July 20, 2005, 07:31 PM
Except for shooting a .22 rifle as a member of my high school shooting club, virtually all my formal firearms training has been from Law Enforcement instructors.

For example, a few years ago, a LEO firearms instructor had us do this exercise:

He told us to fire our semi-auto handguns AS FAST AS WE CAN PULL THE TRIGGER and empty the mag at a target 7 yards away.

Those of us who had a randomly spaced hit pattern in the center of the target got an "ataboy" from the instructior.

Those who had a "perfect" target (i.e. almost all the hits in the exact same area) got a "no good."


He explained to us the difference between being a COMBAT SHOOTER and a TARGET SHOOTER -- he wanted us NOT to shoot "perfect" targets, but to rather shoot a random "center target" area pattern that would likely incapacitate a threat.

This is, of course, just one example that he gave us in reference to the difference of being a Combat Shooter vs. a Target Shooter.

What type of firearms training do you prefer -- combat shooting or target shooting?

Do you think you can "mix and match" difference styles of shooting, or should you train in only one method (i.e. for "muscle memory" purposes, etc.)?

:what: :confused: :what:

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July 20, 2005, 07:48 PM
All you need is new instructor. I you can put all your shots into a small area as fast as the trigger can be pulled you simply are more accurate than those who don't. Heck if you want a pattern get a shotgun. What a crock.

The Rabbi
July 20, 2005, 07:51 PM
Yeah, except that approach was first innovated by Col Fairbairn in Shooting To Live. I wouldnt be too quick to dismiss it.

Ala Dan
July 20, 2005, 07:51 PM
With practice, and lots of it I might add you can sucessfully "mix and
match" styles of shooting. Take for instance, someone who grows up
(non LEO at the moment) being a "target shooter"; can train his/her
self too be "combat effective". Grant it, it does takes lots of patience
and practice to get good at it; but it can be done. :D

July 20, 2005, 07:53 PM
i'm a target shooter and hunter.
i don't do the combat training because i have zero expectations of going into combat - been outta the military for 10 years now, so i'm sure i won't be getting called back.

also, to me, banging away as fast as possible is no fun, and i see zero point in having a gun like an ar-15 and blasting targets at 20 or 25 yards... to me the fun is in seeing how small of a target i can hit from as far away as possible. even the ar. i love touching the go button on a rifle and hearing the bullet whistle across the landscape, and then a little bit later hearing the 'thwack' of the target board.

as far as handguns go, even my j-frame revolvers never get closer than 20 yards from a target. the 480 ruger is never closer than 100, and the 40's and 45's are never closer than 25...

so, i guess i'm a target shooter is all...

July 20, 2005, 07:54 PM
I'm a target shooter. Every range session I focus on shooting the tightest groups possible. One well placed shot is more likely to incapacitate a threat than several randomly placed shots. Besides, the more shots that are fired the more likely there will be misses and unintended targets will be hit.

my .02

July 20, 2005, 07:54 PM
A nice, tidy hole placed quickly in the center mass of a cardboard target probably equals a random pattern in the middle of a moving target, because every round fired was under the shooter's conscious control and because moving targets are harder to hit than stationary ones.

A random pattern on an immobile target simply means that every round is not under the shooter's conscious control. Rounds that aren't under the shooter's control are dangerous in the real world, and should be avoided if possible.

Heard one dangfool opine that a ragged hole center mass wasn't a good thing because "you want to make new wound channels."

Oh, fer cryin' out loud!

I don't know where this nonsense comes from, but lemme point out something kind of ... well, kind of obvious, to anyone who lives in the real world:

cardboard targets don't move, but human beings do. You aren't going to make one ragged hole on a moving human being in any case.



I've interviewed a lot of people after gunfights, both police and private citizens. Not one has ever said to me, "You know, I wish I hadn't shot quite so well." -- Tom Givens

July 20, 2005, 07:58 PM

I practice getting the rounds on target (w/in the "A" zone of an IPSC target) as fast as possible. That includes all my center fire pistols and rifles.

The rifles are my newest challange, I'm trying to tighten up my groups with the 308's.

With the exception of my 10/22 & 22/45. Those things just love to tear out bulls eyes!

Molon Labe
July 20, 2005, 07:59 PM
The instructor was probably a poor shot, and wanted to cover up his lack of skill with some cockamamie theory he invented.

