Please be precise

The good fortune of my job is getting to interact with all sorts of folks. A lot of times we have excellent conversations with good exchanges of information. Other times, not so much.

In this case the subject was on targets. For those who haven’t been to our classes they are probably not aware of the love we give our targets. On top of that, we have three different level classes and three different types of targets. Each designed to compliment the degree of difficulty for the specific class.

The argument…um discussion centered around bullseye targets and why we don’t use them. You see the person in question had been to a class, not one of ours where one of our targets where used. I asked him why he thought we needed bullseye targets and went on to list how so and so instructor uses them. I was like, what are we in first grade.

Anyhow, I addressed his comments by specifically asking him what he thought of his skills, what level. He gave himself high marks. Not knowing him I gave him the benefit of the doubt and then commented why aren’t you shooting something with a face?

I didn’t get a good response so let’s talk about why and more important when you need to shoot targets with faces. Once your skills have been honed the next challenge is two fold. Inoculating you to shooting a human being and becoming familiar with the vital anatomy. Regrettably bad guys don’t walk around with bullseye’s so to achieve a rapid cessation to hostilities you will need to disrupt or destroy the vital life processes. It’s simple, but not easy.

Now the when is a bit more subjective. I believe before you can run, you have to walk and before you can walk you have to crawl. With that being said we utilize a variety of targets, but at the basic level we start on small dots. The focus is on precision then precision on demand. The smaller dots allow us to observe and critique shooting errors fairly easily. The key is not the dot size, this is the hard point to understand. The key is the standard you enforce. Without standards the dot size or type of target really doesn’t matter.

As you move to an intermediate level we shift from the majority versus dots to the majority versus silhouettes. Again it is all in the standards you hold, our silhouettes have anatomically correct vital zones that just so happen to be…you guessed it dots. They are sized proportionate and allow us to start inoculating while maintaining high standards. As we move to advance levels we continue to push silhouettes, but the vital zones are reduced. By requiring the same performance standards with reduced time or increased range it really taxes the shooter.

Regardless of the level we always start on dots, either to build, reinforce or warmup. So, in the end we shoot the crap out of dots, so much so students call it “dot torture” then we light up the silhouettes and I get to here all the complaining because they can’t see the dots, they have to visualize them. That and how the line should count. Hilarious how someone who claims to shoot dots for precision thinks it’s BS if they hit the line and it doesn’t count…classic.

The bottom line is you are only as accurate as the standards you require of yourself, not the type of target you use.

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