Timers and Standards for Gunfights

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For the average Joe/Jane on the street who isn’t trying to beat Bob Vogel at the next world shoot, it is possible to expend too much effort developing speed while neglecting other important aspects of self defense but rarely do I see people investing so much effort in refining their ability to deliver fast, accurate hits on demand that they’re neglecting other bits of the equation. That’s much more of a theoretical problem than a real one, I’m afraid.

Assuming you’re not trying to become the next USPSA champion, there’s certainly a rational balance to be reached, but the clichés parroted endlessly don’t encourage the employment of reason in finding that balance. They tend to drive the conversation towards eschewing the use of a timer or the use of standards to measure performance because once you start to put things up against hard standards it becomes pretty clear that a lot of “tactical!” is just suck dressed up with black paint and silly furniture. Nobody likes to admit that they suck.

I don’t know who came up with this concept of “cowboy quickdraw” but that person should be flogged in the town square. Police and ordinary citizens are reaching for a gun IN RESPONSE TO AN AMBUSH. They need the gun NOW.

Situational awareness gives you a few seconds heads up that something is happening…it is not a magical power that repels all boarders so you don’t need to worry about the hard skills of actually using the weapon. There is no situation where you truly need a firearm in which getting it into play slower is to your advantage.

– Tim Chandler

There is a timer in every gun fight. The other guy is holding it and it has a button that makes a very loud beep. It’s called a gun.

– Nate Perry

How Shooting Affects Your Hearing

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How Shooting Affects Your Hearing, an info graphic from The Smoking Barrel USA:

How Shooting Affects Your Hearing
Source: The Smoking Barrel USA

Establishing Hard Standards

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MountainGuerrilla

One of the subjects we discuss in this blog, a lot, is the importance of having quantifiable metrics of performance. A large part of that is what I call “soft standards,” i.e. “I did better than I did last time,” and “I performed the drill/skill correctly.” On the same hand however, there is a time and a place for “hard standards.”
“Hard standards” are simply a published set of metrics that a given group of people are expected to be able to achieve, on demand, without specific preparation or warm-up. As individual practitioners of…dare I say…the “Heroic Ideal,” soft standards really should be more important to us than soft standards, but hard standards do have a very important role to play as well.
In the first place, it allows us the confidence to accept fate stoically. “What is, is.” If I have met a hard standard, on demand, without preamble…

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Inches, Minutes, Clicks- Zero That Blaster

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Ash Hess has a solid write up on using the Army’s new zero target. What’s interesting is that this really describes how the zero process used to be taught before it was deemed too “confusing.”

https://primaryandsecondary.com/inches-minutes-clicks-zero-that-blaster/

https://primaryandsecondary.com/grouping-the-baseline/

>> I use the new Army Zero target since it was designed for this exact thing vs the old school one that was designed by an idiot.

FC 23-11 (Unit Rifle Marksmanship Training Guide) was published in the early 1980s for the M16A1 era and it claims the reason for the silhouette-shaped aim point was to replace the “confusing” Canadian Bull zero target and have troops zero on the same shape/relative size target they’d see during qualification.

They also eliminated explanation of “confusing” minutes and mils and went with 1 square=1 click as well as “confusing” descriptions of basic ballistics. Just use the “L” sight on your M16A1 when zeroing at 25 meters and flip it back when done. The zero target even has pictures with arrows to show which way to click the sights to adjust them.

Brilliant! Until the M16A2 was adopted, followed by the M4 and then optics, lasers, and other sighting accessories that became common issue… Try to explain the how and why of the Small Arms Integration Book to someone that doesn’t understand Inches-Minutes/Mils-Clicks and basic ballistics.

It’s worth noting the FC 23-11 is a well-written manual published by knowledgable shooters that did a great job explaining the decision process for the zero and qualification procedures the U.S. Army has been using since the early 1980s. The real failure was that this basic, initial program of instruction and qualification was intended to be only a basic, initial program. Soldiers were supposed to eventually shoot field courses (the Alt-C target was originally intended for other exercises to prepare for this), at full distance, on KD ranges, and learn higher level shooting. All of that is explained in FC 23-11. The simplistic nature of the initial course was to be added upon during a Soldier’s career.

