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NRL .22 dot drills

BY: Mike Millikan

            Many shooters are looking forward to shooting the upcoming NRL 22 competitions that will be kicking off next month. Most of the shooters have been questioning which scope is going to give me the edge, what rifle shoots the flattest, or what ammo shoots the tightest group. All of these are questions worth pondering, but there is no miracle answer. When it comes down to it, shooting is the only way to improve accuracy and be ready for these coming competitions.
Sure some ammunition is better than others, but every brand shoots differently out of every rifle. A scope with an adjustable objective is a must, but as long as the scope tracks and holds zero, the shooter should be ready. A ballistic calculator will help turn any shooter into a marksman, as long as the shooter uses the proper fundamental principles of marksmanship.

I have come up with a drill using 50 rounds to help shooters get ready for competition. This drill is a modified dot drill game that incorporates the target transitions, multiple range target acquisitions, and timed shooting strings. The shooter will need 100 yards in a safe shooting distance to complete this drill

I placed target spots on cardboard silhouette targets to make multiple engagement targets for different distances. A shooter could use anything available and build a set of targets themselves. Pizza boxes and masking tape make great targets, as well as plain paper and a sharpie. I used five 1 inch target spots, five ½ inch targets spots, and one 3 inch spot to complete a 25 yard target. For the 50 yard target I place a column of targets, 1 inch, 2 inches, 3 inches, and 6 inches. I then placed six ¼ quarter inch targets around the column. Also placing a 3 inch target at the bottom. On the 75 yard target I placed five 2 inch targets around the target, made a group of five 3 inch targets, with one 3 inch target at the bottom. The 100 yard target has five 6 inch targets arranged around a column of five 3 inch targets, while placing two 3 inch targets at the bottom corners.

This drill will be divided into 5 one minute strings, using 10 shots per string.

STRING 1: Engage the 25 yard targets using 1 round for each 1 inch and ½ inch target spot. Do not shoot the 3 inch target spot at the bottom.

STRING 2: Engage the 50 yard targets using 1 round for each target. Shoot targets from large to small. Do not shoot the 3 inch target spot at the bottom.

STRING 3: Engage the 75 yard targets using 1 round for each target. Shoot the five 3 inch targets spots first, and then shoot the five 2 inch target spots. Do not shoot the 3 inch target spot at the bottom.

STRING 4: Engage the 100 yard targets using 1 round for each target. Shoot the five 6 inch target spots, followed by the column of five 3 inch target spots. Do not shoot the 3 inch target spot at the bottom.

STRING 5: Engage the 3 inch target spots remaining on the targets using 2 rounds for each target. Shoot the targets with one round in order from 25 to 100 yards, and then back from 100 to 25 yards.


As a shooter score yourself from 0 to 100. Take away 2 points for every target spot miss. If you run out of time during a string, count the remaining targets as a miss. Be hard on yourself as a shooter, but do not get discouraged, this way you can strive to improve. If you shoot this drill 100%, make it tougher on yourself by either making the targets smaller, or by decreasing the amount of time per string. By regularly training on this drill a shooter could be well on his way to a National Rifle League .22 championship.

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