Although there was some residual snow on the ground, a sunny and comparatively warm 50 degree Saturday drew me to the range to shoot a couple more drills to establish a baseline starting point for the year. I couldn’t shoot Karl Rehn’s 3-Seconds or Less drill because the movement required in the mud, so I shot Larry Vickers’s “The Test” and the infamous “Dot Torture.”

As with my first round of drills I shot American Eagle 124 grain FMJ ammunition in my Glock 17.

“The Test” is straightforward: 10 rounds from 10 yards in 10 seconds on an NRA B-8 target. In his YouTube video explanation, Hackathorn says he considers a passing score 90/100 while Vickers requires all shots in the black (9 ring or better) to pass.

I shot “The Test” 3 times from the “trigger finger index” ready position I practiced last week in Mike Seeklander’s dry fire program. As the three targets show, I got progressively WORSE with each iteration.

Round 1 I shot in 9.36 seconds, and passed by both Hackathorn’s (94/100) and Vickers’s standards (10/10 in the black, barely).

Round 2 I didn’t come up from ready with a good grip on the gun and threw my first shot way left into the 7 ring, which caused me to delay long enough in regrouping that I failed to complete The Test in under 10 seconds. I rushed to try to make up time at the end and flung a shot into the 8 and one into the 7. If I had made the 10 second limit, it would have been a pass by Hackathorn’s standard (90/100) and a fail by Vickers’s (7/10 in black). An informative failure.

Not totally sure what happened here other than taking my time to get a good sight picture at the start then trying to speed up my pace at the end and peppering the 7 and 8 ring on the bottom of the target. 8.83 seconds but failed by both Hackathorn’s (82/100) and Vickers’s (3/10 in black) standards.

And then Dot Torture. I actually enjoyed shooting this drill. It is challenging, both physically and mentally. At 3 yards, I shot 43/50 and where I dropped points was very informative for what I need to practice. I was surprised to only drop 1 on the one handed strong side target #5, but not surprised that I only nicked the one handed weak side target #8 one time out of five rounds. I put the WEAK in weak side for sure. I learned from my dry fire practice this week that my grip strength is poor, and this showed that it is particularly poor on my non-dominant side.

The mental aspect of this is revealed on targets 6 and 9/10. I just completely lost focus on target 6 twice, but after shooting so poorly on target 8, I re-doubled my focus on targets 9 and 10 and finished strong. Looking forward to shooting this again in a month or two.

According to Jeff Gonzalez of Trident Concepts (and surely others), even a monkey falls out of a tree once and a while. But these drills make clear that I have more than a few problematic monkeys to work on. Which is exactly the point of shooting these baseline drills.