T

here’s nothing wrong with going to the range to plink away at targets while having some fun. However, if you want to improve your shooting skills, it’s important to add some structure to the routine. With one box of ammo and a little discipline, you can exercise a variety of key skills and track your improvement over time. To be an accomplished shooter, you’ll need to practice drawing, raising the gun to target, firing multiple accurate shots, using each hand separately, and changing magazines. A structured drill is the way to go, and with the right one, you can exercise all those skills with just one box of ammo.

There are any number of drills that call for you to practice a variety of handgun skills but one of my favorites has always been Dot Torture. Developed by the folks at Pistol-Training.com and PersonalDefenseTraining.com, this drill looks so easy, especially since you start at just three yards. What I like about is that it’s unforgiving. When you rack up perfect scores, just add a yard or two of distance or impose some time limits.

Stage 1: Dot 1

• Draw and fire 5 rounds for best group.

Stage 2: Dot 2

• Draw and fire 1 shot then holster.

• Repeat 4 more times.

• 5 rounds total.

Stage 3: Dots 3 & 4

• Draw and fire 1 shot on Dot 3 and 1 shot on Dot 4 then holster.

• Repeat 3 more times.

• 8 rounds total.

Stage 4: Dot 5

• Draw and fire 5 rounds using your strong hand only.

Stage 5: Dots 6 & 7

• Draw and fire 2 shots on Dot 6 and 2 shots on Dot 7 then holster.

• Repeat 3 more times.

• 16 rounds total.

Stage 6: Dot 8

• From the low ready position, fire 5 shots using weak hand only.

Stage 7: Dots 9 & 10

• Draw and fire 1 shot on Dot 9, speed reload, and fire 1 shot on Dot 10 and holster.

• Repeat 2 more times.

• 6 rounds total.