The Shoot-Fast Drill

A two-part regimen for putting a quick shot right where you want it.

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:

The Shoot-Fast Drill
These two simple exercises (one you can do at home dry-firing and one at the range) will help you get your rifle shouldered and your cross hairs on the target at the speed you'll need in the by Wheeler Cowperthwaite via


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.