Shooting Drills: The Dozier

30 Jul

There are many shooting drills out there, but the Dozier Drill was created back in 1981 for a very specific reason and due to a very specific occurrence. U.S. Army Brigadier General James L. Dozier was kidnapped for 42 days. The people behind the kidnapping were the Italian Marxist terrorist group called The Red BrigImageade.

Times were different back then, and Dozier was completely unarmed when he was kidnapped.

This was due to the fact that anyone in the US military was prohibited from carrying their firearms in their homes or in the surrounding community.

The kidnapping took place when four terrorists entered Dozier’s home pretending to be plumbers. A political statement was read to Dozier while the terrorists brandished their weapons.

Subsequent to the shooting, Jeff Cooper created the Dozier shooting drill.

Typically during this drill, there are four targets and a weapon is removed from a bag just as it was by the terrorists in the kidnapping to create a stressful situation.

Overall, the drill is meant to engage multiple attackers, and the goal is that in the shooting, the participant will be able to draw the weapon before the terrorist is able to ready his.

Kevin Michalowski explains the drill of the month in his article “The Dozier Drill” on

“To add an additional wrinkle or two to the scenario, consider starting with the pistol resting on a bench or barrel a short distance away from the shooter. At the command, the shooter must move to retrieve his or her pistol, simulating the movement to a pistol stored somewhere in the home, before engaging. This also reinforces the idea of moving to cover in the face of a deadly threat.


Further changes to the scenario could include arranging the targets differently or marking some targets as “unarmed” or “no-shoot” targets. The Dozier Drill is not designed to turn you into Jason Bourne. It is here to hone your skills in what will surely be a dynamic situation. It brings together the triad Cooper first described many years ago: Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (accuracy, power, and speed). (Read more about the Dozier drill and shooting here.)

In thinking about it, engaging a shooting with more than one attacker probably isn’t the best thing to do and may not be something that you would need to do at all. However, it does mimic some added stress that is typically seen in the “look-shoot” method. Racing against someone else and against time in general is something that everyone who practices concealed carry should do.

The steps are simple: draw, engage, look at the next target, move the weapon and engage again until all targets have been subdued. It is important to practice all techniques in various shooting situations, but the point is to hope you never have to fall back on this training in real life.

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