July 20, 2005, 08:04 PM
"Action Pistol" :)

July 20, 2005, 08:18 PM
Most of my "shots fired in anger" have been at paper or pop cans, :uhoh: :neener: so I guess I like to shoot good groups rather than riddle a target with shotgun patterns. Believe me if I'm scared I will probably do just that but if I'm paying for the ammo I like to improve my skill as much as possible. YMMV

Greg L
July 20, 2005, 08:30 PM

I figure if I can keep my shots to within a "minute of pie plate" at 200 yards, if nothing else I've scared him enough to give me time to throw another MOPP shot in his direction.

Bullseyes are (very) good, however I would rather have a magazine full of fairly well placed ammo dumped rapidly into a target area than one perfectly placed shot (under perfect conditions) every couple of minutes.

July 20, 2005, 08:36 PM
He told us to fire our semi-auto handguns AS FAST AS WE CAN PULL THE TRIGGER and empty the mag at a target 7 yards away.

I guess instructions like that are the reason we hear stories in the news about police officers shooting 100 times at a suspect and getting no hits.

July 20, 2005, 08:44 PM
" Heck if you want a pattern get a shotgun. What a crock."

Actually, you are wrong. And any firearms instructor I have ever been taught by would disagree with you.
The idea is to have a balance of speed and accuracy. What the instructor was trying to get across is that if you have a one hole group in the target, you probably arn't shooting fast enough (unless you are one of the top shooters in the world). So, when you start shooting tight groups, you speed up. As you speed up, the group will open up. As long as you are putting all your shots COM, the accuracy is good enough. With practice, you will be shooting at that speed and your accuracy will again start to improve. When the target again has a fairly tight group on it, it is time to increase your speed again.
As they said at one of the shooting classes I took, you want a handspan sized group COM. Any tighter than that and you need to be shooting faster.
When shooting humans, or animals, you don't get extra credit for shooting a one hole group. The target isn't graded for score. Putting all your shots in a group the size of a saucer or even a little bigger is plenty good. Shooting a tighter group than that isn't going to make anything better.
Another point this puts across is that you want to aim all your shots, but you don't need perfect sight alignment, perfect trigger break etc. all the time. You need to know just how carefully you have to shoot to put that handspan group COM. The farther away you are, the more careful you have to become. At 3-5 yards, you might only have to concentrate on the front sight with no conscious thought of your rear sight and the alignment of the two sights. Why, because we arn't trying to shoot a one hole group. We are just trying to put all our shots COM: that is good enough. When you get out to 15-20 yards, you are probably going to need to slow down and pay attention to the fundamentals of marksmanship to put all those shots in a handspan sized group: but you still need to do it as fast as possible. This isn't a bullseye match.
Firing the whole magazine as fast as you can is a shooting drill. I believe it is called a "Bill Drill" It teaches you many things about shooting. It isn't nessessarily what you plan on doing if you are involved in a shooting: it is a drill. One of the biggest thing it teaches you is to track your front sight during recoil. It also teaches you whether or not your are using a good stance which is indicated by whether or not the muzzle is rising straight up and down in recoil or is it moving off to one side or the other.

July 20, 2005, 08:46 PM
Quote: "one perfectly placed shot (under perfect conditions) every couple of minutes"

I have no quarrel with the point you were making but think it worthwile to point out that target shooters also can shoot rapidly. One third of Bullseye pistol competition is rapid fire stage which requires firing 5 shots per string in 10 seconds at 25 yds using only one hand to hold the gun. A good competitor will put most of the shots into the 10 ring at that speed and distance. Top competitors will keep ALL their shots in the 10 ring during rapid fire. (Slow fire at 50 yds is what separates the men from the boys.)

Good shooting and be safe.

The Rabbi
July 20, 2005, 08:50 PM
I'll try this again.

In Shooting To Live Fairbairn offers that target shooting, while a worthy endeavor, not only does not help with combat but actually detracts from it. He maintains that speed is the greatest factor in surviving a shooting. His method stresses instinctive shooting with one hand on close targets, with maximum number of shots fired. He admits the method does not produce nail driving marksmanship but that is not the point. A better than 50% hit ratio on man sized targets at 7 yards or less is the standard. There is no gradation above that: one either achieves that standard or he doesnt.
Fairbairn was chief of police (or somesuch) in Shanghai in the 1920s and '30s. His department was involved in like 600+ shootings and he himself was probably a part of many of them. I would not be so quick to dismiss his comments.

