Thursday, May 21, 2020

Accurate Shooting at Speed

Accurate shooting at speed does not just happen on its own. Learning to shoot fast is harder than simply learning to shoot accurately because by definition you are learning to go faster than you ever have before. As IDPA Distinguished Master Gregg Kratochvil once told me: "If you want to learn to shoot fast — you have to shoot fast." You must teach yourself faster trigger manipulation, to align the sights faster, and control recoil better.

Shooting fast while hitting the target requires a balance between speed and accuracy. Push one to the limits of your skill and you'll necessarily see the other suffer. If you shoot fast, you will miss sometimes, but that is OK because accuracy does catch up with continued practice. Learning to shoot faster means pushing yourself and getting a little (but safely) out of control as you find the limit of your skills — and then pushing beyond those limits just a little.

Steel stages in general, but stages like the Ultimate Five in particular can help improve your trigger preparation, trigger control, and transitions at speed. I have often heard the phrase "slow is smooth and smooth is fast." That never made sense to me and I noticed the typical person uttering the phrase was almost always shooting slowly. We probably say it to make them feel better about being slow.  Most of the time, shooters saying this really do not understanding the underlying principles required to balance speed and accuracy. If you only practice slow, deliberate marksmanship, then the only skill you are developing is — slow, deliberate marksmanship.

In a video from a recent practice session I am shooting the Ultimate Five steel stage with a shotgun. Two runs with birdshot and two runs with buckshot. This is a stage we occasionally shoot during the Alamo Sport Shooting Club steel match and it requires pistol shooters to draw on the buzzer and shoot each target in any order. The stop plate is the last target hit. A typical steel run requires five to six shots assuming no misses.

The fastest I have seen this stage run was with a pistol caliber carbine at 1.95 seconds. The fastest with a pistol was with an Open Class race gun and the shooter fired it in 2.67 seconds from a draw—twice in a row. Likely there are pros who could shoot it faster.

Come out and shoot steel with us on the 1st Sunday of every month at Cedar Ridge Range in San Antonio. 

For more information go to the Alamo Sport Shooting Club website

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