The Spot Drill

Accuracy. Precision. Repeatability. These are the things we strive for, the things we put so much time and effort into achieving – We’re constantly looking for any edge to improve the accuracy of our firearms.

Today we’re going to work on the weakest link of the accuracy chain: The shooter.

We’re all familiar with shooting groups, and with the right rifle, we can easily shoot a 5-round group in under 1″ at 100 yards. But can we shoot a 1″ target with one shot at any given time?

Practice the spot drill and find out.

I was first made aware of the spot drill on Sigforum, and the member speaking about the drill saw it on Sniper’s Hide forums, so credit where credit is due. It is an excellent exercise that will force you to concentrate on shooting fundamentals like breathing and trigger control.

The idea is simple: place 20 1″ dots (targets) approximately 3″ apart. From 100 yards, fire one round at each dot… if it touches the dot, it counts as a “hit.”

Warning: this is NOT as easy as it sounds, and it’s unlikely you’ll clear all targets on your first try. In fact, if you’re not used to doing a drill like this, you’ll be doing good to clear half of them.

I do have a some experience in similar practice, having done a bit of silhouette shooting in my time. I decided to run a spot drill today with the new varmint AR.

Twenty 1" targets set at 100 yards - one shot each

Twenty 1" targets set at 100 yards - one shot each

It was a beautiful day out today – high 60’s, sunny, but a wind that was constantly blowing from 10 to 15mph. But hey, I like a challenge.

Starting with a clean rifle and a 20-round PMAG full of Black Hills’ 40-grain VMAX, I shot a 10 shot group to foul the barrel and check for drift. The group measured 1.069″, a bit of a spread from my .9″ group from a few days back.

After a scope adjustment, I fired off another 10 rounds, and the group measured .969″. Not too shabby, considering the wind.

Two groups of 10 shots for fouling and adjustment

Two groups of 10 shots for fouling and adjustment

Time to start the drill.

The first shot hit almost 1″ high. Whether it’s me or my rifles, the first round I chamber out of a magazine is almost always a flier, so this did not particularly surprise me. I missed again on my eighth shot, but managed to clear the rest. Again, not bad, considering the wind.

The Spot Drill Target - 18 out of 20

The Spot Drill Target - 18 out of 20

The spot drill is definitely an excellent training tool, and I highly recommend practicing it to improve on your shooting fundamentals.

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