Rifle Drill: ‘Friends, Not Friends’ (aka Engaging Multiple Targets from a Vehicle)

Authors Basic Skills Columns Competition Gunfight Science Ivan Loomis Shoot Better
Rifle Drill: 'Friends, Not Friends' (aka Engaging Multiple Targets from a Vehicle)

Some simple tools for some good training.

Sometimes your friends turn out to not be friends. While deployed overseas as a security contractor I ended up coming up with this rifle drill. The premise of it was derived from the daily task of checking in on our local guard posts. While the site I was at was staffed with Americans and guarded by Americans, local guards were employed to guard the outer perimeter. And to that end, loyalty came into question sometimes.

The drill itself is simple on its face. It is a scenario based drill. Mind you, this isn’t to say you will encounter the scenario and therefore follow the script, but it is set up to utilize a number of different individual fundamentals and skills.

Let’s start with the scenario. You’re driving along in your Toyota Hilux (or whatever car you happen to have) and you’re checking on a guard post manned by 2 people of questionable loyalty. It is hot so you have the windows down. And since a primary is better than a secondary, your rifle is riding shotgun, muzzle down into the floorboard.

Rifle Drill: 'Friends, Not Friends' (aka Engaging Multiple Targets from a Vehicle)

Targets are spaced 10-15 yards from the vehicle with the right target obscured by the B Pillar (when viewed from the driver’s seat).

You pull up a little way off from the post and yell a greeting out the window to the two men. They are both 10 yards away from your open passenger side window. One is clearly visible through the window, the other is obscured by the B Pillar of your truck. At this time, friends turn to “not friends” and they begin to level their rifles at you.

Rifle Drill: 'Friends, Not Friends' (aka Engaging Multiple Targets from a Vehicle)

The two Targets are placed 6 feet from each other.

On the buzzer, command threat or any other signal, you retrieve your rifle from the passenger seat and engage the target visible through the passenger side window with two well-placed shots to the high thoracic cavity (top half of the A zone on an IPSC target) and one shot to the head.

Rifle Drill: 'Friends, Not Friends' (aka Engaging Multiple Targets from a Vehicle)

Address the threat that you can see.

The second threat is obscured by the B Pillar and for the sake of argument, he’s probably shooting at you, time to move. You then exit the vehicle, driver’s side, as fast as possible dropping into the urban prone and engage the 2” by 11” vertical target (representing this gentleman’s tibia/fibula) with one shot.

Rifle Drill: 'Friends, Not Friends' (aka Engaging Multiple Targets from a Vehicle)

Get out of the vehicle and go to work on the second threat.

After a good hit on the vertical target, in our make-believe world, that second threat, no longer able to stand, falls to his right, placing himself horizontally on the ground at the foot of the 1st threat. At this point you engage the target’s head with one more well-placed shot, finishing the drill.

Rifle Drill: 'Friends, Not Friends' (aka Engaging Multiple Targets from a Vehicle)

Evaluate your shots. If you miss, try again.

So what have we drawn from this little drill? We’ve successfully (hopefully) retrieved our rifle in our vehicle, avoiding all snag hazards. Engaged a threat outside of our vehicle from the confines of the driver’s seat. Removed ourself, and our rifle, as fast as we can from our vehicle without getting caught up (don’t forget that seatbelt). Shot under an obstacle from an unconventional position. Engaged a very narrow target up close with our rifle, requiring us to utilize the appropriate offset for our rifle’s optic/zero. And all of this training with only five rounds…

Possible? Yes. Probable? No. Ultimately it is a scenario designed to put a number of individual skills to the test. So if you get out to the range and are looking to squeeze as much value as you can out of five rounds, try Friends, Not Friends.

Rifle Drill: 'Friends, Not Friends' (aka Engaging Multiple Targets from a Vehicle)

A shot timer will let you keep track of runs, letting you know how fast or slow you are running the drill.

Required Equipment: 2 Target Stands, 2 Silhouette Targets, 1 sheet of paper folded into a 2”x11” strip.

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  • Teresa Maxwell December 18, 2018, 10:29 pm

    I am a strong supporter of firearms. I was educated in gun safety at young age of 10yrs old come from family of hunters.
    I like this website.

  • Dr Motown November 9, 2018, 1:05 pm

    Works great until the two local non-friends get their accurate shots off first…The probability of surviving this is pretty low, but I guess it’s better than zero. And don’t forget to shoot suppressed or you’ll be stone deaf if you survive

  • Occams November 9, 2018, 11:32 am

    lol…. and about 90% will have to explain the exit-holes in the side of their vehicle when a cop stops them….

  • Bruce Porter November 9, 2018, 10:53 am

    Thanks for this, some real good advice should my wife and I run into unfriendlies on the way to market. We’re living on a big old gladiola farm with lots of spare soil to move around for shooting berms, so plan to put your tips into practice.

  • Jaque November 8, 2018, 10:31 am

    Great stuff. However very few of us have access to a range that allows tactical training and threat scenario practice, or have a bank account sufficient to pay fees such a range charges. Those who own farms and large tracts of land can easily doze up dirt berms and level off a shooting area at the cost of 50 gallons of diesel. Those of us living in suburban areas are limited to a few outdoor ranges run by the county and some indoor 50 meter ranges. And these are tightly controlled by range officers and rules that limit firing rates, holster draw, and human like targets.

    There is a need for affordable tactical ranges in many parts of the US but I don’t see such projects considered, planned or discussed.

    • Jay November 9, 2018, 7:40 am

      True, but you can thank all the sue happy people and lawyers for those types of ranges not being available!

    • Marcelino November 9, 2018, 8:12 am

      Thanks Jaque for the reality check. As hickok45 would say, “that’s all we have to say about that.”

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