 5 rounds in each iteration and you'll do that 3 times for a total of 15 rounds.

Circles 7, 8, & 9 - Police, law enforcement and military normally carry two spare magazines and one in the gun, for a total of 3 magazines of ammunition. A holster is optional and the shooter may choose to begin from the Ready position, or even the High Ready. This is a good drill to use a shot timer for.

  Circles 7, 8, & 9 require that the shooter have a magazine pouch that holds two spare mags, plus the one in the gun for a total of 3 magazines. Load 1 round into the first magazine that will be loaded into the pistol. Load the 2nd magazine with 2 rounds and load the 3rd magazine with 3 rounds. Stow spare magazines in the mag pouch in sequence, so the 2nd magazine that you grab has two rounds in it and the last magazine that you grab has 3 rounds in it. During each iteration of this drill the shooter will fire a total of 6 rounds. This drill is intended to be shot as fast as possible, expend all 6 rounds into dots 7, 8, & 9 as rapidly as you can. However, the time doesn't count if rounds land outside the circles. A good time on this drill is around 7 seconds total.

  The video below explains how best to shoot this target. This target is intended to be shot close, within 6 to 9 feet. Statistically, most exchanges of gun fire occur within 6 feet, some say even closer. Statistically, there are also a lot of missed shots, so what does that tell you? Train to shoot fast and accurately at close distances. There is big difference between what most folks do when they go to the range and what professionals do to train for a gun fight.


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