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My take on the "double tap."

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Lurper, Feb 27, 2007.

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  1. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    I posted this on TFL, thought I'd might as well post it here too.
    I get asked this question a lot and hear what I believe are a lot of misconceptions about it.
    th_Thedoubletap.jpg
     
  2. Mandirigma

    Mandirigma Member

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    I know you said you didn't like the term, but it looks like you are doing controlled pairs.


    "Its two well aimed shots, with very little time in between. You see the sight every time."


    Sight picture, press, waiting until next sight picture then press, and following through with a last sight picture.
     
  3. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    ...

    Very nice demonstration, especially the part of letting the gun settle back down on its own, thru relaxed (proper) grip.

    Sign me up..


    LS
     
  4. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Controlled pair=>two shots, three sight pictures

    Hammer=>two shots, one sight picture

    double tap=>an English term denoting tapping someone on the shoulder to ask where the WC is, brought into shooting by IPSC in the late '70s. Is confusing as does not distinguish between hammer and controlled pair.
     
  5. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    Very good demonstration.
     
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Very cool. Clearly explained and demonstrated.

    Not that I could ever do them that quickly.:uhoh: :D
     
  7. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    I don't like any of the terms really, because none of them are accurate.
    Hammer - doesn't make sense to fire two shots with one sight picture
    Controlled pair - what if you fire 3 shots, sets the mind to thinking in pairs
    Double Tap - much confusion
    The reality is that every shot you fire will fall into 1 of 4 categories:
    A draw and fire
    A follow up shot
    A reload shot
    A transition shot

    In fact, each shot is a seperate shot. That is why most of the terms and methods do not really apply. You should shoot as fast as the sight returns to the target. If it's there, fire the shot. If it's not, don't. The key is that the sight dictates when to fire the shot. This is particularly important when shooting "Bill Drills".

    th_BillDrill2.jpg
     
  8. Mandirigma

    Mandirigma Member

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    That'd be a triple tap. -UGH- ok ok not even going to go there.

    But we need to reference your title. My take on double taps.

    Basically it breaks down to either a"controlled pair " or a "hammer" described above.

    The main difference is with a controlled pair you have the option of following up with more shots. With a "hammer" you must reaquire a sight picture.


    Makes perfect sense.

    I for one will not be standing still in an armed confrontation. I will be firing and moving (hopefully toward cover) in the hopes of aligning things to go more in my favor. I can't even promise that I will be aiming at all. I have full confidence in my point-shooting at short range.

    The only time I've done "bill drills" wasn't for benefit of time or score. Its for the benefit and practice of speed-reloading usually after doing pushups to fatigue and dimishish my motorskills. I don't see the point in unloading a full magazine into something unless its still a threat.

    Then again I think in terms of multiple assailants. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they will be doing what I am trying to do. Specifically multiple moving targets seeking cover at different ranges.

    Dont get me wrong. Very good instruction in your video. (haven't watched all of them yet) Just not for me. I don't shoot competitively. Not my thing. Only score I care about is being able to walk away from a fight.
     
  9. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    M,
    My take on double taps is that there is no such thing.
    As far as the "hammer", to me it doesn't makes sense to fire a shot without at sight picture.

    Which is exactly why I do some of the speed drills I do. I want to show people that yes, it is possible to do 1.29 Mozambiques or Bill Drill and have splits of .13 and still see the sights. Too many people don't believe or cannot comprehend that.

    My own personal view on armed confrontation is that the single most important skill is the ability to put lead on the target quickly. Moving and finding cover are secondary. I have been in a few confrontations and with the exception of the time the guy tried to kick in my front door, they have all been over in a matter of seconds. Each time, I vividly remember seeing the sights.

