Friday, July 12, 2013

Speed vs Accuracy

Speed vs. Accuracy

Too fast to hit.

“Speed is fine, but accuracy is final” Larry Vickers
“You have to be slow in a hurry” Wyatt Earp

A recent range session drove the importance of this discussion home. When challenging a partner to what was an untimed event to make it a timed event with accuracy the final factor, the partner bowed out with their answer being that only hits count. End result of the event was that my time was way faster (at least half the time of the other shooter, sometimes more) on every shot sequence and my overall grouping for the whole course of fire about half the size of the other shooter.

Does this mean that I’m a better shooter than them? No. Could they be better than me? Yes. That is not the point of this post though. This post is about being better at the skills being tested on the drill.

How did I get better? By pushing my limits to the point of failure again and again. By pushing my shots to be faster and faster I did start to see my accuracy degrade, but then it was just slowing down a split second and keeping the drive on.

How did I accomplish this? By a mixture of dry fire and live fire.  More specifically by pushing my speed on dry fire at home from the holster first (concealment included from CCW/Off Duty Holster). Next I pushed my speed at the range by single shots from the holster. After working on this for a little, I practiced speed from the various ready positions I use – compressed ready, low ready, sul.

After a bit of work with the blaster, I moved to the rifle. I practiced the presentations dry from both the low ready and high ready. After working on this dry for a while, I moved to the range and did single shot reps at speed.

With both weapons, I used the center or upper “A” zone of a VTAC target for my accuracy standard. The “A” zone on a VTAC is the same as the “A” zone on IPSC/IDPA targets. Pistol I generally was working at 7 yards both dry and live. Rifle I was doing 7 yards dry, 15 yards live.

After working on speed single shots, I worked on two to three shots at a time. This is a skill you can not dry practice very well. Your dry practice of a fast first round will help some, if your ensuring your grip of the weapon allows you to control the weapon for fast follow up shots.

There are plenty of resources out there to assist someone who would like to push their speed. 1. Shot Timer. 2. A friend to watch your speed. 3. Video – has to have fast enough frame capture to catch your body movement so you can identify what inefficiencies there may be. 4. Training. Ideally in person, but if you don’t have lots of money – you can supplement in person training with resources available online.

Say what you will about Travis Haley, but this video is not about him. Its about the tips from Ron Avery on how to shoot faster.

So now you have mastered (more or less) fast single shots. Whats next? Multiple shots per target. The best way I found to practice this was a modified version of the VTAC 1-5 drill. Demoed here by Kyle Lamb:

When I say modified, I mean making it more “real world” focused than competition. I.e. Put the safety on between each target. Yes it will cost time, but time vs shooting someone who doesn’t need shot is important. Another option for making it more “real world focused” is like in this post by Mountain Guerilla.

Hope some of these tips will help you, as they have helped me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Equipment Color Considerations Part 1

Equipment color considerations, Part 1

This is a topic that I’m sure many of you have seen or heard of recently in the realm of the US Army’s ongoing camo fiasco.

There is a lot of valuable information being made public on the topic thanks to the excellent series by Guy Kramer who designed the ADS entry for the camo contest. All five parts of his series are available here:

In my opinion, the most valuable data from his post is something that not everyone remember when they talk camo. IR visibility. Obviously, if you don’t have access to Night Vision, you’ll not be able to check stuff out as easy as if you did. With Generation 1 NOD’s so cheap ($100 or so), you must consider IR visibility with your kit. From the LE professional operating in a rural environment looking for a Mexican Narco Terrorist operated Drug Grow to a Military or PSD unit working overseas against a determined enemy, IR visibility must be considered.

The first thing to do no matter what your wearing/using, is to get rid of anything that is black in color. Pretty much all the other colors of kit will blend in and you won't notice what pattern they are, whereas black will stick out. 

The following picture series should help illustrate my point.
This is pictured with a “Southwest” patterned couch and tan carpet for reference.
L to R.
Black Rifle.
Multicam/Smoke Green/Coyote Brown plate carrier with black and green magazines.
Coyote Brown Plate Carrier with black magazines
Tan/Brown/Green painted rifle with black magazines.

First picture, camera flash illumination only.

Second picture, No IR illum.

Third picture, IR Illum from Princeton Tec Charge.

Last, a variety of Multicam, Ranger Green, Coyote Brown kit and a black rifle under a close to full moon NOD shot.

Next in the series I will cover painted rifles and my thoughts on how to do it.