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Shooting Training: The Wizard Drill [PICS]


Only you can make the magic of this drill happen.

Ken Hackathorn. His name can instill the chills in some people, others can help but stand in awe. With a multitude of credentials under his belt, including FBI certified firearms trainer, gunsite instructor, NRA police firearms instructor, and US Army Special Forces small arms instructor, this legendary instructor knows his way around a firearm.

He has developed training plans for many police departments, military special operations teams and Marine FAST and SOTG Teams. He is also most well-known in the competition circuits as one of the founders of IPSC and IDPA; the man knows his way around a gun.

So when he takes on students to train, he wants to evaluate and know what kind of proficiency they have in handling a gun. He developed the Wizard Drill as a way to gauge whether or not the student is prepared to use their pistol defensively. Requiring a minimum amount of ammunition, a shot timer and a target, this drill is a great benchmark for whether you are ready to defend yourself.

 Woodbury Outfitters
Woodbury Outfitters

The Drill

This drill is very easy to set up and run.

For this drill you need:

  • 5 Rounds of appropriate ammo for your gun
  • A shot timer (there are some apps that work for your phone)
  • An IDPA-style target (cardboard or paper will work)

You do need to be on a range that allows drawing from the holster. Most indoor ranges do not allow this, so this may need to be a drill for an outdoor range. While for some drills starting from low ready can substitute for drawing, in this case it already beats part of the time from drawing and doesn’t really help. Check with your local range and see if you can get a pass to do holster work.

Each stage is a pass or fail part of the drill. If you miss, you fail. Simple as that.

All stages start from a concealed holster and have a 2.5-second time limit. That’s all the time you have.

  • Stage 1: At 3 yards, draw and fire one shot to the head, strong-hand only. 1 round, 2.5 seconds.
  • Stage 2: At 5 yards, draw and fire one shot to the head, freestyle (both hands). 1 round, 2.5 seconds.
  • Stage 3: At 7 yards, draw and fire one shot to the head, freestyle. 1 round, 2.5 seconds.
  • Stage 4: At 10 yards, draw and fire two shots to the body, freestyle. 2 rounds, 2.5 seconds.

At the end of the drill you should have three head shots and two body shots. If you don’t, you failed. Try it again. With using only five rounds of ammunition, this is a drill you can run over and over again.

This drill was designed to be run from a waistband holster. Pocket carry and smaller guns are very tough to try to make the time limits on so if you want a challenge, try those.

If you want to see how you stack up, try this drill at a range session. You will be surprised at how difficult it is to accomplish this drill in the time limits given.


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Shooting Training: The Wizard Drill [PICS]