I frequently watch the Wilson Combat YouTube channel. The channel is host to a ton of useful information from subject matter experts, and there are various video series that cover specific topics. While watching the Master Class series, I stumbled upon the Wilson Combat Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency Drill. I started shooting this drill, and became a big fan of it. What is the drill, and what skills do you work when you shoot it?
What Is the Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency Drill?
The Wilson Combat Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency Drill (CHP) is a drill created by Bill Wilson. Bill states that this is the best drill he's ever made, as it combines a whole lot of actions, but with a low round count. The drill is a little complicated to explain, so I've got an image to help show the course of fire. We'll be using T1/T2/T3 to identify our targets.
For the CHP, we've got three IDPA targets downrange. We've got two targets (T1 & T2) that are 12 yards away from each shooting position, with 12 feet of space between them. At the centerline point between those targets, we've got a third IDPA target (T3) set at 7 yards away from our line of fire. We have two shooting positions that are roughly lined up on each of the back targets, with 10 feet between them. The CHP is a 14 round drill, and requires at least 9mm caliber handgun, a holster, and a spare magazine carrier.
Shooter begins with their gun loaded to between 8 and 13 rounds, with a spare magazine on their person. Shooter begins with the gun holstered, hands at their sides, at Position 1. On start command, shooter draws, and fires 3 rounds into T1 & T2. Once 6 rounds are fired, shooter begins moving to Position 2, and engages T3 while moving. When shooter arrives at position 2, they then shoot two rounds to the chest, and one to the head on T2 and T1. Shooter should run out of ammo sometime after moving, and will need to do a slide lock reload. Once shooter has reloaded and finished engaging the targets, the drill is over.
Scoring and Time
Scoring is normal IDPA point score. Missed hits add either 1 or 3 seconds for body shots, and headshot misses add 1 second for a miss on paper, and 3 seconds for a total miss. Our score is raw time plus or minus time from hits.
This drill does not have a par time, but rather, ranges of par times. Under 18 seconds is Advanced, 18.01-28.99 is Proficient, and 29.00 and above is Novice. I'd say that the shooter should strive for a clean score, and then work on getting faster with repetitions over time.
Wilson Combat has a handy PDF file that explains the drill too, available here.
While it's a pretty complicated drill to explain, actually shooting it isn't too brainpower intensive. What's the TL;DR?
The Quick Rundown
THE COMPREHENSIVE HANDGUN PROFICIENCY DRILL
- Targets: Standard IDPA target. Targets are labeled as T1, T2, and T3.
- Distance: Furthest IDPA targets (T1 & T2) are at 12 yards from each shooting position, and the closest (T3) is at 7 yards. T1 & T2 are 12 feet away from each other, with T3 in the middle of T1 & T2.
- Start Position: Shooting begins with the gun holstered and loaded, with hands at side. There are two shooting positions, labeled P1 & P2. Shooter begins at P1, and moves to P2 during the course of fire.
- Round Count & String of Fire: 14 rounds total fired. Shooter has 2 magazines, one in the loaded with 8 to 13 rounds, and one with enough rounds to finish the course of fire.
- Par Time & Scoring: Scoring is standard IDPA scoring, with time losses tied to points down. Scoring with time is a such:
- Under 18 seconds: Advanced
- 18.01-29.00 Seconds: Proficient
- Over 29.00 Seconds: Novice
- Course of Fire: Shooter begins with gun holstered, loaded with 8 to 13 rounds. Start position is at P1, with hands at side. On beep, shooter draws, and fires 3 rounds each into T1 and T2. Shooter then begins moving to P2, while engaging T3 with 2 rounds. When shooter reaches P2, shooter engages T2 and T1 with 2 rounds to the chest, and one to the head on each target. Shooter to perform a slide lock reload when necessary during the course of fire. Course of fire is over once shooter has fired all 14 rounds.