July 20, 2005, 08:52 PM
Rabbi, Fairbain may have been the first to say this, but he was far from the last. Go to any legitimate shooting school in the country and you will hear the same thing.

The Rabbi
July 20, 2005, 08:56 PM
I wish that were true. Plenty of people here have been to legitimate shooting schools and I havent heard too many support Fairbairn's view. Ayoob specifically takes issue with it. Further, the competitions and gradings that go on (I dont know to what extent in schools but for sure in the sports area) are antithetical to Fairbairn's ideas.

July 20, 2005, 08:58 PM
Rapid shooting is all well and good, and I understand and support the rationale behind it - but there are a couple of factors which are very important to keep in mind.

1. As private citizens, we're accountable (more so than LEO's) for each and every shot we fire. If I empty a cylinder or magazine at a BG, no matter how justified I might be in shooting, and one or more of my rounds goes downrange and hits an innocent person, I'm responsible - at least in civil law, and probably in criminal law as well. Aiming helps.

2. Having been in rather more armed encounters than you can shake several sticks at, I have learned the hard way that wasting ammo is another good way to get yourself injured or killed. If you're facing only one assailant, who's timid and will run away, it might not hurt to fire rapidly: but against multiple assailants, who are determined, a hit is a heck of a lot more useful than a fast miss!

So, speed has its disadvantages too...

July 20, 2005, 09:04 PM
444 -- You are correct.

That was the EXACT point he was trying to get across to us:

"The idea is to have a balance of speed and accuracy. What the instructor was trying to get across is that if you have a one hole group in the target, you probably arn't shooting fast enough (unless you are one of the top shooters in the world)."

:D :eek: :D

July 20, 2005, 09:31 PM
Why do I want to hit the same lung twice? How about putting the next bullet in the liver. I'm not saying to spray and pray to the point of hitting bystandards but let's do some multi system trauma to the bad guy here.


Ala Dan
July 20, 2005, 09:33 PM
Greeting's Again All-

Um, some mighty interesting and very valid points I'm afraid. In a real life
and death scenario, I believe speed does play an important factor starting
with the presentation of the firearm. And as I've been taught, once this
has been accomplished "its too late to turn back now"! So your actions*
to deliver the most efficent shot(s) possible to center mass of the target
is crucial.

*FootNote: elasped time

Lee F
July 20, 2005, 09:41 PM
If I want my shots to hit in multiple spots in the torso I will aim at multiple spots in the torso.

If your first shots to the heart or lungs fail to stop the aggressor do you really believe follow up shots to the intestines and groin will help?

July 20, 2005, 09:46 PM
I'd class myself as a target shooter. Why? Odds are I'll never be carrying any of what I own in any sort of combat situation, or SD situation (why? Mostly I have rifles, which I doubt I'll be packin if something comes up). Though, I think that if you could concentrate your shots into a vital area, you have a better chance of taking something down when compared to frightened, random shots that might only hit extremeties. YMMV.

July 20, 2005, 10:45 PM
Fairbairn wasn't mentioned. We were told people with a tight group were told that it wasn't as good. We weren't told those people shot slower. And like was mentioned, people aren't standing still.

Better accuracy even at speed is possible. Speed is important, but the old saw, " you can't miss fast enough to win also applies".

I still stand by the what a crock comment with the situation as described.

Remember the son of an Olympic target shooter a few years back. On the way home from practice, was the intended victim of a car jacking by three assailants. He used his target pistol to head shoot all three I think. I bet he was pretty darn quick. More importantly every one of his meager subsonic 22rounds found the mark. Bad guys zero good guy 3.

You should shoot as fast as you can keep on the target. Again, maybe the instructor meant more, if he didn't explain, he was a poor instructor.

July 20, 2005, 10:53 PM
And there is a difference between the techniques used in training a large group of people to a certain (typically minimum) level of proficiency with limited amounts of time and ammo for sustainment training and the individual shooter going beyond that minimum technique to gain greater speed and accuracy than that technique is designed to teach.

So Fairbairn's (or any other military/police) method should not be viewed as the "end all be all" but rather a great minimum starting point or benchmark for greater individual accomplishment.

July 20, 2005, 10:54 PM
ragged hole center mass wasn't a good thing because "you want to make new wound channels."

That's almost verbatim what I was told by my academy instructors in CA. My reply at the time was to ask, "If the agressor has a ragged hole you can see daylight through, isn't that a good thing?"

That said, I'm far from being a "target shooter", mainly because I haven't been to the range often enough in the past year to hit much past 10 yards. But, now that I've found a good gravel pit, that should change.

