The Mozambique drill was made famous by Jeff Cooper after learning about this incident.

The story goes that this technique originated with a Rhodesian mercenary, Mike Rousseau. He was fighting in the Mozambican War of Independence 1964-1974.

During fighting at the Lourenço Marques airport (modern-day Maputo), Rousseau rounded a corner and encountered a FRELIMO guerrilla, 10 paces away and armed with an AK-47.


Rousseau used his Browning High Power pistol to do a double tap, hitting the guy twice in the chest. The bad guy kept coming, which kind of reinforces the point I keep hammering about the inadequacy of the 9mm for a fighting cartridge.

Seeing that the guerrilla was still advancing, Rousseau tried a head shot. He hit low and caught the base of the neck and the spinal column.

Rousseau told the story to Jeff Cooper, who incorporated the “Mozambique Drill” into his modern technique shooting method taught at his Gunsite training facility.


The drill is often called the “Failure Drill” these days because of the politically correct nannies who think that “Mozambique” might have racial overtones. (I don’t know for sure if the guy who played target for Rousseau was ever identified as black, white, yellow, green or blue. It’s not a racial thing when somebody is trying to shoot you with an AK47.)

Today, this drill is often considered for use against an opponent wearing body armor and is one that anybody who carries a handgun for defense should practice and know well. Not just because bad guys wear body armor too, but because handguns don’t always have a lot of stopping power.

The basic Mozambique drill is two to the body – one to the head. Usually it’s done with a pistol while drawing from the holster. This is a classic fighting drill and is good practice with a handgun.

Distance can vary from powder burn close out to ten or 15 yards with a handgun. Depending on skill level and distance, most shooters will run about 2 to 3 seconds. The top shooters with close targets can execute this drill in less than a second.



While usually thought of as a pistol drill, this is also a very good CQB drill with a rifle.

The Mozambique Multi Drill


Place three USPSA targets at 5 yards for handgun and 15 yards for rifle. At the buzzer double tap the center of each, then shoot one shot each to the head. Total is nine shots. Any hits outside of the “A” zone are a 2-second penalty. Misses are 5 second penalties.

For a variation, move the targets further away. If you are feeling mean, try it at 100 yards with a rifle or 50 yards with a handgun, but make sure all your friends go first.