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A Range PT Drill: “Let’s Play Commando!”

August 10, 2021

An older training drill we like to run on my home range. I post training drills like this, regularly, on Patreon. If you’re not subscribing, it’ll help give you an idea of what you’re missing out on. –JM


This is a Range PT drill. We got a new neighbor recently, and as we were getting introduced, he mentioned that he’s a powerlifter, and has competed in Strongman competition. We started comparing notes on home gyms, and he offered me an extra Atlas Stone that he had. It’s a little 150# stone, but it was perfect for some of the Range PT stuff we do, so I accepted, and almost immediately came up with a Range PT drill built around it.

One of the issues with Range PT is building drills that replicate the energy systems demands of actual operational requirements, rather than just turning them into “smoke sessions” that are more punitive than educational. This one does a pretty fair job of being educational/developmental.

One of the things the inexperienced often overlook is the requirement to actually commute to work (the fight), before you get to start doing the cool guy stuff like shooting bad dudes in the face. Often, this commute will be simply patrolling to an ORP, and then conducting final preparations for the assault, but many times—especially in recent years—they have involved things like long foot-mobile insertions, from off-set landing zones or laager points, and often those movements will be under load (at a minimum fighting load and assault pack. Often with other loads incorporated). Sometimes, once you get to the objective, the mission requires physically strenuous activities like physically breaching a wall or door, BEFORE you even get onto the objective and start the face-shooting.

This drill is run for 3x, with one minute of rest in between rounds. Target is either an A-Zone steel at 50 yards, or an IPSC/IDPA silhouette at 50 yards, with anything except Alphas counted as misses. I’ve only run it a couple times so far, so I don’t have an established par time yet, but the standard so far is “0 misses,” and run it as fast as possible.

Start with a 100yd stone carry (if you don’t have an Atlas Stone, a sandbag or duffel bag, loaded to 100-150# would make an acceptable alternate). You’re basically coming up with something big, heavy, and awkward to carry. Carry it to the 50 yard line and back. Immediately do 5x tire flips. Our tire is between 350-400#, but any large tractor tire over 250# would work. If you don’t have a tire, substitute 5x burpees instead. Then, run 100 yards (to the 50 and back). Immediately upon crossing the line, you have 5 seconds to “Make Ready” by unslinging your rifle and making sure it’s ready to go to work.

On the signal to begin, shoot the “D-Drill.” This is 5 shots each from standing, kneeling, and prone, at 50 yards, with a mandatory emergency reload somewhere in there (set it up with a 10rd and a 5rd magazine, and let your buddy load the rifle at the beginning of each round). Generally, on the D-Drill, 20 seconds, with zero misses is considered par, with anything less than 15 seconds considered an “expert” run.

As it stands now, my performance criteria for this drill is “you have to continue moving at all times, with no stops. You cannot set the stone down, and you have to ‘run’ the entire run portion (‘running’ is delineated from walking by the fact that at a run, only one foot can be in contact with the ground at any time, whereas in a walk, both feet will be on the ground at the same time). You might run slow, but you have to be running. Finally, a 25-30 second par for the D-Drill portion, because you’re going to be smoked when you get to the shooting portion, after doing a 200 yard insertion, carrying a load for half of it, and then having to “breach” a wall manually….

Good hunting!

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