Range University is always focused on bringing an academic approach to the range. Shooter's Solution is the methodology that we incorporate into all training participants receive. So... let's jump right in.
For years, while shooting, I could feel that my brain was always computing different factors and my rate of fire would change based on the following key points. Size, Distance, Ability, and Confidence are the critical components to determine your rate of fire. A shooter's skill level is the most influential element in determining the balance between speed and accuracy. Speed is directly influenced by these other areas discussed in this article.
The Constants In The Equation
The size of the target has a direct impact on the employment of the core fundamentals of shooting. If the target is small, an exact, deliberate point of aim with firm, accurate sight alignment must be established, which correlates to time loss. If you have a sizeable humanoid target within 21 feet, the shooter could easily forego the majority of marksmanship skills and deliver effective fire through "Point Shooting." The size of the target determines the level of rigidity; one must employ the fundamentals of marksmanship.
The arc of movement can be observed as the sights move in several forms (W shape, vertical (up and down) pulses, circular, or horizontal angles). The level of marksmanship determines the arc of movement. The components that must be focused on are grip, locking out the arms, trigger press, and follow through. The closer the target, the less the arc of movement matters for accurate shot placement.
In a defensive situation, the shooter doesn't necessarily get a say in these two fixed components.
The Variables In The Equation
Confidence is a 10-letter word that means do you believe in yourself. This is a critical concept in firearms shooting. But, it isn't some false hope, Tony Robbin's self-talk crap. You have to develop that level of confidence through training. Through a developed training feedback loop, you will become in tune with your abilities and truly know your shoots' placement without having to peek at the target. Mastering weapons manipulation and the fundamentals of marksmanship, but these two components must be diagnosed and tuned frequently to maintain a realistic level of mastery. Confidence does NOT ascend rapidly; however, it develops due to proven quantitative training methods, focused efforts to produce positive outcomes, and years of experience.
A shooter's ability is based on the level of weapons manipulation proficiency and accuracy. When training, accuracy is more important than speed. Speed will come as you develop as a shooter. Accuracy isn't necessarily the measure of a single group, but rather how closely the shooter places each shot together on the target over multiple groups. How short will the grouping be time after time when the shooter is capable of shooting the handgun for accuracy? Once you master a specific size and distance, back it up or go smaller on the target. Shooter's should remember that if you discharge a firearm for any reason outside of a range, YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE for every round. Why not implement that framework inside your training regiment.
Shooters should always be working towards increasing their speed and rate of fire. Training should focus on weapons manipulation (Reducing Malfunctions), marksmanship drills quantifiable with either time or score to track progression. Steel should be used in practice to increase confidence. The "ding" on the steel gives the shooter a hit of dopamine that reinforces habits; use it appropriately.
Elevate Your Training With Shooter's Solution If you want to learn more about "Shooter's Solution," attend a Range University course.