Range Drills: Notecard & Paper Plate Circles

We know that sometimes you get to the range and don’t really have a good plan, however, that is a recipe for failure. To help you structure your practice, here are a couple of simple drills you can do with cheap household items: a 3×5 notecard and a normal size (7-9″) paper plate. Or, scroll down to download a .pdf target we made just for these drills!

Notecard Drill

Distance: 3-5-7-10-15 yards
Target: 3×5 notecard
Start position: Low ready
Rounds fired: 6 at each distance

This drill helps you get an idea of how much your sight picture can move and still be on the target at different distances. Start at 3 yards and fire six rounds at the card at your own pace for maximum accuracy.  Once you get all six shots to hit the card, increase to the next distance and repeat.

To make the drill more challenging, try running the drill freestyle (usually 2 hands), strong-hand only, and weak-hand only at each distance. Another option is to add in a shot-timer and try 6 shots in 6 seconds or faster.

Paper Plate Circles

Distance: 7 yards
Target: Paper plate with 5 2″ circles drawn at center and 12/3/6/9 o’clock. Number the circles 1-5, starting at 12 o’clock with #1 then around clockwise and to the middle.
Start position: Low ready
Rounds fired: 5 shots, reload, 5 shots for a total of 10 shots.

This drill helps you learn to acquire your sights when moving to different targets and during the “stress” of a slide-lock reload.

Load 5 rounds into 2 magazines. Shoot each small circle sequentially 1-5, perform a slide-lock reload, and then shoot each small circle in reverse order from 5 back to 1.

To make it more challenging, try running the drill with strong hand only, weak hand only, use a shot-timer, or increase the distance.

Click the link to download andnotecard & plate target print a .pdf version of the target


Training with firearms is an inherently dangerous activity. Be sure to follow all safety protocols when using firearms or practicing these drills. These drills are provided for information purposes only. Use at your own risk.