Speed or Accuracy?

You Can Have Both

There are many gun enthusiasts out there that are on different platforms. One of the big question is, “Is the most important thing speed, or is it accuracy?” In this post Rob Leatham and Rob Pincus will discuss and answer this.

The main thing is finding that happy balance that you shoot fast enough without being too slow and be accurate. Both Rob will walk you through some timing drills to build your skills up to where you need to be.

No Secret or Trick
After several rounds of this timing drill, neither Rob’s was faster than the other in reaction time. Both fired with the same speed on target. At the conclusion both Rob’s confirmed that “It’s about pulling the trigger instantaneously without moving“. Does that mean you don’t learn the basic fundamentals, obviously you still do then you progress to faster trigger pull. Both Rob also confirms that most people don’t progress further due to instructors not passing on further skills development.

Video Transcription

[RobL] Hi, Rob Leatham with Springfield Armory, we’re here at Cowtown USA shooting facility outside of Phoenix Arizona, and I’m here with Glen from Independance Training.

[Glen] Rob, you know we get a lot of different shooters out here at the range from all different types of skill levels, and regardless of the type of platform that they’re running, whether it’s rifle or carbine or handgun, they all have the same question: Is the most important thing speed, or is it accuracy?

[RobL] That’s the eternal question right there. How fast do I have to go before I start missing, and how much slower do I have to go to be more accurate? The real truth is, you can never go as fast as you want, because you’ll start missing, and you can’t be as accurate as you’d like to be, because it’d be too slow, so it’s all finding that balance. There’s lots of ways to determine how fast you should go, but the skill-building portion of it is really what interests me. I’m gonna run you through a couple drills here, so–

[Glen] Alright!

[RobL] Go ahead and– what you’re gonna do is, start off with timing me.

[Glen] Okay!

[RobL] Fundamentally, I want you to give me a standby ready that’s on an instant, and push the button, and I’m gonna fire a shot.

[Glen] Alright!

[RobL] Whenever you’re ready.

[Glen] Alright. Shooter ready?

[RobL] Yep.

[Glen] Standby.

[Beep] [Pop!] [RobL] So what’s that time?

[Glen] Point two-five!

[RobL] So in one quarter of a second, I’m able to respond to an audible, and shoot a target dead center.

[Glen] Mhm.

[RobL] Now if you wanna go faster, you can, but there’s tricks to doing it, and it almost always costs you something. So give me a couple more of those.

[Glen] Alright. Shooter ready!

[RobL] Yep

[Glen] Standby.


[RobL] So what’s that time?

[Glen] Point one-nine.

[RobL] Ok so that’s starting with finger off the trigger, which I consider the ready position. I teack ready position- contact point is the gross trigger-pull from the start of contact to the wall. So that was all the way out, do me again.

[Glen] Alright. Shooter ready.

[RobL] Yep.

[Glen] Standby.

[BeePop] [RobL] What’s that?

[Glen] Point one-four.

[RobL] Okay, give me one more.

[Glen] Shooter ready. Standby.

[BeePop] [RobL] What’s that?

[Glen] Point one-six.

[RobL] Ok, so in under two-tenths of a second, I’m able to pull the trigger off an audible and hit the target pretty much dead-center. Let’s give you a shot at this thing.

[Glen] Alright.

[RobL] So you can start with your finger anywhere you want, you’re aimed-in ready to go, and as soon as you get the buzzer, gimmee a shot.

[Glen] Ok!

[RobL] Alright?

[Glen] Alright.

[RobL] Are you ready? Standby!

[BeepPop] [RobL] Excellent, nineteen! Do it again. Standby. Ready?

[Glen] Yep!

[Beeppop] [RobL] Point two-two, give me a little faster. Standby, ready?

[BeepPop!] [RobL] Point one-five, so you’re just as fast as I am. One of the things that I get all the time, is that students always think there’s some magic in the reaction time, that maybe I have a better reaction time than you. I don’t. I’ve tested myself a zillion times, I’m just the same. What I’ve learned how to do is pull the trigger REALLY fast without moving, and it’s not a trick. But you obviously have learned how to pull the trigger fast. There’s a lot of silly stuff going around out there, people think you can only shoot accurately if you pull very very slowly, but that’s only really important when the precision becomes very very high. So let’s increase the required accuracy a little bit.

[Glen] Ok.

[RobL] Step on up, I need you to hit the box in the center, in the A-zone.

[Glen] A-zone! Head?

[RobL] A-zone in the head.

[Glen] Ok!

[RobL] Start on the target, ready to rock.

[Glen] Alright. Finger on the trigger?

[RobL] Yep. ready to go. You’re– the decision to shoot has been made, you’re waiting for the go.

[Glen] Ok.

[RobL] Standby, ready?

[BeePOP] [RobL] Ok, so time is point-one-six. Did you get the quality shot you needed?

[Glen] I did.

[RobL] so why would you ever pull the trigger slowly? Alright? Was there a low? Was there a high? It was pretty much a good shot. Alright, do it again. Standby, ready? [BeePOP] Point one-nine. So you’re right on, bullets are touching each-other, you’re shooting as quickly as you can fire the gun, because you’ve learned a fundamental technique that a lot of people don’t know. You know what that is?

[Glen] What’s that?

[RobL] Jerking the trigger without moving the gun. And a lot of people think that this whole thing is about squeezing the trigger, and it’s not. It’s about pulling the trigger instantaneously without moving. Now you realize, if he can hit the middle of that head at four yards like that, that would hit the whole target at fifty yards. What happens is the process changes, and the person thinks because the shot gets more difficult that he has to change the process. You don’t. You just have to do it right.

[Glen] And do you think that’s an error in the way that people are taught the fundamentals, or the way they’re teaching themselves, or the way they’re learning the fundamentals?

[RobL] No… I don’t think it has a lot to do with the fundamentals, I think it has to do with us as instructors, as we’ve not kept up with the needs of our students. The first guy you get, you’re not gonna teach him how to do this.

[Glen] No, absolutely not.

[RobL] ‘Cuz there’s no way you can do it. There’s no way he can even understand the concepts of pulling the trigger that quickly. He’s almost every time gonna jerk the gun out of alignment when he does it. So that guy, you’re gonna say ‘listen, line the sights up, learn to pull the trigger without moving the gun. If you need to do it slowly, do it slowly. But then as you become better at moving your trigger finger, to the exclosion of moving anything else in your hand’, then we should keep up and now what we say is ‘Ok, pull the trugger faster’ and faster, and faster, and faster, and faster. Because the trick is always, once you wanna shoot fast, we start taking things that should happen in sequence, and doing them all at once.

Sights are on the target, you say fire the gun, you know when you fire the gun, the gun’s gonna kick, so as you fire the gun, you’re also controlling the recoil that’s coming from firing the shot, and it moves it down.

[Glen] Now at what point does a shooter move from that ‘perfect sight alignment, good solid sooth compression’, to what we’re doing here?

[RobL] I always push a student to the point of failure. The practice range is the place to screw up. So let’s say– I’ll give you a perfect example. Run me again, and I’ll show you the jerk, ok?

[Glen] Alright.

[RobL] We good there?

[Glen] Shooter ready. Standby.

[Beep, pop.] [RobL] Ok.

[Glen] Alrighty.

[RobL] So what’s the time?

[Glen] You are point-two-one.

[RobL] See the shot down on the bottom?

[Glen] All the way down there.

[RobL] So the normal way of dealing with that would be, come back to the student, say ‘Listen, you need to slow down’. But what I did was nothing to do with the speed that I did it. It’s the fact that I moved the gun out of alignment when I fired the shot. So unfortunately, what will come back to them from the instructor’s standpoint, is ‘Oh we need you to slow down, you’re not ready to pull the trigger that fast’. It had nothing to do with pulling the trigger. To get the gun pointed down there, I had to do something, right? I had to move the gun out of alignment. So then we take the student and say ‘Listen, quit worrying so much about aiming, worry about pulling the trigger and moving nothing else’.

by J Hines

Source: IndependenceTraining Youtube, Rob Leatham, Rob Pincus

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December 9th, 2016 by