PDF Shoot Fast, But Shoot Straight

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So if you really want to learn to shoot fast, you need to accept a frightening truth. A common exercise used to build speed is the Bill Drill. A Bill Drill, essentially, is firing six shots as fast as you can guarantee six good hits. Instead, find a pace that has you missing a shot every drill or two. If you miss more than that, you need to slow down and work on marksmanship. If you miss less, you need to speed up. By taking this approach, it is easy to regulate how fast you should be going.

Adjust your tempo and try again.

Range Rules

Pay attention to what the gun and target are telling you. Learn from them. Why are we purposely missing the target? As stated earlier, learning to shoot fast is harder than just learning to shoot accurately. Shooting fast means learning to go faster than you have before. You need to learn to manipulate the trigger faster, see the sights faster, control muzzle flip better. Learning to shoot faster means getting a little out of control. Not a lot, but just enough to feel that edge, to find the limit of your performance and push past it just a little. Also, this permission slip to miss only applies when working specifically on speed.

Marksmanship drills, tactical drills, judgmental shooting drills should all be done with the intention of making every shot count. Stance: From a practical shooting standpoint, stance happens from the waist up. For the sake of practice, then, foot and leg positions simply need to be comfortable.


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Try not to lock your elbows as that can cause damage to the joints over time. See a theme, here? Grip: Once your body is in position, next your hands get into position. For the sake of accuracy, your grip needs to be consistent. For speed, it also needs to be stable. Grip the gun as high as you can without interfering with the controls or the movement of the slide. Point thumbs forward, not up or crossed over one another.

Your weak hand should provide the real support, squeeze your weak hand as tight as you can without creating a tremor which might upset your sights. Your hands should contact the grip in a full circle. The webbing of the hand should be fully under the tang of the back-strap. The weapon must initially be gripped with sufficient force to cause shaking and then gradually released until the shaking stops. The support hand applies pressure in exactly the same fashion.

The idea behind the two hand grip is to completely encircle the grip of the gun in order to be in control of recoil. The support hand thumb will be on the same side of the gun as the weapon hand thumb. Grip is acquired in the holster, prior to draw and presentation. The web of the shooting hand must be in the top of tang on the back-strap and no higher.

If you are too high the slide will bite your hand. If you are too low with your grip you allow the gun to move more with recoil making sight recovery and follow-on shots more difficult and time-consuming. A key point is to have both thumbs pointing at the target. The heel of your non-shooting hand should cover the area on the grip that is exposed. The front sight blade is centered and flush with the rear sight aperture. In order for the bullet to hit the center of the target, the shooter must aim the pistol and give the barrel a definite direction relative to the target.

In theory, accurate aiming is achieved when the shooter places, in exact alignment, the rear sight with the top and sides of the front sight and holds them in alignment in the aiming area. A requisite for correct aiming is the ability to maintain the relationship between the front and rear sights. When aiming, the front sight is positioned in the middle of the rear sight notch with an equal light space on each side.

The horizontal top surface of the front sight is on the same level as the top horizontal surface of the rear sight notch See figure. It is necessary to be acutely aware of the relationship of the rear sight to the clearly defined front sight. Normal vision is such that the rear sight of the pistol will be as nearly in focus as the front sight.

Rampage For The Cure!

Some shooters may be able to see only the notch of the rear sight in sharp focus; the outer extremities may become slightly blurred. The placement of the sights on the target while maintaining proper sight alignment is sight picture. Sight picture is the relationship of the target, the front and rear sights and the eye. Emphasis here is on the front sight. Inside combat distance, 7 yards and closer, if the front sight is on the target, the target will be hit when the weapon is fired.

In combat shooting, this is the most important fundamental.

Shoot Better

It can not keep the rear sight, the front sight and the target in focus simultaneously. The shooter must concentrate on the front sight. Your eye can only focus on one thing at a time…You must focus on the front sight while keeping good sight alignment. When you pull the trigger you do not want to disrupt sight alignment. When pressing the trigger, the shooter should use the tip of the index finger. Photograph courtesy of U. Coast Guard. In either double action or single action mode, trigger control is defined as steady pressure exerted on the trigger straight to the rear to release the hammer and fire the weapon and immediately allowing the trigger to return, so the weapon can be fired again.

Descriptive term here is a press and not a squeeze. Note the trigger finger continually maintains contact with the trigger. This should be accomplished by utilizing a smooth movement isolating the trigger finger only. All other fingers must remain still during the trigger press. Another important part of trigger control is trigger reset. Once the trigger has been fired, slowly release pressure on the trigger until an audible click is heard and felt.

At this point, the shooter need not release any more pressure on the trigger to fire again.

This maintains a proper sight alignment and sight picture more easily. The finger is placed so that the trigger is halfway between the tip of the finger and the first joint. Each shot should come as a surprise. To begin proper trigger control, the shooter must first properly place the index finger on the trigger.

The index finger is placed in the middle of the trigger at the most rearward curved portion, to apply pressure to the trigger. The trigger should cross the finger approximately halfway between the tip of the finger and the first joint, over the swirl of the fingerprint.

After attaining proper placement of the finger on the trigger, proper trigger pressure can be applied to the trigger.

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There are three parts of trigger pressure each time the weapon is fired. They are slack, press, and follow through. Slack — The shooter must first take up the slack at the beginning of the trigger movement by applying slight pressure to the trigger. Press — The trigger is then in the press portion of its movement, which is when the internal parts of the weapon are being disengaged from each other to allow the hammer to fall.

The pressure should be a smooth, constant, and even pressure, applied straight to the rear so that the sights are not misaligned at the instant the hammer falls. Once the hammer begins to fall, the follow through portion of trigger control begins. Follow Through —Follow through is the continued steady pressure applied to the trigger until the trigger reaches its most rearward point of travel. If the shooter does not continue to apply the constant, even pressure during follow through, it is possible that the impact of the round could move on the target, thus spoiling an otherwise good shot.

Breathing is an important factor that impacts the accuracy of your shot. One can practice sight picture, sight alignment, natural point of aim, and optimum handgun shooting positions, but if one does not breathe properly, one may never engage the target as accurately as possible. Also, the further away the target is, the more important breathing comes into play.