The Bowling Pin Drill

bowling pin

During range time for my concealed carry class I was introduced to a fun shooting drill using bowling pins.


The instructor set up 3 bowling pins on a board about two feet off the ground. The pins were separated by about 2 feet and we stood 10 feet from the line.


The object of the “game” was to see how fast we could knock down all 3 pins without missing. 3 for 3. To add to the mix, we were competing with the rest of the class for the lowest time, so there was a little pressure.

The Instructor had a timer that would make a beep when he started the time and we were to begin. He would then stop the clock on our 3rd shot.

Some people were shooting .22 LR. They only had to make each pin move. Those of us firing centerfire ammunition had to completely knock down the pins.

Not my Best Event

I must confess up front that I didn’t do very well at this drill. I was discovering a flaw in my trigger mechanics for the .380 and was missing badly. This is actually where one of the class instructors was able to spot my problem and fix it. Only on my last round was I able to hit 2 of 3, but that was a huge improvement from zippo.

I would like to try the Glock at this sometime in the near future. I think I could do a lot better. Would’a, should’a, could’a.

Because I was doing so horribly for this drill, I was only able to watch others succeed. But I did pick up some good pointers for myself.

Learning Tool

The main thing we learned through this drill was making sure our target was in our sights. As people were trying to quickly move from one pin to the next, they would pass by the target and miss. We had to go slow enough to hit, but fast enough to win.

It was obvious when people were rushing because they would miss, usually on their second shot.


The people with the rimfires were actually doing quite well. In fact the top 2 times were .22’s, and they were completely knocking the pins down.

I think this may have had to do with a couple of factors. The rimfire pistols were lighter in weight and so they were less difficult to control. The recoil was also much easier to handle on the .22’s, so the  quick follow up shots were a breeze.

All in all this drill was a good time for everyone, even me. I recommend trying it yourself.


Do you have any fun shooting drills?

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