PRO TIPS with the Colt Combat Advisory Team



Ken Hackathorn – Eight Ball Drill



This is a drill we call eight ball. It consists of six rounds in the carbine, two rounds in the pistol. 


You’ll notice that what we are using here is a USPSA silhouette target. I take a roll of range tape, and make a circle in the head about four inches in diameter.  All of your carbine shots must be fired in this circle.


If they are out of the circle, but still in the head box, add one second.

If you miss the head or you’re anywhere out of the head, add five seconds.

Pistol shots are fired in the silhouette body, ideally in the A-zone.




Let’s talk about some of the key fundamentals to the eight ball drill. With the carbine, one of the primary things you have to do is shoulder transitions from the strong shoulder to the weak shoulder, and there is a proper way to do this.

If you don’t do it right it becomes very dangerous. Key point is, strong hand or firing hand goes forward first, then you switch over to a mirror grip. The mistake that a lot of people make and its incredibly dangerous is they try to do the changeover here and you can imagine what can happen under stress. You are going to get a loud noise you don’t want, so this is the way amateurs do it.


Strong hand forward, switch shoulders, and move to the next position engage the target, switch again. You want to try to get the same proper grip that you had strong side in a series of those until you’re done.

That’s one of the critical points to this drill. Switching shoulders. By the way, you’re going to have to switch eyes. You’ll notice on the sixth shot with the carbine it goes empty.


Now I have to perform a pistol transition.  So from here I take my carbine, and the way I prefer to do it, is when I bring the gun down I bring the empty magazine to my left side so it’s out of the way and doesn’t interfere with the draw of the pistol.

From right here strong hand supported, I switch, mirror grip second shot weak hand supported. 

There are two key elements to the eight ball drill. We just discussed the accuracy part, now we are going to add the time.


Using the timer, we are going to score the overall time and add seconds in the form of points down.

Real simple, 45 seconds is a fail on this drill. 40 to 45 is a D; 35 to 40 is a C; 30 to 35 is a B score.


If you happen to get below 30 seconds final score, you get an A in this particular drill. Watch how it’s done, we are going to put the timer on and we’ll see how it goes.

28.8 seconds, with three points down gives me a 31 and change. Pretty good time, I’ll take that. 

Now that you know the drill, go out to the range and see where you’re at.






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