    Obviously, the videos don't comprehensively show my entire technique. One of the advantages of learning to shoot this way - what I call naturally, is that you can shoot from any position, any number of shots, any range and the technique still applies. One of the biggest problems I see with the "double tap" or the "hammer" is the dissocciation of the eyes from the trigger pull. It may sound like splitting hairs, but your eyes should be what trigger the shot. Too many people think you point the gun at the center of the target and pull the trigger as fast as you can. If you try to do that at say 15 yards, more than likely even if your first shot hits, your second won't.

    I'll do a video on transitions this week.
     
  10. Kor

    Kor Member

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    Sticking my oar in on "shooting semantics..."

    ...As I understand the concept of the "hammer," or "2 shots, 1 sight picture," it's not meant to be as haphazard as you seem to be interpreting it to be. The "hammer" is meant as a close-range technique, the exact distance depending on the skill and experience of the individual, but generally from 3 to 7 yards IIRC.

    The technique breaks down thus:

    1) Verify sight picture(not acquire per se, the sight picture should serve to verify that the pistol is correctly aligned on target by virtue of correct grip/stance/natural point of aim);

    2) Fire 1st shot(which will hit point-of-aim as long as you don't jerk or flinch);

    3) Allow trigger to reset, as your correct grip/stance controls recoil;

    4) Immediately fire 2nd shot, relying on your correct grip/stance to bring the pistol back to the approximate original point-of-aim, without verifying sight picture for the 2nd shot.

    The intention is to actually achieve about 4" of dispersion between your hits, as long as those hits remain within the IPSC "A" zone or IDPA "zero-down" zone(either a 6"X8" rectangle, or a 8" circle). The dispersion is meant to increase the likelihood of incapacitating trauma to your attacker, and to avoid piling bullet strikes on top of each other where they cause no additional trauma(by landing in the same hole or following the same wound track). If your "hammers" don't stay within 4", you need to stick with "controlled pairs" at that range and further; if your "controlled pairs" give groups smaller than 4", then at that range you can afford to speed up your shooting with "hammers." That's why "hammer range" will vary from one shooter to the next, depending on skill/experience level.

    Under no circumstances should the "hammer" technique be used if it would result in your second, follow-up shot missing the target completely.(Rule #4)

    This post is meant for clarification only, and should not be construed as taking away from or minimizing your skill in shooting "controlled pairs" in any way, shape or form.
     
  11. Mandirigma

    Mandirigma Member

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    Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is entitled to it. It doesn't have to make sense to you. Others do it. Is your technique better? Who's to say.

    You also know that for the average shooter, nay the average CCW'er doesn't put as much time into proper training as they should.

    Here's my "problem" with your speed drills. (Not really a problem because I'll admit you are fast.) You are mentally ready for the situation. Calm. -BEEP- Right hand goes for the weapon and raises is, neck/shoulders slightly hunch to line up with the sights. Left hand crosses body and finishes the stance.

    You draw from a speed holster. an OWB IDPA/ISPC type with little to no retention on it. Hard to get the same times with a tight fitting kydex paddle hoster, or IWB holster, or pocket carry, or -shudder- ankle carry.

    But I'm not going to dwell on these. Has no bearing on time after weapon is drawn and all subsequent shots.

    I've been a few situations myself. In a couple of them I was successful mugged. I think the most important skill is to not be there in the first place. Avoidance. But when it comes down to it, I was trained to do all these things at once. Its hard to break training for me.

    I'm not discounting your technique. It works.

    How about outside of your stance? I may be wrong, but if you are forced (by whatever circumstance) out of your comfort zone would you be able to shoot nearly as confidently.

    Here's what I mean. Run a good distance (whatever it takes to get you winded) then do pushups until failure. Now immediately get up and do your timed/scored drills. With no break in between. recharge the weapon, and back to running or push ups and repeat.

    Now I'm not advocating you actually do this. I'm in no physical condition do to this myself at the moment. Its but a partial bit of the training I had to endure. No man in his right mind with go with sleep and food deprivation and do it because some jackass on the internet told him to.

