Speed vs Accuracy: which is more important to you when Training

This is a discussion on Speed vs Accuracy: which is more important to you when Training within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Accuracy takes precedence over speed. Shot placement wins gunfights. Speed is derived from economy of motion, not moving faster. Speed is a natural by-product of ...

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Thread: Speed vs Accuracy: which is more important to you when Training

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Accuracy takes precedence over speed. Shot placement wins gunfights.
    Speed is derived from economy of motion, not moving faster.
    Speed is a natural by-product of practice.
    Shoot one shot at a time. Each one is the most important.
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  3. #17
    Member Array John123's Avatar
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    Great replies, especially from those who have taken professional training courses (it's obvious just from your posts). I've been pushing my absolute limits on balancing speed and accuracy lately and it has been paying off. Do many of you shoot with a shot timer? I think I never concentrated on speed as much until I finally sucked it up and bought one. Now with quantifiable data to compare myself to I'm always striving to get faster while maintaining my hits. If you all don't shoot with a shot timer, how do you judge how fast/ slow your going?

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    If you are trying to hit a "bullseye" in a SD situation, you've already taken the wrong approach. SD shooting is not target shooting. They are different , for different needs. Fastest speed with the maximum effectiveness, for the situation. There are some situations where taking good aim, is more important..... been in both types of situations and used both approaches.

    SD .. is not black and white, and there is no "one way" for doing everything. All situations are different. "adjust and adapt".
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  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    So far, I think First Sgt has said it best, if perhaps a bit too succinctly. Allow me to see if I can expand on his comments.

    Several of you have posted answers that address how to evaluate your performance by pushing to the point of failure.
    That is a good training technique for evaluation but does not address how or what to train. The question "Speed vs Accuracy: which is more important to you when Training", is best answered by looking at the hierarchy of training goals: 1st. Accuracy, 2nd. Speed, 3rd. Power. This is true of both armed and unarmed combat.

    Consider: First Sgt said, "Speed is a natural by-product of practice."

    I would only amend this to say proper practice. What we do is create a conditioned response wherein we cut the need to think out of the loop. The body then executes the trained movements while the brain continues to assess the situation. If we have trained perfectly with exacting precision, each move will be smooth and efficient. Smooth and efficient leads to fast.

    If you are not accurate enough you are dead. Of course the same is true of speed. So, how accurate do you have to be and how fast do you have to be. Accurate enough to hit your target and fast enough to do it before your opponent.

    There is one other thing here. What do we mean by accuracy. There is accuracy on the target, and then there is the accuracy of your movements which enable the accurate targeting. This is what I mean by first be accurate: Proper clearing of the cover garment; proper grip on the weapon; proper movement through the phases of presentation; proper targeting; and proper trigger press.

    Power: Only when you have mastered the first two should you try to put more power into the strike. In this case the equivalent would be going to a larger caliber or magnum load.

    I could go on, but you get the idea: Accuracy first. The speed will come naturally with the proper practice of accuracy.
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  6. #20
    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John123 View Post
    Great replies, especially from those who have taken professional training courses (it's obvious just from your posts). I've been pushing my absolute limits on balancing speed and accuracy lately and it has been paying off. Do many of you shoot with a shot timer? I think I never concentrated on speed as much until I finally sucked it up and bought one. Now with quantifiable data to compare myself to I'm always striving to get faster while maintaining my hits. If you all don't shoot with a shot timer, how do you judge how fast/ slow your going?
    My practice without a timer and how I know the speed, I practice movement with my draw and shot I'm not just taking a step but busting off the X. For shot placement a sheet of paper folded length way is a good gage, place it COM on target giving you about a 4X12" target. First shot should be in that target, I want that all to happen in the first step about 1 sec. As you keep moving to the side and around the target your COM will move, in a actual gunfight your target is 3D so COM is not always in the front like with the flat sheet of paper target.

    Most of my practice time is done with movement and mostly done point shooting but I do do some sight shooting trying for the one hole shot placement. Most of this is done from 10 yds and back, while the point shooting is done 7 yds and in.

    This is what I've come to find covers what I feel to be my needs.
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  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Those are some great posts, First Sgt, Eagleks, and Hoganbeg.

    John123, I currently do not have a shot timer - I am planning to begin competing either later this year or next spring, and by that time, I definitely will have one. Currently, I rely on the push and the timer of my instructors/trainers. As with you, it wasn't until I had gone to one of my local schools, one in which the instructor brought the timer to-play, that I realized that this is something that really needs to be quantified.

