July 23rd, 2007 03:27 PM
"Then why did you pull the trigger?"
A couple of weeks ago I was doing double taps in our range at seven yards.
I was having a grand old time, and getting pretty good groups, too.
My gun would lie on the bench with four rounds in it and the safety on. I would pick up the gun, disengage the safety and shoot twice, as fast as I felt I could effectively shoot, engage the safety and put it back down to start over again.
But, as shooting would have it, on the second shot of one of my double taps I felt the shot go wild. When I looked at my target to confirm, I saw a .45 size hole in the bottom right of my target.
Me, being my typical, enthusiastic self, was very hard on myself, but passed it off by reminding myself that everyone has fliers.
I finished up my shooting, left the range, and ran into one of my coworkers who is a long distance competitor for both pistol and rifle. A very sweet, quiet guy with an easy smile. He doesn't say much about guns, but when he does he's straight and to the point.
I put my targets down on the counter while I collected my things and he pointed to my flier and said, "What happened here?"
I said, "Well, I was doing double taps and that one just got away from me. I could feel it as soon as I pulled the trigger."
He looked at me with genuine curiosity in his face and said, "Then why did you pull the trigger?"
I stood there, blinking up at him (as he's about six-foot, six-inches to my five-foot, three) and could think of no good reason. He had a very valid point. If I knew I wasn't ready, why did I pull the trigger?
He smiled at me and said, "Remember, slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. Don't concentrate on speed, it will come when you need it. Concentrate on getting it right. When your body is used to doing it right, you'll do it fast."
With that he turned to help another customer and left me rather stupefied, standing there with my range bag and targets.
His lesson took me back to the day I was learning typing in high school. I was so frustrated that my classmate, James, could type 100 words per minute and I was stuck at only 60. I would type as fast as I possibly could and still only top out at about 65 wpm because I'd have to keep correcting errors.
James, the figure of my envy that he could type so much faster than me, spied on my typing over my shoulder one day and said, "Why do you always go so fast? You make so many mistakes when you do."
I pouted and said, "You don't."
He shrugged and said, "Yeah, but I didn't start that way. I started out slow, but correct. The speed just came."
My typing lesson has come back to haunt me in the gun world, too, it seems. God bless those who are there to remind me that doing it right is more important than doing it fast. I just have to have the patience to let the speed come.
July 23rd, 2007 03:37 PM
Good solid advice from the big guy.
July 23rd, 2007 03:39 PM
VERY good lesson to be learned here by many of us. Good post, Lima. It's pretty obvious what you've conveyed here so I won't bother repeating it. Nor will Itry to summarize it because it just needs to be read.
Though I will say this: I've been racing cars semi-pro for a few years. When I first started, I kept hearing "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast." It was the dumbest thing I'd ever heard. All I ever wanted to do was mash the accelerator and 'go fast' but I never understood why I wasn't winning or getting better. Getting professional instruction, a truckload of experience, and eight years later? I understand why that is a mantra racers live and die by. Why? Because once you start worrying about keeping it fast, you stop worrying about control... and when you lose control of a car going into a tight off-camber turn in a pack of cars at 93mph and all you can think about is passing that guy in front of you??? Then very bad things happen. I'm fairly positive the same lesson applies to shooting if you're willing to think about it.
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July 23rd, 2007 04:09 PM
Good words to remember for sure and will apply to most anything; shooting, driving, golf, etc. Start out slow and learn to do it RIGHT and yes the speed will come 'with control' and you get it right plus do it fast. Try to push it and you will top out with misses or not as good grouping. Now if I could only follow my own advice. . .
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. "
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July 23rd, 2007 04:22 PM
One of the guys on my squad shooting IDPA Saturday is a cop but a hot shootin' cop, one of the best. His double taps are so fast you wouldn't believe and he hits good most of the time - very good. Sorta guy I'd want on my team
While I admire his skill and wish to emulate, I know I have not got his aptitude or even probably his practice experience. As a result on my own shoot, I have to ease back my temptation to try and copy him - knowing full well that what lima brings up is so true ... and of course varies between individuals. "Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast".