As with any potentially-useful program, when left to be handled by under-skilled personnel with no background or interest in the subject at hand (drill sergeants and other NCOs) along with leadershit with no background or interest in it, the program stopped at the simple, introductory level and began to retrograde. KD courses and full-distance course were eliminated due to logistics, followed by even the scaled exercises at 25 meter. The entire affair eventually dumbed down to the lowest-common-denomitor, minimalist affair common to every Soldier that has served since Reagan’s first term. 25 meter zero followed by “pop up” targets (or just the 25 meter Alternate “C”) course is the least effort approach that technically satifies minimal requirements.

Sadly, because most Soldiers are illiterate this is the totality of their understanding.

Canadian Sniper Record Shot: An Analysis

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I’m sure you heard about a Canadian sniper that reportedly set a new world record by taking down an ISIS target from a distance of about 2.2 miles. The exact distance of the shot was 11,316 feet (3,772 yards), taken by a special forces sniper from Canada’s Joint Task Force 2. In an official Forces Canadiennes statement, “The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 metres [2.2 miles].”

http://www.range365.com/canadian-sniper-breaks-record-with-22-mile-shot/

http://www.duffelblog.com/2017/06/canadian-sniper-kill-shot-record/

One suggested motivator for this:

Here’s a commentary about this. Please comment with your thoughts below.

Jason Brown
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=42212919

A dozen shots at a dozen ISIS combatants 2 miles away and you’re bound to hit one. The vital zone is smaller than the zone where a quarter of the shots under controlled conditions would land. These guys are never alone. If he could reliably hit one with one shot, one kill certainty, then why weren’t there multiple kills? The reason is that this was a lucky shot.

Ten inch vital zone at 3,540m is 0.25MOA. That rifle shoots 0.5MOA BEFORE you throw in the Coriolis effect, which will move the point of impact between 7 to 10 inches depending on the actual time of flight of the bullet, but can’t be can’t be determined any better than that due to variability in muzzle velocity from shot to shot. That time of flight is also going to be affected by the inconsistent air density along the 4km arc of flight. This will also affect the amount of spin drift. Mathematically, this is like hitting a bullseye that’s smaller than the point of the dart. Do the math. Learn about long range shooting. Spend some time on the thousand yard range with guys that hold world records. Or better yet, answer that question – If this was a reliable one shot kill, why was there only one kill when the ISIS combat doctrine presents multiple targets…

This was walked into a crowd just like Craig Harrison’s shots, no doubt about it. World record 1,000yd benchrest is 0.3MOA where Coriolis is negligible with handloads that have a standard deviation of only a few feet per second and heavy support on concrete bases that weigh a ton. Obviously, a tactical rifle is not going to match that, and at over triple the distance, that group will open up due to variables that cannot be calculated such as uneven air density which no ballistic computer will predict. Hitting that first shot, cold bore is statistically like rolling six-sized dice and getting a 6.33, or measuring 0.0004″ with digital calipers that read to the nearest 0.001″, or measuring your speed to 1/10th MPH with a speedometer that has an accuracy of plus or minus 1MPH. If the error ellipse is larger than the target, the hit probably is less than 1.

Training Scars: Brass in Pockets

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The “found brass in pockets story” is a popular old saw offered as a warning against developing bad habits or training scars. The story goes that some police officer was found dead with spent brass in his pockets. Being of the era when revolvers were common, the doomed-but-nameless officer unintentionally stuffed his brass into pockets while reloading during a protracted, long-ago fight, thus slowing him down and sealing his fate. Details are rarely offered, but the boogeyman to avoid is unintentionally developing a bad habit and to only do things exactly as told or you’ll suffer the same fate! Boo!
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Circus Trick

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Low skilled people continue to whine about standards drills as not being realistic, tactically relevant, or being a “circus trick.” What they’re really doing is attempting to conceal lack of skill, either their own or others. Rather than blame a lack of fundamental skill for a poor result, it’s easier to blame the evaluation for the poor showing. The fact that such a test is known in advance only serves to make it easier.
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