Back From the Range Again

Back from the range; another 412 rounds of 9mm has met its fate.

Went down to the Shelton Rifle & Pistol Club’s indoor range today (well, by the time I’m typing this, it was yesterday) for a little two-stage match. The first stage was a reasonably long 24-round field course. There were eight targets, on every one of them you had to do two to the body, one to the head. These were USPSA targets, the scoring system was Invented Here, they were doing raw time plus one second per point down; of special note the A-zone in the head was down-0, the B-zone was down-1. So, basically we’re trying to hit this little 2”x4” box at, I would estimate, around 10 yards at the longest, about seven yards at the closest. Four different shooting positions: barricades, walls, shooting under a table, movement, use of cover. I felt right at home.

This was just a little unaffiliated club match, not a USPSA club, not an IDPA club, so it was a bunch of guys who, in overwhelming probability, had never shot USPSA/IDPA. I only dropped one point for the entire stage, my score for Stage 1 was 21 seconds faster than the 2nd place guy. At this point I was figuring on cruising to an easy win.

The second stage was the exact same stage again, but in low light.

Allow me to seemingly digress for a moment. I have passed the Firearms Academy of Seattle’s Handgun Master test four times, once apiece with a Glock 19, Glock 17, Rock River Arms 1911 .45, and Wilson 1911 .45. One of the reasons I’ve been able to do that is that I’m usually the only guy who passes the dark house portion of the test. Also I’m usually the only guy who doesn’t have night sights on his gun. Actually my sights are usually all-black. At close range, even with almost no light inside the FAS dark house, I can just hit the targets with index.

Now, back to the match. Given the level of ambient light on the range for Stage 2, I knew– KNEW – I could shoot it without a light, though using a light was allowed. I wouldn’t even have to do it just with index (the head shots at 10 yards would have been a bit much for that), there was one HELL of a lot more light on this range than inside the FAS dark house. I could actually just use my sights. All false modesty aside, one thing for which I’ve always been grateful is that I have really excellent night vision. I can see things in dim light that other people can’t even see are there. By comparison to the FAS dark house, where the lighting is so dim that even I can’t see my sights, this stage was pretty much a gimme.

I was playing with the flashlight I carry clipped to my left front pants pocket, flipping it around in my hands while waiting my turn to shoot, thinking about it: sights or use the light? Go with what I knew I could do, or take this as an opportunity to practice my gun/flashlight shooting (I use the “syringe” technique). Finally I decided to use the light. Mostly because I hadn’t done it for awhile. Honestly, the last time I’d done it, also at a match, it hadn’t worked very well. I thought I’d ironed out those problems in dry fire, but I’d never really tested that live fire. So why not try it again, at this match? If I hadn’t worked the bugs out of my technique, if integrating the gun with the flashlight didn’t work very well, this was a low-risk way to find out.

It didn’t work very well.

I learned a few things I didn’t know. (1) When firing a gun in low light with a high-powered flashlight, after the first few shots, glare off the gun smoke makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to see the targets. (2) When using the syringe technique, when I broke my gun/flashlight grip to do a reload, when I reacquired my grip after the load it was very difficult to realign the light so it pointed inline with the gun. (3) My hands broke apart under recoil because the syringe technique seriously weakens your grip on the gun; really you’ve only got your ring and little fingers around the gun butt. (4) If your grip is not absolutely perfect, your support hand holding the light will accidentally depress the magazine release button and spit the magazine out of the gun. Ask me how I know.

When all was said and done, my performance, or lack thereof, on Stage 2 took me out of an easy 1st place down to 5th at the finish line. It was a painful lesson, but then the painful lessons are the ones you remember. Lesson: there are certain techniques that work great in dry fire that don’t work very well at all once you add things like gun smoke and recoil and reloading the gun. And the best place to find that out is at a teeny little unaffiliated club match.