We have to shoot within our own skill levels and so if in extremis we might lack the edge of the top shooters, at least we can still pull the trigger when ready and not ideally before. Hard to do tho with adrenaline pumpin'.
I trully doubt in majority of cases, anyone we see shootin' real fast - including the Mundens, Mikulec's etc ..... will have not come up thru the progressive smooth shooting - to gain the ultimate speeds. Oh for masses of range time and a free supply of ammo
Chris - P95
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July 23rd, 2007 04:44 PM
I fence and the exact same information applies. It is amazing how many kids come in, learn a couple basics and tear off at full speed with zero control. Nobody likes to drill slow and steady but the bottom line is you need to build up the constant, coorect repetitive motion in order to "burn" the action inot your synapses. When I was 29 I was taken apart by a 76 year old man on the fencing strip. I had been fencing for only a couple years but was astounded by how quickly this old man reacted to every move I made with a perfect counter. The man was a former olympian and had perfect form ground into him decades ago. Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.
Every bad action (in fencing, shooting, or just about any repetivie trained action) blows several perfectly performed ones, especially if you do not stop and analyze what whent wrong. I like to tell people that if they cannot describe every detail of the action they just took then the odds are they did not do it right and/or could not repeat it consistently.
July 23rd, 2007 05:37 PM
Gotta love it when the old ones impart wisdom to us on something that we once learned and promptly forgot.
Fast is slow
slow is fast
front sight focus
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July 23rd, 2007 07:18 PM
Being the impatient guy I am. I do like the advice and understand it. What is the best way to implement it?
Should I take this philosophy and while practicing draw, shoot, holster, draw, shoot, holster?
I'm still new to shooting. I'm getting most of my shots on the paper target now.
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HAGAR: To sign a peace treaty with the King of England.
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HAGAR: First we gotta negotiate...
July 23rd, 2007 07:24 PM
Yes. It applies to most every aspect of shooting or sports in general that I can think of. Get the mechanics down right and first, you will gain speed naturally with no need to force it.
Originally Posted by Pitmaster
July 23rd, 2007 08:00 PM
Words from the wise there a lot of people don't believe slower is faster but a lot of times it is
July 23rd, 2007 11:03 PM
Amen. Going into security, and hopefully law enforcement, means I have to be mindful of all of my shots, so I can dig this.
Originally Posted by limatunes
I left the range last Sunday from my Class G qualifier with a thorough understanding of the idea that "speed is the efficiency of motion". Kind ol' Hawaiian instructor kinda hovered nearby, and during the timed rounds kept reminding me to "slow down." "You can't miss fast enough to win." All that jazz.
Musta worked too. 218/240's not bad at all, methinks.
It's a hard lesson to really learn though, surrounded as we are by a fast, speed-based culture not to rush things.
July 24th, 2007 03:27 AM
Reading the title...I was expecting a story about a customer with an ND in the store.....
July 24th, 2007 12:29 PM
This has got to be one of the best lessons of shooting or anything really. Thanks for sharing. I was taught the same thing basically in Martial arts growing up. Learn it right, get it down first and the speed will come naturally.
"My God David, We're a Civilized society."
"Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
-The Mist (2007)
July 24th, 2007 01:08 PM
Good Post and very good responses... Not much to add!
+1 on BAC's instructor, "you can't miss fast enough to win"
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
July 24th, 2007 03:02 PM
"He smiled at me and said, "Remember, slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. Don't concentrate on speed, it will come when you need it. Concentrate on getting it right. When your body is used to doing it right, you'll do it fast."
Words to live by with any sport. When my kids were young and I coached little league I tried to get the pitchers to just get it over the plate first then slowly work up to fast. Same rule applies to shooting.
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