Combat pistol shooting is a modern martial art that focuses on the use of a handgun as a defensive weapon. Like a lot of modern martial arts, it is practiced for self-defense, but it is also practiced in various different places as a sport in the form of practical shooting: a set of shoot sports that are governed in the United States by the United States Practical Shooting Association. British Commandos were some of the first to publish information on combat pistol shooting through a book called Shooting To Live With The One-Hand Gun. The book was published back in 1942 during the Second World War with the book being given out among combatants and to members of the civilian population. These techniques ended up getting adopted for training by the American Office of Strategic Services troops, helping US troops learn how to use their pistols in various different ways for self-defense.
When it comes to combat pistols as a martial art, there are a bunch of different drills that people can practice. One of the combat pistol drills is the El Presidente drill which was developed by Jeff Cooper in the 1970s. He had the drill published in the January/February 1979 issue of American Handgunner magazine. According to the book The Gun Digest Book Of The 1911: A Complete Look At The Use, Care & Repair of the 1911 Pistol, this particular combat pistol drill is used by many as a benchmark to gauge a shooter's skills and ability to quickly draw. The drill works in this particular manner:
- Three silhouette targets are set up 1 meter apart in a line 10 meters in distance from the shooter.
- The shooter starts with six rounds in a holstered handgun and a spare magazine with another six rounds.
- The shooter begins facing directly away from the targets, often with hands clasped in front or over the head.
- Upon the starting signal, the shooter turns and draws, fires two shots at each target, reloads, and then fires two more shots at each target as quickly as possible
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