Just like a four leaf one, finding this cloverleaf can be good luck.
Sometimes when training, we need to take some time and just slow down. There are times where we are trying to shoot as fast as we can to make a certain par time score, or knock down plates the fastest, or even get our gun out of the holster the fastest. But sometimes, we need to slow down and just work on the fundamentals: trigger control, sight alignment and shot placement for best groups.
When working on trigger control, we want to work on shooting the smallest groups possible. Slow fire is the best way to do this. We need to take our time and feel for the break in that trigger as the shot goes off. Holding our sights just on that hole, keeping the rounds next to each other; this is the hunt for the Cloverleaf.
Greg Ellefritz of TDI Ohio intoduced this drill to us on his blog Active Response Training. In the blog post, he explains that the Cloverleaf shooting drill is one that was taught to him by Rob Leatham and one that has been used in the competitive shooting circles for many years but just hasn’t found it’s way down to defensive and recreational shooters yet.
This drill is very easy to set up and run. It doesn’t require any special targets or timers or anything. You can even use the target that you have been shooting at all day already, as long as there is some blank space on one side or corner.
In this empty space, you are going to shoot one hole freestyle (using both hands). This will now become the aim point for the next two rounds. The next round is fired strong-hand only, and the final round shot weak hand only. At the end you should have a cloverleaf looking hole in the target. The goal is to have all three holes touching, making this cloverleaf pattern.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Simple right? Here is some video that shows how to shoot the drill and what it can look like. (Note in the video, he calls it the Chase the Dot Drill. It’s the same drill, just a different name.)
As you can see, it’s not as easy as it looks. I usually will use this as a warm up and cool down drill when on the range sometimes.
This is a very addicting and fun drill. After a while, if you’re not careful, you can find that you have just shot your way through 50 rounds and still are looking for that cloverleaf. It’s just fun and good for some laughs with your shooting buddies.
If you find that shooting cloverleafs are way too easy, push the distance back and start over. As you get more proficient at that distance, push it back and start again. This drill can last you for hours and hours of precision shooting at the indoor range when you have nothing better to do. And you’re not just wasting time.
By working these fundamentals, you are working your trigger and sight skills and your single-handed shooting skills the entire time.
Try this drill at your next warm up or cool down session and see how you like it.