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Four Shooting Drills That Will Improve Your Rifle Accuracy

Four Shooting Drills That Will Improve Your Rifle Accuracy

February 08, 2019

As a shooter, precision is your metric. How closely can you bunch your rounds determines how effective you are at shooting. Accurate shooting tends to result in less shooting in many situations. So, how do you improve your shooting accuracy after you buy the best AR-15 accessories for your purpose? You don’t simply shoot from a bench at a range. You take the time to setup and execute shooting drills that will challenge you, as well as develop your skills.

You will find in this article four common shooting drills that will improve your shooting accuracy. The ultimate goal as you become more accurate with shooting is to shoot less. As awful as that sounds to most of you, an accurate marksman is an effective marksman, even if they use a hand stop for better control.

Why These Shooting Drills?

You will find a lot of great drills online and through coaches. However, these drills are a great set to master before moving onto more complex drills that require accuracy to even complete, let alone master. Also, these drills can be done at most ranges, even if modified slightly. This allows you to master these drills without having to own your own property.

Four Rifle Shooting Drills

#1. The Malfunction Drill

This drill, as the title infers, is to work on you getting your rifle back into shooting order once a malfunction has occurred. The goal is for the shooter to safely and effectively clear a malfunction. The drill specifically targets the shooter’s ability to clear complicated malfunctions and then remain accurate while shooting post removal.

Set Up

You want to create a malfunction in your rifle so that you have to clear it before you can fire again. You can use an empty brass case or Snap Cap to simulate a malfunction. Don’t cheat yourself. Make the issue complicated enough that it takes your focus and attention to clear. All standard PPE is required. If you’re shooting a lot that day, utilize gloves before setting up and executing this drill to avoid burns.

The Drill

Start the drill in the ready position, as if you’re going to fire. Using a timer? Stand ready until timer sounds. When it sounds, the drill begins. This drill is relatively simple, but it challenges your ability to remain calm and effective during a malfunction. Consider this: a malfunction in any gunfight is an “oh crap” moment, and you need to be able to handle it quickly. The drill ends when you are able to fire one round post clearing the malfunction. You can use a shot timer to get an accurate read.

#2. The Failure To Stop Drill

This drill is most useful with a rifle or a pistol. For the sake of this article, we’re going to discuss the drill as if you’re using a rifle. The drill requires you to fire three shots with precision. Missing any of the shots on target is considered a fail. As the name infers, this drill is to train firing on someone who fails to stop advancing on your position in a life-or-death situation.

Set Up

Mount a paper silhouette target 10-25 yards down range. You want the chest and head areas visible. Ideally, you want to start with your rifle at the low-ready position. Some ranges will not allow those, so you may need to modify this portion to fit the rules of the range.

The Drill

Once the drill is set up, the shooter will be signaled by a partner or timer to ready their rifle and fire two shots to the chest and one shot to the head of the target, keeping the rifle aimed at the target to ensure it’s down.

This drill stresses transitioning from low-ready to ready position for various situations. Finally, shot placement in the drill is the primary concern, targeting and hitting the center of the chest and the center of the head.

#3. The Box Drill

Similar to the failure to stop drill, the box drill involves more than one target. You will set up two or three targets about one yard apart. Then, you will hold your rifle at the low-ready position. When a partner indicates or a timer goes off, the drill starts.

The Drill

When the timer goes off, you want to shoot two in the chest of the first target and then transition your sights to the second target and shoot two more in its chest. As you’re sighted on the second target, take your headshot. Then, transition your sights back to the first target and fire a headshot.

This drill makes you focus on shot placement across multiple engagements. The measure for success is how well your shots are placed. As you master this drill, move your targets further apart for added difficulty.

#4. The El Presidente Drill

For most, this drill should be completed with a pistol; however, you can complete it with a rifle, too. The drill focuses on your shot placement and transition between targets. You will want to set up multiple targets in two groups. The drill should take no longer than 10 seconds to complete. For advanced shooters, it can take as little as five seconds.

Set Up

You’ll need three man-sized targets set about one yard apart from each other. These three targets will be about 15-25 yards from you. Start in low-ready position with your rifle. You will want to use a timer to measure your ability to complete the drill quickly.

The Drill

You will start with your back to the targets. At the timer, you will spin in place, ready your rifle, fire two shots into each target’s chest. Once all targets have been shot, you will reload your rifle with a new mag. Once reloaded, you will ready your rifle and fire two more shots into each target, completing the drill.


There are a lot of moving parts to this drill, and it can be challenging, but once you master it, you will see an increase your shooting accuracy.

Rail Scales: Best AR Accessories On The Market

If you want to increase your shooting accuracy, add an AR accessory to your rifle. Utilize the drills in this article, too. A hand stop or forend grip can help you quickly advance your shooting. Shop online now!