July 20, 2005, 10:57 PM
At LFI-I, I (and most of the class) was panic-stricken about the final exam: a course of fire with time limits and a minimum acceptable score.

By LFI-IV, we were doing the same course of fire at more than 4x original speed with confidence (at rates exceeding 6 shots in 2 seconds at times).

July 20, 2005, 11:02 PM
ctdonath ~

That's the point.

You want to hit the target fast and accurately.

Trash-talking accuracy for the sake of speed won't do it (you cannot miss your opponent fast enough to win a gunfight).

Trash-talking speed won't do it (you cannot aim a duck to death).

Gotta have both.


Standing Wolf
July 20, 2005, 11:11 PM
I've been a bullseye target shooter three decades and longer. I don't doubt I'm able to defend my life and property, but the shooting I love is all done at paper targets.

The Rabbi
July 20, 2005, 11:15 PM
I've been a bullseye target shooter three decades and longer. I don't doubt I'm able to defend my life and property

Is there anyone on here who doubts he could defend himself? Probably not, which is bad because I would bet a fair number of people could not, and I might count myself among them.
A while back someone posed the question, at what point would you feel incapable of carrying a gun? Most people responding basically said that as long as they had functional arms (the kind with elbows and hands attached) they would carry. I think people tend to vastly overrate their abilities. That said, from the cases of people actually using guns to defend themselves, acute skill doesnt seem to be a deciding factor.

July 20, 2005, 11:17 PM
There are police firearms instructors, and then there are those who claim to be firearms instructors.

My first police firearms "instructor" in the reserve academy claimed that the reason the M-16 was so deadly was that the bullet tumbled in flight. When I asked him how the bullet got to the target accurately he didn't have an answer.


The Rabbi
July 20, 2005, 11:18 PM
Did that necessarily make him a bad instructor?

July 20, 2005, 11:19 PM
I shoot centerfire benchrest. Droppin' the first round on the target, and four more right on top of 'em. But that's with the target rifles. I still remember how to walk fire with a semi-auto...

I can also dump two 8 round magazines out of a 1911A1, with a change, into two seven yard targets, alternating shots, with pie-plate center-mass groups, inside of 10 seconds. And that's not using a "race" gun. That's also with dropping and picking up a stopwatch.

A single target goes a LOT faster.

Just punch the weapon toward the target, watch the front sight, hang onto it with your left hand, and start yankin'.

And you know what? Last year I was aiming, and shooting slowly, and it took about a half a case of Wolf .45 to break that.

Now, without "aiming," I can consistently hit bowling-pin size targets at 15-20 yards. Granted, I'm looking, but I'm not worrying about being all that precise, and I'm not worrying about perfection of technique. Of course, I've put a few cases of Wolf down the pipe too...

Thanks, John...

July 20, 2005, 11:27 PM
I have to agree with esldude. If you can get a tight group even while firing at exactly the same rate as others, you're doing fine, and the instructor is full of it. Accurate and fast is about as good as you can get. The only time I've ever heard people want less accuracy is with light machine guns (to suppress an area).

July 20, 2005, 11:51 PM
But you can get too hung up on accuracy.

Practice makes perfect. And I'm happy with a dispersed group on a combat target. My goal is to dump the mags as fast as possible, with all the rounds hitting in the circles. Any slower is bad, any misses is bad.

It's synergistic.

Besides, I also agree with the school that says that multiple .45 holes through multiple lungs is better than one 1.00 hole through a single lung. I want knockdown, no breathing, no getting up, no chasing my fat butt down.

8 shots in 5 seconds in a 6" group center mass is better than three shots in 10 seconds in a 2" group.

July 20, 2005, 11:59 PM
At any distance if you can't keep all your shots in an 8" circle, you are going too fast, and if all your shots are in a 2" group, you're going to slow.

Simple philosophy, but it's true.

July 21, 2005, 12:04 AM
Interesting, but there's another thread here where a guy confronted a burglar in his house and shot him in the arm, but was in trouble with the law. One of the complaints against him was his 'reckless' discharging of a revolver. IE they couldn't find one bullet.

If you dump 12 bullets and get 3 hits I don't see any way around it except the media and the city council and the police chief will all get together in a big love-in press conference and say "See!? Citizens shouldn't own firearms, they are irresponsible." And then that same instructor who taught you how to rapidly fire so well, he'll be interviewed saying how you just don't have the skillls the police do, how you're not trained for the situation, etc etc.

