Larry Vickers ‘The Test’ Gun Training Drill ~ VIDEO

Larry Vickers
Larry Vickers

Vickers Tactical

Fayetteville, N.C. -( In this newsletter, I’m going to highlight a couple drills I do in my handgun classes that are personal favorites of mine.

They are very challenging, but like all good drills, they can be tailored to best match the skill level of the shooter.

“The Test”

First up is the handgun drill I call “The Test.” Some also call it the 10-10-10 drill. I originally got it from my good friend and mentor Ken Hackathorn. The target is a B-8 bullseye replacement center on the chest area of a brown cardboard IPSC or IDPA target. The drill is quite simple:

On a timer, shoot 10 shots from your choice of trigger finger straight ready position (as long as it’s not the “Rob Jenson low ready” – less than a half inch below the target line !!!!). The goal is to put all the shots into the black bullseye in 10 seconds or less. Distance to target is 10 yards. Scoring is simple: any shot out of the black but still in the white paper of the B-8 is one second added to your time. Any shot in the brown cardboard off of the white paper is 3 seconds added to your time. Add any shots out of the black to the time it took you to shoot the drill and this gives you the overall time. If you’re under 10 seconds you pass – if you’re over you fail. Plain and simple.

This is not an “Obama” drill where close is good enough and everyone is a winner regardless of your score. This is a classic “Reagan” drill where you either pass or, if you fail, strap it on, put the work in, and if you apply yourself you can eventually pass the drill.

Passing “The Test”

This an excellent pistol skill drill that is very challenging for newer shooters. What I tell students is if it is kicking your ass then do it closer – try 7 or 8 yards instead of 10. Move in to a distance where you can pass it routinely in the allotted time of 10 seconds. Then back up one yard at a time until you master it at that distance – keep moving back until you can pass “The Test” at 10 yards.

Then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

If you’re a skilled shooter and the standard version is fairly easy, then try the same drill from the draw instead of the ready. If that is still too easy then start using the scoring rings with a total possible of 100 points. Using the scoring rings the standard is 90 points or above is passing and 95 and above is excellent. Shooting a 95 and above in under 10 seconds from 10 yards from the draw is superb shooting in anyone’s book. I have less than a handful of students a year that can achieve that level of shooting skill on demand.

“The Half Test”

A variation on this drill is called “The Half Test” – it is done at 5 yards on a B-8 bullseye center and the time allotted is 5 seconds. Sadly for many shooters the shots fired remains at 10. This uses the same scoring method as the standard Test that is conducted at 10 yards. It is also done from the ready with the “Rob Jenson low ready” not allowed.

The “Half Test” is very challenging and newer shooters struggle to pass it. With only 5 seconds allowed to pass it any shots out of the black are to be avoided. Once again if it is too tough try it closer until you master it. And also, for skilled shooters, adding the draw and/or scoring rings into the mix bring this drill to a whole new level.

Try these drills next time

Students who have been in my classes will recognize these drills. They are staples of my Advanced Pistol one day classes. Try them next time you hit the range to see how you measure up to “The Test.

Be safe – LAV out.

Larry Vickers
Master Sergeant (Retired)
US Army SOF Combat Veteran

About Larry Vickers:

Larry Vickers is a retired career special operations soldier with 20-plus years of service to our country. A longtime 1st SFOD- Delta operational member, he was a key player in the small arms marksmanship expertise and weapons selection of that Unit. He brings a very unique set of skills to the market, and has a wide and varied background in the firearms industry.

For more information, visit