Too often in the gun world, discussions of accuracy revolve around equipment. It should revolve around skill.

Developing the ability to shoot accurately must be mastered before you move on to any other skills. Until you can shoot mostly error free and consistently make good hits, you’re throwing away range time and ammo.

Accuracy is the ability to place bullets where you want them. If you can’t predict where the round landed before looking at the target (call your shot) then you didn’t see what happened when you tripped the trigger. You are losing critical feedback and will never progress as a marksman regardless of the quantity of ammo you continue to waste.

Even in the pursuit of speed and practical shooting, one must continue to improve slow-fire fundamentals. From his book Shooting From Within Michael Plaxco states, “Accuracy is the base for a practical pistol education. Without it, you will never progress to the higher levels. An inability to fire an accurate shot on demand will hold you back in mastering every other skill you need to acquire.”

Building good fundamentals is a never ending journey. You can never be too good a shot. When you master firing from one distance, increase the distance or decrease the size of the target. As Ed McGivern noted in Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting, “proper training in slow fire stationary target shooting, which develops steady holding, sure hitting, and good grouping, cannot possible be and is not – as some have claimed – a detriment to later development in rapid fire …”

Every practice session, live and dry, should have a slow fire accuracy component, firing one shot at a time to work on the fundamentals that place the bullet exactly where you want it to go. You’ll never be perfect, but you should strive to be. If you can’t shoot as well as a machine rest then there is some improvement left to be made.

All Firearm Users need to constantly go back to the basics. As trainer Clint Smith says, “fundamentals win fights.” Accuracy is the corner stone to victory. Get the hit!

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