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Shooting Drill: El Presidente


When faced with multiple foes, speed and accuracy is important.

It’s the late 1970s and you have been tasked with assessing and training some bodyguards for the president of a Latin American country. What do you do? Well if you are Colonel Jeff Cooper, you design a drill and call it the El Presidente. Not only will this drill test the students, but it will also allow you to assess their basic handling abilities with a handgun. This drill has become a very popular drill taught in many law enforcement and military training schools. This is also a great test of speed in the competition arena.

The El Presidente is a great test for accuracy, agility and speed. This drill has the student do a number of different skills that they must be competent in to carry a handgun. It evaluates movement, draw, target acquisition, target engagement and transition, reloads and reengagement with follow-up shots. Plus you get practice in engaging multiple bad guys, all in a nice little package. Pretty easy right? Only if you can get 12 A-Zone or 0-down-Zone hits in under 10 seconds. I thought that might make you take a step back. Now it’s not as easy as you would think.

Because of how this drill is run and setup, this is a drill better left for the outside range or at a Practical Shooting Match. That’s not to say you couldn’t modify it to make it work on an indoor range, you just lose some of the effect of the drill.


The Drill

Place three IDPA/IPSC or other similar targets spaced approximately one yard apart from each other at the shoulder; out about 10 yards from the shooter.

The shooter starts with six rounds in the pistol and six more rounds in a magazine on his belt. Concealment is required.

Have the shooter load and make the pistol ready and re-holster, turn around, and face up range with their hands over their head.

At the buzzer/go signal the shooter turns, draws from concealment and engages each target with two rounds each, reload from slide lock and reengage each target with two rounds each.

Total rounds fired: 12

Any run that doesn’t have 12 A-zone hits is a failure. Classic Par time was 10 seconds.

If you would like to see how this drill is run, you can check out the video.

Drill Variations

This drill is so popular that there are many variations on it. One of the more popular variations on the drill is called the “Vice-Presidente.” In this variation of the drill, the shooter starts facing the targets and the drill is run at seven yards as opposed to the classic 10 yards.

The next time you get the chance to run this drill, make sure to concentrate on a good balance of speed and accuracy. Both count in this drill, as this is a pass/fail drill, especially with accuracy. If you miss in a competition envrionment, it’s just time and points added on. If you miss in a training scenario, you have failed and need to run it again.

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Shooting Drill: El Presidente