Speed kills. Cars. Motorcycles. Shooting.
The faster it is, the more deadly they are. And, let’s face it, the faster they are, the
more we love it. It’s a badge of honor
to have the fastest car or fast motorcycle and every shooter I know wants to be
the fastest gun alive.
Balancing speed and
accuracy is perhaps the most difficult proposition for anyone entering
competitive shooting. How fast can I go
while still achieving good hits? The
same holds true for anyone who carries a gun for a living or for personal
protection so it’s a skill we have to work on.
When I was a
sprinter, anticipating and reacting to the starting pistol was one of my weak
points and it showed in my overall race times.
I had a slow start and I had to come from behind in ever race. Great competitive shooters react immediately
to the sound of the buzzer. Their draw
stroke is fast and EFFICIENT, with no wasted movement or motion. We can work on that with minimal equipment or
we can try getting feedback with commercially available options.
Obviously, dry fire is our first step. Practicing the motion at a slow pace can help
us become smooth and the smoother we become the faster we become. Now, add a timer. Set a par time and draw to a dry fire. Lower the par time when you no longer feel
challenged. Keep in mind you don’t need
a shot timer for this as the timer on your cell phone is sufficient and there
are also free apps available for shot timers on your smart phones. Using a dry fire system like LaserHIT can
also be beneficial. Using proprietary
paper targets, a laser cartridge and the LaserHIT app on an IPhone, you can
actually use their “quick hit” feature for building a smooth, fast draw. Using airsoft is also an option, but, let’s
face it: there’s no replacement for live fire.
No matter how much you dry fire, you have to be able to get to the range
and PRACTICE! If you want some amazing
feedback from you range sessions, check out Gunfighter U from John “Shrek”
McPhee. For less than $100, John will
analyze and breakdown cell phone video footage of you drawing, presenting,
firing and reloading your weapon. McPhee
has an uncanny ability to break down the footage and give you feedback in much
the same way professional athletes receive feedback. Using quality reloaded ammunition from a
company like Peak Performance Ammo will save you enough money to pay for
Gunfighter U almost immediately.
For the defensive shooter, we can do all of the above but we
need to add movement to our draw and presentation. Getting off that proverbial “x” with as much
speed as possible helps ensure we don’t soak up incoming rounds. Does that complicate the draw stroke? Absolutely not. Once you have achieved a quick and efficient
draw stroke, reacting to stimuli like a buzzer or a visual stimuli like a bad
guy producing a gun will allow us to start moving before, during or after the
draw stroke.Dry fire and then get out and practice. Have a plan for every practice to increase
your speed. Speed kills but it’s a skill that is sometimes built slowly.