Shooting Under Stress
This is a discussion on Shooting Under Stress within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; a real self-defense shooting should be like voting in Chicago...shoot early and shoot often....
December 3rd, 2011 04:55 PM
a real self-defense shooting should be like voting in Chicago...shoot early and shoot often.
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
December 3rd, 2011 11:21 PM
Thanks for sharing that... there are quite a few here who have not expereinced any training, or any real life encounters.
I'm a firm believer in dry fire practice, it will not harm newer guns but if you are concerned about it, use snap caps. If you have to rack the slide for every shot because of your choice of carry weapon, you might as well practice tap-rack-bang with each shot as well (misfire/malfunction practice).
I am also an advocate of muscle memory. Drawstroke/level/fire (optional). In most cases, you will not have time for an aimed first shot... as you may have learned, and an aimed shot is not guaranteed in stressful environs.
And don't feel bad... the hit rate for many professionals is pretty pathetic, too. NYPD recently shot 97 bullets at a perp... (multiple LEOS) 2... that's correct, TWO of 97 actually hit the BG. unfortunately, a bystander was also hit and killed... unknown whether the bullet was from LEO gun or BG's.
Get with an instructor who knows point shooting... (Suarez comes to mind)... your most likely encounter is going to be up close and personal... especially the ones where you actually have to fire the gun... If you can't draw and fire from hip height, you may not survive one of those "close encounters."
It could be worse!
December 5th, 2011 11:03 AM
Thanks to everyone who has replied. I appreciate the comments. And I hope that the other newbies in this community take my experience to heart. It's easy to underestimate how difficult this stuff is.
I am practicing a lot of dry firing at home because I understand the importance of muscle memory. Improvement is steady.
I really have no goal for perfection, only to be competent enough to be able to protect myself and my family without risking innocent bystanders. If consistent practice is what it takes, so be it.
December 5th, 2011 12:44 PM
Stop whining and go do something that makes a difference!
If you think that I may be talking to you, then I am.
December 6th, 2011 07:53 PM
I must just say flat out I have been training people in scenario based, adrenal stress driven scenarios now for 26 years. The adrenal dump of actual combat and of any kind and how one is trained to handle it triumphs over every other element in deciding how come out alive or unhurt.
Target shooting skills mean almost nothing in a real gunfight as you can’t use the sights of the pistol anyway most times. You won’t 'know the pistol has sights' in a real self-defense situation. The amygdalate, that is the non self aware part of the brain once it engages that adrenal dump, will physiologically not allow you to take your eyes off the man about to kill you to look at sights.
Your hearing will shut off or drop off dramatically. This is so the neural processing power used in processing audio can be shifted to the processing of the visual data in the visual cortex. Hence, people in actual gunfights so often report they did not hardly 'hear their pistol go off', or it 'sounded like a weak popping sound‘.
They report that things ‘moved in slow motion‘ too. This is because the shift of the processing power to the visual cortex, we ‘see faster’ so the illusion of slow motion is experienced
The other thing is 'loss of fine motor control' under the adrenal dump.
Now people who have never experienced these things might either believe ‘it wont happen to me’ or just confuse this physiology with ‘fear’. It is not fear it is more complex than that and needs to be understood.
Let me say this. I have put hundreds of people (maybe a few thousand now) through my courses in both firearms’ and 'hand to hand combat'. Some come in and sa to me right off "Peyton I read your books and all your stuff and I agree as it matches my experience as a police officer for two decades now, but one thing I also know, aimed fire is more accurate than point shooting”
I tell them” Well yes my aimed fire is more accurate than my point shooting too, the question is can you use aimed fire in the dynamic of a crisis under the adrenal release?”
In all these years there has not been even one exception. One Hundred percent of the people who go through the firearms scenarios report that they did not, and could not use the sights of the pistol. The most common thing we hear is “I wasn’t even aware the pistol had sights, it did not occur to me”.
Video is taken of all scenarios from three angles and that video tells the same story.
