Shooting Skills Baseline Drills, Round 3: Three Seconds or Less

As the busy-ness of life got in the way, I missed my weekly trip to the range last weekend. So I made it up yesterday.

I also was forced to abandon my planned trip to observe the Massad Ayoob Group and Firearms Academy of Seattle, “Deadly Force Instructor,” course being hosted this week by Karl Rehn of KR Training outside of Austin, Texas. Sad.

I decided to tip my hat to those gathered there by shooting a baseline drill designed by Karl Rehn himself: Three Seconds or Less.

It is on my original list of baseline drills I took from Rehn’s and John Daub’s list of “minimum competency drills”  and those being demonstrated by Chris Baker and John Johnston as part of Lucky Gunner’s “Start Shooting Better” series.

As usual, I shot my Glock 17 (stock other than Ameriglo Spaulding sights) in a StealthGear USA Revolution OWB holster and American Eagle 124gr FMJ ammo at my home range. All reverse endorsement deals negotiated myself (i.e., I pay them to use their stuff).

For ready position I used the Mike Seeklander’s “trigger finger index” position, compressed at my side.

From 3 yards:

1. Hands at sides, gun concealed. Step left, draw and fire 3 shots to body, 2 handed. 2.9 secs., 0 down

2. Ready, finger off trigger. Fire 2 head shots, 2 handed. 1.98 secs., 0 down

3. Hands at sides, gun concealed. Step right, draw and fire 3 shots to body, 2 handed. 2.9 secs., 0 down

4. Take one step forward (2 yards), put hand on gun. On signal, draw and shoot 2 rounds to the body strong hand only while backing up. 2.02 secs., 0 down

So far, so good.

From 7 yards:

5. Start with magazine in support hand, gun in dominant hand. On signal, insert mag, rack slide, fire 1 round to the body, 2 handed. 2.29 secs., -1

6. Ready, finger off trigger. Fire 2 handed 1 round to the head. 1.60 secs., 0 down

7. Face 90 degrees to right (as I am left handed), hand on gun. On signal, turn, draw and shoot 3 rounds to the body two handed. 2.98 secs., -1

8. Hand on gun, draw and shoot 2 rounds to the body strong hand only. 2.93 secs., -1

9. Gun in non-dominant hand (only), aimed at target shoot 3 rounds to the body. 3.05 secs., -1

My major concern here isn’t to “pass” or to shoot a particular score (although passing and shooting perfect scores would be nice), but to assess my current abilities so I have a baseline from which to track my growth.

Also, these “tests” help to identify particular points of weakness that need attention. There is a big difference in my shooting from 3 yards and 7 yards – 4/4 clean strings vs. 1/5 clean. I still need work with my one handed shooting, particularly with my non-dominant hand (only string where I didn’t meet the 3 second par time). Although I did OK with the movement from 3 yards, I have a feeling that moving and shooting is going to be an issue as I go along.



  1. It’s funny. On string 7 (the turn), when we run this during class we start with everyone (regardless of handedness) facing left. I actually thought you did it wrong, but went back and looked at the official write-up of the drill and sure enough — we did say LH shooters face right!

    Been running this from memory for so long… and my memory apparently needed a refresh. 🙂

    That said, it actually becomes a good teachable moment in class, teaching people about pivoting: to generally pivot on your gun-side foot. So if you’re holstered on the right side, pivot on your right foot; holstered on the left side, pivot on the left. Reason being, it minimizes the holster (and your hand, etc.) movement THROUGH space. Try it. Pivot on your left foot and the holster doesn’t really move much through space; pivot on your right, and the holster swings wide. Try both approaches and see the difference.

    AND it also speaks that the pivot may be in a different direction. That is, you may actually pivot/step backwards instead of pivot/step forwards (esp. if you need to maintain distance and/or position to other shooters relative to the firing line).

    Anyways, good results for a first time shooting the drill! Curious: the -1’s on the last 3 strings: do you know if that was the first shot or a later shot?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the additional thoughts on the drill. It is a brief but helpful test. I am interested to know what foot position you teach after the pivot. In the interest of speed I kept my right foot well behind my left. Didn’t take time to square up.

      As for the misses, I am not sure because I was trying to stay on the sights to avoid my habit of watching my shots. I do feel like I am taking my first shots while I am still pushing the gun out toward the target though. Rushing. So feel like I am missing on the first shot. Just a guess though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Foot position – that’s fine. If you had a stable and safe shooting position (i.e. you weren’t off balance, falling over), there’s no need to micromanage things. Of course, this is about the only diagnosis I can give over the Internet. 🙂

        It’s fine that you don’t know about the unacceptable hits (not misses — because you still hit something, it’s just not an acceptable hit:

        because yes – staying on the sights is what you should do! So good habit. But yes, you’re on the right track — curious if it’s the first shot or not.

        Liked by 1 person

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