    I totally agree with you on this. Double taps or hammers and even point shooting aren't all that effective outside of 10yd (even then its pushing it)

    But in close range 1-7yds they are viable techniques. Its about training and timing or rhythm. When I first was taught hammers and pointshooting, I was ALL over the place. But once I learned I consistantly put center mass at around 3"


    Outside of that, yes I agree, Front sight, press.
     
  12. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    Kor
    I don't take difference in opinions personally or as slights. Having said that, here is my own personal opinion.
    None of the terms outlined in your posts are applicable (I know that they are not "your" terms). One should not "verify" their sights. They should "see" their sights. My overarching theme being: you can shoot just as fast (faster IMO) by seeing your sights as you can without. So, why would you fire any shot (there are a few obvious exceptions) without using the sights?
    I shoot splits around .13 using this technique (I used to average .11 and my fastest was .09), so I don't think a "hammer" is going to be faster. It really requires thinking outside of the box. Some people refuse to believe that you can see the sights that fast, but you can. As J. Michael Plaxco told me back in '85: "Your mind can see 24 images per second. If you slow a film down to that speed, you can see each individual frame. Therefore, your mind can see 24 sight pictures per second."
     
  13. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    man,
    To me, it just makes sense. If I can shoot that fast using the sights, why would I not use them?

    I agree. No one is a bigger advocate of training than me. I am constantly pushing people to train (not because I get paid to). I particularly try to tell people the benfits of dry firing and visualization, but it usually falls on deaf ears because they would rather listen to the gun rag writers or their buddies.

    I was already planning on filming some stuff from my IWB holster in the coming weeks.

    Here is how I am ready for the situation, no matter what the situation. This is delving into the realm of mental training which seems to make many uncomfortable. I trained my mind to the point that I say three short words and my concentration is focused. Actually, I have been doing it so long that I can turn it off and on at will. It is almost like flipping the Autopilot switch. It takes a while to get there, but everyone can and in my perfect world, everyone would.

    I absolutely concur that avoidance (and most times escape) is the best course of action. Also, I know how hard it is to change technique after it has been engrained. I was taught to shoot by Ray Chapman originally. I had the best Weaver/Chapman stance of anyone. Man, I'll tell you, it was perfect and looked really cool. Then, I ran into Plaxco, Shaw, Leatham and Enos. I remember them having to pull my hair (to keep me from lowering my head), slap my arms to get me to relax and countless other brutal techniques.:) But, relax I did and what a difference shooting that way made. After that, I won several matches, stages at the nationals and sponsors like Springfield Armory, Safariland, Dillon and others. Here's the tie in:
    When you learn this way, your "stance" really has little to do with your feet (or body) being fixed. You have sort of a upper and lower stance. This allows you to shoot in any position. That is what makes it so versatile compared to the traditional concept of "stance". So, the short answer is that I am never "outside" of my stance. Nor, am I out of my comfort zone when I have a pistol in my hand.

    Actually, I have done things like that and it doesn't have much of an effect at 10 yards or less. You never know, I may film that one of these times.

    As I mentioned earlier, I guess what I am trying to point out is that you can shoot that fast and see the sight, so why wouldn't you. Also, you can use the same technique out to any range you want to (albeit not as quickly).
     
  14. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    At that distance I can train nearly anyone to shoot just as fast and with the same accuracy WITHOUT the sights in a matter of 30 minutes or so.
    And once they reach that level they can maintain it with minimal practice. Something to take into consideration for those of us who are not professional shooters.
    And yes, at longer distances they can transition to the sights, but hopefully will be doing so from behind cover.
    So why not train both sighted and unsighted shooting?
    It should be obvious that at times an aimed shot would not be possible.
    Nor is it always necessary at typical combat distances.
     
  15. GARY1911A1

    GARY1911A1 Member

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    Good discussions and excellent posts! Please keep this thread going as it's great to be able to learn something.
     
