Fast & Accurate For Cops


There’s nothing like getting “hands-on” from a master.

World IPSC champ Rob Leatham needs no introduction to our readers. They might be surprised, however, to learn Federal law enforcement agencies seek him out to train their personnel. Rob starts his lecture by explaining he’s not a cop and isn’t there to teach anyone to do their job; he’s there to teach the mechanics of accurate, high-speed shooting. I recently attended one of his classes, where the students were a third working street cops, a third cops who write and a third gun-writers. Let’s share some of the drills Leatham put us through in the one-day course.

Leatham critiques as Mas shoots with the custom Springfield Armory .40 Rob used to win IDPA Limited Nationals this year.

The Drills

Slow fire drill: Five shots on target, unlimited time, two-hand standing. Done once each from five, ten, fifteen, twenty and twenty-five yards. Each shot reinforces the basics and the shooter also verifies sight zero.

Five-second drill: The shooter has five seconds to draw and fire a single shot. This is an opportunity for the muscles to refresh long-term memory, and make sure every component of the draw to the shot movement is down pat. Then it’s done with two shots. Rob doesn’t care for what Cooper would call the
“hammer” and what some call the “double tap,” with two shots fired so fast only the first is aimed. He wants some verification the gun is on target for every shot in the string. The emphasis here is on what Cooper defined as the “controlled pair.” Then, in the same five-second span, the shooter fires three shots. Then four. Then five, six, etc., going all the way up to ten shots in five seconds. As the pace accelerates, timing is quickly grooved in for the new shooter and is sharpened for the veteran.

Three-grasp drill: The shooter draws and fires two shots free style, usually in his preferred two-hand stance. Then the support hand comes off and the shooter triggers another con-trolled pair strong hand. Then the shooter fires the last two shots weak hand. In a variation of this, the shooter fires one shot from each of those positions, but the emphasis is on accuracy. Leatham doesn’t want you to consider this exercise concluded until you have created a one-hole group from the three yard line with one shot each fired from two-hand, strong hand only, and weak hand only.

Shoot and move drill: Five shots moving forward. Then five shots retreating from the target. Then a combination of the two. Finally, a magazine is left at the forward line and the shooters move one line back. On the start signal, move forward firing until you have reached the point where you placed the fresh magazine. Reload there, picking up the magazine from the ground, and fire as you retreat back to the starting point.

Shoot, reload, shoot drill: The shooter draws, fires six, speed reloads and fires six more. It can be done at ten yards on three targets, two shots on each per sequence, or all on one target at whatever distance the officer feels he needs to work on.

Eyes On You

There’s a lot you can learn from Rob, and not much opportunity to do it. He only does a few classes a year because so much of his time is taken up on the competition circuit and in research and development for Springfield Armory. For information and scheduling, check out his Web site at If you care about performing well with a handgun, it’s definitely worth setting aside some vacation time. You’ll learn a lot that you can bring back to your department to enhance the performance of your officers.

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