If you’re active in the firearm’s focused social media scene, you’ve no doubt seen videos of people shooting crazy fast, be it a super fast draw from concealment, fast double tap, or a lightning fast reload. If you’re like me, you want to go to the range and train train train to get those same speeds. And when training, you feel more and more like a bad ass with every tenth of a second you shave off. But hopefully if you’ve put that much time into training, you’ve at least put some time into thinking about what skills are actually important in a real gun fight, be it a CCW self defense situation or an overseas combat situation. So when Special Forces soldiers with more combat experience than the vast majority of us give out some advice, take notice.
“If you slow down and put your sights where they need to go, it ends the fight faster.” -Zach Harrison
This is why the saying, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast” is such an important one. A 0.95 draw time doesn’t mean anything if you miss – a 2 second draw time while hitting the target is much more effective. While no one is saying those super fast reloads or quick draw from conceal are a bad skill to have, they are only a useful skill if you are accurate.
This is why it is so important to start off slow while training. Don’t work on fast double taps until your single slow shots are accurate. Pushing yourself beyond your skills only builds bad habits, bad habits cause missed shots. Take classes from skilled instructors, and don’t be afraid to start with the basics. Without the basics, it is impossible to nail advanced techniques with any form of success.
Be slow and deliberate with your training. Only increase the speed when good muscle memory has been formed.
Put Your Training to the Test
If you have not been to a shooting competition, go to one. Don’t wait until you’re better, or until you get the new cool gun that just came out, go shoot a competition with what you have now with your current skills. A shooting competition will clearly show you where you are strong and where you need to work. Don’t get discouraged by timing out on a stage, look at it as an opportunity to learn.
There are many monthly local matches that are very casual, simply Google around for shooting competitions in your area. The firearms community is a very welcoming one, simply tell your range safety officer this is your first competition and they will gladly be patient with you and teach you along the way.
The only failed shooting competition is the one you didn’t learn from.