    But as with the members above, what's important to remember is that speed needs to be put into context. There's ways to be fast, fast so that you will do well in a competition atmosphere, based on competition rules and regulations - but that may or may not be what you would want to do in the real world. Just as Eagleks said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    SD .. is not black and white, and there is no "one way" for doing everything. All situations are different. "adjust and adapt".
    ^ you'll also need to adapt your training to best-fit your defensive goals. Like Bill MO, I also try to train to move (obviously, this isn't allowed in some contexts of range shooting, or in the more beginner-level classes, etc.), and that movement does cause us to lose some time, as compared to, say, training to be absolutely fast to that first hit without moving, which is what may matter more in another context (i.e. certain gun-gaming).

    To me, it's more important to quantify my time rather than to set a certain benchmark, because it always gives me something to work to better, to improve. It's really a never-ending road, I can always be faster, I can always be more accurate.

    Too many posts to "Like" in this thread!!!!!

  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    I actually think that USPSA/IPSC does a pretty good job of requiring a balance of speed and accuracy, and I am comfortable that the skills I have developed through competition reflect the balance of those performance metrics that I, personally, want to have.

    The "A" Zone on a USPSA target is a pretty good approximation of the center-of-mass/spine/CNS area of the torso. Most USPSA competitors will tell you that you should try to go at a speed where you are getting about 90% of the total hits available on a stage. That means on two targets taking two shots each, I need to get three of those shots in the "A" zone and the fourth shot still on the central part of the torso (the "C") zone if I am shooting 9mm. If I am shooting a .40S&W or .45ACP, that measure relaxes a little---one "A" zone on each target and the other shot at least a "C". If you are going so fast you are getting more than one or two "D" hits in a match (peripheral torso hits) or, worse yet, any misses, your score is going to suffer.

    That feels like a pretty good benchmark to me. The other thing that competition shooting has taught me is that the easiest target in the world can also be the easiest one to miss completely. As soon as your brain goes, "I can't miss that. I don't even need to aim!" you are screwed.

    Understand that in the real world if you are really using cover (as opposed to IDPA-style pretend cover) and really moving hard in order not to get shot yourself, the speed goes down; still, the pistol match is as good a place as any to baseline your skills and bring the accuracy up to the level that you demand at the speed you are comfortable going.
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  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    ^ And that is precisely some of the reasons why I want to get into USPSA/IDPA.

    I was lucky to be able to get in on a small class with Bob Vogel a couple of weekends ago - it was a basic "Defensive Handgun" class, but it did have a slight gaming bend to it, and what I experienced really set me off on the competition path.

    As a beginner to all of this, I had been warned by some that I could potentially pick up some bad habits in gaming. Today, as a more experienced shooter, I do see that particular caution is not without merit. However, at the same time, I can also well see that competition will provide a nurturing and friendly atmosphere where I will be driven to excel, as well as will expose me to more "stressed shooting," and allow me to continue to develop both my manipulation as well as marksmanship skills. I now understand that competition gun-gaming, when approached in the right context, can well be an excellent compliment to "defensive" firearms training.

  10. #24
    New Member Array BShooter's Avatar
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    Neither speed nor accuracy matter if you train without moving. I've trained with too many people that are either concerned about the "one ragged hole", or those trying to make the 0.1 sec draw, but they'll both plant themselves like shrubs. Get off the X first, then be fast and accurate.
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  11. #25
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    What does Larry Vickers say? "Speed is fine--accuracy is final"?

  12. #26
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    If fundamentals are in place, speed will eventually materialize, whether you seek it or not. The key is to be patient and not to sacrifice form for speed. So the answer is that with proper training you can have both. I had posted this a while back:

    Work on fundamentals and speed will come!

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array dawei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrufrdr1 View Post
    What does Larry Vickers say? "Speed is fine--accuracy is final"?
    The originator of that quote was the late, great William Henry "Bill" Jordan (1911–1997). He was an American lawman, United States Marine, and author. See here..........
    • Bill Jordan
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  14. #28
    Member Array Calling45's Avatar
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    Speed.
    Because most civil defensive situations are close anyway.

  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixTS View Post
    If fundamentals are in place, speed will eventually materialize, whether you seek it or not. The key is to be patient and not to sacrifice form for speed. So the answer is that with proper training you can have both. I had posted this a while back:

    Work on fundamentals and speed will come!

    Very well put. I must work on being more succinct in my posts!

  16. #30
    Member Array Spirit4earth's Avatar
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    A question about point-and-shoot: do you have any tips other than the obvious (aim, shoot, note poi and hand position, replicate and fire without using sights). How to shorten the learning curve?

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