23 August 2013
Greetings Concealed Weapons Permittees,
I attended an IDPA BUG (Back Up Gun) match this past weekend.
A gentleman, shooting right handed, was shooting well,
and then, in the middle of a string of fire,
started missing the target completely with the bullet
impact off to the left in the dirt. I was observing
him from his left. So, I could see the left side of
his face. He had not practiced enough to be able to
close his left eye without affecting other muscles in
his face. So, when he closed his left eye, to eliminate
the double image, one could see folds in his skin radiating
from the outer corner of his left eye back toward his ear .
So, it was easy to see that he was not closing his left
eye on the shots that missed the target to the left.
He was aiming at the wrong image. (That is to say,
he was placing the front sight over the image from
his left eye, not his right eye. The image from the
left eye is to the left of the image from the right eye
because the left eye is to the left of the right eye.
This error is magnified by the distance to the target.)
That's why it is so important to close your non-aiming
eye when actually firing the shot and hold it closed
through your follow through.
Errors can be corrected in real time by stopping
(at lease mentally) and returning to fundamentals.
I observed another gentleman fire five rounds at a
steel plate in rapid succession and miss every shot.
A miss is an indication that you are doing something wrong.
Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is
the definition of insanity. If you replicate the same shot
that missed, you are going to miss again; and that is
failing to stop the threat, wasting time and ammunition.
So, if you miss, STOP!
At least mentally. And go back to fundamentals to force
Center the front sight post in the rear sight notch.
Level the top of the front sight with the top of the rear
sight. Sight alignment.
Place the top of the front sight in the center
of mass of the target. Close your non-aiming eye and
hard focus on the front sight. (You must be able to
see the serrations on the front sight.) Sight picture.
Touch the trigger. Take the slack out of the trigger.
DO NOT FIRE THE SHOT. You know how much pressure it takes
to fire the pistol. (Because you've spent many hours
of dry practice with your pistol.) Apply 1/8th pressure.
Smoothly increase to 2/8th pressure. Gently increase
to 3/8th pressure. Gradually increase to 4/8th pressure.
Continue to incrementally increase pressure.
I guarantee the pistol will fire before you get to 8/8th
pressure. The pistol should fire without you intentionally
firing the pistol. This is a SURPRISE BREAK. The surprise
break is necessary to defeat your autonomic nervous system,
which will force you to push against the anticipated recoil,
thus driving your point of impact low left for right handed
shooters, and low right for left handed shooters.
Yeah it's a long process, but if you don't do it,
you're just going to miss again. And if you practice,
the process will compress in time and become very fast.
Remember, every miss is destroying property and injuring
innocent by standers.
Several of the stages in this BUG match started with the
pistol lying on the table in front of the shooter. At the
signal, the shooter was to pick up the pistol and execute the
course of fire. Way too many experienced shooters picked up
the pistol (or revolver) with their trigger finger on the trigger.
NEVER let your trigger finger leave the register position
until your sights are on the target, and you have decided
In high stress situations, muscles twitch. In high stress
situations, humans lose dexterity and coordination. Good safety
procedures will protect you from your human frailties.