Bill drills are a multipurpose drill. There is a lot you can get out of it. The procedure for the bill drill is to draw, and fire 6 rounds into the target. At closer ranges, you should strive for all “A” zone hits. At longer ranges, the occasional close “C” is no big deal.
At closer ranges, you will see that this drill tests two things primarily.
First, your draw is obviously a huge component of your time. You need a fast draw and you need that draw to end in a correct grip. If you miss your grip, you will have a hard time doing well on the drill. You may have to adjust your grip when you are already on target, or shoot slowly as you fight to keep your sights in the center of the target, or maybe you will just drop a lot of points. In any event, getting your grip right is extremely important.
Second, the bill drill is a test of staying relaxed. If your body tenses up, you lose the ability to draw quickly or to run the trigger fast. You may suffer some “trigger freeze” where you try to pull the trigger but then can’t do it.
At longer ranges, this really turns into a trigger control test.
If it sounds like there is a theme to this drill where you learn what it takes to shoot “As” at different distances and then make it happen quickly, then you are right on the money. This drill is a great way to learn. Work down to the goal times as quickly as you can, and then work within the goal time to hit the “A” box. You will need to have a highly developed draw to be able to make it happen, so I would recommend working on “Doubles” before you progress to this drill.
Like I pointed out, at close range you need to stay relaxed. There is usually a temptation to tense up and try to “go really fast.” It will not take you long to figure out that the harder you push and harder you try, the tougher it is to stay relaxed. The key is just to let your arms work smoothly to bring the gun up to the target. As soon as the gun is aligned you should be able to start shooting. 1.7 seconds is a reasonable goal time for this. That may sound fast (and it is), but remember that you will hardly need to aim and will be able to shed lead as fast as you can pull the trigger.
Five yards is still very close. You should be able to fire the gun as fast as you can pull the trigger and still hold every shot in the “A” zone. I like to experiment with grip pressure quite a bit. I get the best trigger speed if I don’t crush down that hard with my strong hand, but with my weak hand I get better control if I crank down on the gun. 1.8 seconds is very reasonable at this distance.
This is the “standard’ distance for a bill drill. I suppose you could say you need a good smooth draw, a solid grip, and a trigger finger that is able to keep up. Try not to tense up! Two seconds is a very reasonable goal for this distance. That breaks down to a one second draw and .2 second splits.
This is one of those tests that is great to try when you are “cold.” If you can hit the first six rounds out of your gun for the day into a seven yard “A” zone in less than two seconds, you are doing very well indeed.