April '23 Drill of the Month: The Mozambique


Staff member
Per the best of my understanding, the famous Mozambique shooting drill, often called the Failure Drill by many, came to be when Jeff Cooper heard the experience of one of his associates who was in Mozambique, fighting in the Rhodesian war, who shot some rifle-wielding adversary twice in the chest and once in the head to finish the hostilities with his pistol. Thus, Cooper coined the drill the “Mozambique.”

Whatever the origin of the drill, it is, indeed, a standard among standards. The Mozambique drill is a favorite in two different arenas, that of competitive shooting as well as that of tactical shooting. Needless to say, the way the drill is executed should be considerably different depending on the application.

The contemporary Mozambique drill is done from seven yards. At the beep of the timer, the shooter draws their pistol, fires two rounds into the A zone of the body of the target, then fires a single round at the head of the target. In recent years many have adopted the down-zero concept that was implemented in IDPA, in which the head shot is not only a shot anywhere in the head, but must be within the 4” head circle. Obviously, this increases the difficulty of the head shot, considerably.

Concerning the “tactical” application of this drill, some of the top “been-there-done-that” guys like this as a go to approach: after firing twice at the high-center chest of a deadly assailant, transition to the head. If the head is still there, then the threat is still active, so make the shot. If the head is not there, the threat has moved or has fallen, so do not make the shot and re-assess the situation. Executing the Mozambique in this realistic approach will mean that, obviously, the time will be much slower as the assessment of the head location is a must.

The second common way the Mozambique is practiced is as simply a technical shooting skill. Transitioning from the two rapid shots to the much larger A zone of the body to the small head circle is a valuable skill to practice. In a competitive context there is no assessment of a tactical situation required, so going for shear speed and accuracy is the order of the day, although that is, arguably, not a sound way to practice the drill for realistic training.

Regardless, the Mozambique is a well-established shooting drill, and you should practice it. As it pertains to the concealed carrier, practice the Mozambique with your carry gun, from concealment, the way you actually carry your pistol.


To be entered in the Drill of the Month giveaway, post your score below for this month's article. We are basing this on the honor system. If you cheat, you are only cheating yourself.

Giveaway Prize: USA Carry Swag Bag
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@7yds 2.64 w/ brief assessment pause between body & head. From Low-ready, since my Range doesn’t allow from the holster.
@7yds 2.64 w/ brief assessment pause between body & head. From Low-ready, since my Range doesn’t allow from the holster.
Good job! And you are the winner of the swag bag. PM me your shipping address, and I'll get it shipped out to you.
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