We see a lot of “tools” brought to class in one form or another that are designed to “help” make you more accurate. Obviously, there is some truth to accurizing, but it is not a replacement for skill and never will be.
It is something that is sorely lacking in this industry and that is a true understanding of marksmanship. We see lots of folks who proclaim to be marksman, but when put to task come up short routinely. Defining a marksman can be different from one instructor to another, but a true marksman is able to deliver effective fire, to hit what he is aiming at consistently and routinely on demand. That means they have to understand all the individual components of marksmanship, stuff like aiming, trigger management and follow through.
Then you have to put these skills to test at distances that will challenge and keep you honest. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again; folks don’t shoot enough from the 25 yard line. I totally get it, it’s hard and damages the ego. Well, it isn’t going to get any easier on it’s own. Distance is all around you and it would be foolish to discount that fact. More importantly are folks who downplay distance and come up with all sorts of reasons why they don’t shoot or train at these distances.
These distances are the best places to truly evaluate and assess your skills. At these distances, the bullet won’t lie. I love it for that reason because it keeps people honest and it helps to diffuse a lot of the silliness out there. There are so many common shooter errors that are easily correctable by taking the time to shoot at distances like the 25 yard line. These errors are easily overlooked at the closer ranges simply because the target size at 7 yards gives a pretty good margin of error.
There are some that complain, spending time at distance is counter productive because it takes too much time to be accurate at those distances and that is not realistic in gunfights. Hmm…well, all I can say to that is it is proportionate. Time and distance are proportionate and if you take the time to shoot at those distances a funny thing happens; you get faster. It doesn’t diminish your speed at the closer range, you don’t all of a sudden start shooting slower at closer ranges because you spent some time at distance, you shot slower at closer ranges, because you shot slower.
How much time should you spend, I don’t think there is a clear cut formula. I think you should spend enough time to determine if you have shooting errors, then a good block of time to improve followed by lesser maintenance blocks over time. It’s like that one picture of the guy in the gym floating around the internet who skipped leg days. Don’t be that guy, you’ll just look funny in the end.