DON’T FIND YOURSELF waiting for a buzzer or a spoken command when YOU NEED to self-initiate.

DON’T FIND YOURSELF waiting for a buzzer or a spoken command when YOU NEED to self-initiate.

Several years ago I was introduced to the “Metro Drill” by Scotty Reitz at International Tactical Training Seminars in Los Angeles. I have since incorporated this drill and several similar variations into my regular training curriculum. One major benefit of this drill is that it is not based on an audible queue like a buzzer, whistle or outside voice command. I find it highly unlikely that any of these will be available in a deadly-force encounter.

 

…my favorite element of this drill is that instead of reacting to an audible prompt such as the whistle or buzzer, Shooter B is learning to react to the visual queue of Shooter A’s hands moving toward his waistband.

 

I have also heard stories of police officers, military personnel and civilians who have trained extensively with the prior mentioned audible methods, actually found themselves waiting for the buzzer or a spoken command when they needed to self-initiate based on the physical behaviors or actions of the suspect.

The drill utilizes two shooters, both facing down range, with two separate targets, at distances of three to seven yards or more. Shooter A is the Initiator; Shooter B is the Reactor. Shooter A stands with their arms straight out in front of their body, while Shooter B has their arms relaxed by their side.

After counting to 10, Shooter A may take any amount of time to start the drill by moving their hands to initiate the drawing of their firearm, and firing one accurate, ocular cavity, head shot. Shooter B must respond to the peripheral movement of shooter A, and draw and fire two center-mass hits on his target.

Shooter A is practicing a smooth, consistent draw stroke, aligning the sights and pressing the trigger for one critical head shot. Using his peripheral vision, Shooter B is learning to react to the movement of Shooter A’s hands moving toward his handgun and drawing.

Again, my favorite element of this drill is that instead of reacting to an audible prompt such as the whistle or buzzer, Shooter B is learning to react to the visual queue of Shooter A’s hands moving toward his waistband. This really shows how action often beats reaction, and how important it is to develop your reaction skills through regular practice and purpose driven training.

 

The added pressure of man-on-man drills can turn into an unrealistic game if not properly monitored.

 

I have modified this drill based on several factors including available target arrays, and the number or skill level of students in a given class.

The two modifications I have used with this drill are to have both Shooter A and Shooter B move off the point where they are standing while drawing and engaging their respective targets. The other modification is the incorporation of steel targets. I use a six-inch reactive steel target for Shooter A and 50 percent reduced size IDPA Steel plate for Shooter B. This gives the shooters immediate audible recognition of speed and accuracy. As hits improve, shooters can increase the distance to the target beyond seven yards.

The added pressure of man-on-man drills can turn into an unrealistic game if not properly monitored. Each shooter must mentally focus on their combat mindset, and treat their training evolutions as preparation and skill building for a potential life-threatening encounter, not an all-out competition or game.


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