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|Posted by Lance Earl of Lance Earl, LLC on June 21, 2012|
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There is a huge contradiction between typical firearms training and the real-world use of a firearm. Check out gun fight videos, as seen by police dash cams, and you will soon realize that when the bullets start flying, people begin moving. The simple truth is that gun fights are dynamic, they are fluid. This is common knowledge and yet, typical civilian, police and military firearms training is completed with the use of a static target. Additionally, a static shooter is also the norm in firearms training. The question is simply this, is firearms training of any value when the training does not relate in any way to the realities of a gun fight? It has been my experience that most shooters who are capable of maintaining a tight group on static target will fall apart when the shooter, target or both begin to move. Simply put, you have to develop a skill set that allows you to shoot a moving target while you are on the move. Can you? Your life may very well depend on it.
After basic shills are mastered, our shooters will move to the next level. This includes several Dynamic Movement Challenges. These challenges must be mastered before a shooter will be allowed to advance to the Tactical Challenges. I consider these skills to be absolutely essential. Key elements of effective dynamic shooting include:
- Manage Your Feet: As you move your feet, it is important to always maintain a position that will allow the shooter, at anytime, to assume an effective shooting position. This generally means that the shooter should be able to quickly assume the weaver or isosceles shooting position while on motion. Generally, this means that the shooter should move in a way the keeps the shooter's body facing the target or the shooter's non-shooting shoulder closer to the target than the shooting shoulder. This kind of movement is a kind of a dance that will only become effective with practice and repetition.
- Isolate your Gun from your Feet: Each step you take results is a certain amount of jarring that will transfer up through the body and down the arms. These vibrations will have a negative affect on the shooter's ability to stay consistently on target. These vibrations cannot be completely eliminated, but they can be significantly reduced as follows:
- Move with your knees slightly bent. This will cause your knees to act as an effective shock absorber that will significantly reduce that amount of vibration that will rise above the knee.
- Step with a heel to toe step while moving forward and a toe to heel step when backing. This will cause feet to smoothly come into contact with the ground. This is much preferable to a flat footed approach that will cause a sharp and jarring step.
- Keep your upper body fluid and relaxed. If you are stiff and tense, it will effectively transmit vibrations to your shoulders and arms. On the other hand, if your body is relaxed and fluid, much of the vibration will be adsorbed and not transmitted.
- Keep your arms relaxed and your elbows slightly bent to offer one final shock absorber between your body and your gun.
- Finally think "cat". Picture a cat on the hunt. It's body is low and fluid, the legs moving and while the body is a steady as stone. Think "cat" and stay loose.
- Train to a realistic standard: When you are on the move, the target is moving, or both, accuracy will suffer... can't avoid it. This is caused by a few factors:
- Vibrations created by movement will travel up the body, down the arm and to the gun.
- Shooting fundamentals including, trigger control, follow through, stance, and grip will be compromised to some degree.
The more you practice, the better you will get. Make it a priority to shoot DallyPost Tactical Dynamic Challenges often. This will guarantee that your hard earned proficiency will remain sharp and effective. In the case of firearms training, there is no such thing as practice makes perfect. There is however, a truism that states that perfect practice makes proficient. Make no mistake this is a potentially life saving skill so ignoring it is a fool's errand.
Many static range drills are very useful for building a solid grasp of fundamentals. Is this enough? Is it time for you to take it to the next level?
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