It is a bit of a coincidence that I write this on October 3rd, 2019. It’s the anniversary of the Black Hawk Down incident and Operation Gothic Serpent. The man behind this very drill, Kyle Lamb, was a Delta Operative involved in the operation. He’s currently the head honcho at Viking Tactics and designed the VTAC 1-5 Drill I am covering here (see video above). Mr. Lamb is one of the foremost experts in tactical handgun and rifle employment, and if you ever take a class with him, consider yourself lucky.
The VTAC 1-5 drill is a fun and straightforward, but also very effective rifle drill. It teaches you target transitions, how to control your firearm, how to shoot rapidly and accurately, and also trigger control. The exercise breaks up the old double-tap mentality many people can fall into. I agree that two shots are better than one, but is it always enough?
The 1 to 5 drill says no; sometimes you need just one round and others time you need five, and you need to be prepared to fire the number of rounds needed to stop the threat. You can’t predict how many shots it’ll take to stop a target, so be ready to use more than one or two.
The drill is simple, and one of the best parts of it is that you don’t need a lot of supplies to run it. You’ll need a rifle, one magazine, 15 rounds and three targets. That’s it. I’m using the SAINT Victor carbine and a few old FBI Q targets. A box of 20 rounds of .223 is cheap, and you’ll have five extra to practice your basic marksmanship.
The VTAC 1-5 Drill is simple. Set the targets up in a line, a yard apart or so. Mine are a little closer because of range limitations. I use a Pocket Pro 2 as a shot timer. You don’t necessarily need a shot timer, but you can’t track your time without one. I like to track mine and see how I improve. If using a timer, aim to have the drill done in under five seconds. My best time is about 3.5 seconds after shooting the drill a few times in the day to warm up.
Starting from the low ready, wait for the beep — or without a timer, go when ready. You start by firing a single shot on the left target, two shots on the center target, three shots on the right target, then transition back to the center and fire four rounds, and finally finish on the left target firing five rounds.
The drill’s name is self-explanatory once you shoot it. You go from shooting one to shooting five rounds. Doing it under a time constraint requires you to control the gun and work the trigger rapidly. You also have to hit the chest or head area of the target for it to count, so you have to be accurate. This stresses control over the muzzle as you let rounds fly.
The SAINT Victor’s compensator makes this a little easier and helps fight muzzle rise and recoil. The gun barely moves as is, so I get a little advantage with it for sure. Even so, I still feel the VTAC 1-5 Drill provides plenty of challenge. It’s also the most effective way to do what’s essentially a mag dump while still getting valuable training in.
The VTAC 1-5 drill is a fun and exciting drill that trains some of the fundamental skills necessary for close quarters carbine use. It’s also relatively easy to do by yourself, requires little ammo and no fancy equipment. What’s not to like? Check out the video at top and see for yourself.