After the match, I stayed on the range and did some more practice. I wanted mostly to fine tune my draw, using a descending par time. From 10 yards, do 5 second draws, then 4, then 3, then 2. At that point I dropped it down to 1.5, then started dropping it in tenths. At each speed I kept at it til I could hit the A-zone consistently at that speed, the goal being to push myself to failure, both to know what that level was, and then to move past it.

I am a big believer in “Train yourself beyond reality.” Train yourself in practice to do things more difficult than what you’ll probably ever see at a match. Train yourself in practice beyond what you’ll probably ever have to do in self-defense. Ten yards is far enough away from the target you’ve got to have your draw technique really grooved-in to hit the A-zone at speed. And when you’re used to doing that at 10 yards, when have to do the typical 4-7 yard draw at a match, you’ll feel like you’re practically standing on top of the target.

Everything down to two seconds was easy. But I wasn’t doing the 5-2 second stuff to push the time, I was doing it to burn in the draw, to discover flaws in my technique that might get lost at faster speeds. Honestly, at first I had trouble hitting the A-zone every time when I made the big jump from two to 1.5 seconds, but in short order the occasional misses turned into consistent A-zone hits turned into the nice, tight groups in the center of the A-zone that my ego demands. I discovered that the speed at which I can consistently hit the A-zone on the draw at 10 yards is 1.35 seconds, though I’m not happy with my accuracy at that speed. “Every shot an A-hit” and “every shot an A-hit in a nice, tight group in the center of the A-zone” are two very different things. Much below that speed and my “every shot an A-hit” performance turned into “mostly As.” Completely unacceptable.

Obviously there is definite room for improvement here. And improvement there will be. Descending par time draws at 10 yards is a powerful technique. As I continue to use it, I have no doubt my times will come down and my accuracy will go up.

It’s funny. There was time I would have thought consistent 1.35 second A-zone hits at 10 yards was a pretty darn smokin’ skill level. Now I can’t wait to be better.

Email

Got a couple of emails today. One guy said, “Is your first book, The Truth About Handguns, available in a paper copy? I’m one of those crotchety old guys who doesn’t like digital downloads.” Sent him a link to the Amazon.com page where they sell old copies of the book’s Paladin Press printing, “There ya go.” The other one, a woman who bought a digital download back in early 2015, said, “I just reset my phone and now your book, Mastering the IDPA Classifier, is gone, can I get another download link?” Me: “Absolutely not a problem. Done.”

The glamorous life of making your living as a freelance writer, having had multiple (as in, two, he said, parenthetically) books published, having your own website, and selling digital downloads. Ah, fame…

Colt’s Special Combat Government Model

By special request of reader Ross Elkins, here is my review of Colt’s Special Combat Government Model from the September 1993 Handguns. Thanks extended to my friend Jon Stein for doing the scans from an issue I was not able to find in my own gun mags collection. Actually, I had two feature articles in this particular issue, the second, “What Is the Best Combat Shooting Stance?” will also be put up soon.

https://self-defense-handguns.com/?page_id=2074

“Cops Aren’t Shooters, But They Should Be”

Once you get past the click-bait-y title, this is a pretty thought provoking article. I disagree with most of it. For one thing, the author has a profoundly exaggerated idea of the benefit of training classes. I once had a very good firearms instructor, who shall remain nameless though if he likes I will certainly name him, tell me, “One of the most frustrating things about my job is knowing that the vast majority of my students will never actually practice what I’m teaching them. They may shoot a little better right after the class, but they’ll never practice enough for the techniques to become permanent. As far as making a real improvement in their shooting, they might as well have never taken the class.”
 
Also the author has an exaggerated opinion of the benefits of simply competing in USPSA/IDPA. Look, I am a HUGE proponent of competition as a tool to build skills that might be used in armed self-defense. But really, simply showing up to matches, even showing up to matches on a regular basis, will not by itself make you a better shooter. The match is how we measure where our skill level was before we got to the match.
 
