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Old April 6, 2017, 01:17 AM   #1
AzShooter
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I've been shooting too slow.

For the last few months I've been working on my group shooting, trying to verify it's me and not my gun when I'm missing large targets like in the Steel Challenge Matches.

Today I took my Mark IV 22/45 to the range with 300 rounds of CCI Standard Velocity ammo. I decided to pick up my speed and work on first shot and follow-ups on multiple targets. When the sight was on target, not holding to make sure I was centered, my groups were half the size of the slow fired groups.

I normally shoot CCI Mini Mags but wanted to test the lighter recoil from the SVs and it's quite noticeable. I had 100 % reliability so it looks like I'll be using SVs over the harder to get Minis.

It helped build my confidence that I can shoot much faster and still make my hits.
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Old April 6, 2017, 07:05 AM   #2
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While I'm not a competitor in any of the action handgun games, and the following advice may not apply to those disciplines; I'll share this bit of training I picked up at Front Sight's 4-Day Defensive Handgun Course (600 rounds over 4 days of classroom and range training taught predominantly by former or off-duty LAPD and Orange Co. Deputy Sheriffs). It's a good course for those of you in the southwest...conducted near Pahrump, NVs.

They stressed that the object of training in controlled pairs delivered to the thoracic region was two shots delivered as rapidly as the sight picture could be attained. Groups were analyzed for speed and accuracy; the goal being a multi shot group that was approximately the size of one's hand. These are not "double taps" per se, but two, aimed shots; a separate sight picture for each. BTW, the qualifying time limit, from a holstered handgun to accomplish this, was 1.8 seconds from 5 yds.

The idea being that if the group was smaller than a hand's width, you were wasting valuable time being too precise... i.e. speed it up. But if the group was bigger, you were in jeopardy of losing combat accuracy; given their supposition that in an extreme emergency, life or death defensive encounter, your groups would open up by 100%...in other words, a 4" spread in practice would equate to 8" in a defensive encounter. Eight inches being still acceptable.

JMHO & YMMV, Rod
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Old April 6, 2017, 07:47 AM   #3
Loosedhorse
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Assuming a good sight picture, the keys to rapid, accurate fire seem to be a good trigger, good grip/platform/stance, a smooth trigger press, and good follow-through. (With other calibers I might add recoil management, but that may well be considered part good grip/platform/stance and part good follow-through.)

Your pistol seems to be providing the first to you, and you seem to be providing the other three to it. Well done and congratulations!

Last edited by Loosedhorse; April 6, 2017 at 07:53 AM.
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Old April 6, 2017, 08:30 AM   #4
FireForged
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What you are doing intuitively with a 22 to hold a good sight picture will not likely transfer to a larger cal firearm. 22's are good for fundamentals but to hold a good sight pic with a 9mm, 40 or 45.. you simply have to develop that technique by doing it. I don't care anything about comp and I carry a firearm only for lawful self defense.. I am not sure what your overall goal is but if its self defense, I wouldnt want to ingrain my technique too deeply with a 22. Running a gun is all about muscle technique, trigger control and a basic understanding of the fundamentals of marksmanship. A 22 can certainly be a part of that process but the key is developing the other [parts] as well. good luck

ps- I have never focused on speed.. I have always considered speed as a byproduct of skill. I have always focused on doing things right and repeating them over and over. Speed will come as skills are honed, you don't really have to force it. Everyone has their on tempo and as long as it is fluid and deliberate, I would take the "timer" out of it.
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Old April 6, 2017, 08:42 AM   #5
mete
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Lots of stuff there like things taught to us by Col. Cooper and others .

One thing is to learn to double tap rather than two fast shots. To put that in words it's " Bang-Bang" rather than "Bang, Bang " Fast sight acquisition is important .Remember "front sight , front sight " rather than the very careful alignment of front and rear sights !
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Old April 6, 2017, 09:55 AM   #6
g.willikers
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Then there's those who say relying on the sights is too slow, point and instinct shooting is the way to shoot fast and accurate.
There's probably as many opinions on the subject as people trying to accomplish it.
For myself, I try to rely more on form and the sights just being there when I get it right.
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Old April 6, 2017, 10:14 AM   #7
g.willikers
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For Steel Challenge, being able to only do 1.8 secs from 5 yds would be scoring at the very bottom.
Top guns usually do a typical course of fire, with a centerfire pistol, of five widely spaced targets of 10 to 15 yards, at less than three seconds a run.
There's plenty of youtube videos for review.
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Old April 6, 2017, 10:15 AM   #8
stephen426
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I have been doing more "practical shoots" lately and my ability to shoot accurately under rapid fire has gone up significantly. One thing I have been focusing on is what I call the "reset" position. You get to the point where the gun becomes an extension of your body and your body goes back to the same position after the gun recoils. Try and isolate all other movement and your "reset" position should be pretty much right back on target (no hunting or re-aiming required). Just verify the front sight is on target and pull the trigger.
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Old April 6, 2017, 10:23 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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I AM a competitor and the widely varying ranges and sizes of targets in IDPA, IPSC, and USPSA ensure that if you want to do well, you must balance speed and aim on the fly. Dogmatic positions that every shot must be aimed or that point shooting will carry the day will not serve.

