“A slow hit beats a fast miss, but there is such a thing as taking too much time.”
What is defensive accuracy? Defensive accuracy is the ability to shoot the center of mass as fast and accurately as you can, the resulting shots should be covered by the spread of your hand. As we progress from novice to intermediate shooters, I would hope that shooters’ goals will also change.
Many beginners learn the fundamentals and focus on target shooting. To review the six fundamentals – stance, grip, trigger control, sight picture/sight alignment, breath and follow through. All of these fundamentals should be performed perfectly in order to hit a bullseye. In contrast to defensive accuracy where your fundamentals may not be perfect, your ability to stop the threat will be.
Take sight alignment. There is a degree of deviation from perfect sight alignment when shooting for defensive accuracy. Aim at the center of mass of the exposed target area, when aligning your sights and acquiring sight picture, your shots will be spread across your target. To determine your accuracy, your shots should be about the size of a sheet of copy paper. You are looking at a larger area and at a closer range as your target. A defensive encounter will not afford you the time to gain a perfect sight picture as it does in the range. Therefore you will need to practice a new set of skills.
Do not think of defensive accuracy and target shooting as opposites. They are stages in the progression from being a beginner to becoming a marksman. As first you are only concentrating on the basics. You want to perfect these before moving on. This may mean that you skills will allow you to shoot a small 3-4 inch grouping on your target. Once you are satisfied with your progress, try shooting a piece of paper as your target. First shoot slowly and keep in mind your fundamentals. Then change to a clean target and shoot faster. Aim for one shot every two seconds. Assess your progress and continue until all your shots are on the sheet of paper.
Next time we will cover natural point of aim and flash sight picture.