Shooting a handgun fast and well requires an extremely high level of dexterity, an extremely high level of absolutely seared into your synapses skill. The only way to get that is with time, dedication and hard work. As the old saying goes, There Ain’t No Such Thing As a Free Lunch. That’s a sad truth, but a sad truth is a truth nonetheless.
 

Arredondo Accessories’ Extra-Capacity Floorplates for Magpul Glock Magazines

“When Magpul introduced their new polymer PMAGs for Glocks, this was an event of great importance to Glock enthusiasts. And God knows there are enough of us… The first question out of the mouths of everyone to whom I mentioned these magazines was, ‘Will they take the various aftermarket extra-capacity floorplates?’ The answer was no… Enter Arredondo Accessories.”

Another addition to the Free Articles page.

https://self-defense-handguns.com/?page_id=2046

On the Range

Back from the range! Another 440 rounds (300 9mm, 140 .45 ACP) have met their appointment with destiny.

Took four guns with me, my carry Gen-3 Glock 17 (of course), a recently purchased second Gen-3 Glock 17 I’m putting in form as a “replacement gun” duplicate of my carry gun, my Nighthawk Talon .45, and the Officer’s Parabellum. Some nights this whole “gun” thing is just a pain in the ass, nothing works, and I mean equipment and shooting skills. The guns you’re testing are malfunctioning right and left, you can’t seem to get in the groove shooting-wise, you feel like you’re beating your head against a brick wall. But then, some nights, things go well. Tonight was one of the latter occasions.

Started out benching the “replacement” Glock 17, the first time I’d ever shot it, actually. I already knew that factory Glock sights hit high for me, but I figured I had to check anyway. Yep, 2-1/2” high at 50 feet from the bench. On a positive note, folks, I have got this whole “loading plated bullets” thing whacked. My standard deviation with the Rainier 124-gr. RN over 4.4-gr. Universal out of this gun was 10. I like single digit SDs, frankly, but I can live with 10. Since I had the chrono set up anyway, I decided to bench my carry gun. Yep, it was still sighted-in, and the SD out of that one was 11.

In my experience, Universal does not appreciate being run at low pressures if you want a tight SD. At a 130-ish power factor I was getting horrible SDs in the 30s. At a 140-ish power factor (out of the new G17 my ammo went 142.8, out of my carry gun which has a Stormlake stainless steel match barrel it was 141.9) which is factory standard pressure 9mm hardball equivalent, that’s when I start getting the 10/11 SDs.

The Nighthawk Talon .45 shot some nice, tight groups, which gives the lie to the idea you need consistent velocities to get decent accuracy. In the low pressure .45 ACP, even at a Major 170.3 power factor, the SD was a horrendous 41.

I really wish they’d named this powder something besides “Universal” because it ain’t. For 9mm 124-gr. bullet weight, arguably there’s nothing better. But with 147-gr. 9mm, even a book max powder charge won’t make Minor. And in low pressure .45 ACP, velocities are so variable I’d really be scared of the chrono station, even with a load that averaged Major.

Then I plopped down behind the bench with the Officer’s Parabellum, since I was curious how much velocity loss I’d see with its short 3.5” Bar-Sto barrel. Not a lot, actually. The new G17 averaged 1152 fps, my carry gun went 1144, the Officer’s Parabellum went 1103 for a 136.7 power factor. Posted a couple of 1-1/2” groups, too. (I chrono and bench for accuracy at the same time.) RIDICULOUSLY easy gun to shoot. It is a kick (pun intended) to pull the trigger on this little all-steel 9mm 1911 and watch the front sight barely move.

After the bench, I socked the new G17 away and moved on to more shooting with the Officer’s Parabellum, the Nighthawk Talon, and my carry G17. My typical “start the practice session” routine of six-shot groups freestyle at 50 feet on a USPSA target, the goal being all A-hits, turned out to be easy with all three guns. I think I may actually be getting a handle on this whole “trigger control” thing.

