Wayne Dobbs On Teaching New Students The Muzzle Wobble Drill (Part One)
WAYNE DOBBS ON TEACHING NEW STUDENTS THE MUZZLE WOBBLE DRILL (PART ONE)
Wayne Dobbs is a longtime friend of mine and one of the best firearm trainers that I know (and I know a large number of excellent trainers). Wayne is employed by Aimpoint and manages the Western United States Law Enforcement Division Territory where he assists Aimpoint dealers with quotes and sales plus works with various law enforcement agencies who issue Aimpoint products to their officers. He is a retired Richardson, Texas detective whose roles over a 25-year career included Patrol, SWAT, Narcotics/Intelligence, Major Crimes/CID, and director of the firearms training program. Dobbs holds multiple instructor certifications, including but not limited to FBI Firearms Instructor, Texas Commission of Law Enforcement Officer Standards Firearms Instructor, and US Department of State Instructor. He served for over two years in Iraq as a contractor for the US Department of State as a police training instructor and advisor and was the leader of a firearm and tactics program taught at the Baghdad Police College. This was followed by another two-year stint for the Department of State in Louisiana providing close protection training for US Department of State principals who worked mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to being a gifted instructor and co-owner of Hardwired Tactical along with another outstanding instructor Darryl Bolke, Wayne is an outstanding shooter who has placed in the top sixteen of the shooters competing for the first place position a number of times at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference, with several recent wins including High Overall and three times as High Lawman.
Several years ago at a Tactical Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, I observed Wayne and his business partner, Darryl Bolke, teach a two-hour hour block on defensive marksmanship that included a 15-minute block of instruction teaching a drill that both of us refer to as the “Muzzle Wobble Drill”. I was impressed with the way that he taught the drill in terms of his articulation, the manner in which he had the students perform the drill, and the immediate positive results in the students’ accuracy.
I contacted Wayne by phone in July of 2020, and, after spending a few minutes getting updated on each other’s personal lives and reminiscing about mutual friends and prior teaching and training events in which we were both involved, I asked him to go into detail about why firearm trainers might benefit by knowing about the Muzzle Wobble Drill, how it should be demonstrated, and a few variations of the drill that can go a long ways toward turning both experienced and inexperienced shooters into a better version of themselves in a relatively short amount of time.
In a nutshell, the student is placed before a target stand at relatively short range and instructed to keep all of their rounds on a circle or bullseye target while intentionally keeping the muzzle in motion during the entire six-shot string (number of rounds per string can vary). The student is instructed to keep the sights moving but inside the assigned impact area and to not otherwise be concerned about exactly where the sights are within that area as they continuously and repeatedly press the trigger. The majority of the time students that were struggling in the class before this drill are amazed when suddenly they are getting consistent hits while intentionally moving the sights whereas before they were all over the place trying to hold the sights as still as possible. In the event that a student is still having difficulty, the problem can usually be quickly diagnosed and often remedied. Wayne noted that cause of misses might involve the student stopping the movement of the handgun in order to shoot, not taking the slack out of the trigger between shots, and/or convulsively tightening their grip on the handgun right before they fire the shot. The key to performing this drill properly is achieving and maintaining a strong firing grip throughout the exercise (the little fingers on both hands are responsible for much of the strength of the grip), fully resetting the trigger, keeping the handgun sights moving but never straying outside of the edges of the desired impact area, and applying consistent pressure to the trigger while really never being quite sure where the front sight was superimposed over the acceptable impact area at the exact moment the handgun was fired. Wayne said that the way Ken Hackathorn does it might be a six-shot string moving the sights in a clockwise two-inch circle, then a six-shot string moving the sights in a counter-clockwise two-inch circle, and finally moving the sights in a two-inch sideways figure eight pattern (like the infinity symbol).
Part Two of this article goes into more detail about why the Muzzle Wobble Drill has proven to work so well for new shooters and why it might even work well for trainers who are always looking for ways to becoming better shooters themselves.
For more information about Wayne Dobbs and Hardwired Tactical please check both out at www.hardwiredtacticalshooting.com
Steve Moses has been a defensive firearms trainer for over 27 years and is a licensed Texas Personal Protection Officer with 7 years of experience performing as shift lead on a church security detail for a D/FW area metro-church. Steve is a co-owner and Director of Training for Palisade Training Group, LLC based in Dallas, Texas. Moses is a retired deputy constable and spent over 10 years on a multi-precinct Special Response Team. He owns multiple instructor certifications, including Rangemaster Advanced Handgun Instructor and Defensive Shotgun Instructor, Red Zone Knife Defense Instructor and Adaptive Striking Foundations Instructor, Modern Samurai Project Red Dot Sight Instructor, and State of Texas Personal Protection Officer Instructor. Steve holds a BJJ Brown Belt in Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He is a content contributor for CCW Safe and writes weekly articles on various subjects of interest to concealed carriers. Moses shoots competitively and holds an IDPA Expert rating. Steve is an annual presenter at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference.