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"Good Enough" or "Fundamentals First": Tactical firearms skills!

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    "Good Enough" or "Fundamentals First": Tactical firearms skills!

    Originally posted by Devil View Post
    You can place trigger pull wherever you like in your hierarchy of importance for pistol features but Glock triggers and most factory triggers on double action pistols just flat out suck. If you want to dismiss the impact that a 6 or 7 pound trigger pull can have on shootability, okay. I can't agree with that though.

    The triggers in the vast majority of these modern double action pistols are not designed with the shooter's best interest in mind. They're designed with cost savings and liability mitigation in mind.

    I know you're an experienced shooter and are capable of comparing the features of various weapons and deciding the trade offs you're willing to make. Actually, I'd probably agree with your choices at the end of the day. A Glock will be with me when I leave the house today.

    But how many people here are capable of making that comparison? Most of them couldn't appreciate the difference in shootability between a custom 1911 and a Ruger LCP. For that reason, I think trigger pull is worth discussing. Otherwise, ignorance prevails.
    That is a good point. I'm coming from the perspective that at pistol ranges, you can still train very well to fire with heavy or longer triggers. If I could have it my way, I'd like to see all of the DA only pistols come in sub 8lb pulls. long pulls have a place in my armory (concealed carry, esp revolvers), but I don't think heavy pulls are really necessary.

    In rifles it is a different story, as you know (and actually, you're probably more experienced for precision rifle shooting; I'm just getting my feet wet with that stuff, coming from iron sights and tactical rifles).
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    #2
    Originally posted by dwkfym View Post
    That is a good point. I'm coming from the perspective that at pistol ranges, you can still train very well to fire with heavy or longer triggers. If I could have it my way, I'd like to see all of the DA only pistols come in sub 8lb pulls. long pulls have a place in my armory (concealed carry, esp revolvers), but I don't think heavy pulls are really necessary.

    In rifles it is a different story, as you know (and actually, you're probably more experienced for precision rifle shooting; I'm just getting my feet wet with that stuff, coming from iron sights and tactical rifles).

    Sure, and likewise, I don't want to overstate my preference for a lighter trigger. It's just one factor of many. Gunsmithing is my focus currently, so I'm all about paying attention to the tiniest details of the gear. But of course, gear isn't the most important aspect of shooting, by a long shot.

    In fact, I've got another much larger beef about pistol training at the moment which I'd be interested in getting your thoughts on. Periodically, I have an opportunity to train with some guys from a local police department. I know for a fact these guys train with their pistols a lot. Way more than me.

    The first time I joined them, I expected to be way behind the curve but what actually happened was that I basically shot circles around every one of them. I believe the difference is that when I was taught to shoot a pistol I was taught to focus on the fundamentals - sight picture, sight alignment, trigger control, etc. It appears to me that their training has been focused too much on the mechanics rather than the fundamentals.

    Here's what I mean. They all look like fucking ninjas when they're shooting. Like a John Woo movie or some shit. The latest, greatest super high speed stances. Fancy schmancy magazine changes. Snatching that pistol out of the holster like greased lightning. Brother, let me tell you they look badass. And can't hit shit.

    I mean, it's sad. I can accept that there's a tradeoff between speed and precision but damn. They do okay when their target is three feet away. And I understand that's where a lot of their encounters will happen, but not all of them. These guys could empty a whole fucking magazine at a stationary clay pidgeon 10 yards away and it would still be sitting there shining like a new penny.

    I see this trend a lot, and not just with pistols. It's the same thing with a lot of these tactical carbine courses, I think. They teach the guys to shoot under cars, with their off hand, holding the rifle between their knees to reload with one hand, laying upside down, everything under the sun. And that's all well and good for somebody to expand their skills when they can already shoot. But it seems to me marksmanship fundamentals are often being neglected in favor of slick mechanics these days.

    I'd be interested to hear your take on the subject.

