The Paris Drill


OK. Here is the skinny on the Paris Drill, prompted by Fred commenting on my post “Europe in the Fall” linked here-

The Paris Drill is 3 shots at 3 separate 6″ diameter steel targets at 25 yards. Par time is 5 seconds; any misses are a DQ. 15 points per second deduct for time over 5.00 seconds; same bonus for less than 5.00 seconds. Ideally, this would be done from the leather, but some ranges (mine included) don’t allow this. In such cases, start with sidearm by your side and eliminate the draw stroke.

-Smith shoots his three shots, and gets three hits in 6.48 seconds. His base score is 75 points, less 22.2 for time over 5 seconds, for a total score of 52.8.
-Jones shoots his three shots, and gets three hits in 4.27 seconds, His base score is also75 points plus a bonus (for being faster than par by 0.73 seconds) of 10.95 for a total score of 85.95.
-Historian shoots three times and misses the third plate. His score is zero.
-Historian tries again and hits all three plates in 10.83 seconds. His score is again zero.


So, having suggested this, I went out today and tried it.

Turns out I had to order some 6″ diameter steel plates, and also a shot timer, as I did not have one. They both arrived this morning, and I went to the range at noon with two box stock Glocks courtesy of a couple of friends, a G26 and a G19, and 150 rounds of 9mm. I’m a wheelgun and 1911 fan, as are a lot of my friends, but I wanted to use an unfamiliar stock defensive pistol rather than a tricked out comped race gun to see what could be done. The last time I fired a Glock at any length was over 20 years ago, but I have fired a few shots here and there, and have shot a number of similar self loading pistols more extensively.

We hung the plates, and I started practicing. I actually hit the first plate with my first shot, then proceeded to miss (not much, but just enough) with each of several succeeding shots. After some warmup, I proceeded to try the Paris Drill under time. It is HARD! Right now, the only strings I have made all three shots in succession ran around 10 to 12 seconds; I could easily get two out of three hits in 5 to 6 seconds, but making three straight hits in less than 10 seconds so far eludes me. I am sure that a dedicated IPSC competitor could smoke this drill in well under 5 seconds; I’d like to encourage some really good shots to give this an honest try. Any takers?

BTW, once I get good at this, I have some 5″ targets I got at the same time. I wonder how well I could do on those at 50 yards…………………. Also, one of my friends tried it with a 10-22 and said “Wow! this is easy with this .22, but really hard with a pistol!” to which I replied, “Let me know how well you can hide that rifle under your coat….”

{Nota Bene- make sure you get armor plate or AR500 steel. Soft steel plates, like structural steel can dent and ding and splash you with very hot lead……}

Just remember, the purpose of this drill is to improve your ability to make rapid head shots with your everyday carry gun. After all, if you knew there was going to be a gunfight, you’d bring a rifle, not your tricked out race pistol, right?

Regards to all who serve the Light,


22 responses to “The Paris Drill

  1. Its a good thing ill be safe in a planned parenthood. Well if i was the unborn it would be a different story.

  2. I’ve hit poppers at 25yd in USPSA, and today I hit an 8″ gong at 50yd with my Glock 19 (fiber-optic sights). I need to start practicing this drill…

    • Pepper poppers are good, and being able to hit a single gong (especially at 50 yards!) at longer range is good, but the purpose of the Paris Drill is to be able to turn off multiple jihadis who are armed with both small arms and command detonated explosive devices, and to do it quickly, with an EVERY DAY CARRY sidearm such as a 4″ revolver or a stock Glock. In such a situation, one cannot afford to be either slow or sloppy.

      Part of the challenge of this drill is to engage multiple targets at distance. Upon reflection, it would probably be a good idea to mix up the order ( CRL, LCR, RCL, RLC, etc) each time so you don’t get in the habit of going the same direction and flow every time. That could be fatal. Better still would be to use 4 targets and mark one of the 4 as a no-shoot, changing the no shoot each time. That would be more challenging yet. Lots of possibilities! Good Luck, one and all.

  3. Sounds like fun! Certainly a challenge from a holster. The 6″ poppers are a great idea – aim small, miss small and all that. I’m anxious to give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes. Just for clarity: 3 rounds for 3 targets right? No extra shots on target right?

    • Correct. Three shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three, no more, no less. Thou shalt not shoot 4.

  4. From the original link/article:

    “It is crystal clear that France, specifically, has been targeted by militant Islamists, most likely militant Sunni members of ISIL.”

