Yesterday we finished our training day with a head to head competition versus some steel. It was a great drill and we always see the competitive side of folks come out when they run through this drill. The problem we see a lot of time is folks loose sight of the drill’s objective. You have to hit your target first, then be faster than your opponent.
It brings to the surface the dilemma which is more important, to be fast or to be accurate?
Honestly, they are equally important and the situation will dictate which is the tactical imperative. However, what I see more often is folks who overlook the importance of accuracy for speed alone. Here’s the deal, you have to be fast enough with your first round lethal strike that it counts. If you are too slow due to an over abundance of accuracy then you might get hit. If you are so fast that you produce a miss, then you might get hit. So, you have to find that middle ground because you can’t shoot fast enough to make up a miss. Now, that is in a gunfight. What about in training?
I strongly encourage that in training you put the heavier emphasis on your marksmanship first. Speed will be a by product of correct technique and at the higher speeds you have to expect a certain degree of depreciation. As long as it is good enough for the required shot then no harm, no foul.
It is hard to encourage folks to place the higher premium on accuracy, but drills like head to head competition help put it in perspective. The drill forces you to be accurate first, then as fast as you can maintain that accuracy. It also places a lot of pressure on you when you are squaring off against one of your classmates. That will require you to keep the objective in mind.
What can you do to emphasis this concept in training? Vary the size and distance of your target. At close range, use really small targets then increase the distance along with slightly larger targets. Keep changing these two variables, but do not compromise on the accuracy standard. While I encourage 100%, it is much more realistic to go for 80% of your round count. So, if you fire 10 rounds, at least 8 must be clean in the target zone.
If you are having trouble, then back to the basic of marksmanship and focus on trigger management. Most of the students who had a hard time on the drill had a history of inconsistent trigger management. Solve that riddle and it will be a much easier road.
On the battlefield accuracy reigns supreme.