The 10-8 Drill | Skills and Drills [2023]

10-8 Drill Featured Image

With getting into 1911s in 2023, the path lead me to the gurus. Guys like Bill Wilson, Ken Hackathorn, and Larry Vickers were 1911 gurus that I had already known, however, I became familiar with Hilton Yam of 10-8 Performance. I had used 10-8 iron sights in the past, but wasn't familiar with Hilton, or his 10-8 Performance Lab videos. Lo and behold, I find his channel, and on it, the 10-8 Drill. What is the 10-8 Drill, and how can we use it to improve as shooters?

What Is the 10-8 Drill?

The 10-8 Drill is a simple drill, that is speed and cadence focused. It is a 10 round drill, with an 8 second par time (10-8, nice). The targets we use are an 8" circle, and a 6" square. Personally, I tend to use what I already stock, so I tend to shoot B-8s and only count hits in the 8/9/10/X rings. For the 6" square, I have IPSC torso targets with 6" headboxes, so I shoot those too. However, you can print the targets right from Hilton's site here.

The course of fire is not hard to remember; It's 10 rounds, split between 2 magazines loaded with 5 rounds each. We begin with our pistol loaded and holstered, and our spare mag in our carrier. We begin at either 7 or 10 yards distance from the target, with 7 being the "basic" distance, and 10 being "advanced". On timer beep, we draw, and fire 5 rounds into the 8" circle target. Our gun will go to slidelock, and we perform a reload. After the gun is ammoed up, we then shoot 5 rounds into the 6" square target. The course of fire over at this point.

Passing conditions are that all of our rounds land within the scoring zones, and that we are under par. This drill needs to be shot clean.

10-8 Drill GIF

It's not a complicated drill, but it is one that asks you to be quick and accurate. What's the TL;DR of the drill?

The Quick Rundown


  • Targets: 8" circle, 6" headbox square.
  • Distance: 7 or 10 yards, shooter chooses.
  • Start Position: Shooting begins with the gun holstered and loaded, with hands at side.
  • Round Count & String of Fire: 10 rounds total fired. Shooter has 2 magazines, each loaded with 5 rounds.
  • Par Time: 8 seconds.
  • Passing Condition: All rounds land in respective scoring areas, and shooter completes course of fire under par time.
  • Course of Fire: Shooter begins with gun holstered, loaded with 5 rounds. On beep, shooter draws, and shoots into the 8" circle target. Shooter will perform a slide lock reload when the gun runs empty, and then engage the 6" headbox with 5 rounds. Course of fire is over once shooter has fired all 10 rounds.

An example of a recent 10-8 Drill:

What Skills Does the 10-8 Drill Stress?

The 10-8 Drill stresses the following skills:

  • A good draw, with solid presentation
  • Accurate, fast hits that require application of the 3 fundamentals of handgun shooting
  • Reloading quickly, and correctly
  • Target transition
  • More accurate, fast hits, but on a smaller target

Like many drills that are short par but we begin with the gun holstered, we have to have a good draw. It needs to be quick, precise, and have a good presentation. A bad draw will slow you down, and will likely hurt your presentation. Whether you are shooting from a duty holster or from concealment, you've gotta have a good draw.

With the tight par time, our shots have to be fast. 8 Seconds to draw, shoot 5, reload, and shoot 5 more is tight. While speed is critical, so is accuracy. This drill has a little bit of a more open accuracy standard, but you still need to get clean hits. Your grip, sight alignment, and trigger press need to be "good enough" here.

The reload. It's gotta be fast and correct. Much like the Devil Drill, a reload under time is where you will find what works, and what doesn't. Maybe you need to have a different mag carrier, or your cover garment makes it hard to retrieve a mag. Possibly, your gun's magwell is hard to reload quickly, maybe something like a very square 1911 magwell. Or, and hear me out, maybe you just aren't good at reloading under time. Regardless, the timed reload is hard, but that's what is great about the 10-8 Drill.

10-8 Drill Targets
A draw, quick and accurate fire, a reload, and more precise shooting. What's not to like?

After the reload, we have to transition to a smaller target, and engage it. The next 5 rounds need to be fast, but still accurate, as the target is even smaller. Our fundamentals need to be on point to clean the target, and do it under par.

What I Like About the 10-8 Drill

I've been working on shooting faster while maintaining accuracy, which has lead me to drills like this one, and the Devil Drill. Both drills require speed, accuracy, and good manipulations, which are all factors I love. This is also a relatively low round count drill, which I always dig.

Shooting fast is something that anyone can do. However, shooting fast while getting hits is not easy. In this drill, we've got to do both, all the while factoring in a draw, and a reload. I began my serious shooting with drills that are generally a single course of fire, with just shooting into a single target. However, I've grown to appreciate drills that add in factors like drawing, reloads, movement, or target transitions. I also dig drills with tight par times, as those really push you to your limits. This drill has that tight par, a drawstroke, a reload, a target transition, and a decent accuracy standard. Those elements join together to make an excellent drill.

I'd recommend this drill to any shooters that are mid-level and up. This isn't an easy drill, but it's not rocket science either. Oh, and if you shoot it, be sure to tag 10-8 Performance on YouTube too, I'm sure Hilton would appreciate it.

Other Shooting Drills & Additional Info

Check out our other shooting drills  >>>here<<<.

For specific drills that I enjoy, check out the "Devil Drill" and the "FAST". These two drills are also fairly low round count, but work your skills quite well.

Here's another 10-8 Drill that I shot:

About Paul Whaley 196 Articles
Paul Whaley is a guy with an interest in practical and defensive pistol shooting techniques with an eye for quality gear. He has received training from Holistic Solutions Group, John Johnston of Citizens Defense Research, Darryl Bolke, Cecil Birch, and Chuck Haggard. When not trying to become a better shooter, he can be found enjoying a Resident Evil game or listening to Warren Zevon.

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