Monday, April 03, 2023

How fast is fast?

The Casino Drill from Tom Givens is a pretty good test of how well you think and shoot at the same time.

It's a 1911-neutral drill, since it only requires seven rounds in the gun to start, and two more magazines loaded with seven rounds each, for a total of twenty-one.

The target is one of those ones with the six colored shapes on it, numbered "1" through "6" (it's technically called the "DT-2A" target.) 

Stand with a holstered firearm at five yards from the target and, at the sound of the beep, fire one round at shape number 1, two rounds at shape number 2, three rounds get the picture. Reload when necessary.

Par time is twenty-one seconds. This means you don't want to dawdle on your draw and slide-lock reloads.

Like I said, this test was designed with the 1911 in mind. With a striker-fired 9mm carry auto, I generally run in the twenty-point-something second range, barely under par. Maybe a little quicker if I've been doing a lot of shooting lately.

This isn't a revolver-neutral course of fire. Even a fast revolver reload is going to be slower than a middlin' decent semiauto slide-lock reload, and if you're running a six-shooter? Well, you've got a whole extra one of those slow revolver reloads in there.

Of course, if you're blazing fast with a revolver, like Caleb Giddings, that may not be that big of a deal...

21.89 with zero down and three on-the-clock revolver reloads...from speedloaders, not moon blistering. And with a plain-Jane medium-frame Taurus Model 82 with the grips wrapped in goon tape that looks like it came out of an evidence locker someplace. 

If he hadn't slightly pooched that middle reload, he might have skated under par.

If he'd been shooting a 7-shot revo, he'd have easily beaten my best auto time, and by a healthy margin.

If you want to up the difficulty or reintroduce an element of randomness that requires more thinking in the Casino Drill, you can do things like start from the number 6 target and work your way to number one. Have a friend call out whether you start on no. 1 or no. 6 right before the beep. Even better, have your friend load your magazines so that the twenty-one rounds are distributed in some different fashion than seven per mag, so that the reloads come by surprise. There are a jillion ways to introduce some added complexity.