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The Tempest Drill

Word to the wise: This exercise is not for the inexperienced shooter or for those who have yet to cultivate those essential, comprehensive, ambidextrous-shooting skills. For those shooters who have adequate training and safety discipline, the Tempest Drill is the perfect storm of shooting exercises and a challenge. 

An expansion upon the Compass Drill, the Tempest requires both dominant- and support-hand firing proficiency along with ambidextrous malfunction clearing and reloads. Simplified, the Compass Drill requires four shots taken at 5 yards on a B8 target. The shooter fires the first shot (North) with a standard two-handed grip, the second shot (East) is fired dominant-hand only, the third (South) is fired support-hand only, and the fourth and final (West) is fired with a two-handed reverse grip. Great emphasis is placed on trigger-finger discipline and safe transition of the gun between hands, as well as well-placed rounds on target. 

To kick the basic Compass Drill up a notch, increase the round count, toss in malfunction-inducing snap caps and cycle through multiple irregularly loaded magazines. Here is where things gets interesting: The shooter can only solve the problem they face in the firing position they are in while performing the Compass Drill.

Example: The shooter’s pistol goes dry in the dominant-hand-only shot. Therefore, the reload is performed one-handed, with the dominant hand only. 

Example: A snap cap induces a failure to fire in a two-handed reverse grip; therefore, clear the malfunction using two hands but as a southpaw (if you’re right handed). 

While this drill may seem complex, the skill sets it practices are typical of any basic-to-intermediate pistol course. Two-handed shooting, reloads and malfunction clearing are all considered beginner-level skills—nothing fancy. The intermediate-level skills practiced include one-handed shooting, one-handed reloads and one-handed malfunction clearing.   

When did you last take a pistol class and shoot it entirely from your support-hand side? This is a worthy venture for anyone considering themselves a proficient shooter striving to become ambidextrous. 

Regardless, safety always comes first. If you want to try this drill, but realize you still need one or more of the skill sets outlined above, seek a vetted instructor and learn them before attempting the Tempest. 

Here’s the Drill:

Equipment Required: Five magazines, 10 snap caps, 30 rounds of practice ammunition. 

Magazine Prep: Irregularly load each magazine with a mix of live rounds and two or three snap caps. Note: snap caps should not be the first or last round, or stacked two in a row.

Drill: Repeat the Compass Drill until all magazines are empty. When a reload or malfunction occurs, the problem must be solved in that firing position before proceeding to the next stage of the compass.

Scoring: All hits within the black of the B8 center. 

Best of luck weathering the storm.

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