The First Shot Pistol Drill is a simple drill that builds on what’s crucial to carrying a defense gun: making the first shot.
Believe it or not, the shot missed most often in pistol shooting is the very first shot of a string of fire.
One of the best ways to correct this is to make first shots the majority of your practice.
Start in a standing position 10 yards from a man-sized target, with arms at your side (another variation is with your hands raised in the “surrender” position).
At the buzzer, draw your gun from your holster and fire one shot at the target for a center-of-mass hit. You may be surprised at the amount of time it takes to draw from a carry holster, shoot, and actually hit.
Bryce M Towsley points out that “speed comes less from snatching the gun from its holster and more from quickly lining up the sights and focusing on the front sight as your arms reach full extension—this enables you to shoot as soon as your gun is in position.”
Experienced shooters may see 3 or more seconds on the timer. Top competitive shooters using speed gear can do this in 0.7 seconds or less, including reaction time. Normal humans will be a bit slower: if you can draw and score a center hit in 1.5 seconds using a carry holster, you are very good. Anything under 2 seconds is good.
Remember, always practice this drill with your carry gun, wearing your normal concealment garment, like a jacket or vest. Start with having the gun exposed, then practice with it concealed.
In a self-defense scenario, the first shot is the most important one. If you can fire faster than your opponent and hit on target, your odds of surviving increase considerably.