It's a trick, there is no Grand Pooba to listen to, Fairbanks was right and he was wrong. Fighting the Orange gang or the Green gang is one thing, but he's no god. His fighting knife was not perfect, it broke too easily, and the chances are that his theories aren't perfect.

Especially when there's a blood-thirsty pack of animals known as police politicians and media that are salivating when they think about a citizen discharging their firearm in the manner the police instructor in question advocated.

It's a trap!

just an opinion.

July 21, 2005, 12:05 AM
Okay, yes, I agree that it's probably more useful to put a second hole somewhere else, rather than send another bullet through the exact same hole you just shot a split second ago.

But if you think that in the heat of battle, you're going to be able to send two shots through the exact same hole, at the exact same trajectory, on a living, moving, running, cursing, screaming human being ... well, I want some of whatever you've been smoking, that's all.

It ain't ever ever going to happen anyway, so it's a bogus worry. Practice fast and accurate, both.


July 21, 2005, 12:55 AM

"What, did you miss?"

"No, I think I keep putting the bullets through the same hole. Look at this target."

July 21, 2005, 01:00 AM
I've seen some droll rationalizations for poor shooting skills, but this one's always my favorite. :)

When I drive one outside of the "A" zone, I don't think "Well, I'm a COMBAT SHOOTER," I think "Dammit, I can't miss fast enough to win; I need more practice," and when I gutterball the target completely, I don't think "Well, that bystander probably had it coming, anyway..." :uhoh:

"Well, Mrs. Rabinowitcz, I'm sorry about your husband being downrange and all, but Fairbairn told me a 50% hit ratio was plenty good enough, so I stopped practicing." :o

July 21, 2005, 01:08 AM
DId the people that got the "attaboy" shoot the random patterns on purpose or was it sloppy shooting?

If I can put all my shots in a single hole of my choosing, I'm less likely to miss than if my pattern is all over the place.



July 21, 2005, 01:14 AM
Pax has it. Same hole accuracy is a pipe dream in a self defense combat encounter. I can appreciate balancing accuracy and speed. I would term it more as Effective Fire. Accurate fire at a reasonable speed is what I would work for, not the other way around.

Another Question: Does it really make sense to teach people to empty their magazine at a bad guy as fast as they can? In most self defense situations, how much ammo is the average person carrying? Should you assume the person you see is the only one there is? I think the average person will fire faster under stress and less accurately than normal. If they empty their mag and are ineffective, they are screwed. If more than one assailant, a novice shooter with this training could get really screwed especially if they can't get their targets straight and spray at everyone at the same time. Do they still just teach a double tap?

IMHO, I don't think 7 yards is very far at all. You ought to be able to hit a man size target at 7 yards firing from the hip. Firing without detail aiming is a good skill to play with every now and then.

IMHO, If you can learn to shoot a 6 or 8 inch group at 20 yards, hitting a target at 7 yards becomes easy even at speed.

One other thing: In a nighttime encounter or in a dark room, if you spray all your ammo at an opponent, I don't see how you will be able to see the target to maintain your aiming point. You could waste all your ammo and find the guy moved to the left and you couldn't see. I guess that depends on the gun.

Guy B. Meredith
July 21, 2005, 01:27 AM
As a couple of other responders implied, the instructor needs to spend some time in IPSC, ICORE or IDPA. Tell one of the competitors that putting 2 shots in the A zone on an assortment of targets in a fraction of a second each that they are incompetent.

May not be able to target shoot in real life situations, but doing it well in competition and practice will get you closer to perfect in real life situations than slacking off because 'it can't be done'.

July 21, 2005, 03:15 AM
If you can put a round in a flea's @ss at 200 meters, that's good...
If you can empty a 30 round mag in less than 3 seconds, that's good.
When you can do both at the same time, that's great...
When you decide you don't need anymore training, that's just plain stupid!

My training started when I was a young lad and my father said:
"Shooting is easy, you just line up your sights and squeeze the trigger."
I've been perfecting that technique for over thirty years...
I've never had any more formal training than what was offered by an ex-military rangemaster at boy scout camp. He scored us by covering the largest grouping on your target with a clear plastic overlay that had a bullseye on it...
Not many kids went home without their marksmanship merit badge...
One fine summer day he told me all I ever needed to know about combat versus target shooting...
"In sport shooting you use various poses, targets, and types of weapons to hone skills or simply for pleasure and enjoyment of a great sport.
In combat, you shoot quick at the center of mass because the target will not wait for you to get a nice sight picture on it and will certainly be firing back at you if you miss with the first shot. Always remember to find adequate cover before you engage."