    Given the IS’s recent recruitment video mentioning Sykes-Picot by name, France –and UK and Russia– need to be prepared for the 100th anniversary of that agreement on May 16, 2016. Note that the recent attacks in Paris took place during the 100th anniversary of the original negotiations. More anniversary dates continue through the late 2000 teens, but we culminate in a different 80 year cycle in the 2020s.

    Politics and predictions aside, it says a lot that we’re now focusing on reaction drills at 25 yds. I’m not criticizing the current need for this, but let’s be honest that it’s geared toward reacting to a threat which was planned by the bad guys in advance at a location of their choosing. The bad guys will show up with underfolder AKs (or pick any other compact rifle), multiple 30 rd mags and whatever else they can put into a backpack and you’ll be there with a handgun and 3×15 rd mags –and probably your FAMILY. The bad guys might even have body armor or a suicide vest or both. In fact, add two more plates for bad guys and now put a few dozen balloons (representing innocent bystanders) between you and the plates. Smith and Jones certainly have a lot of work ahead of them not only shaving down their times, but not running out of ammo or popping balloons while wondering what their kids will be doing. That’s your more realistic scenario.

    It’s truly disappointing that the days of locating terrorist training camps and measuring the distance for a surprise attack from 100s of yards (or miles) on them are almost over. However, that is the situation our sorry excuses for leaders have now put us in and that’s what you have to train for.

  5. How far apart are the targets spaced and how high above the ground (head high)?

    • I had a rack that I used for the first try that spaced the three plates about 2 feet apart and held them about 5′ high +/-. Obviously, it would be better if there was more separation between the targets; I did set the plates at slightly different heights to require both azimuth and elevation shifts.

  6. If you don’t have steel, use paper plates. Sprint down range to check hits. Patch plates. Sprint back. Might as well work in some PT….

  7. outlawpatriot

    Very few mortals on earth would be able to accomplish that.

    Best to stay rooted in reality. Set up an IDPA classifier. 90 rounds. Lemme know when you make Sharpshooter. 😉

    • I am ignorant.

      Got a COF?

      • outlawpatriot

        Oh, sure. Easy. Go to If I remember correctly you can find it on the sidebar. It’s also laid out in the rule book. That’s on the sidebar too. If you still gotta a problem, lemme know I’ll shoot it to ya.

        We use it as the qual for pistol down here in Florida SECOM. Good course of fire. It tests all facets of defensive pistol. 🙂

    • “a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a Heaven for?”
      But ‘very few mortals?’ I disagree.

      It is true that this will take training and practice, but it is not much more difficult than Mozambique Drills, or Bullseye rapid fire. 3 of the 4 of us who tried it got a center hit in about 2-3 seconds on the first plate the first time they tried it. Three of those four people are relatively new shooters. I would venture to guess that any Gunsite Expert could do it, and probably any of the top ranked IPSC shooters, and any Marine member of the MMU could too, especially the Bullseye crew. I am confident any High Master PPC shooter could do it, too.

      The reality is that the authorities can not protect you, nor are they obligated to do so. If anyone can show me a flaw in my reasoning, please do, but it sure looks to me as though this kind of skill will be needed when, not if, ISIL comes to these united States. If you are afraid to try, then on your head be it.

      • outlawpatriot

        Not hard knocking your drill you understand, it’s just I’ve been a competitive shooter for nigh on to fifteen years now. As a safety officer for most of that time I have run thousands of shooters in club and major matches. I’ve run many a top shooter too. Guys like Miculek for instance.

        If this drill is shot from concealment, and it should be, the fastest few draws ares gonna be about .75 second. The vast majority of people, competitive shooters included, draw 1-1.25 seconds on the bottom end, those a little above average 1.5 seconds and the regular mortals about 1.70-1.75 seconds. Subtract any of those times from your 5 second par and you’re engaging three pretty small targets with three rounds each at a distance some of us would consider rifle range. Again, I’m not saying one could accomplish it, given enough time and a sea container full of ammo, anything’s possible.

        My point is this. I wish I had a nickle for every missed shot I’ve seen from bad breath distance to three yards. And when I say miss, I mean the round not touching the cardboard anywhere on a standard IDPA target. All those misses were on just a clock. I can just imagine what would happen if the encounters were real with incoming.

        I would submit that time and ammo would be better spent on the most basic thing. Draw from concealment to first shot. You really want that to be 1-1.5 seconds. Start with the target at 3 yards. When you can do the time with head shots 15-20 times in a row, move the target back a yard or two and repeat until you get to your desired max distance. IDPA doesn’t require head shots more than 10 yards out, max range for competition is generally consider 20 yards.