Col Cooper did not like the term "double tap." He distinguished between the "hammer" - one sight picture, two trigger pulls, and the "controlled pair" - each shot with its own aim, albeit a coarse quick one at close range.

I warm up at practice with a .22 and then go on to centerfire.
I do NOT shoot the .22 in rapid fire at the same target where its light recoil would give me funny ideas. I iron out the draw, target acquisition, and target transition one pop on each with the smallbore.
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Old April 9, 2017, 07:20 AM   #10
GarandTd
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I often manage rapid pairs with more accuracy. In my case, I think less time concentrating on the shot keeps me from overthinking it.
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Old April 12, 2017, 04:42 PM   #11
CDR_Glock
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It's always best not to be too deliberate so that you don't have paralysis through analysis. However, you need a fast enough sight picture to deliver a controlled pair.

I find it much easier with a red dot system than open sights since there are fewer focal plans to contend with.


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Old April 14, 2017, 07:18 PM   #12
4V50 Gary
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I was the slowest of the five students today. Then again unlike others I had to deal with a shirt that had to be cleared before accessing the firearm. On top of that, the firearm was dirty, some ammunition a few years old (verdigris) and the slide was very slow due to dried up lubrication.

Despite this I was however able to place my bullets onto my target. A slow hit > than a fast miss.
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Old April 15, 2017, 10:24 PM   #13
PPGMD
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Quote:
I find it much easier with a red dot system than open sights since there are fewer focal plans to contend with.
I don't, you see muzzle movement that you would never see with an iron sighted gun. An open gun's dot bounces around like an EKG when shooting steel challenge. You have to resist the urge to stop the dot in the middle on easy targets, instead floating it somewhere on the target for that moment before pressing the trigger.

While with iron sights because you are more focused on the sights not the target you have less of an urge to wait for the sights to settle perfectly in the center of the target.
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Old April 15, 2017, 10:58 PM   #14
stephen426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4V50 Gary
A slow hit > than a fast miss
I used to believe this until I saw a bunch of really rough looking characters at the range once. They were shooting pretty quickly and their groupings were awful, but they were still making hits. The problem is that lucky shots (or unlucky shots for the person on the receiving end) could still kill you and hinder your ability to shoot back (at a bare minimum). Obviously a miss is not going to hurt you, but I'm pretty sure your accuracy isn't going to be nearly as good when someone is shooting back at you.

I believe that it is critical to practice drawing your weapon and getting on target as quickly as possible. I believe that it is important to practice point shooting (maybe flash sight picture) rather than only slow aimed fire. One handed shooting, weak hand shooting, and shooting from retention are also very important drills to practice as it is better to be prepared and not need the skill.

If I had to reword your statement, it would be: He who makes the first critical hit in a confrontation has be the best chances of surviving the confrontation.
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Old April 16, 2017, 10:54 AM   #15
4V50 Gary
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Stephen - I can live with that.
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Old April 24, 2017, 10:23 PM   #16
Metric
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I'm not an expert, but I have the idea that most people will tend to err on the side of shooting too quickly, if they are under a lot of pressure. The key skill is to be able to know the exact boundary between a "good" shot vs. a "rushed" shot, and to stay only as far on the "good" side as the situation demands.
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Old April 25, 2017, 01:05 AM   #17
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Thoughts...
I have some.
Having difficulty organizing them.
Perhaps rambling will work...?

I can shoot my Browning Buckmarks quicker on-target than anything else.
Is it the recoil? Muzzle flip? Familiarity?
I think it's just the low-powered cartridge combined with a great pistol.

Put any other handgun in my hands, and I will be slower to make hits, or faster to miss.


Somewhat related, but possibly not...
My rifles are built around hunting (well, most of my handguns, too...). My ammunition is tailored for hunting.
Once I work up a hunting load and am ready to declare it "ready", I do one last thing: I shoot "running" groups.
That means I shoot as fast as I can get back on target, and see if the load performs as well from a warming barrel as it did from a cold barrel. The purpose is to simulate needing to 'drop' a wounded animal before it runs off into an area worse than where it currently is, by any means up to emptying the magazine.

About 50% of the time, those "running" groups are the best groups I shoot.
It could be luck.
Or it could be that I stop thinking about the fundamentals and just shoot by instinct.
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