There are a few people who are considered legends in the firearms world. This week’s skill drill is named after one such legend, Bill Wilson. Even if you haven’t heard of Bill Wilson, you might have heard of the company, Wilson Combat. Yeah, he is the guy behind the company, and the drill named the Bill Drill.
This drill is sometimes mistakenly credited to other notable guys named Bill, such as Bill Rodgers, or Bill Jordan. However, Bill Wilson is the real Bill who came up with the drill.
The Bill Drill is quite simple. While you can shoot it from different distances, it’s traditionally shot from a distance of 7 yards and uses a single target. Your hit zone should be roughly 6” x 11” or the size of an IDPA/IPSC “A” Zone. If you run the drill at closer distances, reduce the size of your hit zone. If you’re looking for a multi-use, decision making target, check out these custom targets.
On the signal, draw and fire 6 rounds from a single magazine. An acceptable par time from 7 yards is 3 seconds with no misses. Although with proper fundamentals, you can achieve times around the 2 second mark.
The Bill Drill is not a scenario, and it’s not simulating a “real world gunfight.” The purpose of drills like this one is to evaluate individual skills associated with proper shooting mechanics.
The primary skill being evaluated during the Bill Drill, is your ability to recover during recoil, and return the gun back to target.
There are a lot of components that help the gun return back to target more quickly. A big component is proper grip. The Bill Drill is a great drill for exposing a sub optimal grip. Even with a poor grip, we may still get a hit in an acceptable time during a Draw to First Shot Drill. However, if the shooter has a poor grip during the Bill Drill, he will likely see misses after the second or third shot.
Even though this drill has to do with recoil, you can still run it during your dry fire practice. In dry fire, you’re still training your response to the signal, you’re still working on establishing a good grip during your draw stroke, and you're still learning how to present the gun on target, and acquire your sights quickly.
Additionally, even in dry fire, you’re training your vision and what sight picture and trigger press you need to remain accurate at a specific distance. Don’t worry if you’re using a striker fired gun in dry-fire. You obviously won’t get a trigger reset after the striker releases, but just simulate 5 more trigger presses.
Practice the Bill Drill in dry fire, and then go out and start measuring your times in live fire.