The Super Test

Title Image: The most recent Advanced Super Test I shot on a cold and windy January day. Total score is 284. Also shot with the same S&W M&P 9 2.0 SPEC pictured below.

The Super Test is a basic pistol drill conducted with an NRA B-8 target and a shot timer involving shots from 5, 10 and 15 yards with three distinct par times for each string of fire. It’s both a fun and easy drill to conduct. And if one isn’t careful, the time standards and minimum scoring requirements can also keep one honest. I’ve been enjoying working through this drill regularly over the past few weeks to help pass the time on the range. The Super Test has now been around for a few years and is attributed to Darryl and Wayne from Hardwired Tactical Shooting.

Since the normal par times aren’t super strict, I also think this is a great drill for newer shooters. I believe it is a great way to start shooting faster without having to go nuts, necessarily. Par times add pressure, practicing this drill is good for instilling urgency between shots for both newer and experienced shooters. The only difference between the normal Super Test and the Advanced is that the latter involves drawing from a holster as opposed to low-ready.


The Super Test doesn’t require a lot of set-up which makes it extremely convenient to shoot nearly anywhere. All one needs is a shooting area with at least 15 yards from the target backer or berm. To clarify, the Super Test does not need a full-size NRA B-8. A repair center or a B-8 printed on a regular piece of paper will do just fine. Besides, too many shots outside of the black will only hurt the score.

This exercise only uses 30 rounds, and has three separate ten round strings of fire. For each 10 round string, shooters take shots at their B-8 from distances of 15, 10 and 5 yards. Formally, this exercise begins from the low-ready and the par-time for each string of fire corresponds to the distance. Shooters have 15 seconds to fire from 15 yards, 10 seconds to fire from 10 and 5 seconds to fire from 5.

Each shot is worth 10 points, so a perfect score is 300 aggregate. Traditionally, to pass the Super Test one needs a score of at least 270. Knowing Hardwired Tactical Shooting’s philosophy, missing isn’t allowed.


So far, I’ve shot the [advanced] Super Test with a few different pistols including the .45 Auto HK USP, .40 S&W Glock 22 Gen5, the new Smith & Wesson SD9 2.0 and the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 SPEC series. Shooting the Super Test with a dot 100% makes it easier to shoot, and that’s a fact. It’s almost like cheating. However, from the four handguns I listed only the M&P 9 2.0 SPEC has a dot mounted, and the 5.5-inch bull of the NRA B-8 isn’t difficult to shoot with duty-grade iron sights at 15 yards either. My scores are indeed better with a dot, and I have the data to prove it.

I actually failed this drill with my USP 45, with humbling scores 253 and 255. If I recall, the best score I shot with my Glock 22 was either 268 or 270. With regards to the pistols chambered for cartridges other than 9mm, the funny part is that I hardly noticed the felt-recoil once the timer went off. I made all the par-times fine, so my lower scores have nothing to with the fact that I drew from concealment or the fact that .40 S&W or .45 Auto are stouter than 9mm. The honest truth is that I didn’t take full-advantage of the allotted time. Dropping too many shots outside of the bull is a guaranteed way to fail the Super Test.


To date, the only 9mm pistols I’ve shot this drill are the new SD9 2.0 and the M&P 2.0 SPEC, both new products from Smith & Wesson. I was actually conducting back-to-back reviews for both of these guns and decided to shoot the Super Test. I have yet to shoot the Super Test with either of my Walther PDPs. Shooting this exercise with the S&W M&P 2.0 SPEC and scoring 288-289* made me a believer in that gun, immediately on the spot. In fact January 19, 2024 was the day my current and strange obsession with the S&W M&P 2.0 started because of the target pictured below.


Below are the actual times from the last time I shot the [advanced] Super Test towards the end of January 2024. (These correspond to the target in the lead photo). Even though these times are faster, I dropped points on my aggregate score.

And here’s a better picture of the “Green Machine,” the 9mm S&W M&P 2.0 SPEC I’m also reviewing. It’s got a lightened slide and some Performance Center parts, and this gun is the bees-knees (besides the PDPs).

S&W M&P 2.0 SPEC
A close-up of the “Green Machine”, the S&W M&P 2.0 SPEC I’ve been shooting. It wears a Holosun 407C using the factory CORE mounting system.


Like I previously mentioned, the Super Test is an easy drill to set up since it needs a single B-8 target, a timer and some shooting space with at least 15 yards. As others have mentioned elsewhere, it’s probably indoor-range friendly at most places since it doesn’t have to be fired from a holster. The par times in each string add pressure which makes for great practice. Whether one shoots with a dot or irons, this drill will penalize the shooter for wasting too much time and trying to over-confirm their sight picture which is something I see with many newer shooters. As I learned some years back from John Johnston of Citizens Defense Research, “once you see what you need to see with your sights, pull the trigger.”

On the other hand, shooting too quickly and carelessly dropping shots will also result in lower scores; especially with time on the clock leftover. Being a grandmaster isn’t necessary to score 270 pass, but reaching it requires more than minimal effort too. Aside from points and scoring, I find the Super Test’s par times to be fair and reasonable. Advanced shooters are welcome to tweak and play with these times or increase pressure in other ways. I think applying some type of “hit-factor” scheme to the basic exercise could make things interesting and spicy.

P.E. Fitch
I am a shooter first, and a writer second. IG & Twitter: @pfitch45