  16. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    MrT
    I thought we agreed to disagree? :D
    I can teach someone to shoot that fast using the sights just as quickly. In fact, I can teach them to do it and build on it without even having to go to the range. There is nothing complex about it. Just like any technique, once you have the foundation you build on it and maintain it. But to imply that this technique somehow requires a huge amount of practice or work to learn or maintain isn't fair or accurate. The hardest thing for people to learn to do is to remove their conscious mind from shooting. That is one of the reasons why I don't just teach someone how to draw and fire quick shots. I want them to learn techniques that will build a foundation across the entire spectrum of shooting scenarios.

    As I mentioned in the posts on TFL, it is a big world and there is room for everyone and all of our views/beliefs/opinions. For me, it doesn't make sense not to use the sights unless the target is within about 1 meter. Then I would use my variation of the old "combat rock" or "zipper" if it was a real life situtaion.
     
  17. loplop

    loplop Member

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    Great video, I hope to get that quick someday!

    I'm a neophyte (not worthy!) and I have been practicing with sight acquisition for each followup shot; I am not able to hit the target with precision any other way. I am not as quick as using a "hammer" technique, but I personally don't feel comfortable with that technique, so I practice. I am MUCH slower than that, I guess with time comes speed.

    Any suggestions on drills to help speed this along (no pun intended)? Just keep doing it?
     
  18. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    Lop
    Without seeing you or knowing your skill level, I hesitate to tell you some of the things you can do. They can make you sloppy when you shouldn't be.

    One thing you can do that works on follow up and transition shots both is to build into the process, step by step.

    We are going to ignore the draw, etc., so starting with the gun pointing at the target, focus on the front sight. Break the shot. The whole purpose is to track the sight (keep it in focus) as it moves through the recoil cycle.

    So, your first shot should go like this. Break the shot, while tracking the sight, release the trigger, prep (take the slack out of) the trigger, allow the sight to come back to its starting point. Stop!
    Repeat the process. When you know you are seeing the sight, then break the second shot instead of stopping. Then add a third. Repeat until you are comforable. Add as many follow up shots as you like.

    Transitions are a little different, but I am going to hold off on those. I will try to film transitions this week. Then I can go over it in more detail.
     
  19. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    How ya doing Lurper? Good to see you on The High Road. Since this could turn into sights vs no sights I have some questions. You indicated on another site a few weeks ago of an experience that you handled well. With that said, how do you handle low light situations? I'm noticing that I have a hard time seeing my front sight old age don't ya know. I'm considering putting a large tritium front sight on. Do you use night sights or do you have another technique? Frankly you know how I would shoot in low light (No sights) but sights still are an important part of my shooting. Nice drills, good explanations. Take care.

    Jim
     
  20. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    Lurper..just because we agree to disagree does not mean that I cannot state my opinion.
    If you cannot see the need for unsighted shooting beyond 1 meter that is your your opinion... an opinion, BTW. which is not shared by all.
    Anyway..for a everyone else out there I offer this simple experiment...

    Start out from a low ready position in a Modern Isoc. position with the target at about 4 yards.
    As a matter of fact, place a small orange dot in the COM as a reference point.
    On command come up to about chin level and, while focusing on nothing but the dot, fire off 3 shots as fast as you can pull the trigger.
    Once the dot is being hit repeat the drill at 5, 6, 7 and 10 yards and see how you do.
    Next repeat the drill at 4 yards with 3 shots to the body and two shots to the head.
    Make the head shots merely by changing your focus from the body to the head, which allows your hands to follow your eyes.
    Once your accuracy is there repeat it again at 5, 7 and 10 yards.
    Let's see how far out you can go before the need for sights.
    After that you can repeat the drills from the holster.
    Let's us know how well you do and feel free to use a timer.
    Because in the end, the only skill exhibited by a shooter that is worth anything in a clutch situation is his own.
     
  21. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    Hey J
    One of the first matches I ever shot was low light. It was at John Pepper's place. The way he taught me and the way I still do it is to basically aim whether you can actually see the sights or not. Then use the muzzle flash to see for follow up shots. Didn't believe it would work until I tried it.
     
