Saturday, July 21, 2012


I made it out to my sister's place where I have a makeshift 50yd pistol range. I test-fired my Para LTC with its Springfield arched mainspring housing and the transplant was successful. But instead of my usual kinda unstructured shooting, I decided to spend the day doing the F.A.S.T drill. The F.A.S.T. is, to my estimation, one of the simplest and most realistic drills you can do. Also, it's pretty economical since each string is only six rounds.

I cheated and shot a few warm-up strings with both my Para LTC and M&P9C. Then I got down to business. I did modify the drill for my 1911, and here's a full disclaimer. My holsters and go-faster gear for my 1911 somehow didn't make it to my new house with me, so I started from position Sol. Also, I have no mag pouches, so my four round magazines got tucked into my belt. I have five GI magazines (I threw away my Para 8rd mags because they were junk), so I loaded two mags with two rounds, and two with four. The fifth mag got the full 6 rounds, which I disbursed at maximum speed. Actually, they all got sent as fast as I could without losing control of the group. More on that topic later.

Here's strings 1-3 with my good 'ol .45:

I did ok, but my point of aim was a little low on the head shot segments. Strings 4-6 were largely the same, but with the POI improved. So I turned the speed up to 11 for my final three strings. 

I dropped one shot, but I'm happy with it overall. I was actually going FAST on this F.A.S.T. I had some more .45 ammo, but it was getting bloody hot out, so I put the 1911 away and got my M&P9C and put it in my N82 kydex holster, and got to work.
I wasn't counting on the light-recoiling 9mm to have so much muzzle flip! A quick adjustment to the nut behind the trigger, and I gave it another go. 

Adjustment complete, I decided to go faster. Note the two-in-one hole in the head

My final rounds weren't bad, and I was going like hell. However, I had to call it a day because a cloud of bees had come out of the field to sting me with great vengeance and furious anger. 

Here's the pic I accidentally took whilst being stung on the left ring finger and both shoulders. I then packed up and went home.

So I learned a few things. First, the 1911, despite its much larger round, was easier to control at full speed. All that weight serves it well for recoil control. Second, some of my GI mags are a little tight in the mag well and that makes reloading a pain. Third, my M&P is almost too easy to reload. That thing handles very fast, and despite its muzzle flip, it can run very fast and accurately. 

I also learned that the F.A.S.T. drill is fun and is a fantastic tool for practical shooting. To me, the drill can be used in two ways. First, it ties all the fundamentals together--accuracy, speed, reloading, and drawing. Second, it can be used as a simple tool to find your failure point. How fast is too fast? Well, give it a shot. I didn't push myself to failure today, though I had intended to. The sun and some angry bees convinced me to leave before I got to it. Maybe next weekend. 

Keep trying to get better and faster. As Daft Punk puts it "our work is never over". 


James said...

I do a variation of the FAST to push myself sometimes. I try not to know how many rounds are in my mags though (which can be hard, but shooting with someone else who wants to mess with your head helps.) That's really the one thing I don't like about FAST as a training tool, it involves a planned reload.

I just use the A/B head zone and A zone of a USPSA target to judge my hits and keep between 3 and 5 rounds in each mag.

If you've got some legal paper, you can print an "official" FAST target:

Al T. said...

I've run the FAST backwards (4 then 2) and run it at 15 yards with a RDS AR. As you note, it's just a super quick, simple and effective drill.

The Flatland Gun Nut said...

I'm going to do some FAST with my MP5-22 and Ciener 1911 tomorrow, provided I can recruit my niece to run the shot timer again. I'm anxious to see how fast I can FAST an MP5. And I will be wearing my IDPA "cheater vest" as concealment for my 1911.

I will have my niece load my mags with 2-5 rounds. That sounds like a capital idea. But with my Ciener magazines, I will probably be doing a lot of tap rack bang. Kimber 1911-22 mags are AWESOME. And half the price of the Cieners. And Ciener is a dick.