Shooting To Get Better At Shooting

    John Van Swearingen posted an interesting article over at American Gunfighters. He talks about honing the fundamentals of shooting.

    Turn back the clock to 2008 when Firearms Training became “sexy”, as Swearingen puts it. After Magpul Dynamics posted their videos and made them available for purchase, loads of instructors came out of the woodwork to teach you all sorts of tactical manipulation.

    The problem, that Swearingen points out, is that those classes might have some valuable lessons but do they make you a better shooter?

    This is where the tactical shooting community as a whole could use a kick in the pants. Putting on your kit (and showing off your new plate carrier) and diving into “supine-urban-modular-dynamic-ninja-prone” can give you quality trigger-time and help introduce you to useful techniques, but the purpose of this article is to offer a different viewpoint about training and training classes: if you are not training like (or with) a high-level competitive shooter, you’re doing it wrong.

    I am all for competitive shooting to help elevate fundamentals. However I have noticed a split in the shooting community. Some people “train to fight”, ok that is all good and fine but can you rock a USPSA or IDPA match?

    Swearingen mentions Jerry Miculek and Bob Vogel. The difference is in how competitive shooters practice. They don’t just drill shooting positions or situations.They focus on the fundamentals of shooting. Dry-firing, reloads, and drawing to a sight picture. Oh you tactical shooters do that too? Then why not try a competition to see how well your shooting really is.

    I have seen guys like Jerry Miculek and Jesse Tischauer shoot in person and boy are they not only fast but they are consistently accurate

    It is not unreasonable to claim that the best competitive shooters can shoot weak-handed while moving with a higher degree of proficiency than the average patrol officer can shoot two-handed.

    We are not talking tactics and how competitive shooting has zero lack of tactics. Swearingen is trying to get people to realize you can draw the best from both worlds. This isn’t a choose only one school of thought. If people train as diligently as competitive shooters do, it can only help with their skill set. Challenge yourself. It cannot hurt you to try a competition and leave all the gear behind. Drive yourself and that gun as fast as you can. Then review your performance and analyze where your shooting could use improvement. You can always add the tactics on top of it all.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]


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