The Baer Standard: A Bear of a Self-Defense Drill (VIDEO)

When a self-defense situation presents itself, you won’t have the luxury of a warm up, so you’ll need to be ready to follow through the step-by-step motions to safely and competently handle your firearm. The Baer Standards drill – created by the Tennessee-based training company Baer Solutions – was designed to be shot “cold” so it requires high standards right off the bat.

For the drill, you’ll need two 6×3.5-inch rectangle targets (easily printed on the left and right side of standard printer paper and available from Baer) and three magazines. One magazine will be loaded with five rounds, another with three rounds, and then a spare mag (full or otherwise). You can run the drill at a variety of distances – three, five or seven yards – with a pistol, but it could also be run with a rifle at 10 yards.

Proper fundamentals and body mechanics is a must to pass this drill. Even the slightest deviation can cause a shooter to fail. (Photo: Chase Welch/

The reload is where this drill can fall apart. If you get hung up for any reason, you will most likely not make the time requirement. (Photo: Chase Welch/

The drill requires balancing speed and precision. It tests your ability to focus and control your movements in order to meet the accuracy standard. It breaks down into four steps:

  1. Start from the holstered position with the 10-round magazine inserted in your pistol, draw and engage the target. Fire five shots at either the left or right rectangle
  2. Then fire the remaining five rounds at the opposite rectangle
  3. Perform a slide lock reload and engage the center circle with three rounds
  4. Lastly, perform another slide lock reload with the full magazine, get your gun up and scan your sector

Success in the Baer drill is finishing in nine seconds or less without missing any shots – any missed shots will result in a fail. To pass the drill, you need to exercise good trigger control, recoil management, and be efficient with your reloads. Nine seconds may seem like a long time, but it goes quickly.

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