My 2 cents worth is this:
What do you have guns for?
Are they merely sporting equipment or do you keep and bear arms?
If the only living targets you intend to shoot are furry and live in the woods then combat shooting won't be high on your list...
If you own a gun to protect you and your family, it should only be one part of an extensive array of home security items...
You don't have to be "Hollywood lucky" to survive combat...
From what I understand on the subject, most people that have actually been in combat (I use the term loosely and consider any conflict where two or more people are engaged in firing guns at each other as combat) say that it is only because they didn't panic that they made it through...

You really wanna practice combat techniques?
Buy a pair of BB guns and find a friend crazy enough to try shooting you while you try shooting him... Just don't shoot your eyes out, Ralphie...
Paintball works real well too but isn't as realistic...
I doubt training centers for us civvies will include the M.I.L.E.S. gear any time soon, so it'll be hard to get "realism" for real...

The closest thing to a combat routine for pistol that I do is jogging in place, 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups (anything that gets your blood racing, breathing rapid, and starts beads of sweat rolling into your eyes) then finding a realistic shooting position (taking cover behind something while mock-dialing 911) and firing at a 12 ounce soda can. If you can hit that at 3 feet out to 30 feet in under 3 seconds with deliberate yet thoroughly safe engagement of said target, that's good enough for home defense.

You want practical experience?
Have an assistant "attack" you while you draw out and engage "attacker" with a watergun from your preferred carry position.


July 21, 2005, 03:34 AM
Yeah, except that approach was first innovated by Col Fairbairn in Shooting To Live. I wouldnt be too quick to dismiss it.

Didn't Col. Fairbairn also advise shooting from the hip?

July 21, 2005, 06:11 AM
Point shooting works - if you practice enough.

As for dumping the mag, that's why they make magazines. You can change 'em fast.

If I'm shooting at a bad guy, I'm doing it for one reason - to stop him. In that case, a faster incapacitation is better.

Practice, practice, practice, shoot fast, shoot often.

And shoot accurately.

July 21, 2005, 04:17 PM
Firing the whole magazine as fast as you can is a shooting drill. I believe it is called a "Bill Drill" It teaches you many things about shooting. It isn't nessessarily what you plan on doing if you are involved in a shooting

While I understand that not all drills are reality based, I'm also familiar with the old adage "Train as you fight because when TSHTF you will fight as you train."

It seems to me that if you're practicing for CQC it would be better to practice putting 2 in the chest and 1 in the head, rather than emptying a whole magazine into the guys chest (and possibly into the poor guy standing behind him.)

Speed and accuracy, in all things there must be balance.

July 21, 2005, 04:52 PM
Did that necessarily make him a bad instructor?
I guess I had some problems with his and another instructor stating they were going to teach us to shoot without using our sights.


July 21, 2005, 05:48 PM
Ideally, I would choose combat shooting with target accuracy. I think depts. are making a mistake not emphasizing more percision shooting.

July 21, 2005, 06:28 PM
I'm a target shooter. I'm not going to win any sort of practical/tactical match, but I can hold my own on any course of fire.


July 21, 2005, 07:02 PM
Guess if you're not that great of a target shooter you're a combat shooter by default huh? I know a ton of combat shooters. :evil:

July 21, 2005, 07:05 PM

July 21, 2005, 09:36 PM
Interesting question.

I shoot combat/IDPA style at my range. When the timer is running I just cannot seem to shoot as fast as others. I am almost always toward the top when it comes to who shot the cleanest though.

The bottom line is I hate to miss what I am shooting at.

The folks I shoot with tell me the speed will come.

July 21, 2005, 09:47 PM
Those of us who had a randomly spaced hit pattern in the center of the target got an "ataboy" from the instructior.

Those who had a "perfect" target (i.e. almost all the hits in the exact same area) got a "no good."

I would imagine that those who had no hits whatsoever got some sort of award.


July 21, 2005, 09:58 PM
The reason I shoot handguns is to be able to defend myself. Since I am a novice, I concentrate on shooting accurately. You'd probably think me a target shooter if you saw me at the range. I shoot slowly and deliberately. Until I get to the point that I can make the bullet go where I want, why in the world would I try to shoot quickly? For the same reason I shoot at 15 yds more than at 3 or 7 yds. When I get to the point where I can shoot accurately at greater distance, the nearer points will be easier. When I get to the point where I can shoot accurately slowly, then I will be able to shoot more accurately quickly.

