I’m sluggish and torpid by nature, so by rights I should never get fast-breaking game. However, for 25 years, I’ve practiced shooting quickly every chance I get. This drill will help you do the same.

The drill consists of two parts:



I practice shouldering a rifle that I’ve checked very carefully to make sure is unloaded, aiming at a lichen patch on an oak tree 50 yards away and snapping the trigger, all in as close to one motion as I can make it. Do this regularly, and you’ll get pretty fast and pretty smooth. (Don’t do this if you live where the neighbors can see you. You’ll be visited by a SWAT team, and they’ll show you how fast they can shoot.)


Then, at a 100-yard range, I put up a target with an 8-inch bull and load five rounds. I shoulder the rifle, aim, and allow myself 3 seconds to get off the shot. If I can’t get the crosshairs where I want them in that time, I lower the rifle and count it as a miss. (If you shoot at a public range, check first to see if this kind of practice is permitted.)

Hits anywhere in the black count; anything outside the black is a miss. I go through 20 rounds, and if I can put at least 18 bullets through the black, I’m okay, provided that the other two are no farther out of the bull than the nine-ring.