Michael Mann knows guns, and he likes to make sure he gets their use, how they function, and what you can do with one. Heat is legendary in the gun community and movies like Miami Vice and of course Collateral can’t be forgotten. Collateral is what we looking at today. The famous “Yo homie is that my briefcase?” scene in particular. In the scene, Tom Cruise’s character Vincent draws and fires 5 shots into two assailants in a very professional manner. The Collateral Drill is famous for a reason. It’s a realistic situation, a realistic drill, and its damn impressive. After watching the movie recently I decided to try my hand at the drill. I grabbed my Glock, my Bravo Concealment Holster, and some of my Modern Warrior T1 targets.
Why would I want to replicate the Collateral Drill? Because I want to shoot better than Tom Cruise for one, but mostly I like having a standard to train too. The drill is fast, but it does incorporate a number of skills we should all be proficient with. Let’s break those skills down.
The Skills of the Collateral Drill
Clearing a Cover Garment – First, we see that Vincent is wearing a suit jacket which he must clear to access his firearm. He does so with a quick spin and a little help from his dominant hand. The spin comes from him moving the muzzle of his attacker’s gun away from him. He has a brilliant economy of movement here. He uses the disarm to help draw his gun.
Drawing – The second skill is drawing rapidly. He kills it. He establishes a high firm grip pulls the elbow up, drives it downward and does so rapidly. It’s impressive.
Firing From Retention – We go back to the economy of movement here. His disarm, and sweep places his head well out of the way of his muzzle. This allows him to draw and fire the gun without risking his own limbs. He uses that hand to also block brass from flying up and hitting him in the face. He places the gun straight up and almost right under his head. This allows him to naturally point the weapon and accurately put the rounds into his target.
Target Transition – Next he rotates, extends the gun and engages the second target. This time aiming, or well, close range point shooting into the thug. It’s quick and efficient.
Shot Placement – A big part of the Collateral drill is the Mozambique drill Vincent uses. One the second opponent he extends his arms puts two rounds into the chest and finishes the drill with one to the head. This drill is all about shot placement, and two to the chest and one to the head is a winning combination.
Skills Pay the Bills
To complete the Collateral drill you have to master these skills and they are all worth knowing. It’s a lot more than 5 rounds in a few seconds. There are some critical core skills here that are worth learning. Trying to match Vincent’s time is the goal, which sets a standard.
How to do it
So how do I match (Or at least get close) to Vincent’s shooting? Practice, and lots of it. More than that I broke each skill down and practiced them individually. When I started putting it all together I went slow and dry.
I blasted some Run the Jewels and slowly went through each movement. I added a little speed over time. It was almost like a dance with different steps. Swipe the gun, clear the garment, draw the gun, go into retention firing, rotate, extend and fire.
Tom Cruise didn’t just pull that shooting off with no practice. He and a cadre of trainers worked for months to fdevelop those skills.
The key to succeeding at the Collateral drill is to take your time. Slow things down and really learn the skills required. At the end of the drill, you won’t just be good at looking like Tom Cruise, but you’ll have learned some interesting and dynamic skills you can utilize in a variety of situations.