Why You Need to Shoot Fast

If you carry a gun you must master a lot of skills. You have to carry it securely, handle it safely, and maintain it regularly. There's another skill which I think a lot of folks don't take seriously. You need to learn to draw and shoot and HIT quickly.

You need speed.

Why? Simple. Because you are way behind when you start. You are reacting to something. Good guys don't start the incident. You are catching up. Nearly every time we run a force-on-force scenario on First Person Defender, our "good guy" exclaims that it happened so fast. Yep. You see the bad guy rounding a corner, coming out from behind a car, even just walking up with a knife or gun, and you need to ACT NOW!  

Homework assignment. Get on YouTube and watch real-world shootings. Doesn't matter if it's a police officer or a store owner. Watch how quickly it all goes down. 

Be honest. How often do you practice speed shooting from concealment? You have to clear the garment, get a firing grip on your handgun, draw the gun, bring it up on target, acquire the sights, and press the trigger. I suggest a lot of dry firing on this. Empty gun. No ammo in the room. Use a shot timer or a par timer app on your phone. Start with a par time of three seconds. You react on the beep, and the goal is to get a good trigger press with the sights on a target before the second beep sounds. Three seconds is a lot of time. You should be able to get it to two seconds. Many canTo be fast you need to become the sheepdog and act. do 1.5 seconds, but that's asking a lot for a concealment draw.

"Honey, I might have been able to save you if I had practiced my speed draw, but I was binge watching Gomer Pyle," isn't going to cut it. If you take on the role of sheepdog, you have to do the work. 

You really, no kidding, do need formal training in this stuff. Once you know how to do it, then you can drill, drill, drill. Dry fire every day. Live fire as often as you can. Get into IDPA competition, if possible. (Understand, though, that some of their rules are because it's a game, and they force you to do things you wouldn't do in the real world.)

When it happens for real, it's going to be a surprise, and it's probably going to be quick. You need to be quicker.

Oh. One more thing. Only hits count. With every dry fire draw, you must "hit" the target. Aim small. Miss small.  

Get a timer. Commit to daily practice. Watch your times go down quickly.

Be a sheepdog. ~ Tom

Tom Gresham
Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.


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