Now is there a place for aimed fire, yes of course there is and this is how this works. If the scenario does not put the student under the direct threat by the ‘bad guy gunman’ then they can use sights about 30% of the time. This is because they are adrenalized but not to the extreme that would occur if they actually were directly under the threat themselves Thus some of them will use the front sight or something a kin to this in an aimed fire phenomina.
The two scenarios where this 'aimed fire' occurs are the 1-Hostage scenario or 2- 'The surprise mad gunman shooting everybody in a public place'. Both of these scenarios do not put the student who is ‘up’ and has no idea what is going to happen under the direct threat of the gunman.
The students use real guns and very low velocity rubber bullets. The instructors use very realistic Hollywood blank guns that are loud and have a realistic muzzle flash. The scenarios are conducted in low light as most actual shooting are in low light.
When training gets this real to the actual event, and elicits the adrenal rush that the actual event certainly will, then we see the reality of what skill set is needed and also what is just not that important too.
Most firearms instructors are like most martial arts instructors they have never been in a gunfight or hand to hand fight. Some of them still provide good training anyway though, but frankly most people who take gun courses do not really do so thinking their lives might well depend on what they learn. They do it mostly because its ‘cool’, they like ‘shooting’ and it fun. There is nothing wrong with any of that either. Yet you do need to determine what your real goals are in training.
None of this is ‘theory’ with me. I am well trained in the scientific method and I know it to be our best tool to discover the truth of things. Now many will reject most everything I have said here or misunderstand it. There is a scientific reason that explains and predicts that response too. But I want you to know the truth of it and that I am who I hold myself out to be as well. It saves a lot of effort later on I have found. So here is who I am Home | RMCAT - Rocky Mountain Combat Applications Training
Peace be with you all.
December 7th, 2011 10:38 AM
I am truly starting to believe that I may have made a mistake to start down this road of CCW. It is a much more difficult choice than I had originally thought.
Originally Posted by Peyton
On one hand, doing nothing and joining the sheep certainly doesn't do much with respect to protecting one's life and property. But perhaps just by adopting the SA and de-escalation strategies that come with CCW it would be enough.
On the other hand, by carrying a firearm it certainly puts one in a situation where the potential to save one's life or property is greater. But it also puts one at much greater risk for both criminal and civil punishment. What good does it do to save your life if you end up having to spend the rest of it in jail or paying some lawyer, BG or innocent victim everything you earn.
I'm starting to believe that there are really only two choices:
a) Stay unarmed, increase SA, and roll the dice that you don't become a victim; or
b) Take the time and $$$ to get extensive training and carry a firearm with confidence.
I'm truly starting to think that anything inbetween is totally irresponsible. It seems that spending a bunch of time at the range, while not totally useless, isn't that helpful. And in my experience, a one-time combat training experience simply won't be enough to learn what needs to be learned. I have a job, wife, and two young kids. While I would love to do some "real" training a few times a year, I simply don't have the time or $$ to do that. I'm limited to a trip to the range once or twice a week.
Am I completely off base here?
Maybe I ought to start a new thread on this subject.
December 7th, 2011 10:57 AM
Doc, I applaud your way of thinking. If only everyone realized what you are realizing...the gun is not a talisman, it is a VERY specialized tool that requires serious training to use properly.
That said, you don't need to go to a "professional" school every month in order to conduct honest, realistic training. Once you have the basic skill set(s) understood, you can refine and practice those skill sets without doing full bore force-on-force exercises every day. Simple visualisation and mental "war-gaming" techniques can be very helpful, and are absolutely free. Dry fire practive incorporating draw, movement, etc can be done in the home, also for free. If you can find a range or area that will allow you to practice drawing and movement, you can work on your techniques without the instructor being present. Get in on some of the "practical" shooting sports to induce some (admittedly lesser) stree to your shooting. Put yourself under the clock while practicing by yourself. In short, you don't have to be in a "course" in order to get beneficial training (though you will probably need some start-off instruction to teach you the techniques that you will be training on later). As long as you realize that you need to TRAIN, not just shoot, you are miles ahead of the game already.
