Aaron and The Bill Drill

Want to kick your own ass with 6 rounds? Need to see how good (or bad) your holster and concealment method are? This one easy and humbling drill will tell you.

Aaron Cowan says it in the video. This. Drill. Is. Hard.

It is meant to be hard. It combines all the things you need to get correct in accessing, drawing, aiming, and firing a pistol and gives you just enough time to get all of them right.

6 Rounds. 7 Yards. 2 Seconds. Various targets used are A-Zone (the standard), Modified A-Zone (shown here), or B8. You can control the standard based on your need but understand that the easier you make the standard.. the more you are just failing yourself. Don’t make the standard easy, scale your training to reach the harder standard.

The person who can’t deadlift 315 doesn’t say, “To hell with that, I’ll just do 215.” and change the standard, they scale their routine to hit the 315 standard they want.

Scaling the Bill

There are two methods you can use to scale this drill effectively, time and distance. Time can be used to slow down to a pace where you are not overrunning your own efficiency of movement, and distance can be used to help isolate and work different aspects of the drill while removing frustrations. Yes, seeing misses or failing the drill abysmally can have a negative mental impact on your training. Scale to build successes instead of compounding failures, but don’t make the mistake of getting complacent on your modified ‘easier’ training, remember that your current training goal isn’t the standard.

Example: The standard is 2 seconds, but shooting it clean in 3 or even 2.5 is still a valuable measure of where you are at. It shows that you are knocking at the door of achieving a very difficult, and very unforgiving of inefficiency, standard. It means that you are efficient, that your combination of draw, holster, handgun, carry method, and control of the shot process are working well and that you are at the refinement stage of smoothing out the small errors through identification and good repetitions.

If you’ve never shot this before, with a shot timer or an app, give yourself 5 seconds and shoot it at 3 yards. If you don’t rush to beat the clock and instead work on putting the gun onto target through the draw efficiently followed by making each hit, I bet you end up with a time in the 3.25-3.75 range.

Reset, shoot it again.

Drop the time to 4 seconds, but don’t let the timer become the adversary. Your adversary is the target and the need to get 6 good rounds into it as fast as you can in the spot that matters. Don’t cheat yourself out of working through these improvements at the pace you can. You will speed up, you will see gains and you can see them quickly by focusing on the actual problem (shoot the target).

Let the goal be 6 hits, the adversary is the target. The timer is just the referee. Once you are under 3 seconds it is time to push the distance if you haven’t already. Once you are under 3 seconds and at 7 yards you are in the final refinement phase of working the drill keep steadily pushing that speed.

Don’t shift strait to ludicrous speed and if you don’t make the standard just keep hammering more rounds wildly away at Mach Jesus. You’re wasting ammo and the stuff is madly expensive right now. Do one at speed, purposely overgas, and diagnose where it broke down. Where did you falter? The draw? Grip? Trigger management? Sight acquisition?

Where didn’t you spend the time you needed to spend? A fast miss happens when you didn’t give something the proper attention you needed to.

Slow is Smooth… Smooth is Fast… Slow is Fast?

I. Loath. That. Phrase.

It has been repeated ad nauseum and by so many people without the needed context that it has lost all meaning to be able to reason through to productivity.

It alone, means nothing. But taken as slow yourself down until you can do the task smoothly, in another context ‘drive only as fast as you can safely for conditions’ and then work on bringing the speed back up as you identify the things that are going wrong when you are driving the gun too fast.

The driving analogies are strong here because people drive their gun too fast so often. They are trying to beat the timer instead of the target and they end up spinning out and driving wild shots, messing up their grip, not finding the sights, or mashing the trigger like a fiend and any one of those problems could cause misses alone. Drive your gun as fast as you can for conditions, and those conditions are largely determined by your current abilities.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.