The answers to many of life's questions are about chronology - chicken or the egg, for one. But sometimes the choice is clear. In the shooting world, accuracy comes before speed. Always.
Welcome to "Worlds Collide," bringing together the perspectives of two of the shooting world's top minds, Rob Pincus (Personal Defense Network®) and Rob Leatham (Team Springfield™).
Today's episodes have to do with building up the accuracy of a new shooter, followed by building up of speed. Old shooter or new, beginner or expert, the same skills must be developed.
The Fundamentals of Shooting
First things first - let's talk fundamentals. When it comes to developing required skills for new shooters, the techniques and thought processes are very simple and specific. Perfecting a technique should be your goal, and make sure that technique will accomplish what needs to be done. The most important things when training up a newbe - in order, mind you - are the following:
- Learn to pull the trigger without moving the gun
- Learn to hold the gun (i.e., two-handed) so that it doesn't move
- Learn to aim the gun
Remember that aim doesn't matter without first learning to keep the gun still. Prioritize.
The Foundations of Fast Shooting
Once you've got those basics of shooting well down, it's time to learn how to shoot quickly.
The only thing that will make you fire the gun faster is, well, pulling the trigger faster. Forget all this slow and smooth and smooth is fast nonsense. If the goal is to increase your shooting speed you need to train yourself to shoot fast. Practicing slow is not going to get it done. The best shooters can jerk the trigger without moving the gun out of alignment. That should be your goal. Do not be afraid of the word "jerk" and do not confuse it with "flinch".
Test yourself - when pulling the trigger, do you move the gun? If so why? Is it to control the recoil? Or have you developed a bad habit? Either way, time to stop doing that!
It's all about necessary accuracy.
Define how much precision you need for a specific kind of shot and learn how to shoot that shot. The cost of speed is precision and vice versa. The trick is to be precise enough to be accurate, while being as fast as possible. This requires you to push yourself in training and practice to see how fast you can be and not worry about achieving any arbitrary set of standards.
In a real speed shooting environment, whether it's competition or self-defense, you have got to be able to pull the trigger fast. Sometimes violently fast to be quick, to be first. If the gun stays aligned well enough to give you an acceptable hit on target, you are doing it right!
Train yourself so this action becomes a sub-conscious motion, one you never have to think about again.