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GUNS Magazine May 2012 Digital Edition - Page 16

STORY: Clint Smith PHOTOS: Heidi Smith H aving been in the training business for a while now, there are a few things which might prove helpful to the average or new shooter in regards to practice techniqes. The goal in training, of course, is to approximate as closely as possible the realities of conflict without actually killing off the client base during training. Without starting WWIII for the editor, the “shooting past people’s heads” and “run and gun flaming death” stuff is of course exciting, but then again arguably it can often be dangerous—especially if not done correctly by trained people. “Trained” here is subject to interpretation like, “I was in the Army for 10 years.” It’s cool, but it doesn’t mean they can teach anymore than it means if you’ve got a car you can drive. Not to be ugly, but lots of folks have been killed in “fake” ammo drills that were not, and think back to all the people you have heard of killed by unloaded guns that weren’t. A tremendous issue in shooting, like in self-defense is speed. Speed defined in shooting is hard to clarify because it means so many different things to different people or applications. Speed is probably most often thought of purely in a timed, “I am faster than you” gig. Rightly so, in competition we reward the person who shoots fast but historically, and, correctly so, speed needs to be balanced with accuracy. In layman’s terms, if you shot first or a lot and don’t hit zip, who cares? If all you needed was noise, you can chunk firecrackers at a threat. If you wanna scare them, get a big dog. We need to hit stuff we shoot at. In a war, shoot a lot or as much ammo as you have or as long as supplies last, your call. Today so far, there is still an accountability for rounds fired, so I would try to ensure my hits are on How to hit quickly, and with accuracy. time sPeed aNd tarGets! The MGM Lolli Popper set is a grouping of two to create bystander or “now shoots” and turns into a good mover to work with after the first hit on the plates. Excellent for developing shooting skills. The solid MGM plate (above) resets after being hit, which we’ll need using the GAP TR .308 bolt-action rifle. Lots of options for targets are available (below) so you need to pick what works best for you. target. You’re gonna be sued by the bad guys you shot or the remaining family pukes, and just imagine the furies if you shoot bystander kids. The “tried by 12, carried by six” is a cute concept unless you wind up in court. Bluntly, as I advance in age personally and as I continue to train and teach others, I work and teach people to shoot as quickly as they can and yet hit the target. It sounds stupid but it is true: “If you miss don’t shoot faster, shoot better.” And I admit it will be hard, stressful and more. When I get in an “at-ease comfort zone” or a student gets in the “shoot small groups zone” I press them and myself to go a bit quicker or increase range or decrease target size. Skill, size, distances all affect marksmanship. If I could give my students one “gift” it would be the gift of timing; how long does it take you to hit that target as quickly as possible with the first round? Anything that moves as a target in training is a good thing. Balloons, anything is good to press the issue home that most often the threat is moving and we may have no other choice but to move also, move to contact, move to break contact, move to cover or concealment. Up front most people don’t like shooting stuff that moves because they don’t hit stuff that moves. The proper response is, “I didn’t hit it, I am going to keep 16 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • M AY 2 0 1 2

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