Dot Torture Shooting Drill

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Topics: Shooting Drills

  • SumoMe



One of the shooting drills I like to use to hone my trigger control is called “Dot Torture”.  It’s relatively well known among the competitive shooting community, but many recreational or defensive shooters may have never seen it.



The drill was originally developed by David Blinder at Personal Defense Training.  It involves shooting 50 rounds at a series of two-inch circles (dots).  The target can be dowloaded from David’s website (linked above) and printed at home for use at your next training session.  I like the alternate version of the target developed by Todd Green at  His version of the target has directions conveniently printed under each dot.



According to the original instructions on David’s website:

  • Dot #1- Draw and fire one string of 5 rounds for best group. One hole if possible, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot #2- Draw and fire 1 shot, holster and repeat X4, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot #3 and 4- Draw and fire 1 shot on #3, then 1 shot on 4, holster and repeat X4, total 8 rounds.
  • Dot #5- Draw and fire string of 5 rounds, strong hand only, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot #6 and 7- Draw and fire 2 shots on #6, then 2 on #7, holster, repeat X4, total 16 rounds.
  • Dot #8- From ready or retention, fire five shots, weak hand only, total 5 rounds.
  • Dot #9 and 10- Draw and fire 1 shots on #9, speed reload, fire 1 shots on #10, holster and repeat X3, total 6 rounds.

“When you can do this clean on demand, extend the length or start timing and work on speed but maintaining accuracy. If a single shot is missed, you flunk. Only hits count and only perfect practice makes perfect.”


I shoot this one at ten feet.  If I concentrate and take my time, I can usually clean it.  When I start pushing the speed a little or increase the distance, I tend to start throwing a few rounds.  It’s a great drill to practice the basics and serves as a quick “tuneup”.  It’s a good drill to use on indoor ranges that don’t allow “rapid fire”.



I shot the drill last week from 10 feet with both my duty gun (Glock 21 .45 acp in Safariland ALS holster) and my backup gun (S&W .38spl Model 12 airweight snub from an Alessi ankle holster).  I didn’t shoot as fast as I could, but I shot quickly.



While not perfect, I felt pretty good about my performance.  I dropped one shot (49/50) with my Glock.


Glock 21 .45 acp Dot Torture Target

Surprisingly, I did almost as well with my .38 snub.  I dropped two shots (48/50) with it.  Both of my misses with the .38 were on stage eight (weak hand only).  That  heavy double action trigger pull with my weak hand is rough!  I know where I need to focus some more training effort!



S&W Model 12 .38spl Dot Torture Target


Don’t discount the wheel gun as being an outdated relic.  It takes some work to get used to the longer trigger pull, but the target above proves that the .38 snub can still be a perfectly viable choice for self protection!



Give this drill a try.  I think you’ll like it!







5 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Claude says:

    The closing of PDT due to David’s move was a great loss to the Family Safety Industry. “The Test” was the one of the best, if not the best, Force on Force classes for Private Citizens, ever. I admit to my prejudice, having been a role player for 10 years.

    • Greg Ellifritz says:

      I met David once (I think it was at an NTI), but I’ve never trained with him. “The Test” always looked like a great opportunity. I regret that I never made it down to take it.

  2. Bill says:

    Haley Strategic Partners has a variety of challenging exercises available as a free download in the Haley Strategic Target Pack: Exercises like these offer a great change of pace on the square range.

  3. John Butler says:

    I purchased the domain from David a few years ago and put the course back up at We also have some of the Dryfire drills back up at

  4. The worst thing about this type of target is it makes honest men out of lousy shooters, including myself. It magnifies our bad habits and forces us to be better.

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