This is going to hurt some people, but it is the truth. You are not good enough to start questioning a mechanical issue over or a technical error.
It’s the Indian, not the Arrow
What I mean by the above statement is all too often people will complain how their gun doesn’t shoot straight. They may use a different way of phrasing it, but that is the gist of their comment. I have had students come up to me with complete contempt for their gun to the point if I wasn’t looking they would toss it over the berm. Before folks blow a gasket, is it possible you could have a problem with your sights being misaligned? Of course it is possible, but it is far more probable it is you and your inability to apply consistent fundamentals as the root cause.
Big boy rules
Too many times both students and society in general want the easy way out, the way where no responsibility is required. Que the blame game. Blaming your equipment instead of honestly asking yourself is it me? I know it is easy to blame your equipment, but the excuse is irrelevant in our classes. I will admit, there have been times when I too want to blame the gun, but when the truth is allowed to surface it is the student. How can I say this with such conviction. It is simple, we do a tremendous amount of work from the 25 yard line where the majority of students suck from this distance and we have the records to prove it. As a side bar note, it is a bit ironic to hear so many people discount the 25 yard line, but then all of a sudden try to blame the gun for their technical inadequacies. Lame…
It’s all about consistency
There are even cute little pie charts depicting symptoms and remedies. I have found these to do more harm than good. In fact, I would throw most of them away and replace it with one saying “if you cannot put a slow fire group “here” you suck and it is not the gun”. To be able to accurately diagnose a shooting related symptom it has to be consistent. In addition, the work needs to be preformed at a distance where true errors will be evident and not masked by the closeness to the target. We perform diagnostic drills daily and I rarely blame the gun, I wait until the student is able to replicate the same error each day. If they can, then an important goal has been achieved. They have developed consistency and more than likely the error has disappeared as a result.
Look for salt on their shoulder
There has been a few occasions where a visible inspection reveals a shift in the rear sight. However, when no visible deviation is present the likelihood it is the gun is so remote I would buy lottery tickets first.When lack of consistency is present it is easy to blame the gun, but a veteran instructor will not fall for this trickery. They will have the skills necessary to diagnose the student and see where the real problems lie in order to set the stage for improvement. I have been doing this for a while now and I have a statistical matrix of shooting errors on top of having performed just about every common shooting error myself. The problem is most instructors don’t have the necessary skill to diagnose shooting errors. Instead we see crazy theories and guess work. A true disservice to the industry.
Stop blaming the gun and put more work into your marksmanship skills. If you are looking for sympathy in our classes you better be able to hold your breath a long time.