I wouldn't empty a magazine in a bad guy's chest in a dispersed pattern or try for a single ragged hole. If I can shoot accurately and I have time to shoot more than once, my second shot will more likely go in his head. Gotta be accurate to do that.

July 21, 2005, 10:17 PM
I shoot both from 20 yds. Sillohtte(SP) and regular bullseye. From experience speed is second, accuracy is first.

You have to remember that in a real situation you will have lead comming back at you, so you will have to have the cajone's to stay cool and shoot accurate.

July 21, 2005, 10:30 PM
in the army they preech "one shot, one kill". that is unless you are in CQB then its double taps until he goes down. ive been in combat and can say from my experience accuracy counts more than speed. your going to shoot fast (up close at least) no matter what. those who spent more time trainig on accuracy get more hits.

ive seen one guy (speed trainer) empty a 30rd mag into a terrorist at 10 feet and score only 13 hits from head to toe. :scrutiny:

ive seen a man (accuracy trainer) empty a 30rd mag just as fast into terrorist at 15 meters from atop a tank, over a freshly detonated carbomb and score over 20 hits! :evil:

when rounds are flyin' your gonna shoot fast, so try to be accurate too.

July 22, 2005, 12:49 PM
Well put zookrider! :) and c-grunt! That is why 75% of my practicing is done CQB, with human form targets, engaging targets at differing ranges, often multiples. With multiples, I put one COM each, then one head each, then pause to observe and scan. With single targets, I Mozambique them, then observe and scan. You do fight how you train.
During a MILES exercise, an 'enemy' soldier and I saw each other entering the opposite ends of a GP medium tent (40 ft. distance). I was wearing PVS-5's, he wasn't. This actually turned out to be a detrement, as I had to wait for the 'bloom' to subside before I could acquire his helmet sensors. He fired a full 30 round magazine from the hip Rambo style as I lay on the ground, hearing the 'near miss hiss' form my MILES. He never knew I went to ground. I popped his helmet sensor with an aimed shot when he was reloading, firing two COM for effect. Of course he accused me of 'cheating' :rolleyes: becuse I had the NVG's, and didn't understand my explanation that it made it harder for me.

3 gun
July 23, 2005, 05:18 AM
I was taught that you couldn't really do anything well without being grounded in the basics, which in this example means I learned target shooting before I started combat shooting. I still work on the basics even after I've gotten to a combat speed of "A" hits at 30ft with .25sec splits. I can also hit a fair percentage of the targets at an IHMSA match. I don't think I'd be happy just doing one or the other.

July 24, 2005, 11:30 AM
i like doing both for speed and accuracy training

July 24, 2005, 12:37 PM
"While I understand that not all drills are reality based, I'm also familiar with the old adage "Train as you fight because when TSHTF you will fight as you train."

This implies that you use a conditioned response. In other words, you respond the same way to every threat. You imply that you can not make any kind of conscious decision. This also implies that if you use a given drill to learn/perfect one aspect of shooting that you don't shoot any other way except that one drill so that, that one drill is burned into your subconscious and as a result you are not capable of shooting any other way. Of course many different drills are used to train effectively and no one drill is going to cause you to react in a certain way if your training is well thought out and balanced. Even training on the failure drill (two to the body, one to the head) will only work if you can see both the body and head and the guy stands still long enough for you to make all three shots in their appropriate place and he also doesn't hit you first, and there is only one guy shooting at you..............................

Drills are used in almost any skill building process. They are designed to emphasize some aspect of what is being learned. Remember football practice where you ran the drill with the tires on the ground and you run through them placing your feet inside each tire ? That will NEVER happen in a football game, but it teaches you as a player skills that have been considered important over the years. Boxers hit a speed bag. They will never be in a boxing match where someone stands there and lets them hit their head like a speed bag: a real opponent will move, dodge, block, or hit the canvas. But this isn't the point: the boxer is learning a skill using a drill that emphasizes a particular skill.
Let me refer some of you to a couple web pages that I think might be interesting to some here.