  22. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    I did alot of muzzle flash sight picture shooting. From handguns to shotguns. Amazing how accurate your second shot was. In total darkness we simply lit the target up with the first shot adjusted from the "mental" sight picture and fired again. Second shot was always spot on.
    Take care.

    Jim
     
  23. loplop

    loplop Member

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    Thanks, Lurper, I'll give that a try.

    JMusic, find a range that does dark shooting. My first time actually shooting in the dark was incredibly instructive. I really value night sights, they just make things a lot easier. Add a tac lite and all the better.

    But I did OK shooting without any night sights or tac lite; that is, I hit the target. Just not with the usual precision ;)
     
  24. Kor

    Kor Member

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    OK, now I have some related technical questions:

    Lurper, given that you see your sights for each shot - how "fine" does that sight picture have to be for you to trigger that shot? Do you consciously strive for the "perfect" or "classic" sight picture for each shot? Or do you allow yourself to fire a follow-up shot with a less-than-perfect sight picture(i.e. "shooting out of the notch," "flash sight picture," "StressPoint Index")?

    Also, if you do fire with an "imperfect" or "rough" sight picture, what is the cutoff range at which you decide to switch to a more refined sight picture?

    Do you present the pistol on target with the front sight high(out of the notch) and lower it into the notch? Or do you try to present the pistol on target with your sights precisely aligned? If the latter, have you done anything to configure the grip frame of your pistol to alter its "pointing characteristics" accordingly(i.e. arched/flat MSH, grip reduction, etc.)?

    What configuration of sights do you use - Patridge post-and-notch, or XS-brand "dot-and-V"? Fixed(Novak, Heinie, etc.) or adjustable(Bomar)? Black-on-black, three-dot, dot front/black rear, tritium, fiber-optic?

    Again, not trying to undercut you, just looking for more info and clarification on how you do what you do.
     
  25. Lurper

    Lurper Member

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    Depends on the shot. Distance, is it a full target, shooting position (ie, through a port, barricade, etc.). A full target at 1 or 2 yards, I can cheat (more on that below).

    Not sure how you use those terms. Again, it depends on the shot. At the very least I am aware of where the front sight is relative to the notch and I know how precise the sight picture has to be to break the shot. For example, at 50 yards, yes I am looking for the perfect sight picture. You sort of have to have some kind of idea how "coarse" your sight picture can be before you shoot. You don't want to have to consciously think about (or verify) the sight picture. That's what I mean when I say that your eyes should trigger the shot. You need to remove the filter that is between your eyes and trigger finger. In other words, it is what you see, not what you think. Unless you have reached a level where you can call your shots, it is difficult to explain. But, yes you can call your shots when you are shooting that fast. That is the only way to really know that you are seeing your sights. The real measure of skill is when the sight is not where you want it to be for whatever reason. Do you break the shot or not? IMO the truly skilled shooters don't break the shot, they adjust the sight picture. Takes a lot of practice and discipline.

    Again, depends on the shot. The overall idea is to be as precise as the shot requires. You can't connect it to a distance. For example, the sight picture on a 7 yard headshot probably ought to be almost as precise as a full target at 25 yards. If in a match, it also depends on whether the stage favors points or time.

    Almost as soon as the gun leaves the holster, it is parallel to the ground. The correct way to draw is up and out, not out an up like an arc. That way, I can acquire the front sight in my peripheral vision and by the time my arms are extended, they are aligned. This also is what allows me to "cheat" on closer targets. It is similar to indexing off of the muzzle.

    Here is a picture of the gun I used on those videos:
    AUT_0575.jpg
    I have never used any open sights other than Bo-Mar. It has a fiber optic front and a Wilson MSH although I alos really like arched as well. They keep my strong hand high on the gun, this helps when shooting, but also helps ensure a good grip when drawing.
    Hope that answers your questions.
     
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