• Ian T. Mena-Wieland

Cold Performance Drills


Having a standard to meet is important for skill development. It gives you a way to compare your skill level over time using the same measurement. Unfortunately, something that few people consider is that if the time ever comes to use your defensive skills, it will be without a proper warm up on the range.

FAST Drill:

Popularized by Todd Louis Green, the FASTest (read fast-test) is a drill designed to test your draw, reload and follow up shot speed speed. Because it is performed on a dedicated target, the target zones are predesignated and are challenging.

-Round Count: 6 rounds (2 magazines, 2 rounds and 4 rounds)

-Target: FAST target

-Range: 7 Yards

-Drill: Starting with the firearm holstered, weapon concealed or in retention duty holster with all retention devices active; shooter facing downrange in relaxed stance with arms down at sides. Drill begins from the holster, pistol loaded with exactly two rounds. At start signal, draw and fire two (and only two) rounds at the 3×5 box. Perform a slide lock reload and fire four (and only four) rounds at the 8″ circle. Must be shot clean (no misses). 10+ seconds=Novice, less than 10 seconds=Intermediate, less than 7 seconds=Advanced, less than 5 seconds=Expert.

3M Drill:

Created by John Farnam and modified by Tom Givens, the 3M drill incorporates drawing, firing, reloads, movement and stoppage clearances all in one drill. For the cost of 9 rounds, this drill tests a good number of skills.

-Round Count: 9 rounds, 1 dummy (2 magazines, 6 rounds +dummy and 3 rounds)

-Target: IDPA or 10 inch circle

-Range: 5 Yards

-Drill: Shooter starts with handgun loaded with 6 live rounds (1 in chamber, 5 in magazine) and one dummy round in the magazine. Dummy is not the top round nor the bottom round in the magazine. Someone else should load the magazine so the shooter does not know where in the magazine the dummy round lies. Shooter starts holstered, hands in interview stance. On signal, side step, draw, and fire until a malfunction occurs. On the malfunction, side step, fix it, and continue to fire. When the gun runs empty, side step, perform an emergency reload, and fire 3 additional shots.Shooter must move on the draw, move on the malfunction, and move on the reload. This drill is pass/fail: any round outside the scoring zone is a failure. Time limit is 15 seconds.