Shooting fast

Who doesn’t want to shoot fast is the real question. At some point everyone should want to shoot fast from a protective or defensive scenario. The goal should be to deliver accurate, effective fire as quickly as the situation allows.

Shooting fast isn’t as simple as just pulling the trigger fast. You will need to work the trigger in a manner that allows minimal deviation to the sights and there is a point of diminishing returns. You physically move so quickly with your trigger finger that it moves the entire pistol/sights off your intended target. Depending on the distance you can still produce a hit, but as range increases, time decreases and pressure increases it will be even more demanding.

I discourage slapping the trigger to increase speed, you may see some success at the closer ranges, but it literally produces shooting errors that due to the closer ranges go unnoticed. In addition, scoring standards tend to get much looser when speed comes into the equation. The accuracy standards cannot deviate just because you are shooting at close ranges, that makes no sense. Your technique needs to not be dependent on distance or range. You shoot up close and use this technique, then shoot at further distances and this other technique. Instead, you just need solid trigger management.

What we have found is slowing the movement down by breaking it into two parts has been extremely effective. Student’s score improve more consistently when they can apply this technique. They start by physically touching the trigger to ensure they have properly placed their finger on the trigger, see this blog for details on trigger finger placement. Once confirmed, they take up all the slack or pre-travel, coming to rest right on the sear wall. Step two, squeeze past the point of ignition to ensure a clean break then perform follow through procedures.

Now the fun part, pushing to go fast. Once you have the technique down usually a couple of range sessions of disciplined training next should be speed. To push yourself to go as fast as you can go while maintaining an accuracy standard. What that accuracy standard should be is up to you. Is it 90% of your baseline or 70%? First, you have to have some good baselines to really see how well you are doing? You can establish your baselines through our new TACOST Training Program. Once you have your baselines developed now you have a starting position. I suggest if you really want to improve your speed set an accuracy standard of 70% to start. The goal would be to maintain 7 out of 10 hits for example of whatever you are doing. If you are scoring 8 or 9 out of 10, then you may not be pushing yourself and conversely, if you see 5 or 6 out of 10 then you need to back off the gas and work the accuracy standard.

For you to really see progress, you will have to eventually invest in a shot timer. While not part of your standard load out, it is pretty critical and a serious shooter will eventually invest in a good timer.

A monkey can pull the trigger fast, but will he hit. You can’t shoot fast enough to make up a miss.

2 thoughts on “Shooting fast

  1. RamZar says:

    Trigger management being the primary key I would also include grip. More meat on the pistol and counteracting movements along all three axes. Placing more trigger finger up to the hook of the trigger finger has helped me. For me the jury is still out on slapping the trigger. I don’t come all the way off but do lose contact with the trigger. It’s a work in progress. Finally, like Jeff says, the shot timer is an essential training tool.

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