Set Your Sights on this Challenge - 500 Point Aggregate Drill
Posted by Monte Long on Mar 2nd 2022
Time for a drill! As I mentioned in my previous blog post, on the next range trip, I intend to prioritize accuracy work with my Glock 34.
During the last couple of range trips, I was not entirely satisfied with my accuracy with a handgun.
I like to use Pat McNamara's 500 point aggregate as one of the "drills" for accuracy work. Why did I use the quotes above? Simple - the 500 point aggregate isn't really a drill; it's more of a standard or a test.
I first shot this drill in a Tactical Application of Practical Shooting (T.A.P.S.) Pistol class that Pat McNamara taught in November 2019. Pat's a good dude and an excellent instructor. If you're not familiar with Pat Mac, you should definitely do some reading and hit Pat's YouTube channel.
This drill has five strings of fire; all fired on a B-8 or a B-8 repair center target. B-8's and B-8 repair centers are available from numerous online retailers. You can also find printable B-8 repair centers online, including the one attached to this blog.
You could use just one or two targets, but I find that using one for each string of fire allows me to see what I did on the different strings and, therefore, get a better idea of what I'm actually doing and what I need to improve on. Because I tend to use a target for each separate string, I can tell you that I usually shoot a slightly higher score weak hand only than I do strong hand only (2-3 points), mainly because I have to focus on working with my left hand.
All strings of fire require ten rounds. There are no reloads necessary, so if you've only got one or two magazines, don't worry. You'll be able to work on this one with no problem.
Ideally, you'll need a shot timer with a delay and a par time function for strings four and five. In a pinch, a shooting buddy with a stopwatch (or a watch with a second hand, for that matter) will be sufficient. If you don't have a timer, you can also find an app for your Apple or Android phone, though I don't think that they are as good as a dedicated timer.
The drill goes like this:
String 1 - 20 yards - ten rounds, freestyle, with no time limit.
String 2 - 15 yards - ten rounds, strong hand only, with no time limit.
String 3 - 15 yards - ten rounds, weak hand only, with no time limit.
String 4 - 10 yards - timed fire, freestyle, from the holster - 20 second time limit.
String 5 - 7 yards - rapid-fire, freestyle, from the holster - 10 second time limit.
As you are shooting for accuracy, here are some things to think about. For the untimed strings of fire, TAKE YOUR TIME. The first three strings don't have a time limit, so don't rush them. Focus on having as close to a perfect sight picture as possible and work the trigger without disturbing the sights. Go right ahead if you need to take a break between shots on the untimed strings. Breathe, relax, and take your time. You're going for ultimate accuracy.
For the timed fire, make sure and get a solid grip on the draw stroke and grip the gun tightly with both hands. You've got a little bit of time, so try and get a good sight picture, but don't dawdle. Twenty seconds will go by reasonably quickly.
Again, for the rapid-fire, make sure that you get a good grip on the draw stroke and grip the gun tight. While you are closer to the target, you have half the time available versus the previous string. Try to drive the gun through the recoil impulse to get an acceptable sight picture when it settles after cycling and can immediately work the trigger for the next shot.
If you're shooting at a range that won't allow you to draw from a holster, that's okay - substitute a table start for the holstered start. While it's not exactly the same as drawing from a holster, you'll still have to work on establishing a good grip on the pistol initially and driving the sights to the target.
Whether you shoot this on multiple targets or just one, definitely keep notes on how you did. You might find that your strong hand needs more work than your weak hand or that you can consistently shoot 100 points on string five in ten seconds, in which case, you should consider either increasing distance or decreasing time to push yourself and increase your capabilities.
Now, get out, give it a shot, and let us know how you did!
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