Larry Vickers — Time Standard Drill

When you need a good fundamentals drill, Larry Vickers never disappoints. This time he shows us how to set a time standard for shooting drills with a particular firearm. Any drill will do, but in this case, he uses a simple one. If you grasp what he’s doing here, you can apply the concept to just about any fundamentals drill you like.

Time Standard Drill
Larry Vickers and Daniel Richardson show us how to set a time standard for fundamentals drills. (Vickers Tactical YouTube Channel)

In this case, Larry is working with his friend Daniel Richardson of Richardson Precision and Training. Daniel is shooting a Sig Sauer M18. Here’s the breakdown of this particular drill:

  • Four timed shots from the ready at the three-yard line.
  • Fire as quickly as possible, but all shots must be in the black.
  • Two shots with two hands, flowed by one shot with the strong hand, and one shot with the weak hand.
  • Measure the time and round up to the nearest half second.
  • Get three solid runs and take the average time, rounding up to the nearest half second.
 Time Standard Drill start from the ready
Start from the ready position at three yards. (Vickers Tactical YouTube Channel)

Daniel’s average time was 4.5 seconds after rounding up. So, his time standard with the Sig M18 from the three-yard line is 4.5 seconds. Note that he would set a different time standard with another gun. Here are some modifiers for the time standard:

  • If you draw from the holster, add a half second.
  • Every time you move back three yards, say from three to six or six to nine, add a half second.
  • Set the baseline time standard at the closest distance and build it as you move out from the target.
  • If you have trouble at a particular distance, don’t increase the time. Move closer and keep getting hits within the same time standard. Then move out again.
Larry Vickers Time Standard Drill two hands
Begin with two shots with both hands. (Vickers Tactical YouTube Channel)

Daniel says to not rush things. Be cognizant you’re on a timer but don’t get “slap happy” on the trigger. If you go too fast, it will get “real sloppy real quick.” You have to find the balance between time and good hits.

Larry Vickers Time Standard Drill strong hand
One shot with the strong hand. (Vickers Tactical YouTube Channel)

Larry echoes that sentiment. “In the real world, it’s all about hits,” he says. “Also in the real world, nobody’s gonna ever have to tell you to shoot faster. It’s about getting good hits at speed.” You have to push the speed, but you cannot sacrifice good hits to do it.

Larry Vickers’ Time Standard Drill weak hand
One shot with the weak hand to finish the drill. (Vickers Tactical YouTube Channel)

Larry cautions against increasing the time if you have trouble at a particular distance. Move in closer and get better with the same time. “That’s more reflective of what you’ll have to do in the real world.”

Larry Vickers’ Time Standard Drill all shots in the black
All shots should be in the black. Run the drill three times to get the average time. (Vickers Tactical YouTube Channel)

Do you think setting a time standard can help your performance in the drills you run? Let us know.


William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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