Ken Hackathorn created a very simple skill evaluation drill that he calls the ‘Wizard Drill.’ It only requires five rounds of ammo and can be shot on any range that allows work from the holster
Take an IDPA or IPSC (USPSA) target and place a 4 inch circle centered in the head of the target. You will shoot 4 strings of fire at 3, 5, 7, and 10 yards. Each string of fire has a time limit of 2.5 seconds with 2.7 allowable because of the length of the buzzer’s beep. The drill is shot from a concealed holster. If you use a pocket holster, you may start with the gun in your pocket and your hand on the gun. Otherwise, hands normal at sides, not touching the gun until the buzzer.
Set your timer at 2.5 seconds. Shoot each string as follows:
- Shot at 3 yards. On the timer signal, draw and fire one head shot, Dominant hand only.
- Shot at 5 yards. On the timer signal, draw and fire one head shot with both hands.
- Shot at 7 yards. On the timer signal, draw and fire one head shot with both hands.
- Shot at 10 yards. On the timer signal, draw and fire two (2) body shots.
When you are done, you should have three head shots and two body hits. Missing the target for any shot is a fail. Hits in the 4 inch head circle or cutting the line are considered zero points down, outside the circle but inside the head perforation are down one point. Drop 2 points or less and meet the time limit for each string and you pass the test. More than 2 points dropped or exceeding the time limit on any string means you fail.
The times in the above picture were:
- Hand in pocket – 1.47, 1.60, 1.67, 2.50
- Concealed OWB hip holster – 1.73, 1.97, 2.06, 2.70
- Hands at sides with gun in pocket – 2.45, 2.39, 2.82, 3.81 (No Go)
This is a challenging drill for most shooters, even using a service sized pistol. With a pocket pistol, it becomes very difficult. But it can be done with a J Frame. Although you may hear the term “arm’s length gun” applied to J Frames, that’s only true if you’re not competent with them. Another use of the drill is to see how different holsters can affect your time and accuracy.
When shooting this drill at indoor ranges where drawing from a holster is not permitted, you can shoot from Low Ready. However, the time limit goes down to two seconds in that case.
J Frames are no more nor less accurate within a range of 10 yards than any other handgun. The gun’s capability depends on the shooter’s ability to see the sights and press the trigger smoothly.