When it comes to concealed carry, just having a gun and successfully concealing it is only half of the equation. Another half are skills – situational awareness, legal knowledge and last but not least – marksmanship. In the previous article, I talked about the “Triple Nickel”, one of the most challenging concealed carry drills ever invented. But not everyone has access to ranges where you can shoot multiple targets. So today, I will talk about the drill you can do at any range that allows you to draw from the holster – the FAST drill.
FAST Drill was invented by Todd Louis Green, founder of pistol-training.com website. Sadly, in 2016 Todd Green passed away following a decade-long battle with cancer.
In 2014, he underwent an elbow joint replacement surgery which forced him, very accomplished firearms instructor, to start from scratch and basically re-learn handgun shooting since surgery severely damaged nerves in the arm. One could only wonder how it feels – after years of training and practice to start from zero again, being unable to even pull a double action trigger due to post-surgery muscle atrophy.
But Todd’s legacy lives on – http://pistol-forum.com/ is still very active and the FAST drill remains to be one of the best drills you can use to quickly determine your skill level.
So, what is FAST drill? FAST stands for F.A.S.T. (Fundamentals, Accuracy, & Speed Test).
You start at 7 yards facing the target. The handgun is loaded and holstered – concealed or in you duty retention holster, depending on how you typically carry a pistol. There are 2 rounds in your first magazine and amount of ammo in your spare magazine doesn’t really matter.
On start signal, you draw and fire two rounds at the head target; perform a slide lock reload, and fire four rounds at the body target. You must get all you hits – 2 to the 3×5 card and 4 into an 8-inch plate. If you get all your hits, your time is the final result you can use to determine your skill level. Here is the video of Todd Green demonstrating the drill.
- 10+ seconds: Novice
- less than 10 seconds: Intermediate
- less than 7 seconds: Advanced
- less than 5 seconds: Expert
FAST drill tests most skills critical for concealed carry and duty pistol use – draw, ability to fire multiple shots on target quickly, slide lock reload and forces you to “change gears”, switching from speed shooting to precise headshots.
It also forces you to avoid a lot of common mistakes shooters make: firing the first shot after the draw too quickly; not taking enough time to get a good grip after the reload. If you do any of those things, you won’t get your hits and fail.
Obviously, this drill has no tactical value. You don’t defend yourself with two headshots and a subsequent burst of rounds into the chest unless you’re attacked by a horde of brainless monsters.
This drill is purely a technical/skill drill that gives you an opportunity to analyze your shooting. All you need is a target, pistol, spare mag, holster, 6 rounds and a shot timer which you can download on your phone these days.
And even if you’re not anywhere near “expert” or “advanced” scores, it is nice to measure your skills against an objective standard to see where you really are. Results might not be flattering, but they will give you an idea on what you should practice.
And if your results are beyond “expert” or “advanced” level, there is still something you can work on. Just watch this 2.98 seconds run by Robert Vogel.