What is the Drake Method? Rhodesian Cover Shooting (The Drake Method)

MVT Rifleman Challenge: The Shooting Standard
January 28, 2015
Student Review: Combat Team Tactics, January 2015 + NODF + Bonus Photos: Benny
January 31, 2015


I have mentioned in a couple of previous posts the Rhodesian method of ‘cover shooting’ (The Drake Method). In response to that, a reader sent me a link to a good article on it. I am going to provide that link, some excerpts, and commentary.

Main article Link:Rhodesian Cover or Drake Shooting – Small Wars Journal

Previous posts mentioning this or related topics from me:

React to Contact – Solid Drills to Keep You Alive

Here is an excerpt from the article:
Also known as Drake Shooting, Rhodesian Cover Shooting may be defined as the shooting technique employed to quickly kill concealed insurgents through the various phases of close quarter combat in the African savanna and jesse bush. The method did not replace “fire and movement” procedures, but was rather the primary activity of them. Cover shooting has also been described as a “flushing” action, but this is not strictly accurate. While flushing terrorists from their concealment has obvious advantages, particularly when working with close helicopter support, the first objective of cover shooting was to kill the enemy without the need to see him or locate his exact position first. Likewise the method should not be confused with other foreign practises such as walking suppression fire directed “at the jungle.” Cover shooting was not a random spraying of bullets, but a deliberate and methodical routine designed to elicit maximum effect for the least expenditure of ammunition.
Read the rest on the MVT Forum:  Forums Tactics & Leadership Small Unit Tactics – Combat Team Tactics (CTT)


  1. Aaron says:

    We were taught “probability firing” at Bragg and it works about the same. In urban areas a lot of innocents get killed though. Fighting is never clean.

  2. Mike says:


    It seems that there are a number of relevant points in the article of value to FreeFor.

    One is the different groups that the RLI was fighting. Their descriptions might reflect zombie gangs and trained oathbreakers.

    • Max Velocity says:

      The RLI adapted to terrain and enemy and utilized their superior light infantry skills to best the enemy in the field. This goes also to the recent ‘debate’ about counter ambush drills:
      You need one simple drill which is to break contact. If however you gain experience and deal with a certain enemy, you may end up adapting that to a hasty attack RLI skirmish type fight through drill. That is always an option. However, it is risky because you have to know it is that inferior skilled enemy every time!

  3. Mike says:


    I had trouble downloading the SMJ article. Here is a direct link.


  4. TFA303 says:

    “the use of the “crack and thump” method to determine the distance and direction of their position was a useful technique.”

    Distance seems obvious, but how do you use this to pinpoint direction?

    Great article, BTW.

  5. klinger says:

    Was recently taught this method. I had read about it and thought it was BS. Team leader had us turn around and hid 4 cardboard targets in likely cover positions from 40-100yd. We then did a cover shoot with 2-3 magazines.

    Darn it if 3 out of 4 of the cardboard targets had holes in them. Wow.