A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.
December 7th, 2011 11:25 AM
I for one, appreciate you starting this thread. I've done IPSC in the past, but that was with a full blown race gun, so it was a little easier, but I was shocked at how much I missed, especially in the beginning.
I'm going to take a couple of advanced courses in Jan and Feb and I'm looking forward to them. Both of them will involve shooting under stress, cover/concealment and multiple targets. The first course will be simulating a home invasion. The second course will be simulating an everyday out in public SD situation.
I will post up an report after the class. I'm sure I won't have the same nice groups that I have at the range.
December 9th, 2011 11:45 AM
I was just reading this news link Jeff Wise: How Panic Doomed Air France Flight 447 and I couldn't help but think about this thread. Here is an excerpt from this article, it's about the Air France crash over the ocean. It seems a co-pilot got stressed, forgot his training and crashed a perfectly good airplane. Here is an interesting excerpt from this article.
"Psychologists who study performance under pressure are well aware of the phenomenon of "brain freeze," the inability of the human mind to engage in complex reasoning in the grip of intense fear. It appears that arousal of the amygdala causes a partial shutdown of the frontal cortex, so that it becomes possible to engage only in instinctive or well-learned behaviour."
Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.
December 9th, 2011 11:58 AM
Doc, as a fellow newbie myself (but having taken nearly 80 hours of instruction this past year), once you get more classes under your belt, be sure that you continue to push yourself, so that you continue to excel. As you get more familiar with an instructor/school or repeat more of the same exercises, you can very well get "trainingitis." Switching between different instructors/schools, advancing through more and more difficult classes as well as even simply asking more of yourself - things that make you push your failure limit - will become necessary so that you continue to improve.
Things that get your heart-rate back up and your mind racing, so that you repeat what you saw yourself do, at this very first class.
Also, don't forget Force-on-Force training!!!
December 9th, 2011 12:48 PM
Doc I notice your from Denver I spent thirty years out in that area. You should take up small game hunting this will sharpen you skills and get you reaction times up to the point your conditional muscles will do what you need. Now this is if do not have any oppositions to hunting and you take a hunter safety class. That is what I miss the most about being away from Colorado is the opportunities to hunt. Like others have said beats the indoor ranges and putting hole in paper targets that do not move or you have to react to in mere seconds. Take advantage of what opportunities you have. Also thanks for sharing ...... Keep working at it you will be good in no time ...
December 9th, 2011 05:39 PM
I would suggest that you attend a couple of IDPA shoots. No they are not perfect as they are a sport, but you get to scoot and shoot. Your stress level will go up when the beeper goes off. You will get brain fade one in a while and you will become more a accurate shooter. If you decide to attend just advise the RS0/MATCH DIRECTOR that your new to this sort of thing and you will/should find a lot of people that are willing to help you. All in All it is fun
Originally Posted by DocPMD
December 9th, 2011 06:02 PM
Maybe after I get a couple of more classes under my belt! I don't mind embarrassing myself in front of others when forced to, but to volunteer for it. . . ?
Originally Posted by Beans
December 11th, 2011 01:20 PM
Dont worry about being embarrassed. Check this video out, youll understand what I mean..This will also bring to light all the fine motor skills being taught, and what they are worth..
Originally Posted by DocPMD
Biochemistry in a gunfight - YouTube
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......
December 11th, 2011 05:54 PM
^ Nice. Thank you, Harryball, for that!
Search tags for this page
accuracy in high stress shootings
high stress situations with guns
how to practice shooting under stress
how to practice stress shooting
how to shoot under stress
improve stress shooting
shooting accuracy under stress
shooting under stress
stress and handgun accuracy
stress shooting courses
three tango firearms academy
youtube pistol shooting under stress
Click on a term to search for related topics.