Burned through almost all the rest of the ammo doing Bill Drills with all three guns – though there were a few 5×5 Drills in there. It’s been awhile since I’ve put any real amount of ammo through a 1911 .45, though for years this was my carry/match gun of choice. I’ll tellya what, gang, there is something to be said for a nice 1911 .45, and shooting my Nighthawk Talon, which I hadn’t done in awhile, reminded me of that.

All four guns worked flawlessly. Gotta like that.

I think it’s important to finish every practice session doing something you find fun. For me it’s to move in to about two yards and see if I can do ten sub-second draws in a row; it only counts if they’re all A-hits. With the carry gun, of course. As I’ve said in the past, some nights you’re slow, some nights you’re fast. Imagine my surprise when my very first draw was .83 second. Literally my fastest-ever draw prior to tonight was .84 second, and that was years ago. Then my next draw was .83, and the next, and the next, and the next. My first five reps were all .83. I was laughing and thinking, “All all ten draws going to be .83s?” Then I pulled a .88 and thought, “Okay, the good stuff is gone.” Then a .85. I thought, “Let’s just let it rip and see what happens.” My next rep was .82. Alright! .83 as the fastest draw I’d ever done didn’t last too long. Then a .81. So .82 as the fastest draw I’d ever done lasted even less than .83. That took me up to nine reps. One more to go to get my ten.

And I felt the hand of Fate on my shoulder. I KNEW. “This is it, this is when I finally pull a draw in the .7s.” And my very last rep was…wait for it…

.78.

As I said, sometimes nothing works. Sometimes it seems like everything is working the way it should, both the equipment and the shooter. I could stand to have more nights like this. :D

Of course, on a negative note, I recently met a guy I hadn’t seen in years, nice guy, and he stuck his hand out to shake. I hesitated, because I remembered he really likes to crush your hand when he shakes. Not being an asshole, he just thinks it’s fun to show off how powerful his hands are. And they are; it’s like sticking your hand in a vice and cranking down on the handle. Anyway, I did shake his hand, and of course he vice cranked me, and this time I’m pretty sure he broke my right little finger. Ah, well. Bones heal, eventually.

Practice

A short practice session tonight, about an hour and a half, 259 rounds. Started out firing freestyle at 50 feet, working on accuracy and trigger control. I have to restrain myself when doing this, it’s so addictive I could easily spend an entire session doing nothing else. But eventually I managed to stop myself and move on to the FAST drill.

I had done this before on an IDPA target, and never dropped a shot. Pass after pass in the mid-4.8s to low 4.9s so I wasn’t exactly murdering the “Advanced” standard (5.0 seconds) but I was meeting it. I did have one laggardly 5.08 but at least I was stilling hitting with all shots. I was like, “Why do people find this so hard?” I was feeling pretty good about myself. Downright cocky, frankly. So I ran off some offical FAST targets. PROBLEM. With my 53-year-old eyesight, and the fact I have the scrip on my glasses set up for the front sight, I can’t see those thin black lines on a white target sheet clearly at seven yards. Ah well. I guess I’m not going to be a FAST drill kinda guy, at least not on the official target.

Then it was into what I really wanted to work hard during this session, one hand only shooting, both master hand only and support hand only. Started out with a barricade at seven yards, and practiced firing three shots per rep into the A-zone of a USPSA target, moving myself further and further back behind the barricade, so I had to do it more and more off-balance, alternating master hand only then support hand only.

That wasn’t really a challenge, so I decided to move back to 10 yards, no barricade, but do head shots. Master hand only was a gimme, support hand only was less so. But hey, if I could do all this stuff well, right off the bat, there would be no need to practice, right? Eventually I got it sorted out and the tight groups started coming in, support hand only, in the head box.

Most people hate shooting one hand only, because most people suck at it, because they never practice it. Most people start groaning when they see a one hand only stage at a match. But if you’ve put in the time to get good at it, you LOVE one hand only stages. You start wiggling your toes inside your little fuzzy bunny slippers when you see a one hand only stage at a match, because you know you’re going to come out WAY ahead of almost everyone else, if not everyone, period.