    Comment


      #3
      I've noticed the same thing. My brother has had all the tier-one tactical training in the world. He was part of a security detail for a nuclear power plant a the height of 9/11 paranoia. he trained 10 hours a week and did Miles-gear scenario training with Navy SEALs and other special ops groups every month. He had all the training is my point.

      He could draw faster, shoot faster, reload faster, and shoot from many more positions than I could. But he couldn't shoot a 2-inch group at ten yards with a pistol to save his life. With an AR-15 he could hit a man-sized target all day long at 300 yards, but he couldn't hit a crab-apple at 75. I can ping a 10-inch steel at 75 yards with my revolver, he couldn't even find the range.

      I've often wondered about who would be more effective. I have to assume his training was more geared towards combat-effectiveness, but part of me still says accuracy is king.

      This may warrant it's own thread...
      And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

      --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Scrapper View Post
        I've noticed the same thing. My brother has had all the tier-one tactical training in the world. He was part of a security detail for a nuclear power plant a the height of 9/11 paranoia. he trained 10 hours a week and did Miles-gear scenario training with Navy SEALs and other special ops groups every month. He had all the training is my point.

        He could draw faster, shoot faster, reload faster, and shoot from many more positions than I could. But he couldn't shoot a 2-inch group at ten yards with a pistol to save his life. With an AR-15 he could hit a man-sized target all day long at 300 yards, but he couldn't hit a crab-apple at 75. I can ping a 10-inch steel at 75 yards with my revolver, he couldn't even find the range.

        I've often wondered about who would be more effective. I have to assume his training was more geared towards combat-effectiveness, but part of me still says accuracy is king.

        This may warrant it's own thread...

        Yeah, to be honest I learned some things I want to work on from training with those guys. It never hurts to be a little slicker or smoother. I just don't think you want to build a house on a shitty foundation.

        Comment


          #5
          There is merit to the concept of "good enough" though.

          Reliably putting lead into the bad guy at combat range makes sense. The conflict is in how much the ability to thread a needle with a handgun contributes to this. Technically speaking, any time spent on (handgun) accuracy past 8 yards is practically wasted.

          Does it really matted if your trigger pull is flawless and your follow-through picture perfect if your bad guy is no more dead than the guy who sprays like a spaztard but gets hits?

          My heart says "Yes!" but my brain asks "why?"
          And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

          --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Scrapper View Post
            There is merit to the concept of "good enough" though.

            Reliably putting lead into the bad guy at combat range makes sense. The conflict is in how much the ability to thread a needle with a handgun contributes to this. Technically speaking, any time spent on (handgun) accuracy past 8 yards is practically wasted.

            Does it really matted if your trigger pull is flawless and your follow-through picture perfect if your bad guy is no more dead than the guy who sprays like a spaztard but gets hits?

            My heart says "Yes!" but my brain asks "why?"

            But training somebody to shoot with proper fundamentals doesn't take forever. It can be done in a relatively short amount of time if done properly, and in my opinion is a good use of time for anyone who relies on a handgun, no matter where they ultimately want to go with their training.

            I was fortunate to get about a week of good solid training early on that really made a difference in my pistol shooting. When I was in the Marines I got the opportunity to compete in one of my division's rifle and pistol matches. It was my rifle scores that got me invited. I hadn't even qualified with a pistol at that point.

            Anyway, the format was one week of training for all the competitors followed by one week of competition. The instructors were the same instructors who train the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Team. They train some of the best shooters in the world who spend their entire enlistments shooting all day, every day. I picked up two or three things there that helped me turn the corner with my pistol shooting. Proper grip was one thing. Trigger control was one.

            And they gave me one piece of advice that I think made more of a difference than everything else put together - they explained that when you hold the pistol properly and sight in on your target, it always seems that you're floating all over the place and there's no way in hell you're going to hit your target. But in reality, it's an optical illusion caused by the fact that the sights are so far away from your face. If you apply the proper fundamentals and hold it on target the best you can, and let it float back and forth a tiny bit without fighting to keep it at what appears to be dead center, you'll hit your target. Probably the best piece of pistol shooting advice I ever got.

