The “El Presidente Drill” is a classic shooting exercise that tests your speed, accuracy, and target transitions. This drill is commonly used to evaluate a shooter’s proficiency in competition and self-defense scenarios. Here’s how to perform the El Presidente Drill:

El Presidente Drill:

  1. Begin standing ten yards away from three targets, positioned side by side (left, center, and right).

  2. The targets should have clearly defined vital areas, typically represented by scoring zones like A, B, and C.

  3. Start with your handgun holstered, facing away from the targets, and your hands raised.

  4. On the signal to begin, simultaneously turn and draw your handgun from the holster.

  5. Fire two shots into each of the vital areas (A, B, or C) of the left, center, and right targets.

  6. The order you engage the targets is typically left to right, but it may vary based on preference.

  7. After firing your initial six shots, perform a reload if necessary. Ensure that your handgun is back in battery (fully loaded and ready to fire).

  8. Transition back to the right, center, and left targets, and fire two shots into the vital areas (A, B, or C) of each target again. This sequence is essentially a mirror image of the first engagement.

  9. Aim to fire all 12 shots accurately within a time frame of 9-12 seconds. The goal is to balance speed and accuracy.


Here are some additional tips and considerations for the El Presidente Drill:

  • Safety: Always prioritize firearm safety. Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction, keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire, and follow all safety rules.

  • Training: Seek professional training and supervision when practicing this drill, especially if you are new to it.

  • Accuracy: Focus on accurate shot placement on each target. Speed is important, but hitting vital areas is crucial.

  • Reload Technique: If you need to perform a reload, practice your reload technique to ensure it’s smooth and efficient.

  • Time Management: Work on improving your speed while maintaining accuracy. Strive to complete the drill within the specified time frame.

  • Target Identification: Ensure you are engaging the correct vital areas on each target. Target discrimination is essential in real-life scenarios.

  • Ammunition: Ensure you have enough rounds available to complete the drill.

  • Range Rules: Follow the specific range rules and guidelines of the facility where you are practicing.


The El Presidente Drill is a challenging exercise that helps develop essential skills for handling multiple threats quickly and accurately.

As with any firearm drill, responsible firearm handling, safety, and training are essential.