Courtesy of Tom Givens, the Shotgun Casino Drill is a nifty exercise involving four different targets set up at a distance of seven yards. The first target requires one shot, the second target requires two, the third three, and the fourth four in this exact order. The drill is set up so that shooters will have to intentionally reload at some point in between addressing all targets. Targets must be engaged the requisite number of times and in the correct order to shoot this drill cleanly. A total of ten shotshells are required and the par time for the Shotgun Casino Drill is 30 seconds. Any standard IPSC classic or metric target or IDPA paper target will suffice. However, 8-inch steel plates would be ideal as shotgun ammunition destroys paper and cardboard in short order. (Steel targets become especially handy if you are planning to run this drill several times or if you are shooting this drill with multiple training partners or maybe as part of a shotgun course).
To shoot the Shotgun Casino Drill, shooters must start at the firing line with four shells loaded in their shotgun’s magazine tube. Upon the timer’s start sound, the shooter will engage each of the four targets in the correct order and will have to reload their shotgun as needed in any order they deem appropriate. Once again a clean run means that each target received the correct amount of shots in the correct order and with no misses. The array of targets can be placed in any order down range but each target should be visibly marked with its specific number. To mix things up, targets may also be shuffled around as desired.
This skill building drill is useful due to the fact that it does not require a large amount of ammunition nor is it too complex to set up. Only four targets are needed either at a pistol bay or in front of any suitable backstop. The Shotgun Casino Drill is useful in that in order to efficiently negotiate it, it requires a solid shooting mount in addition to proper recoil control and loading technique. After all, there are two main categories of skills needed to successfully employ a shotgun. One category pertains to the mental aspect of thinking while holding a shotgun, and the other category pertains to the mechanical skills required to shoot a shotgun proficiently. Incidentally, the Shotgun Casino Drill calls on these same skills: proper shotgun mounting, recoil control, and efficient loading. Give it a try next time you hit the range, as running a shotgun as fast as you safely can is a ton of fun!
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