I have an upcoming article in American Handgunner asserting that many of us are training to shoot too fast. Here’s a few of the key points:
Any decision to shoot in a defensive situation requires that we 1) see a potential threat, 2) assesses it, and then 3) shoot it or not. (I’m combining the first two steps of the OODA loop into “see” here.) Most training isn’t concerned with the “assess” part of the equation, and training without assessing is programming ourselves to skip this step…with potentially dire consequences.
Imagine a match in which there is no walk-through, you have no idea how many shoot targets there are nor how they will be indicated, no idea how many no-shoot targets exist, the physical environment you are going into isn’t known, the event takes place in low light, shoot and no-shoot targets both move erratically and change into one another with the slightest perceptible movement at lightning-fast-speeds, “targets” and colleagues are shouting often critical information at you that needs to be acted on immediately, and a missed shot is always a potential “no-shoot” shooting because you can’t see all the no-shoot targets. Oh, and a single round on a no-shoot target means you go to prison, or at best lose everything you own, all your future prospects, and very possibly your marriage. How’d you like to shoot that match? Well, cops and armed citizens shoot these all-to-real “matches” every day. And there, in the real world, it often takes a good half-second to register what’s happening.
On a static square range I can’t assess what’s happening in front of my gun at faster than .33 splits (what I mean here by “assess” is forcing myself to see and register the shape and color of the target area before making the commitment to pull the trigger again). Even this is an easier task than assessing a dynamic situation on the street is.
I’m told that LAPD SWAT, one of, if not the most, active tac teams in the country, had determined that less than 0.4 or .05 seconds between shots was too fast to assess what was happening in front of their guns in a truly dynamic situation.
There’s more in the article — look for it.
Finally: I’ll hit this point often and hard: if you carry a gun for self-defense, you have to know the law. Invest the money you’d spend on shaving a tenth of a second off your splits with Andrew Branca’s book or seminars — it’ll pay far greater dividends. Visit this link to learn more, and use the discount code “streetstandards” for a 10% discount.