Pistol and bullets on table for pistol shooting drills.

As a law enforcement officer, it's essential to maintain proficiency in firearms handling and shooting. It's also crucial for personal and community safety. 

To help officers develop and refine their skills, we've compiled five highly effective pistol shooting drills that can significantly improve their accuracy, speed, and overall technique during target practice.

We'll also share one of the latest, most exciting additions to our extensive collection of paper shooting targets for law enforcement training and qualification across New York state police departments. 

Law Enforcement Pistol Shooting Drills

With these drills, shooters can fine-tune their shooting abilities and become more skilled and confident marksmen.

Dry Fire Drills

Dry fire drills offer an efficient way for shooters to improve their skills without using live ammunition. The purpose is to help shooters develop fundamental pistol shooting skills, such as sight alignment and sight picture, trigger control, and draw stroke.

This is definitely one of the best pistol shooting drills for beginners. Once they've mastered the basic techniques and feel more confident handling their firearms, they can move on to more complex target practice drills.

Box Drill 

The box drill involves shooting at a target from different positions while moving between four boxes arranged in a square. 

The shooter moves from one box to another, shooting at the target from each position. 

In real-life situations, officers may need to move and shoot simultaneously, and the box drill helps to simulate this scenario. 

Reloading Drill

A reloading pistol drill involves firing a certain number of rounds at a target, then reloading the pistol and firing again until a certain number of rounds have been fired. 

By practicing this drill, officers can improve their reload accuracy and speed, which could mean the difference between life and death in a high-pressure situation. 

Additionally, the drill can help officers become more comfortable and confident with their weapons, which can improve their overall performance during target practice and in the line of duty.

How It Works:

  • Start with a cleared, unloaded firearm.
  • Set up a target at a safe distance, and position yourself in a comfortable shooting stance. 
  • Load your magazine with a predetermined number of rounds. 
  • Fire all the rounds at the target. 
  • Once the magazine is empty, eject it from the firearm.
  • Quickly and smoothly reload the firearm with a fresh magazine. 
  • Once the firearm is reloaded, fire all the rounds at the target again. 
  • Repeat the process for a predetermined number of rounds or until you meet your training goals.

Weapon Malfunction Exercise

The purpose of this exercise is to prepare law enforcement officers for misfires and other situations where their weapon does not function properly. 

How It Works:

  • Begin by ensuring that your firearm is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction. 
  • Create a simulated malfunction by inserting an empty casing or snap cap into the chamber of your firearm.
  • Attempt to fire the weapon as you normally would. When the firearm doesn't fire, quickly and safely bring it down to a low-ready position.  
  • While keeping your eyes on the target, use your support hand to grasp the firearm's slide and pull it back to eject the malfunctioning round. 
  • Allow the slide to return to its normal position and continue firing. 
  • Repeat the drill several times, deliberately inducing different malfunctions, such as a double feed or stovepipe, and practicing the appropriate response for each malfunction.

Double Tap Drill

A double tap shooting drill involves rapidly firing two rounds of ammunition at a target. The objective of this drill is to improve shooting accuracy and speed and train for self-defense scenarios where multiple shots may be required. 

The shooter aims at the target, pulls the trigger twice in quick succession, and then reassesses the situation before firing again, if necessary. 

Attention New York Law Enforcement!

NY-DCJS-1 Paper TargetsMeet your training and qualification needs with our newest shooting target, the NY-DCJS-1 Paper Target. This target is specifically designed for New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Training and is now available through our online store.

Featuring a realistic silhouette of a man as a threat with scoring rings strategically placed over the head, hips and center mass areas. This paper target provides endless pistol shooting drills and exercises to help recruits prepare for qualification and live action.

Don't settle for anything less than the best in your firearms training. Get the NY-DCJS-1 Paper Target from Qualification Target, Inc. today!

Shop All Shooting Targets 

For all your training and qualification needs, shop Qualification Targets, Inc. You'll discover a wide range of high-quality shooting targets—all made in the USA. We proudly support law enforcement departments across the country by providing paper, cardboard, and steel targets that simulate real-life scenarios and allow them to train with confidence.

Browse our online store today, or contact our team at 866-498-8228 to place your department order.