When honing shooting skills, it helps to have lots of practice. There is no true substitute for extensive range time for any up and coming pistol smith. After all, repetitive performance of tasks build muscle memory and subconscious gross motor skills yes? While all of this is correct, it\'s still nice to have a little fun every now and then-- while still getting in your practice. We give you: Glock Poker.
The idea is simple: by using a smaller target reference, it requires the shooter to concentrate on their sights and work harder to make the shot. While shooting a 3x4-foot silhouette target can hone skills, especially in point shooting, being forced to make quick and accurate shots on smaller targets all in close proximity can only enhance these skills.
For a long time, instructors have been using discretionary command training targets, which are set up with a series of colors, geometric shapes, and the like for this type of drill. Playing cards do the same thing but add a little extra to the evolution.
The suit drill
I like to run this with my students, both LE and CCW, and both absolutely love it. You separate a deck of playing cards into its suits, and then give each shooter five cards. These five cards are one of each suit then a bonus fifth card that repeats one of the suits. Have them staple/tape one suit in each corner of a small target board, with the \'bonus card\' in the middle.
Load up, put on your safety gear, issue practice ammo, do your range safety reminder brief, then head to the line and make it hot. Once there, a good place to perform this drill is at the 7-yard line (21 feet), which is the basic median envelope for most gun encounters.
When the command of fire is given, it will be in the form of a suit command. For instance, I would yell, \"Make Ready...Clubs\" and at the command, the shooter would put one round in each club card on their target. Most would only shoot once; some would shoot twice as they had two cards. Time allowed would generally be between 3-5 seconds depending on the shooters level of training. Then advance through all suits randomly until the line has expended their ammo.
This drill teaches fast decision-making skills and combines that with the practical application of delivering aimed shots on target at speed.
You\'d be surprised how well everyone will shoot. I consistently see shooters who traditionally shoot poorly make their cards without problems. Why? Because it\'s no pressure. You are letting all that other junk that\'s in your head on the range fall away and it becomes...fun.
It\'s a huge confidence boost when you let them examine their targets after and point out that each one of those cards was smaller than the typical center 5-ring on a silhouette target.
Then, with this boost and realization that if you concentrate on the shot and not everything else, odds are you can make it. Too often shooters see the big target and focus on the whole silhouette rather than the center mass, which leads to rounds splashing the whole area.
It goes almost without saying that this sort of shooting drill makes new shooters (especially youth) want to shoot more, which is always a win from a training standpoint. The cost of cards isn\'t that expensive, typically $2-$3 a pack if you shop around and you can make 10 sets targets of every pack.
The of course there is the more trick shot variety of shooting that is splitting a card with your Glock,
(I don\'t train this, but it was a neat opportunity to throw this video in the article.)
Be safe out there, practice hard, and remember to have some fun every now and then.
It can pay off if you put in enough lead equity and patience.