July 24, 2005, 07:49 PM
I think of my mindset as a combat shooter. I was trained in a law enforcement setting where fist sized grouping was doing good. When I shoot pistol in a combat mindset, I still test myself by the "Size of fist" group. I am happy when I put 17 rounds in that sized hole. I go to the range and most people find me as one of those kids shooting fast, but when they see the center knocked out, I like to think I gain a bit of respect. I think more along the lines of the fact that my pistol barrel is just over 4 inches. I have no misplaced ideas of 1" groups at 50 yards with that. Its a tool for short range.

I do enjoy shooting rifles too at long range, I just need a good spotting scope for that badass look and see factor. Waiting for the range break is like waiting for christmas morning.

July 24, 2005, 08:12 PM
Shameless paper-puncher checking in. I guess if, god forbid, I ever had to defend myself in a life-or-death situation, I would consider myself a "combat shooter" by default.

I don't doubt that drills and practical shooting exercises teach skills valuable for defense. Regardless, you've got to walk before you can run (literally). It would be nice if more people would spend a little time learning to shoot accurately before they made becoming a "combat shooter" job one. There are enough barriers to accurate shooting in a perfectly static target scenario as it is. It seems reasonable to learn to shoot accurately before one tries to shoot accurately and fast at the same time. Granted, not all the skills involved in target shooting are transferrable to defense, but they sure do help.

Dave Dembinski
July 24, 2005, 08:32 PM
What's the one where you can't shoot real fast, but you can't shoot real accurately, either? I'm that kind of shooter.

July 24, 2005, 09:36 PM
What's the one where you can't shoot real fast, but you can't shoot real accurately, either? I'm that kind of shooter.

In combat, that word would be KIA. ;)

July 24, 2005, 09:57 PM
I think that one is just called "practice, practice, practice.

I don't think I was very accurate with my .45 when I first got it or with any pistol for that matter. But I am pretty confident with one now. I found recently that I need to try it past 25 yards though.

July 25, 2005, 12:52 AM
This shooting exercise was one of MANY drills from this LEO firearms instructor.

The point of the drill was NOT to teach us to "empty our mags," but rather to help change our SHOOTING MINDSET -- a mindset of not thinking like a target shooter -- but in a self-defense situation, to think like a COMBAT shooter.

:D :scrutiny: :D

July 25, 2005, 08:27 AM
Both, although I'm much newer to combat style. I feel practicing both enhances my overall shooting abilities. I realized a point or two increase in my target scores after my IDPA style practice began. And I KNOW my target abilities have a lot to do with my IDPA scores. I'm relatively new to IDPA style and my mindset is "slow and accurate, the speed will develop itself ". Funny thing is, now that I'm thinking about it, my IDPA group lavishes COMPLIMENTS to those who shoot tight groups in fast times. I've never heard, "Your group is too tight." at our sessions. I know at least a couple of guys who will draw and double tap the same hole in less than 2 seconds. Nobody's telling them their groups are too tight.


Someone else here said the instructor is just covering for his own lack of ability. I tend to agree with that. That way when he shoots a big group he can say, "I meant to do that." :rolleyes:

July 25, 2005, 09:13 AM
Certainly if you can empty a magazine into center mass as fast as you can pull the trigger, that's good shooting.

However, if you can do the same in a 2" group as the same speed, I fail to see how that isn't better still.

I am do the former, but certainly am a long way from being able to perform the latter.

July 25, 2005, 10:05 AM
I just took a handgun combat class yesterday. It was very enjoyable and very informative. We did double taps and triple taps at about 10 or 12 feet. Now I am no world class shooter, but im not some joe schmoe who cant hit the side of a barn. So I feel confident in saying no matter how good you are or how small your groups in a controlled situation shooting at non moving paper, when it comes to a combat situation and pucker factor kicks in, I can guarantee your going to have a nice dispersed pattern of bullets plugged in the BG. If you walk away alive, your neither a combat shooter or a target shooter, your a suvival shooter, and all that matters is that you are still alive.

July 25, 2005, 10:46 AM
Twice I've shot deer where the first two bullets had one entrance hole and two exit holes (angles change due to target movement). It appeared to me that the second shot caused more reaction than the first in both cases but it still took a third shot to put them down hard. The third shot was significantly removed from the first two in the heart.

Instinct shooting pistols using a faux-auto technique I get fist sized groups on targets. These pie plates don't move but I do starting 1 to 3 paces away. There's only time for three more steps, the first being my presentation. Good or bad? Well I'm not overly judgemental about a lot of things but I do get the impression that such performance is not lacking in practical utility.

I like tight groups. Large patterns have never been an indication of anything good in my opinion.

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