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The Squat Drill: Train for Elevated Shooting

The Drill:
This week on Tactical Tuesday, we’re joined by Jason Speller, Chief Instructor at D.R.A.W. School. Jason shared with us a great drill he has used to train law enforcement involved in active-shooter-type situations. In an active situation where you are forced to defend yourself, it’s necessary to take advantage of the cover or concealment around you while remaining mobile. Squatting behind cover is one of the quickest and easiest ways to lower your shooting platform and get your body out of harm’s way. Not only does this stance allow you to get behind an object such as a car, it also allows you to remain mobile, on two feet and able to return fire. The key is to avoid becoming a static target standing out in the open in a gunfight.

The Setup:
You will need a target, firearm, holster, magazines and training ammo. If possible, shoot with a training partner and a shot timer. The timer will allow you to assess your progress and add a little stress. The added benefit of a training partner is that he/she can watch and help you maintain the form of your lowered shooting platform. We are fortunate enough to have an outdoor range that allows movement and drawing from the holster. If your range does not allow this type of training, we highly suggest you find one that does.

The Skills:
Shooting and moving simultaneously is a skill that few of us get to practice on a regular basis. This drill will elevate your heart rate and cause you to become a little winded. Both are natural body responses that will happen in a violent encounter. Training while your body is experiencing similar reactions will help you evaluate your shooting capabilities and limitations.

The Details:
Start out facing your threat target at a distance of approximately 3 to 5 yards. Feet position is slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bend at the knees and keep your back upright. The key here is to remain balanced at all times. Avoid leaning too far forward or backward; simply lower your center of mass instead. You will complete four strings of fire — one dry fire and three live fire. The first sequence is dry fire. With an unloaded firearm in your holster, on the command of fire, draw to the target while simultaneously lowering your shooting platform to a squat, acquire your sights and press the trigger. The next three strings of fire will be live fire and consist of six total rounds. In string one, you will draw, squat and fire one round. In string two, you will draw, squat and fire two rounds. And in string three, you will draw, squat and fire three rounds. The strings of fire containing more than one round should be completed at an accelerated pace. Once you have fired six rounds, drop your magazine and show clear. Your training partner should stand to the rear and side of you and monitor the position of your body during the squat. He/she can help determine if you are leaning one way or the other and help correct if necessary for the next round of fire.

Safety Considerations:
If you have knee, back or mobility challenges, be careful performing this drill. Take it slow, stretch and loosen up before going full speed. Adhere to the universal safety rules and any additional rules in place on your range. Maintain strict muzzle management during this drill. At no time should your muzzle flag your leg during the draw. Start out slowly and increase the pace as you become comfortable with the movements necessary to complete the drill.

Closing Thoughts:
In an active situation where gunfire is being exchanged, it is vital to use the surrounding environment to your advantage. Presenting the threat with little to no target will greatly improve your chances of survival in an active situation. Stay on your feet and squat behind cover while remaining mobile. Avoid dropping to your knee and becoming a static target.

Vary your training. Keep it fun. Keep it safe. And keep practicing.

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