        You also have to keep in mind that the skill level of shooting you’re talking about is perishable. Once you achieve the goal, you gotta work like a madman to keep it. You burn a lot of ammo doing that. Good idea to reload too or get yourself sponsored on the circuit.
        Crank in age with slower reflexes and fuzzy eyesight and you really gotta work.

        The good news is a lot of the work can be done dry. It would probably take the average mortal a thousand dry draws from concealment to set the gross and fine motor skills to get the up and out part accomplished. A laser tool will help get the first simulated shot in the box. But you gotta use real ammo to work the recoil into the equation. Again, probably a lot of ammo. All with the same load too. Combat loads. Not the low recoil stuff that competitive shooters use.

        The last bunch of people I ran through the IDPA classifier (about 15) resulted in not a single person making Sharpshooter. There were a few that shot at Marksman level and the rest… well, we gotta lot of work to do.

        So, the average mortal shooting sub-par 5 second times on the course of fire you describe? Not the best use of time and ammo for the average shooter in my opinion. But I would appreciate the hell out of anybody who could do it. 🙂

        • IDPA matches came along in the mid 90’s after I had dropped out of competitive shooting, but if I understand it correctly, everything in the score is converted to time, using essentially the same silhouette as IPSC. Anything other than center hits results in an increase to your elapsed time, if I read the rules correctly. I read the Classifier course of fire, and it provides very comprehensive classic close quarters combat pistol training, I agree. Anyone who shoots the standard classifier in under 100 seconds is a very accomplished pistol shooter, no doubt about it. (I probably will look around and see if there are any clubs nearby that I can go to and shoot one, just to see what I can still do, although I may creak and hobble a bit.)
          But that is NOT what the Paris Drill is intended for.

          The Paris Drill is not intended as any sort of substitute for IDPA, or any other similar combat pistol discipline, but rather as a adjunct training drill to prepare for one specific purpose- to turn off up to three jihadis armed with both small arms and command detonated explosive devices.

          My understanding is that the likelihood of survival from an explosive vest blast decreases radically at closer ranges, say less than 10 yards or so, depending on explosive type and load. One can also assume that a wounded jihadi is likely to go for the boomswitch; one who is shot at and missed will probably return rifle fire if he knows where the incoming round(s) came from. Given that, one draws certain conclusions-
          Misses are simply not acceptable. Not undesireable, UNACCEPTABLE;
          Hits must be to the CNS, as nothing else will instantly terminate the threat of explosive detonation;
          Given that an assailant can cover 7 yards in a couple of seconds, you have a maximum of 3-4 seconds before a jihadi gets close enough to be really bad news.

          It is reasonable to train for having to deal with up to three assailants, so that is where I get the 10 second limit on score. Again, OutlawPatriot, I agree that one should have comprehensive pistol skills, but when private citizens are dealing with the situation that the French faced in Paris, somewhat different skills will be required.
          That was the motivator behind this. It may be that par times have to be adjusted, but I will continue to practice shooting this drill as time permits, and dryfire practice my presentation as well.

          I appreciate the tips on IDPA, and perhaps I shall see you at a match one day.
          Regards to you and all who serve the Light,

        • Colorado Pete

          As a former (way out of practice these days) B-class USPSA shooter I second the above. Draw to first shot hit is your bread-and-butter skill. 6″ at 25 yards is tough, even when the target is still. Going to kneeling as you draw might help. Daily dry-fire needs to be a habit.

  8. The Usual Suspect

    RDS’s are in their own space and time, especially if
    the shooter is over 50.

  9. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on The Dixie Traveler.

  10. IDPA has a basic course of fire to evaluate each shooter. The initial course is fired prior to being allowed to compete. All clubs in the world follow this COF as a standard. Rules can be found at the IDPA site (the full .com evades me at the moment, but I think it’s USIDPA dot Org). This COF is not easy to accomplish, either, and I find the author’s Paris Drill to be a challenge, and I shoot a lot of steel. My best times were above ten seconds, a couple past twelve, which was the medium. Definitely respectable times, IMO, which could improve with lots of practice on a specific COF, which I try to avoid so as to not get locked into “one scene thinking”. The suggestions to mix it up with balloons and no shoots are a great way to keep this lively.

  11. Why 5 seconds? I’m guessing these events are at least minutes long, from the time the first shot is fired by the jihadi until the blow-up. Take your time and make the shots. Shoot one, then move. Better one killed, than all 3 missed…

  12. For those who don’t know, AR500 is “abrasion resistant” steel. SUPER commonly used for loader buckets, bulldozer blades, excavator buckets, and wearing items on farm implements.

    Instead of trying to source new steel for a few small pieces, go talk to your local heavy equipment mechanic. Might have a few pieces lying around that he’ll just let you walk out with.