This week's Pistol Power Drill is another classic benchmark that will show you exactly what you need to work on. The Fundamentals, Accuracy, & Speed Test, also known as the FAST Drill was created by the late great Todd Luis Green. If you want to see how you will perform under stress, the FAST will give you all the stress you can handle.
How To Shoot The FAST Drill
The FAST Drill uses two targets, one 3"x5" index card, and an 8" paper plate. The index card simulates the head, and the plate simulates the chest. Although there is a purpose made FAST target, it requires 11"x14" paper, which isn't nearly as commonly used in household printers.
The shooter begins at seven yards, with pistol holstered, loaded with two rounds. At the buzzer, the shooter draws and fires two rounds into the index card. The gun should lock open, and the shooter performs a slide lock reload. Once the pistol is back into action, the shooter fires four rounds into the plate. After this, the drill is completed.
Par time for The FAST is done in tiers; 10+ seconds is Novice, under 10 seconds is Intermediate, under 7 seconds is Advanced, and under 5 seconds is Expert. Misses to the index card add two seconds to the time, and misses to the plate add one second. This drill is meant to be shot from concealment, however, if you shoot unconcealed using an open top holster, IE. Safariland ALS, a half second is added to your time. If you shoot using flap top holsters or magazine pouches, subtract half a second from your time. The list of those who've cleared The FAST Drill in under 5 seconds is quite small, but it gets bigger each year.
What Do You Need To Do The FAST Drill?
Planning for The FAST Drill, be sure to pack a good holster and magazine carrier, a shot timer, and your targets. I prefer to use index cards and paper plates for my targets, although, we'll have the printable 11"x14" paper target down below too. Make sure that your printer is capable of printing the target, or else you'll end up with a smaller, much harder FAST target. If you haven't already picked one up, the Pocket Pro II is still at a great price. It is a great tool for practice sessions, and you'll need it to accurately track your time.
Pistol Forum F.A.S.T. Target<---Make sure that you are using 11"x14" paper, scale to 100%
What Does The FAST Drill Do?
The FAST is exactly what it sets out to be; a test of fundamentals, accuracy, and speed. This drill rings most of the bells, such as draw stroke, grip, sight alignment, trigger press, reloading, and target transition. It also stresses your cadence, a topic that I've covered in the past.
For that first target, you need to have a fast draw and a strong grip. With your first two rounds being on a fairly small target, you've got to have solid sight alignment and a smooth trigger press. Any deviation can, and probably will lead to a miss.
With the second target, the reload is key. It absolutely has to be fast. Getting back on target, we can speed up for the last four rounds, as the target is considerably larger. Cadence comes into play too, as our seven-yard rate of fire changes as we transition between targets. The Baer Solutions Standards Drill is similar to The FAST but in a sort of reverse order. Both stress very important, similar skills.
The FAST Drill is Important
The FAST is an important drill, one that is near and dear to me. Back when I first got into practical pistol shooting, and real practice, the FAST was one of the first drills I was introduced to. I've had paper plates and index cards in my range bag since. The FAST never ceases to please, as there is always room for improvement with it. Get out to the range, and give this one a try!