Walking the Square
Improve shooting on the move in all directions.
What is the Walking the Square Drill?
Practical pistol is all about… well… practicality. Movement is a big part of practical pistol shooting – be it defensive or competition. People don’t stand still in a gunfight after all.
Yet despite that, most people practice with their firearms standing on a firing line shooting slow fire at a single target. Yes, bullseye accuracy is an important shooting skill, but it’s only one skill out of a lot of important shooting skills.
The Box on the Move drill is simple – it focuses on shooting multiple targets on the move in varying directions.
- 3 Targets, 1 in the middle of the box, 1 in front of the right edge, 1 in front of the left edge.
- Using markers (like cones) is ideal, but a general shooting area can work. 4 cones 3 yards apart in a square, front cones 5 yards from the targets. Increase the distance if space allows.
- Alternative, rotate the cones 45 degrees so they’re in a diamond in front of the targets.
- Start position is at any of the cones, Gun loaded and holstered, wrists below belt.
- Rounds required: 24 – but it increases based on the skill and speed of the shooter.
- At the beep, draw the gun and move to one of the other cones.
- Engage the three targets from right to left and then left to right with two shots each, repeating the pattern.
- While engaging the targets, move around all four cones ending at the cone first moved to.
- Reset at the cone stopped at.
- Repeat the drill starting at the new cone.
- Change up the distance between the cones.
- Rotate the cones 45 degrees so they’re in a diamond in front of the targets
- Rotate the cones varying amounts so you can get used to moving in any direction in relation to the target.
Shooting on the move is a skill that has a lot of variety based on the body type and movement style of the individual. A tall lanky person with a history of cross country will move different than a short stocky person who hasn’t done much with sports. This is where experimentation of movement styles is key. Try a wide variety of ways of moving, using the stability of your sights as a measurement of success.
Pay close attention to the sights. That’s always the case with any drill – the sights tell all. But in this case, pay attention to whether they’re bouncing around while moving. Throttle your movement speed as needed in order to keep your sights stable and in the area of acceptable accuracy.
Steve Anderson is the author of the original dry fire book. He’s a USPSA Grandmaster and traveling instructor.
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