            Anyhow, my point is that it was only a week of training split between rifle and pistol. Yet I'm able to use it more than 15 years later to outperform shooters who train all the time. So, those types of fundamentals are worth teaching in my opinion.
            Last edited by Devil; 8/12/2013 8:42am, .

            Comment


              #7
              then there is the rub!

              What is truly essential?
              What is good, but not necessarily needed?
              How much time/energy should you invest in what skill?
              And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

              --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Scrapper View Post
                then there is the rub!

                What is truly essential?
                What is good, but not necessarily needed?
                How much time/energy should you invest in what skill?
                I think it's true that most bad guy encounters are going to be at close range where speed counts. I also have a cop buddy who shot an armed man in the head within the last year at about 15 yards. Pistol marksmanship was a good thing to have for him on that particular night.

                Comment


                  #9
                  May just be the people you are shooting with. When I went through the academy I learned on a .38 with a holster that was older than I was. With old speed loaders that were probably the same age. We spent hours practicing sight alignment - sight picture. Matter of fact we spent a day in a room looking at pictures of proper sight alignment before stepping on the range. We did a little quick draw stuff but that wasn't until after we had done hours shooting at 10 yards. We did focus on center mass, but it was the center of center mass, not all over the torso.

                  One thing I did notice was that street versus corrections was a little different. Street did revolver and immediately went to automatic. Corrections did automatics later. Both did shotgun, but only corrections did rifle. Street had to get rifle through their agency, and some didn't offer it.

                  But we spent a long time on the range getting everyone dialed in. If you didn't qualify, you flunked the academy. I saw a few people get thrown out and shooting was the last class we did in the academy. Then when I got to work, of you couldn't qualify, you couldn't work. The only people I saw get thrown out were females.
                  Combatives training log.

                  Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D

                  Drum thread

                  Pavel Tsatsouline: kettlebell workouts give you “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”.

                  "Disliking someone is not evidence of wrongdoing or malfeasance or even bias." --Dung Beatles

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Diesel_tke View Post
                    May just be the people you are shooting with.
                    Definitely a possibility. You guys who regularly train in a team environment can assess how common those shortcomings are better than I can.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      But at what point are the fundamentals strong enough to transition to tactical stuff? how much time does one invest in "proper" mechanics before the returns start to diminish as compared to the high-speed/hard-core "tactical ted" stuff?

                      I am asking this as a thought experiment to all the amateur and pro shooters we have here. If you were to design a program for teh uber-noob who has no plans of ever becoming a tier one (or two or even three) operator, but may need to engage in pistol combat at some point (insert MacGuffin here), how much time/energy/money/effort do you sink into the base fundamentals before teaching actual fighting.


                      (Clever people may be spotting my "kata v. sparring" or "street v. sport" parallels here...)
                      And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

                      --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Devil View Post
                        Definitely a possibility. You guys who regularly train in a team environment can assess how common those shortcomings are better than I can.
                        Well, I know a few guys that couldn't shoot their way out of a paper bag but they love cool toys. Every time I've shot with them, they were way more concerned about looking cool. They didn't even check their targets after each round of fire.

                        But most everyone I know huts also, and we spend lots of time sighting in our rifles and plinking. So you have to be able to shoot or get laughed at.

                        And I think some just forget about the fundamentals over time. Worried more about the cool stuff.
                        Combatives training log.

                        Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D

                        Drum thread

                        Pavel Tsatsouline: kettlebell workouts give you “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”.

                        "Disliking someone is not evidence of wrongdoing or malfeasance or even bias." --Dung Beatles

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Scrapper View Post
                          But at what point are the fundamentals strong enough to transition to tactical stuff? how much time does one invest in "proper" mechanics before the returns start to diminish as compared to the high-speed/hard-core "tactical ted" stuff?

