Today we will consider the 40/20/25 Shooting Drill.  What is it and from where did it originate? Professor Paul will discuss in detail the value of training to shoot at distances beyond what is considered to be “average”.  

Do you have the skill and confidence to stop a deadly threat from a distance? What is the best course of action when dealing with a mass killer?

Full Transcript

Hey there, folks. Paul Markel with Student of the Gun. And I'm out on the range doing God's work today, and I just engaged in what we're calling the 40/20/25 drill. You're like, what the heck is that's?

But from what I know about that young man, it seems that he's a humble individual, and he probably wouldn't want a drill named after him. Now, 40 25 stands for 40 yards. 20 yards, 25ft. And for those of you who aren't aware, a young man was eating in a mall with his girlfriend in Greenwood, Indiana, and a lunatic decided that they were going to engage in a killing spree and came out of the men's room with a rifle and opened fire indiscriminately on people in the mall.

Well, Eli was carrying a gun, and he jumped up. And rather than run away or hide or say, well, he's far away and he doesn't see me, he actually did what you should do, what a good citizen does, and he engaged the bad guy. And that's what we've been talking about for years.

James has been talking about it. Farnham's been talking about it. Hackthorn's been talking about it. We've been talking about it. If you ever find yourself in a situation where there's an active shooter, a mass killer, what you need to do as an armed citizen is distract them from their innocent victims.

You need to turn their attention away from slaughtering innocent, unarmed people to you. And how do you turn their attention away from slaughtering the innocent? Well, you put bullets into them. That's what you do. And that's what he did. And he was 40 yards away when he ran up and stabilized himself.

According to the news stories, he stabilized himself on a trash can and fired four shots at the bad guy. And the bad guy moved around and was looking. Where'd that come from? But he wasn't done. So Eli ran from 40 yard cover, he ran to 20 yard cover, and he fired four more shots.

And then the dude went down, but he was still wiggling around, trying to get away, and he had his rifle. And so Eli left cover at 20, ran up to 25ft away or eight yards or so, and the bad guy was still wiggling, moving, trying to get away with his rifle.

So he shot him two more times. He fired two more rounds. Out of the ten shots that were fired, eight of them hit the bad guy. It's pretty darn good, especially when he started at 40 yards. So. And the forensics guys, they all believe that of the first four shots, two made impacts, right?

But let's just he got eight out of ten. That is admirable. He's got adrenaline dumping. He starts at 40 yards away. He's got a bad guy with a rifle trying to kill people. Did a fantastic job. So what I did is I like, okay, we'll do 40 25. I set up a silhouette, target it with a piece of paper on it so we could easily count the holes.

And I used my carry Glock. This is a Glock 48. And I used the carry ammo. The carry ammo is Black Hills Honey badger,

for those of you that don't believe me. Black Hills honey badger. Ammo. I was wearing my prescription glasses, my normal glasses, my trifocals, because that's probably what I'm going to be wearing. And I substituted the trash can for the hood of the truck. So I stabilize. First four shots, you get to stabilize yourself at 40 yards.

Second four shots, you're using cover, but no stability. And then the last two shots need to be taken from 25ft away, eight yards or so. And the score is you got to get eight out of ten somewhere on the body. Now, people are like, well, what about the X rings?

Here's the deal. When you're dealing with a mass killer, a psychotic person who's trying to or terrorists, whatever, slaughter the innocent, the most important thing is to take their attention off of killing innocent people and put it on you. And generally, if you put bullets into their body, it'll do that.

So the 40 2025 drill, I did that. I ran through it twice, and I got all 20 rounds on there. I'm not going to lie to you. They weren't all like this. They were spread out around the torso, but I didn't miss. I got 20 out of 20. So if you're looking for a drill or if you're looking for some freaking training, you might go to the range and you might try this and realize that you got four or five out of ten, and you're thinking, oh, I need a little bit more skill.

Well, if you're looking for some skill, come join us for training for the Marshall application of the pistol class. Or just go to and sign up for one of our upcoming training classes. As easy as that. All right, ladies and gentlemen, I am Paul Markle with student of the Gun.

Remember, you're a beginner once, a student for life.
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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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