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Old 02-06-2016, 08:27 PM   #1
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Learn to shooter faster...and learn your limitations

The thread of alloy versus steel frame made me think of writing of this. Often shooters are too trapped into a traditional version of trigger control but never evolve. Nor are they watching what happens to the gun after shot breaks, opting more to peep at the target while the gun is still in recoil or counter recoil. If the shooter is doing his job he knows the quality of the hit or general placement of the miss at the time of ignition.

Pressing the trigger for a "surprise" break is how most of us were taught and in some shooting sports and the recreational target shooter it still has merit. It also has merit in the early stages of learning especially for those learning after the age of about 6 and for some "technical" shots with handguns in defense/offensive situations.

For a defensive/offensive shooter or a competitive speed shooter (think Rob Leatham, TGO), learning to jerk a trigger and demand a shot (not a surprise break) is very important. Study of hit ratio of most law enforcement shootings tells us that when surprised/startled and "fight/flight" kicks in, traditional firearms training shows its weaknesses. With a little panic or whatever the word, people will slap or jerk a trigger. What we need to learn is how to jerk the trigger, what happens when we do and when can we get away with it.

Recently ran into TGO at lunch after we both finished at the range. He was teaching a class to several EU tactical cops. As he often says, he has to get them to learn how and to accept JERKING the trigger. Rob will say trigger control is the most aspect of shooting. I think we can all agree, but he is he most violent trigger presser you will likely ever see....think trampoline. What applies more is "gun control". If you can control the gun from movement, you can jerk the trigger violently and get hits. Obviously this is a delicate balancing act

When I am asked or teaching I ask if people always wait for perfect sight alignment before pressing the trigger and if they press the trigger the same for each shot no matter the size or distance of the target or the time allowed for the shot, as each of the three elements factor into each shot and each is a different problem needing a different solution. Usually the response is "yes' because that is how most are trained...to be perfect each time. Being perfect takes time and perfect hits are not needed to win gunfights or action shooting sports (not talking bulls eye).

You can sacrifice a perfect aim and with a decent trigger pull get an acceptable hit. You can have to clear your mind of a perfect hit and think of what is acceptable. Three acceptable hits in 2 seconds is far more effective than one perfect shot that does not break till 1.90 seconds.

Stand at 10 yards and aim with only 50% of the front sight in the rear sight notch and aim that at a one inch dot. With a slow perfect surprise break trigger press shoot one round. Do this with a 50% front sight to the right, left, high and low. You will shoot an 8 inch group or less. This is "Flash sight" picture. You learned to not waste time doing something you do not need to do in a fight...no need for perfect aim.

6-6-6

Start at 5 yards with a USPSA or IDPA target or even a paper plate of 8 inches.

Count "One thousand One, One thousand Two etc...to Six. One shot per second. Make the gun go bang every second, steady pace. Here is the hard part for people - even if the sights are not back on targets A zone or the paper plate. Make the gun go bang.

Get more physical on the gun, grip harder, higher and farther forward with the support hand and thumb on the dust cover (deprive it of leverage) and repeat till all rounds are on the plate.

Now move to one round every half second (One and Two and Three and etc. is the pace). Make it go bang. Get more physical and keep all round on the plate.

Next six rounds are paced "One, Two, Three etc" rapid, a shot every quarter second.

Master this and back up to 10 yards and repeat, then 15 then 20 then 25 yards.

Learn what your solution to the problem is...how fast can you shoot at a given distance of a target of given size. The conscious will become the subconscious through training as the mind will quickly access the problem and you shoot at the pace you know will give you hits. The quickest pace.

You have to watch the sights lift from the target and adjust elbow angles and amount of bend in the elbows to minimize that lift and achieve consistent 12 o'clock lift from the target no matter how fast you shoot. With predictable, consistent lift and snappy recovery will enable you to see only the amount of the front sight in the notch needed for THAT shot. Provided you allow the trigger to reset during recoil and get the slack/pre travel out during counter recoil so that when you have enough sight picture for the problem, you can deliver the type of trigger press needed for that difficulty of shot. All shots are not the same, so quit treating them the same.

Learn what you can get away with when you can get away with it.

Hard to explain it all without being on the range and diagnosing targets and using the timer.
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Last edited by Mike240; 02-06-2016 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:41 PM   #2
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Another thing is to get over that the sights are always the "formal" sights as we know them. Sights are a reference point to know where the gun is pointed. Sometimes it is the back of the slide, the hammer etc. As long as we see it two dimensionally, the gun is pointed straight. The bigger and cruder the object used as the sight, the quicker we acquire it. We just need to know at what distance the wheels fall off in doing this.

Many are better than I am but on full size USPSA targets I am still focused on the target not the sights for the first two or three shots out to about 12 yards. My goal if I have to shoot that target enough to is to transition to a sight focus, but since I started focus on the target I can't focus on sights until they are in the line of sight, which takes time to shift that focus (even more time as we age).

Why wait? If I learn to see enough of the gun, though blurred, centered on the target, start shooting as you shift focus to the "sights". At 10 yards and in 2-4 rounds can be fired before that sight focus is achieved. By then I am searching for more targets and focusing on them and the process starts over. If the target is say 15 yards or more, I know at that point I need the real sights and can't get away with target focus and the rear of the gun as reference.
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:54 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, the majority of members here can only go to pay by the hour public ranges where all they can do is "punch holes" in paper. Drills of any kind are not permitted.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:02 PM   #4
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I agree , having a range in the back yard gives me a huge advantage in combat drilling. (I even shoot from seated in my jeep out the window) never know what situation you will come into. I was taught to see the dot take the shot. Follow that front sight when it hits target squeeze. You won't be pounding bills eyes all day but 5 inch circles under pressure rapid will get the job done.


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Old 02-06-2016, 09:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Islander View Post
Unfortunately, the majority of members here can only go to pay by the hour public ranges where all they can do is "punch holes" in paper. Drills of any kind are not permitted.
You guys could charter a bus to Az
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike240 View Post
You guys could charter a bus to Az
Fortunately I shoot at a private club where I can actually "practice". And there are a few clubs in the area that have IDPA/ USPSA and similar completions.I would like to believe that most here could seek out professional training in their area if desired.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:56 PM   #7
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Mike240 I really liked what you wrote. Also liked the way you wrote it. I found it easy to understand what you were trying to convey. I have been a target shooter primarily. Do to the changing landscape in our country I feel the need to become more of a tactical shooter. In fact being better equipped tactically payed a major in my decision to buy the M1A Socom 16 rather than the standard 22" M1A. I really do not like the changes we are experiencing but I am not going to stick my head in the sand and hope every problem we face just goes away! If I feel I am better prepared then I feel more secure in my world. Anyway I was not planning on this much writing thank you for letting me get this out!
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:18 AM   #8
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I'd love to try some of those drills but unless there is at least a 1 second gap between shots I will be asked to leave the range.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mike240 View Post
You guys could charter a bus to Az
What time does the bus leave? Save me a seat!!!!
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:30 AM   #10
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Or you all can come to Ga. and we will have one big shootum up bang bang.
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