Skill Focus: Presentation from holster (draw stroke), target transitions
The Failure Drill, also known as the “Failure To Stop Drill”, has been around for decades. Colonel Jeff Cooper realized the value of the technique after mercenary Mike Rousseauand encountered a similar situation in the Mozambique War of Independence (1964-1974). Afterwards, it was used as a defensive drill in his school. Used for practicing presentations from the holster, the Failure Drill involves firing multiple shots in quick succession, which requires a solid firing grip on the pistol.
Place any silhouette style target seven yards away. At the beep, draw from the holster and fire two rounds to the chest area of a target followed by one round at the head (3 rounds total).
Focus on a consistent, smooth presentation from the holster. Go as fast as you can and still guarantee hits. Record your time and repeat four times (five repetitions total).
Stretch it out to 10 or 15 yards if you need a challenge, or place a 3×5 card on the head box. If your shooting range allows, you can also try adding a sidestep during the draw stroke.
Firing multiple shots in quick succession requires a solid firing grip on the pistol. If you mess up the draw stroke in this drill, the target and shot timer will show it.
As a side note, shooters often practice this drill by firing three shots in cadence with each other (bam, bam, bam) as quickly as they can. And this is actually an incorrect method. The proper cadence is bam, bam … pause … bam.
The reason for this is that the first two shots are being fired to an 8-inch vital zone.With practice, they can be delivered very quickly. However, the third shot is being delivered to a much smaller area and it is only being delivered if it is necessary. We deliver the two shots, recover our sight picture and evaluate the threat. Should the third shot be needed, we tighten up and deliver it as accurately as possible, thus the pause.