Training and Habits

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Tactical instructors are fond of claiming that certain actions or activities are to be avoided as you’ll develop a “bad habit” that can’t be corrected and could possibly prove fatal. Of course, this fits nicely with their business model. A new or prospective gun owner is wise enough to realize some form of formal learning will be useful and this popular and selfish advice scares them into avoiding doing something on their own as only the “proper” instruction will avoid a bad habit.

This is more than selfish self promotion. It is wrong.

The Backwards Brain Bicycle was purposely built because the only way to ride is to do everything exactly the opposite. Because of this, it is exceedingly difficult to ride as a completely new way of riding has to be established. However, it can be done. Not in a weekend seminar or one week class, but with about five minutes a day every day until it works.

Any technique or habit can be programmed given sufficient attention and effort to establish it. Any new technique or habit, including something completely contradictory, can be set given sufficient attention and effort to establish it. Returning to a previously-established technique or habit will be easier the second time. Learning new things is also easier because you’ve developed a means to train and teach yourself. You have learned how to learn.

Of course, many unguided gun owners do create bad habits on their own. Left unchecked, plinkers learn little more than a highly-refined flinch. Law enforcement, military, and CCW/tactical shooters keep this at bay just enough to stumble through their elementary shooting tests known as qualification.

Even with instruction, shooters unwilling to do a little work on their own can still develop a bad habit. Skill level tests, if there even are any, are purposely kept very low as the novice-level personnel posing as instructors aren’t aware of how to train or coach beyond this. The shooting is mostly a herky-jerk stumble as the students are never asked to accomplish a smooth ride as the instructors don’t even know what that looks like.

Even if a bad habit (such as a flinch/pre-ignition push) is established, it can be overcome if the shooter realizes and acknowledges the mistake, has a plan to fix it, and then actually executes the plan.

Switching and experimenting in shooting should rarely require a complete opposite approach as the bike, but you do need a definition of what a smooth ride looks like.

Fort Knox Range Report

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A range report from SFC Charles Parker, USAR Marksmanship Program.

I shot at the 1000 yard line recently with SSG Anderson on Scott Mountain at Fort Knox from top of the Connex Building.

See what you all are missing!

I tried a new upper built with a 20-inch White Oak DMR Barrel fluted under the handguards with a 1:8″ twist, a Daniel Defense Free Float Tube/Rail, and 4X ACOG.

With this upper, Anderson was able to hold 6 of 10 shot on a steel man-sized silhouette and I was able to hold 5 of 10 on the steel. That’s about 1.7 MOA wide at that distance. We needed just a “tiny bit” of hold over at 1000 and, of course, there is no freaking wind on Scott Mountain (lol :)

This pic of the SR target (normally shot at 200 yards) was shot at 600 yards. While it’s not a “Norman Anderson group” the bullseye (9 ring) is just over 12 inches and the 15 rounds on target were fired at a rapid fire pace of two to three seconds per shot. That 4X scope on a two MOA bull is a challenge at 600 yards for sure but the WO Barrel is the shizzzznuts!

PS. Don’t make fun of my fat head!

Another Anti-Competition Ignoramus


The problem with the anti-competition shooting zealots is they remain largely ignorant of the events and participants complained about. There is this popular myth that competition is somehow bad that some people are fond of repeating and this tendency to repeat it in the absence of any proper testing or reliable proof is what keeps the myth alive. It is “true” because enough people continue repeating the lie.

Here’s a synopsis from another go-around.

“1. All targets are single shot targets for the most part.”

This is a much larger problem for military, LEO, and tactical classes than the large variety of competitive disciplines where the number of targets and shots to engage them varies widely. Plus, steel is engaged to fall, kind of like he is suggesting.

“2. Speed reigns supreme in competition. Speed is important, but not at the expense of accuracy…”

Sounds like conventional bullseye to me. I’m certain he doesn’t like that because it is at the expense of speed.

“3. There’s no need to take cover.”

Except at matches that require it. PPC, NATO military, and various practical disciplines have mandated cover use and force competitors to shoot around it.

“4. You’re limiting your configuration possibilities.”

Compared to the fixed and rigid courses found in military, LEO, and tactical classes, this is laughably wrong. There are dozens of different competitive disciplines with varying types of configuration possibilities. Some disciplines, especially the practical events, are purposely made different at every event.

“5. Competition shooting breeds an environment of gizmos, gadgets, and race guns. Reflex sights are great, but batteries fail.”

Battery powered reflex sights have become the norm in military, LEO, and tactical use since the mid-1990s, as are lights, lasers and other “gizmos.”

Force Science Institute supposition about point shooting needs validation


Force Science Institute supposition about point shooting needs validation
by John Veit

High School Shooting Range: 1950s and today

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Back in 1960, 28.7% of the total NRA membership maintained skill Classifications in competition and there were almost as many Qualification awards recognized as total members (89.5%)

Today, only 2% of the total NRA membership maintained skill Classifications in competition and 0.2% participate in the Qualification program.

Some stats:

Accuracy and Speed


Wisdom heard from Dennis Santiago.

Shooting under stress or time pressure may require trading accuracy to gain speed. It is essential to have a margin of accuracy first or you’ve got nothing to trade.

Thugs try to rob a competitive shooter and gravely pay for it

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A doctor was leaving home to compete in a shooting competition held at Magnolia Pistol Range in Byram, MS at approximately 7:45 AM. While making several trips to his truck, two males happened upon him, took him captive at gunpoint, and forced him drive to an ATM to withdraw money. When an opportunity arose, the doctor/competitive shooter retrieved a handgun and shot one of his captors.

While he eventually won and emerged unharmed, several commentators have noted some of the mistakes this man made, stating the he’s only alive because he got lucky. Despite his actual and alleged mistakes in the moment, which we can belabor in an unhurried calm, the doctor/competitive shooter won in the end.

He also now has more real fight experience than a number of tactical instructors with popular reputations and paying students…

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