Named for John Farnam, this is probably the best general purpose defensive shooting drill that I have seen. This is a good benchmark for measuring your shooting performance and progress. You will need some inert/dummy cartridges, at least two magazines, and a shot timer. The total round count for this drills is eight live rounds and one dummy round. The setup is as follows.
In the Gun:
- 1 live round in the chamber.
- 5 live rounds in the magazine. (Some sources say 4 live rounds.)
- 1 dummy round in the magazine. (Not the first or last round.
In the Reload:
- At least three live rounds.
The drill is shot as follows:
- On the buzzer draw and start shooting.
- Perform immediate action when you encounter a malfunction.
- Speed reload when you reach slide lock
- Shoot twice more.
If you followed the directions correctly you will end up with two empty magazines (one on the ground, one in the gun) and one live round in the chamber.
The “standard” is shooting a 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper at 8 meters with a disqualification for a miss. Farnam expects his students to complete this in 18.25 seconds and his instructors to complete it in 12 seconds.
Now for the “modified” part of the drill:
- Add one second to your total time for each miss. This allows you to capture your progress. It’s not perfect but it is kind of helpful to see improvements.
- Change the distance. Both closer and farther away.
- Reduce the size of the target.
- Add a step of movement on the draw, immediate action, and reload.
- Add verbal commands throughout the drill.
The people that seem to have the best success at this drill are the ones with the most efficient gun handling. Being able to quickly and precisely clear the malfunction and speed reload will give you more time to get your hits.