I think it’s important to end every practice session doing something you enjoy. One of my favorite things is to move in close to the target, I’m talking like a couple of yards away, and see if I can do ten sub-second draws in a row. I doesn’t count unless all ten shots hit the A-zone. Some nights you feel slow, you’re dying trying to get under a second, some nights you feel fast. Tonight was a fast night. Ten good A-hits in a row with times between .88 to .92 second. Yes, I know there are people in the world who can do it considerably faster than that, and at considerably longer range.

That went well, so I decided to do another of my favorite things, see how fast I can do a close range Mozambique. The fastest I’d ever done this before was 1.36. Like I said, some nights you feel fast. My first rep was 1.30. I said to myself, “I’d like to see that down around 1.25.” Well, I didn’t get that, but my next rep was 1.26. That was a .89 draw, .16 split, then .21 up to the head box for a well-centered, aimed hit.

In all, a good practice session. Sometimes this whole “gun” thing can be frustrating as hell, and sometimes it’s just flat fun. This particular session skewed more to the “fun” side of the equation. Though there is still, and always will be, more work to be done. You should always end every practice session knowing there are still things you need to improve on. God knows there are for me.

Kicks Like a Mare’s Leg

Feels good to be doing my first new entry to the Free Articles page after this site has risen from the ashes after being hacked by a Turkish, Muslim, anti-American, anti-Israel cyberhacking group. I kid you not. Wow, talk about the ultimate badge of honor, and verification you’re doing something worth accomplishing. In any event, I’d been promising to put up this article on the Chiappa “mare’s leg,” a modern repro of that cut-down Winchester 1892 carried by Steve McQueen’s character Josh Randall in the old Western TV series Wanted Dead Or Alive and here it is. NOTE: Firefox is dragging its feet taking us off their “deceptive site” list after the hack, which, depending on how you have your Firefox settings configured, can block your computer from accessing certain elements of the site and make it look “broken” – but it shows, and works, perfectly from every other browser.

https://self-defense-handguns.com/?page_id=2003

Customizing the SIG for Competition

Believe it or not, before this article was published in Sigarms’ Velocity magazine, there was serious discussion at Sigarms about whether it should even be published at all. For years, in large part because, due to the exchange rate between the dollar and the Deutsche Mark, SIGs cost significantly more than most other tactically equivalent guns, they had this sort of “Rolls-Royce of combat autopistols” vibe, therefore SIG owners were notable among gun carriers for the fact they almost never customized their guns. At all. Maybe they’d have a set of night sights installed, and that was IT. The common refrain was, “Really, what could you do to a SIG?” My reply was always the same: “Actually there’s a LOT you could do to a SIG; the problem is finding a pistolsmith to do it. Among ‘smiths who can work on a SIG, there’s Bruce Gray and that’s pretty much it.” Should Sigarms actually publish an article admitting it was possible to customize and improve a SIG?

Eventually the decision was made to publish this article on the modifications Bruce Gray had done to his USPSA Production division gun. These days Bruce is, among other things, a factory shooter and design consultant for SIG. Obviously the reasons for that are his skill level as a competitor, and inventiveness when it comes to dreaming up ways to improve SIGs. But I’d like to think this article had a tiny bit to do with it, by alerting SIG to the huge resource that was there for them, just waiting to be tapped.

Another addition to the Free Articles page.

https://self-defense-handguns.com/?page_id=1801

Mods and Odds

“The AR-15 is the 1911 of defensive rifles. As with the 1911, a huge number of aftermarket parts and possible modifications exists for this firearm, and a large part of the design’s appeal is the number of odds and mods we may choose to personalize it to our needs. In this article I’m going to offer the thought processes I followed when choosing aftermarket upgrades to a personal AR-15.”

