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Shooting Drill: 20-Alpha


With this drill, shooting speed and recoil management are the name of the game.

When dealing with longer range shots, shooting speed and recoil management are key for accuracy. Obviously the slower you go, the more accurate your shots will be. There are a number of great drills out that will help you practice these distance skills and 20-Alpha is one of the best ones.

The goal of 20-Alpha is very simple. Place 20 shots into the A-zone or zero down zone of an IPSC/IDPA target at a max distance of 25 yards. That’s it. No time constraints, no need to rush things. Just 20 shots into the A-zone.

That’s not saying you couldn’t add other constraints to make it more challenging. Some people use a timer to benchmark how fast they are going and try to keep it at that time. Others might set a par time to limit themselves and add stress. Concealment is not required, but could be added for more of a challenge. In any case, this drill will test your distance skills.

There are two variations of this drill that will we look at. The best part of this drill is that both variations of the drill can be run on an indoor range. If your range does not allow draw from a holster, just start from a low ready position.

For either variation of this drill you will need:

  • IPSC or IDPA Target
  • 20 rounds of ammunition.
  • Bonus: If you have 4 magazines, load them with 5 rounds apiece. Between each string of fire you could reload and run the whole drill.

The Drill: Variation 1

This variation of the drill is 5 strings of 5 rounds at various distances.

  • String 1: 5 Rounds at 10 Yards
  • String 2: 5 Rounds at 15 Yards
  • String 3: 5 Rounds at 20 yards
  • String 4: 5 Rounds at 25 yards
  • String 5: 5 Rounds at 25 yards

When running this one on an indoor range, all you have to do is move the target out to each distance after each string of fire. You don’t have to move. When running this on an outdoor range, you can move back 5 yards each time and not move the target. You will need to mark your distances some how.

This is a great drill to use for warm-up on the range for your training day.

Speedwell Targets
Speedwell Targets


The Drill: Variation 2

This variation of the drill is 4 strings of 5 rounds at 25 yards.

  • String 1: 5 Rounds at 25 yards
  • String 2: 5 Rounds at 25 yards
  • String 3: 5 Rounds at 25 yards
  • String 4: 5 Rounds at 25 yards

This variation requires you to hit all 20 shots at 25 yards. This is obviously a more difficult variation due to distance, but it will help train you for long distance shots. This is still a fun variation since who doesn’t like to try to shoot long distances with a pistol? The point is to be challenged right?

Keep some things in mind when shooting these drills: If it is too easy you are going too slow. Speed up. Find where that line of speed and accuracy is and rein it back a little. If you are throwing too many shots outside of the A-zone, slow down, you are going too fast. You will know how fast, at what distance, you need after running this drill a few times.

As the targets get farther away, you will need to slow down to hit the smaller targets. Remember, a perfect run is all A-zone hits.

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Shooting Drill: 20-Alpha