If you have recently received your first handgun, or have commenced practicing in preparation for a future purchase, then you will at this point be aware of one thing above all others. That’s the knowledge that – although a firearm can make you safer – without learning to use it properly you will only be making yourself less safe when you handle a gun. When you’re starting out as a gun owner or user, the first and most important thing to learn is how to use it effectively.
Speed and accuracy are two of the most vital elements of effective firearm use. You’ll need to be able to operate it at speed should you ever be called upon to operate in a critical situation. Even more importantly than speed, however, you need to keep accuracy as a priority all of its own. If you can’t aim and fire accurately, then you really shouldn’t be firing at all. Given the speed at which a bullet travels and the consequent low margin of error, people should only be squeezing the trigger when they are sure they have a target locked on.
How can a new shooter improve their speed?
The ability to move between targets with minimal delay is something that takes training and focus. Let’s be clear, when we talk about a new shooter improving their speed, it is essential to consider that speed in tandem with accuracy. It would be very easy indeed to start shooting faster, but it’s tactically useless without that accuracy. So we’re not talking about rapid fire here, we mean the ability to engage a target, then fire, then engage the next target and repeat the process until its end.
To improve your speed as a new shooter, the first thing that you need to do is refresh your fundamentals. Even if you just got done learning about stance, grip, trigger action and all the rest, it’s time to go over it once again – because the basis for being able to do something at speed is the ability to do it with accuracy. At one point, it becomes instinctive, and then you can gain speed.
Something else that firearm training will teach you is that gun speed has a lot to do with rhythm. You should never pull the trigger in a hurry, that’s a recipe for misfires. If you want to pick up speed, then, it’s important to master the other elements of firing, and particularly the transition from “just fired” to “ready to fire again”. Shortening the time that it takes you to go between these two points will help you boost speed and accuracy.
What is the best firearm training for accuracy?
When it comes to gaining accuracy with a firearm, there really is no substitute for repeat practice. The more you gain familiarity with the process, the easier you will find it to mentally run through the fundamentals and operate with the requisite efficiency. Target shooting is beneficial, and running through drills is a solid way to mark your progress. An example of such a drill is the below:
- Aim at a target 25 yards away; the target should have markings to show your “score” when hit.
- Allow yourself ten rounds to be shot across four “strings” or “bursts” of fire. Your score will be how many points you accumulate across these strings.
- On the first burst of fire, just shoot once at the target.
- On the second burst, shoot twice.
- On the third burst, shoot three times
- On the final string, shoot the remaining four rounds.
Each of the strings should be kept within five seconds, meaning the first is almost leisurely while the final one demands more rapid firing. The idea of the exercise is to improve your accuracy in a situation that demands speed; it’s almost inevitable that your score per shot will be lower on the fourth string, but the exercise is simply about increasing that score, not getting it to match the first string. During this exercise, it is hoped that you will train yourself to refine your technique by sighting the next shot from the moment you lift off the trigger. As you streamline your approach, you will gain accuracy from both confidence and repetition.
When it comes right down to it, fundamentals are the most important part of adding accuracy and speed when shooting. Repeatedly drilling those fundamentals until you see a steady improvement is a key element of firearm training. If you can replicate your best results time and again, you’ll be all the more accurate when it really matters.