Another addition to the Free Articles page.

https://self-defense-handguns.com/?page_id=1782

Modding the Glock (Because Stock Does Not, In Fact, Rock)

“It’s common in the gun world to hear it said, especially by less experienced, less skilled shooters, that you should never customize a self-defense gun, there’s no need, because ‘stock rocks.’ I have also heard it said, ‘Don’t change anything on your gun, except maybe the sights, because the more you mess with it, the more the gun will suck.’ However, assuming you actually know what you’re doing, and your modifications are well-chosen, it’s possible to not only have a gun that works better, you can make it much more likely the gun will actually work, period.”

Another addition to the Free Articles page.

https://self-defense-handguns.com/?page_id=1709

JP Enterprises’ Competition Tactical Rifle

“JP Enterprises’ Competition Tactical Rifle is a showcase for design features that are, in many respects, representative of cutting-edge AR-15 technology. If you’re a serious Three-Gun competitor, this is the sort of stuff you want. At the same time, as the rifle’s name suggests, there’s nothing on the CTR-02 that would stop it from being a very useful tool in the real world.”

Another addition to the Free Articles page. It’s interesting to see what was cutting-edge AR-15 technology in 2005.

https://self-defense-handguns.com/?page_id=1700

Crossroads Center Shooting Video

I’ve been wanting to see video footage of the Crossroads Center mall shooting, and here it is. Each clip is shown three times, in progressively greater slomo.

In the first clip, it looks like the security guard disguised jihadist gets in one good slash, and one good stab, on the counter guy. It’s a miracle no one other than the bad guy was killed, which I can only attribute to his extreme incompetence.

In the second clip, I love the guy slamming down the security gate just as the knife armed bad guy arrives, then locking it. Now that was some fast thinking!

In the third clip, some thoughts:

(1) I’d had no idea that Officer Falconer had actually pursued the knifeman into Macy’s. Interesting how the jihadist’s response to facing unarmed citizens was “pursue and stab,” but as soon as he wound up facing armed resistance, his game plan switched to “flee.”

(2) When eventually Falconer did catch the jihadist, the bad guy’s first response was to feign compliance, actually going down on the ground, then he gets up and charges.

(3) At one point he actually charges Falconer so aggressively he takes the officer off his feet. Falconer gets back up. Unfortunately so does the bad guy.

(4) It is extremely difficult to take down a well-motivated bad guy, especially when you’re only armed with a handgun. Compared to more serious weapons, rifles and shotguns, handguns suck as fight stoppers. Be prepared to shoot your opponent multiple times, and do that again, as many times as it takes, until the threat is finally over.

http://www.sctimes.com/videos/news/local/2016/10/06/91672722/

“Metrics Vs. Mediocrity” by Tom Givens

Excellent commentary from Tom Givens. Well worth your time to read, if you carry a gun for self-defense.

Metrics vs Mediocrity

by Tom Givens

There is a small, but vocal, segment in the defensive training community that discourages the use of stopwatches or electronic timers, and belittles attempts to quantify skill at arms with scored courses and drills. I read some drivel from a couple of these guys on Facebook recently, and was really disturbed by the level of antagonism they showed toward striving for competency with a deadly weapon. They actually used terms like “good enough”, and advised to take one firearms class and move on to other things. In fact, they described anyone who actually bothered to measure performance as a “hobbyist”, and from their tone it was obvious they use that term derisively. Let’s see, someone is trying to kill me, and I’m legally accountable for every bullet I launch, so bare minimum training is “good enough”? WTF?

Shooting skill, particularly with a handgun, is perishable. Competent initial training has to be followed by regular sustainment training to have any hope of solid performance under high stress. Let’s look at a couple of examples from the police training world. Yes, I understand not everyone is a cop, but police agencies track these things and the information is available to us.

The New York City Police Department has their officers fire 50 rounds of ammunition, twice a year. Part of their qualification course is not even timed. Every year, their hit ratio runs about 10%-20% in the field. In one year, they fired 1,293 shots on the streets of New York to hit 64 suspects and 11 innocent bystanders. That’s “good enough” for some, but I’d like to see them do better.

