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Old January 7, 2008, 02:25 PM   #1
Join Date: December 11, 2007
Posts: 25
Help with rapid fire

Hey everyone. I'm a new pistol owner, I have an S&W M&P9c that I love. Had it for almost a month now and put 1,000 rounds through it thus far. Been able to produce some pretty decent groups at the range, as I said I'm pretty new to pistols but a long time rifle and shotgun shooter, I'm versed with what it takes to ready yourself for a good shot.

Anyway, now that I'm getting fairly proficient when give myself time to re-center, maybe a seond or two between firing, I'd like some help getting my double tap and rapid fire skills honed. Can anyone suggest any specifics? I'm shooting decent groups, I've been within 2" at 25 yards, I realize I could do a little better there, but those shots are lethal in my book. However, as soon as I speed it up to simulate what might happen if I'm required to draw and fire multiple shots at an attacker as fast as possible (I carry daily), my placement ends up all over the place. Thanks!
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Old January 7, 2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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Forget about trying to shoot for the smallest group size possible when shooting for speed. Doing so will only slow you down. The "5 zone" of an IDPA target is a 8" circle and probably serves as a good benchmark for an acceptable group size for practical shooting.

Follow through is also important. Don't fight the recoil, allow the trigger to reset as the pistol comes up, and have the trigged prepped for the next shot when the sights settle back down on the target (as long as your stance and grip is good, the gun should return to very near the original point of aim).
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Old January 7, 2008, 05:35 PM   #3
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+1 on don't fight the recoil.
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Old January 7, 2008, 05:51 PM   #4
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It's also unlikely that you'd expend any more than a double tap at any kind of distance.
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Old January 8, 2008, 03:04 AM   #5
Join Date: December 11, 2007
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll be sure to work on this more at the range on Wednesday and report back.
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Old January 8, 2008, 11:15 AM   #6
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Maybe this will help:
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Old January 8, 2008, 11:55 AM   #7
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With double taps or rapid fire, I have been taught that the trigger has a reset point, not having to release the trigger the whole pull distance. This has been difficult for me and requires a lot of practice, but I have seen people use this and it seems as though their pistol is on full auto. So I continue to practice it. I think its probably easier on some pistols than others. Difference in triggers.
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Old January 8, 2008, 12:42 PM   #8
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With practice, speed will come. ATW525 has it right when he says not to fight the recoil. If you do and try to force your rate of fire, you'll get a lot of vertical stringing.
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Old January 8, 2008, 02:15 PM   #9
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It's also unlikely that you'd expend any more than a double tap at any kind of distance.
...and at 25 yards, you are not likely to be double tapping anyway.

Since you are talking about a pistol, self defense, and attackers, in what scenarios do you perceive coming into action and rapid firing at 25 yards? There are very few such events where you would do this in the grand scheme of the attacks that occur every year.

So you shoot good groups at 25 yards with a pistol. Great. A lot of folks believe that if you shoot well at distance that the skill translates to shooting well close up. This is not always the case. Generally speaking, people are raped, robbed, and carjacked at interview distances. Reaction times needed at these distances are much less than are needed at greater distances such as 25 yards. You initial sight picture, if you are not point or contact shooting, will be much quicker than with a target at 25 yards. You are looking for a generalized sight alignment in the A zone instead of a specific faction of the front sight being in the A zone.

So you might want to consider working on your doubles or rapid firing at a realistic distance such as interview distance. When you get good at it, then consider increasing it. Get good at the next distance and then increase it. Build your program incrementally.
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Old January 8, 2008, 03:42 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I have 300 rounds to expend at the range tomorrow, I will be spending some time working on this.
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Old January 8, 2008, 03:53 PM   #11
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The best thing for me has not involved any ammunition -- dry fire, a target, and a shooting timer. Set up a target in your basement in a safe direction. Unload your gun and magazines and put them away. They should not be in he same room. Now set your timer for a random start. Holster the pistol. Start the timer. When the beep occurs, draw, aim at the target, pull the trigger. Then pull the trigger a second time (it doesn't matter that your trigger won't reset for the second pull). For the first 10 reps, do it slow, focusing on form. Make sure that your front sight does not move.

Now set your timer for par time of X seconds where X is about 20 seconds longer than your fastest, accurate time. Do 10 reps.

Reduce par time by 10 seconds. Do 10 reps.

Reduce par time by another 10 reps.

Do this 5 nights a week. Make sure, however, that you never rush so fast that you are pulling your front sight off the target when you dry fire!
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Old January 8, 2008, 05:52 PM   #12
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About every third trip I like to do really slow drills, like painfully slow. Seems to help speed in some perverse way. YMMV
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Old January 8, 2008, 08:10 PM   #13
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STUDY Andy Stanford's Surgical Speed Shooting. Then take one of his classes. All will be just fine.
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Old January 8, 2008, 10:39 PM   #14
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I'm still a bit new to shooting regularly, but what I do currently is alternate my methods some.

I alternate guns from a .380 Mak, to a Sig P20 SAO .45, to a Ruger .22LR Single Six revolver, in the same range session.

I then alternate between a slow, medium, and trigger-reset paced fire (on the Ruger, it's not quite as fast, being a SAO revolver).

I also alternate between the 3 and 7 line, with the 7 line being my primary focus. every few range sessions, I'll shoot a few at the 15 line, for "just in case" scenario, but my reasoning is that most firing in a bad situation will between 3 and 7 yards, hence my practice at those two distances.

I also practice with my shotgun every few range sessions to get used to the difference there, and for a little fun (Who doesn't like firing with a reasonable buckshot in it?)

I'm surely not the best shooter, nor do I plan to compete, but I try different things just to keep myself fresh, and to try to improve my shooting skills. It also seems to help ME to alternate the weapons to try to keep from getting bad habits.

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Old January 8, 2008, 11:08 PM   #15
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Good advice and very good video link...I have refused to look at stuff on YouTube but will have to re-consider after looking at that video.

In the IDPA matches I have shot I have found that the advice of the others and the video holds true, if you have a decent grip your gun will come back down on target if you allow it to. Don't try to be over-accurate when double tapping, if you're firing more than one shot there's probably not a need for razor precision.

It is very hard not to force the gun back down but I think you cost yourself more time trying to re-align the sights than if you let nature take it's course. Also remember to take the caliber handgun you're shooting into consideration when double tapping...a 9mm or a .45 will be a bit easier and faster than say a .40, 10mm, or .357. Well, at least for me it is.

That guy's video on Mozambique Drill was pretty cool to, very common sense advice that's maybe not so common to a new shooter (like me).
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Old January 9, 2008, 11:26 AM   #16
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Lurpers advice is perfect. I just want to add that if your grouping is to close or tight speed up. If they are out of the vitals slow down.
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Old January 9, 2008, 09:45 PM   #17
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Doing rapid shooting is what I do at the outdoors gun range, because it's realistic training in my eyes. I have a .357 magnum revolver and it kicks back. I let it calm down on it's own after each shot, but when the sights come down to the general area where I want a hit I'm on the trigger fast, like hoping that six fast shots will more likely generate one hit than three slow. Holding on with both hands improves the hits by a foot at 15 yards.
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