View Full Version : uspsa practice question

May 6, 2006, 10:24 PM
this is my first year shooting uspsa and this is also my first post. my question is, has anyone found a way to get there rythum of firing on targets more consistant instead of multipul double taps? more of a cadence i guess. i shot a match today and realized that thats what works best and most effective. looking for any suggestions on this. thanks to all who post.

May 7, 2006, 12:02 AM
There is more than one kind of "double tap". What most shooters refer to as a "double tap" is actually "the hammer" -- one sight picture for two quick shots at close range.

This info below discusses the different types of double tap.

Variations of the "Double Tap"
Based on material posted by Rosco Benson on www.tacticalforums.com on 12-13-2002.

There is much confusion over the term "double tap" and what it actually means.

A "double tap" is a quick two shot burst fired on a single target. We fire two shots because we may miss with the first or the first hit may not cause incapacitation rapidly enough to protect us from a deadly assault.

Within the concept of the "Double Tap", Jeff Cooper at API taught three variations, the "Hammer", the "Dedicated Pair" and the "Controlled Pair". Many people believe the specific technique of the
"Hammer" is the same as the "Double Tap" but that is not exactly true.
The "Double Tap" is the general category of technique and the "Hammer", "Dedicated Pair"
and "Controlled Pair" are specific applications of that technique.

The normally accepted standard of accuracy is that both hits remain in the A zone on an IPSC, IDPA or Paladin silhouette target. A 8 inch paper plate makes a field expedient repair center for practice purposes.

The "Hammer" is a flash sight picture "shot #1" recover from recoil "shot #2."
This is a technique best utilized where multiple hits with coarse accuracy are required very quickly at close range. Whether one can successfully get the required hits using the "hammer" is certainly influenced by recoil and it manifests itself as the distance at which one can keep his "hammer" delivered pairs acceptably placed.

One sight picture, two shots. A "Hammer's" best utility is to put two hits on target in a hyper-rapid interval, and with practice one can fire a "dedicated pair" or a "controlled pair" nearly as fast with greater accuracy.

The "Dedicated Pair" is an aimed sight picture "shot #1" recover from recoil--flash sight picture"shot #2". The "Dedicated Pair" differs from the "Controlled Pair" only in that, while the sights are seen for the second shot, no attempt is made to correct the sight picture. The sights are seen for the second shot only to verify alignment that has already been achieved through a well-practiced follow-through. Since the eye can pick up images incredibly quickly, many shooters who think they are firing "hammers" are really firing "controlled pairs".

The "Controlled Pair" goes like so: aimed sight picture "shot #1" recover from recoil -- reacquire aimed sight picture as needed " shot #2."

In a "controlled pair" the interval between the shots can be very short or quite long. The length of the interval is influenced by the degree of marksmanship difficulty required by circumstance, the recoil of the weapon, the type of trigger, and so forth.

Through practice, experienced shooters know how much time they need to deliver a "double tap" on a particular target at a particular distance under particular circumstances. A charging target at 5 yards might best be engaged by a "Hammer" where a partial target behind hard cover at 15 yards would require a "Controlled Pair". Most situations are best resolved with a "Dedicated Pair".

These descriptions of technique are most useful to newer shooters trying to conceptualize marksmanship skills and techniques over the continuum of situations where they might need to be applied. With practice, experienced shooters know how precise a trigger stroke and how perfect a sight picture they need to deliver a shot or shot on target under different parameters.

May 7, 2006, 08:47 AM
On Matt Burkett's website he has 'timing drills' to develop the ability to shoot at a pace that allows you to see the sights on every shot, and get away from the double tap. Depending on your ability and the quality of your index the double tap should be abandoned beyond about 5-7 yards, and as get the timing of the gun down you will find that it is actually faster to fire in a controlled manner with sight pictures for every shot even inside of 5 yards.

Once you get the timing sort of figured out line up three targets edge to edge and fairly close. Shoot the timing drill into one. Reload and make ready, now shoot the timing drill into all three with two shots each at the EXACT same cadence. Shoot only A's, but keep the cadence. This will do two things, first and foremost you will get away from double tapping. Second it will greatly speed up your transitions which is far more important than split times for the vast majority of us.

As this becomes comfortable spread the targets out a couple feet apart, then increase the distance from the targets.

See the front sight lift on EVERY shot!!

May 9, 2006, 10:22 AM
As a top competitor for many years and a coach, I can tell you that the best thing to learn is to shoot your sights. Your sights dictate the speed at which you shoot. At 10 yards or less, sub .20 splits are easy, sub .15 are great. My average splits were .11 - .13 and I can call my shots. To learn how to do that, you need to learn to track your sights. If you are shooting iron sights, focus on the front sight, if using a dot then focus on the target. Watch the sight during recoil, you mind will bring the sight back to it's starting point (providing you have a neutral grip and stance), when the sight returns to the "A" zone, break the shot.

Start by just tracking the sight during recoil. Fire one shot with the purpose of seeing the front sight the entire time. Track the sight throught its travel until it returns to the target, prep the trigger but don't break the next shot. Do that until you are sure you are tracking the sight. Then, break the second shot. Repeat that process. If you are tracking your sights, you should be able to tell where each round hits without checking your target. Add a thrid shot and so on. You will learn how fine your alignment has to be at any given range. At 3 yards, just seeing the front sight in the rear notch is enough precision for that shot, but at 50 yards you had better have perfect alignment in the rear notch.

Practice that drill at first trying to shoot all "A's", then speed up until you are shooting about 70%. Your speed will build over time. Once you have the concept down, incorporate "Bill Drills" into your practices.

A Bill Drill is 7 yds 6 "A" hits in under 2 seconds. If you don't shoot all "A's", it doesn't count. Once you have that down, you can adjust the distance.

Try those techniques, if you master them you will be ahead of the game. But there is much more to learn as well. Buy Brian Enos' book.