It’s how you use your time

How does the saying go? “Speed is fine, but accuracy is final.”

It matters in many places in life. For example, I love to allude back to the Pentium Pro floating point bug. At the time, it was the fastest microprocessor out there, but who cares, because it gave wrong answers. This even held up in the classroom… that student that raised their hand first only mattered if they were the first one with the right answer; the teacher always kept going around until they got the right answer, not the first one. If you can be both fast and accurate, great. But it matters more to be accurate than fast.

So when it comes to shooting, we tend to tell people to go fast. Why? Because you don’t have time to waste. SuburbanDad just returned from Rangemaster with some data:

Speaking of timing, one fun fact – the FBI reports (again, according to Rangemaster staff) that for citizens using a gun in self defense, 92% of those gun fights occur between six to ten feet. The fights usually involve the citizen firing just over three shots, and the entire fight is over in 3.5 seconds. As Tom Givens, the boss man at Rangemaster often says, “you will run out of time before you run out of ammo.”

This is where that “3 shots at 3 yards in 3 seconds” being the statistical average of a gunfight came from, and formed the basis for KR Training’s “3 Seconds or Less Drill“.

So you don’t have time, but to just say “go fast” really isn’t the whole story.

First yes, you must go faster. I can see students in class that move at the speed of “mosey”. You cannot do this. You must move faster. But how fast should you move? It’s tough to quantify, but it should be the maximum speed at which you can move and still get acceptable hits. It may not be as fast as Todd Jarrett and that’s fine, but I’m sure you can move faster than you are. Basically, keep moving faster in small increments until you get to a point where your accuracy is no longer acceptable. There you go. You just have to push yourself to find your limit, then back off within that limit.

Second, you must realize that faster isn’t a singular thing for the whole operation. You must move at different speeds for different tasks. Drawing the gun and getting it on target should be a very fast movement and should always be fast no matter how you’re shooting. But then how fast you get the sights and press the trigger? That will vary depending on what you’re shooting: a large, close-up target can have a coarser sight picture than a small, far-away target. But the only way to ensure you have enough time for those slower things is to make sure you are using your time correctly on other tasks.

Third, use your time efficiently. Most people shoot by pressing the gun out, then pressing the trigger in. For the sake of simplifying the math, let’s say it takes you 1 second to press the gun out and 1 second to press the trigger in. If you perform this as a serial task (press out then press in), that takes you 2 seconds to complete the whole task. What if you performed the two tasks simultaneously? Thus as you press the gun out you also press the trigger in? You have done nothing to speed up the work as it still takes you 1 second to press the gun out and 1 second to press the trigger in. However, by performing the 2 actions simultaneously, you’ve now taken only 1 second to complete the whole task. There was no speed change, no rushing, no hurrying, just more efficient use of the time available. In fact, you could even move a little slower (e.g. 1.5 seconds to press out, and press trigger) yet still take less time than doing the two actions sequentially!

So it’s not really as simple as “go faster”, tho that’s certainly the first step many need to take. In the end, it’s about using what time you have in the most effective manner.