The Los Angeles Police Department, on the other hand, requires officers to shoot every 30 days. Their qualification course uses a smaller target and has reasonable time limits, which are strictly enforced by turning targets, which disappear when the time limit expires. The department as a whole has about a 55% hit ratio. The Metro Division, which gets even more focus on firearms training, has an 85% hit ratio. Coincidence?

Let’s say, just for the sake of discussion, we have a silhouette target that has an 8 inch circle in the upper chest to simulate the vital zone of an attacker, and this target is at 5 yards, a typical civilian engagement distance. The task at hand is to draw from concealment and hit this circle with three rounds. We have two shooters complete this task. Both shooters place all three hits inside the “vital zone”, so they are equal, right? Good enough?

The difference is, Shooter A got his hits in 1.8 seconds, while Shooter B took 3.5 seconds to get his hits. Shooter A is clearly a better shooter. If Shooter B is serious about self defense, he will strive to become better, which in this case, means faster, so that he has a realistic chance of getting his hits in a defensive shooting incident before he is hit, himself.

Without a reasonable target (in this case the 8 inch circle) and without a time measurement (stopwatch/timer), there is no way to asses skill, measure progress, or diagnose and address deficiencies. The adult teaching model is Explain, Demonstrate, Practice and Test. Without Testing, there is no measure of learning, and you are only engaging in ballistic masturbation. It may make you feel better in the short term, but you aren’t accomplishing anything.

These same pundits rail against scored drills, calling them meaningless measures of precision. Actually, scored courses or drills serve many important functions and are critical to development as a defensive shooter. Here are some of the reasons they are important.

1. We need an objective view of the student’s skill, not a subjective view. The target and timer don’t lie.

2. We can compare the student’s performance to a historical standard, set by measuring the performance of a number of students before him. Thus, we know if we need to remediate or move forward.

3. We can precisely quantify and track progress, essential to skill building.

4. We can instill the timing issues necessary for shooting at the right cadence as target size/distance varies.

5. We can get the student accustomed to working under stress.

6. We can help the student build confidence. Not measuring skill leads to false confidence. Students always think they are doing better than they are. Actually scoring, and incorporating both accuracy and speed in the scoring, shows true skill level, and allows real confidence.

7. Training and practice build skill. Skill builds confidence. Confidence leads to coolness. Coolness prevents panic. This is what wins fights.

In the extreme stress of a real life shooting incident, skill degrades. However, the more skill one has, the less skill one tends to lose (see #7 above). The less skill one has, the more skill one tends to lose under duress. This is why “good enough” is not good enough. Also, the Mother of retention of any physical skill under duress is structured repetition. To have a higher skill level, one had to practice more (structured repetition). I have debriefed a number of people after shootings, and not one of them has ever said to me, “When the bullets starting coming my way, I wished I hadn’t trained as hard.”

As an example, one of our students, who we will call John, has taken several classes with us, including our Instructor Development Course. In that course, students are held to high accuracy and speed standards, and those who do not make the required scores do not get certificates. This January, John was forced to shoot a man under highly stressful circumstances, including total surprise. John fired four rounds and got four upper torso hits, ending the threat to him and his family. That’s the goal, not just to be “good enough”.

SIG Captures the House of 1911: The Ernest Langdon Interview

So I’m sitting there one day, reading an article in Handguns magazine about IDPA. It’s all about how you can use real holsters and real guns, draw from concealment, use cover, all the things I spent years teaching people how to do that they don’t do in IPSC. I was so excited, I felt like standing up and screaming at the top of my lungs, so everyone in the building could hear me, “HEY! They made a shooting sport just for me!” I thought that was awfully nice of them. – Ernest Langdon

I wrote that article! – Duane Thomas

From my interview with Ernie Langdon, a new addition to the Free Articles page.

https://self-defense-handguns.com/?page_id=1640