                          I am asking this as a thought experiment to all the amateur and pro shooters we have here. If you were to design a program for teh uber-noob who has no plans of ever becoming a tier one (or two or even three) operator, but may need to engage in pistol combat at some point (insert MacGuffin here), how much time/energy/money/effort do you sink into the base fundamentals before teaching actual fighting.


                          (Clever people may be spotting my "kata v. sparring" or "street v. sport" parallels here...)

                          That's a very good question. I don't know the answer. (Disclaimer: that may not keep me from saying some shit after I think about it for a few minutes). lol.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Scrapper View Post
                            But at what point are the fundamentals strong enough to transition to tactical stuff? how much time does one invest in "proper" mechanics before the returns start to diminish as compared to the high-speed/hard-core "tactical ted" stuff?

                            I am asking this as a thought experiment to all the amateur and pro shooters we have here. If you were to design a program for teh uber-noob who has no plans of ever becoming a tier one (or two or even three) operator, but may need to engage in pistol combat at some point (insert MacGuffin here), how much time/energy/money/effort do you sink into the base fundamentals before teaching actual fighting.


                            (Clever people may be spotting my "kata v. sparring" or "street v. sport" parallels here...)
                            That's an interesting question because you only have a short amount of time to prepare someone to work on the street. Most academy lengths are a few months. So in that time you have to get fundamental shooting, tactical shooting, and legal stuff all thrown in. Plus the cost of rounds. And that may be where people get screwed up. Learning tactical and fundamentals at the same time.
                            Combatives training log.

                            Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D

                            Drum thread

                            Pavel Tsatsouline: kettlebell workouts give you “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”.

                            "Disliking someone is not evidence of wrongdoing or malfeasance or even bias." --Dung Beatles

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Scrapper View Post
                              But at what point are the fundamentals strong enough to transition to tactical stuff? how much time does one invest in "proper" mechanics before the returns start to diminish as compared to the high-speed/hard-core "tactical ted" stuff?

                              I am asking this as a thought experiment to all the amateur and pro shooters we have here. If you were to design a program for teh uber-noob who has no plans of ever becoming a tier one (or two or even three) operator, but may need to engage in pistol combat at some point (insert MacGuffin here), how much time/energy/money/effort do you sink into the base fundamentals before teaching actual fighting.


                              (Clever people may be spotting my "kata v. sparring" or "street v. sport" parallels here...)
                              From my amateur/enthusiast/SD perspective... I have no advanced training - yet. Fundamentals I would consider a number of the things already mentioned - grip, trigger control, sight picture. I would throw in basic firearm operation and the situationals like "when to draw," and "when to shoot." The person should be able to handle FTF/FTE easily and know how to handle duds, squibs, and hang fires. All of those are fairly objective, I think, and can be measured/graded without much difficulty.

                              And, of course, the person should be able to hit a target. Ideally, I would say 100% COM at 5 yards, which would be at worst about 66% at 8 yards, right? I don't think I would have accuracy at 8 yards as a prerequisite to "advanced," training, but it may be an interesting tool to gauge the performance of the individual and of the advanced training methods, should you bookend the training with range time (which you should, because how else are you going to tell if you're better?)

                              Here's where the line starts to get fuzzy for me. Comfort with the firearm, which may be very subjective. Production should be fluid and controlled. The person shouldn't get the shakes after firing a few rounds (I've taken several friends out for their first shot, this happens a lot). The person should be able to maintain positive control of the firearm, and have an innate awareness of where the gun is and where the barrel is pointing.

                              The objective stuff is probably a few hours (5 max I would say) of dedicated training. Accuracy will probably require one-on-one interaction with an instructor, but can be combined with range time. The subjective stuff will come with range time, and will depend on the individual.

                              Here's the key point - and I think this is where I put words in devil's mouth, you can't just pass the fundamentals and be done - you have to practice them regularly, so maybe a refresher course should be a prereq to advanced if you haven't done a fundamentals track in, say, the last 12 months (maybe it is, see first paragraph where I say I haven't taken any advanced courses, yet).
                              Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

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