April 11 2015 QSI Advanced Handgun Passthrough Drill

Each QSI (and DTI) class I’ve attended is a bit like a rollercoaster ride. Students learn things slowly, one at a time. At some point in the day all of the individual components stack on top of each other and everyone is hurtling downhill.

The passthrough drill combines the lessons learned at class (and prior classes). There is no set course of fire, the targets are always arranged differently, there can be no-shoot targets in play, and there may or may not be obstacles / cover to deal with. However, the procedures and techniques we’ve learned are always applicable. It’s a way to practice dealing with random and unknown situations with the skills we’ve acquired.

Here are my two runs from the April 11, 2015 advanced handgun class from QSI Training.

The Drill

  1. Start the encounter from a prepared, but neutral position.
  2. Engage the first target at ~40 feet without hitting the paper no shoot targets.
  3. Move to cover and shoot through the space indicated by the instructor. The firearm must match the orientation of the opening (e.g., if the opening is sideways, you must shoot sideways).
  4. Move to another position and engage another target.
  5. Move backwards and around a barrier, and engage another target.
  6. Approach a hostage taker and complete the hostage rescue technique.

Throughout the drill, students are expected to scan the area (including behind them), reload, clear malfunctions and reposition themselves as necessary without direction from the instructors.

On my second run, I elected to run the drill with only one hand. This was optional, and no one else did so.


I have several areas for improvement.

First drill

  • I allowed my body to extend beyond the concealment of the first barricade.
  • As I’ve written about before, my first shot with my RMR-equipped Glocks is slower than with iron sights, but my follow up shots are always faster and more accurate. I need to speed up that first shot.
  • I did not acquire my red dot sight before rolling out from cover at the second barricade.
  • I did well transitioning from a right-hand to left-hand dominant grip, and shot well from the third barricade. You must learn to shoot well with both hands.
  • I had an equipment location brain fart when reloading at the end of the drill. I forgot where my spare magazine was located in my sling bag, and initially swung the bag around to deploy my AR15 pistol.

Second drill

  • I allowed my body to extend beyond the concealment of the first barricade (again).
  • I missed three out of four times at the second barricade.
  • My one handed reload went well but I elevated myself above my cover.
  • My accuracy at the steel target near the fence and the hostage target was good.

Overall, the RMR is a huge advantage when shooting one handed or from unusual positions. The reloading / malfunction clearing technique is much easier to execute with an RMR. I was able to use it on my leg, calf, and heel throughout the day.

I need more experience in dealing with my environment. I think students need to shoot from behind cover and concealment more, and the use of cover is not stressed enough in most defensive training courses.

I’ll be re-taking the advanced class tomorrow, and hopefully I will not make these same mistakes. With luck, I’ll make new ones, so I can start the learning process over again.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

2 Comments on "April 11 2015 QSI Advanced Handgun Passthrough Drill"

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  1. Tony says:

    Nice work. Good self-critique as well. Wish all those Instructor Zero (the Internet circus shooter) fans would switch to you. They would certainly learn a great deal more, particularly about safety.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Hi there! Thanks for the compliment. I try to get better every time, and since I’m just a regular person I hope it inspires other people to train and not just work on target shooting or drill mastery.

      Instructor Zero is a nice fella, we met him at SHOT Show this year. I wish I had the facilities and ammunition budget he does 🙂

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