Here's an example of a recent Wilson Combat CHP I shot:
What Skills Does the Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency Drill Stress?
The Wilson Combat CHP Drill stresses the following skills:
- A good draw, with solid presentation
- Accurate, fast hits that require application of the 3 fundamentals of handgun shooting
- Target transition
- Shooting while on the move
- Target acquisition after moving
- Emergency reloading without known when the gun will run dry
- Accurate shooting after an emergency reload, on smaller targets
A major part in many drills, we need to have a good draw to start it off. Your drawstroke and presentation will make or break the quality of your first round fired, so it has to be good.
When we begin shooting from the first position, we need to have good, accurate hits. Our targets are not close, but aren't super far either. However, you will not get the hits you need unless you are exercising the 3 fundamentals of handgun shooting (grip, sight alignment, trigger press).
With the course of fire, we are shooting from varying distances, and need to transition between targets. We want to make sure that we aren't overshooting the target, either wasting time or missing shots.
Lateral movement with a gun can be hard, but making shots while moving laterally is harder. You'll have to crank up the brainpower to make sure you hit the target on the move, even when it is only 7 yards away.
Once we hit our second shooting position, we need to reacquire the target, and engage it again. Factor in an emergency reload, and you've got the makings for an excellent drill.
We've got a lot of skills that we are working with the Wilson CHP. For 14 rounds handgun rounds, we are certainly getting our money's worth.
What I Like About the Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency Drill
Bill Wilson himself describes the CHP has the best drill he's made, and I'd agree. This drill packs a ton of skill building reps into 14 rounds.
We've got a drawstroke and presentation, accurate fire at medium distance, shooting on the move, reacquiring targets after moving, emergency reloading, and acquiring targets after reloading. I think we've nearly covered every part of handgun shooting in this drill, aside from retention shooting or one handed shooting.
This drill stresses your skills well, and that is amazing. However, it also stresses your gear a bit too. Shooting this drill, you'll really find out if your holster or mag carrier work for you, or how hard it is to clear cover garments multiple times. You'll really be getting your cent-per-round worth out of this drill.
While not an official thing, I've also found the CHP to be enjoyable to shoot with a revolver. I modified the drill to 12 rounds for this, knocking one hit each off of the first two targets. While I don't have a specific time to give as a proficiency rating, I had a blast shooting the drill with my Smith Model 15. You'll be slower, but you'll likely feel very accomplished after you try the drill this way.
Overall, the Wilson Combat CHP has been one of the best drills I think I've shot. You cover a ton of skills with it, and it's not too hard to setup. For some shooters with limited range flexibility, this drill may be harder to do, however, I think it is worth your time.
A Slight Goof
So, before we closeout, I wanted to touch on something for the CHP drill. When I initially found the CHP drill via the Wilson Combat YouTube channel, I just used that video as my basis for shooting the drill. My first outing attempting the drill was extremely hard. I'm a pretty good shooter, but getting to Advanced time took me a handful of attempts.
Well, I thought that the drill was really f*cuking intense after my first outing. I wound up double checking Wilson's website, where I found the aforementioned PDF file of the drill. Lo and behold, I found that I had shot the CHP incorrectly, as the video on the Wilson YouTube channel has the wrong unit of measurements on it. The video stated that the 12 yard targets were 12 yards apart from each other, not 12 feet. Needless to say, this makes the drill much, much harder.
At the time of writing this article, I've already reached out to WC to let them know about the error. They thanked me for noticing it, and said that they'd pass the info along to the social media team.
My point in mentioning this is as an example. If something looks harder than it should be, it might be incorrect. That being said, the "hard mode" version of the drill was still enjoyable to shoot too.
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 "9-In-9 Skill Drill". These two drills are also fairly low round count, but work your skills quite well. If you'd like to see another drill that Bill Wilson made, check out the "Bill Drill" article from way back in 2018.
Here's a playlist of all of the WC CHP Drills I've shot so far:
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