A buddy of mine has been making a run at the full-time gun dealer/instructor business for the past several years. After attending a
couple classes together a few years back and shooting together, we started joining forces to teach the occasional class. I just jump in a couple times a year for the more “advanced” classes, while he keeps a fairly regular schedule doing CHCL classes (what concealed permit classes are called in my state) and private instruction. A few weeks ago he was coming off the range from a private lesson and called me to tell me about this new drill he came up with. He had a stack of old fingerprint cards in his range bag, and instead of tossing them out like a normal person would stapled them up to a target backer, wrote numbers in each box, and used them for a drill.
After some back and forth, tweaking this or that, we both put our heads together to come up with a more official version of the drill. One of these days we will figure out a name (recommendations welcome in the comments), but for now it is just the AGC drill.
Both of us are big on applying some type of cognitive load to students in classes. We want people to be able to think and shoot at the same time. That same concept was carried over into this drill. In fact, we took it up a notch by trying to force the shooter to think a few moves ahead if they want the best results possible.
The target is an array of 16 different target zones, of varying sizes. A normal fingerprint card only has 10 different squares for prints, so we had a few, but the basic layout is still very similar to fingerprint card. All of the various sized squares and rectangles are numbered 1-4. The drill consist of 4 separate strings, and on each string the shooter has to engage a set of 4 targets in numerical order, starting with 1 and working towards 4. Each target is also shot with the number of rounds that correspond with the number on the target. So the target labeled “3” is shot 3 times, the target labeled “4” is shot 4 times, etc. On each string, the PAR time also decreases. First string as no PAR, second string is 10 seconds, 3rd string is 8 seconds, 4th string is 6 seconds. Any misses, shots fired out of order, or shots fired over time incur a 1 second penalty.
Where the drill really requires some thought is in planning which targets to shoot when because a specific target can only be engaged once per drill. So if I shoot the larger rectangles on string 1 or 2, they are now out of play for the strings that have tighter PAR times.
Trying my best to game the system that I helped to create, on my first string with no PAR time I shot only smaller targets, saving the larger ones for when I needed to go faster. Even though I tried, I still ended up having to shoot at least one small target for each string of fire. I also tried to group my targets as close together as possible. It really required a significant amount of concentration to remember which targets I was going to shoot for each string of fire except maybe the last one.
Even though this is only a 3 yard drill, the targets are relatively small, and the PAR time on the final string is certainly challenging. I had no expectation of meeting the 6 second PAR on the final string and keeping it a clean run, but I got close.
For those that need a little extra time the drill can be shot from a ready position as opposed to from concealment as originally written. We also fully expect some people to be able to clean the drill with no problem. For those people there is a hard version, where magazines are loaded with only 5 rounds per string, forcing a reload. There is also a legendary version where magazines are loaded with only 5 rounds, and the PAR times are reduced by 2 seconds each. Those modifications are noted on the printable target.
Since this is a brand new drill we are still looking for feedback on what might make it better. If you give it a try, let us know what you thought about it in the comments.