The LMS Defense Benchmark Drill has been described by Lead Instructor Josh Jackson as the result of “locking all of our instructors at the time in a room for a day, and not letting them out until they figured out a course of fire that would: address core shooting skills, be accomplished with minimal round count, and provide data points that could be tracked for future improvement.”
The Benchmark Drill is comprised of three courses of fire using a total of (10) rounds, which can be shot either with a handgun (at 7 yards) or rifle (at 15 yards).
It is meant to provide a shooter with the following:
– (3) presentation/draw reps
– (1) emergency reload
– (3) target transitions
– (3) controlled pairs
– (2) headshots
Each course of fire also gives data points that can be recorded and tracked for improvement: Three first round split times from the holster or the low ready (carbine), one emergency reload split time and one multiple-target engagement overall time.
2 x USPSA target with chest A-zone divided in two (upper half is scoring zone), 1yd lateral spacing
Distance: 7 yards (handgun) / 15 yards (carbine)
(1) round in chamber
(1) round in starter magazine
(8) rounds in spare magazine
TOTAL: (10) rounds
Course of Fire
String 1: Single Shot Presentation
The first course of fire is a single-shot draw, from the holster, to the upper chest scoring zone. This gives a first-round split data point.
String 2: 1-Reload-2
The second course of fire begins with another single-shot draw, followed by emergency reload, then an additional (2) rounds to followup – all to the upper chest scoring zone.
String 3: Box Drill
The third course of fire consists of a box drill. From the draw, the shooter begins with (2) rounds in the upper chest scoring zone on target #1, transitions to the upper chest scoring zone target #2 for an additional (2) rounds, then transition to a head shot on target #2 followed by a head shot on target #1. Heads shots being to the credit card sized head box.
According to Josh,
“All three courses of fire provide a first round split time; the second, the reload split time and a follow-up shot, with the third round for consistency of follow through; and the final course of fire, multiple target engagement and target-to-target transitions.
Rapid, accurate first-round hits, keeping the gun up and running (reloads) and multiple target engagements are key aspects of weapons handling and this drill addresses all of them. The data points provide a benchmark for your performance, hence, ‘The Benchmark Drill.’”
This simple shooting test fills a few roles – first and foremost, as Josh mentions, it serves as a “blank slate” metric that shooters can use to track their performance over time. As such, there are no designated par times for this drill. It can also work as a warmup prior to range sessions, as it provides reps for fundamental gunhandling and marksmanship. Lastly, I use the LMS Benchmark when shooting with people for the first time – this allows me to see what the group’s skill level is at, and tailor the content/goals of the range session accordingly.
Give the LMS Benchmark Drill a shot the next time you’re on the line and let us know how it works out for you. Don’t forget to record your time and misses per each string – be sure to tag us and let us know how you did on Instagram at @wgw_blog and down below in the comments!
WGW Blog Staff Times/Misses
Here are the last recorded Benchmark Drill scores of some of our staff members:
Single Shot Presentation: 1.73 clean
1-Reload-2: 5.56 clean
Box Drill: 4.89, (2) misses
Total: 12.18 overall, (2) misses
Single Shot Presentation: 2.53 clean
1-Reload-2: 6.15, (1) miss
Box Drill: 5.28, (1) misses
Total: 13.96, (2) misses
Single Shot Presentation: 2.02, (1) miss
1-Reload-2: 6.52 clean
Box Drill: 7.11, (2) misses
Total: 15.65, (3) misses