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3-Gun Competition: Master the Load 12 Drill

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Photograph by Yamil Sued

The gold-standard shotgun loading drill for 3-Gun is the Load 12 drill, which was made YouTube famous by professional shooter Keith Garcia in 2012. (Garcia can complete this drill in under 10 seconds.)

It doesn’t matter which loading technique you use, as long as you’re pushing yourself to go as fast as you can. You can do the quad load or the load-two techniques, from either the strong or weak side. All are viable options. Here’s how the drill works.

Set up six targets at a comfortable distance—about 10 yards or so. Start with two shells in the gun. You must hit all six targets.

This is better than simply practicing loading, because it forces you to actually fire the gun and move it from shooting position to loading position. It not only tests your ability, but also how well your gear operates in a live-fire situation.

1. Clock starts. fire one shot on target 1.
2. Load four shells.
3. Place a shot on targets 2 and 3.
4. Load four shells.
5. Place a shot on targets 4 and 5.
6. Load four shells.
7. Place one shot on target.
6. Clock stops.