A reader sent in an interesting question the other day: “If you could only practice one drill for self defense shooting for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Interestingly, I’ve actually thought about this in the past, so the answer is easy: The Bill Drill.
What is the Bill Drill? It’s one of the oldest standards in pistol shooting, and to explain it simply, it’s 6 shots fired at a designated target area at a designated distance. The most common variations are 6 shots fired at a USPSA A-zone or an IDPA Down 0, at 7 or 10 yards. Ideally, you should start from the holster but if that’s not permitted due to local range rules, you can start from the low ready position. You’ll need a shot timer to record your score as well, and even then if you’re just starting out, a friend with a stopwatch is an okay substitute.
On the start signal, draw your pistol and fire six shots. Record your time and your hits. The goal is to keep all your shots in the target area as fast as possible. So why do I think this is such a great drill for defensive shooting? It’s simple, really. When you look at the real stats of civilian self defense shootings, most of them follow the Rule of 3s: 3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds. Practicing the Bill Drill allows you to master the skills necessary to perform to that level. You need to be able to draw from the holster, and get good hits on target rapidly.
Like I said, if I could only practice one drill for the rest of my life, Bill Drills would be the one. Luckily, since I’m not limited to just one drill, I can train however I like!