The Test | Skills and Drills
“The Test” is one of the most popular handgun drills around. A quick search will turn up targets from nearly every major and minor figure in the shooting world. The Test balances accuracy and speed, and since it requires no movement, holster work, or magazine changes, The Test is accessible to many more than some of the more complicated drills.
This is a simple one. All you need is a B8 target, 10 rounds in your magazine, a 10 yard range, and a timer. Place your B8 out at ten yards, then from either low ready or the holster fire ten rounds into the target within ten seconds. Subtract one second from the par time for every round if you are using something that holds less than ten. Cowboys with single action Big Irons get 1.5 seconds per round to cycle the action.
Ten rounds, ten yards, ten seconds.
Scoring The Test
There are a handful of ways to score The Test, but here we’ll use the most popular method. Rounds landing in the X and 10 rings count for 10 points, rounds in the 9 ring count for 9 points, etc. Passing score is 90% within your 10 second par time. Again, adjust as necessary based upon your capacity. Line breaks count toward the higher point value, so a round landing between 9 and 10 will count for 10.
The Test is one of my preferred drills for laying down benchmarks with newer and developing shooters. The relatively small target and somewhat farther distance make accuracy important, while the 10 second par time forces the shooter to keep a quick pace. If you start to skimp out on sight alignment or have a poor grip, your first few shots may land where you want them, but the train will come off the tracks before the end of the magazine. Time management is another huge component. Shoot your load too fast and the results are messy. Go too slow and you won’t get it all out.
I make sure to fire this drill at least once every time I hit the range to keep an eye on how all of my skills are coming together. Scores for me average the mid 90’s when keeping the time around 6.36 seconds, or up to repeated 99’s with times closer to 8.5-9.5 seconds. 100% still eludes me.