D-043 The 3M Test Drill (5 pack) by Tom Givens


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Drill Stories & Insights

3M Test by Tom Givens, Rangemaster (Feb 2017)

The 3M Test

  • Marksmanship/Movement/Manipulations
  • Pass/Fail or Modified for Comstock Count Scoring

For many years, Larry Nichols was the Rangemaster of the Burbank, California, police department. He devised the original, simpler version of this drill. He showed it to John Farnam probably 30 years ago, and John modified it to fit his curriculum. John showed his version to me 20 years ago, and I made changes to fit my curriculum. This is the version we currently use.

This drill tests movement off the line of force, a rapid presentation from concealment, accurate placement of multiple fast shots, a malfunction remedy, a precise head shot, and an empty gun reload, all under time pressure. It only requires 10 rounds, one target, and a timer or stopwatch to test/measure all of these skills.

Drill Instructions Below

One silhouette target, at 5 yards. For our purposes, we will use an RFTS-Q, scored 5/3 or a VSRT, scored 5,4,3 or an IDPA target, scored 5/3/0 for the Comstock Count version. If pass/fail scoring, only the highest value hit zone counts.

Shooter starts with handgun loaded with 6 live rounds (1 in chamber, 5 in magazine) and one dummy round in the magazine. Dummy is not the top round nor the bottom round in the magazine. Someone else should load the magazine so the shooter does not know where in the magazine the dummy round lies.

Shooter starts holstered, hands in interview stance. On signal, side step, draw, and fire until a malfunction occurs. On the malfunction, side step, fix it, and continue to fire. When the gun runs empty, side step, perform an emergency reload, and fire 3 additional shots to the chest, then 1 shot to the head.

Shooter must  move on the draw, move on the malfunction, and move on the reload.  There will be a ten point penalty for any shot that misses the target, on Comstock. If pass/fail, any round outside the highest value zone is a failure.

Comstock Count Scoring:

  • Possible score = 45 points. Points divided by time = Index. Index X 30 = Score.
  • Example:  42 points, fired in 12.15 seconds = 3.46
  • 3.46 X 30= 103.8     Score = 103.8
  • Par Score = 100
  • Anything over 100 is very good work. Anything over 125 is extremely high skill.

On Pass/Fail scoring, shooter fails if he-

  •   Does not move on the draw, the malfunction, and the reload
  •   Does not tap the magazine before running the slide on the malfunction
  •   Places a single hit outside the highest scoring zone on the target.
  •   Time limit is 15 seconds for a Combative Pistol student, 12 seconds for instructors.

Additional information

Weight .05 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × .04 in
Card Type

Drill Cards

Range Compatible

Absolute Accuracy Rating

Shooting Distance

Rounds Required

Drill Scoring Method

Shooter Movement

Mobile shooter


Additional Elements



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