From John Tate

>> In the 70s, I was a bullseye pistol shooter. Not good, but that’s what I shot … as opposed to rifle. In the mid-80s the Navy needed a commissioned officer to be captain of that year’s rifle team. I got drafted! So I became a rifleman. ((Some day I’ll tell you the history of being trained by the best the USMC had to offer.))

[Editor’s note: You should write this up as well as I’m sure it’s a great story!]

>> Now, what you’ve got to understand is: I’ve never actually shot a proper “double tap.” My ordered pairs, controlled pairs, whatever you want to call them, they are both shot about the same – aim, sight picture, squeeze. Fast enough to pass a qual shoot (draw, then two shots center mass in 2 seconds), but not truly fast.
>> > Now, as Travis Tomasie suggests in this video:

>> So here’s my question: Is this the essence of controlled pairs: good stance, firm grip, good sight picture for first shot; now let the pistol recoil and recover, and just pull the trigger again.

I never liked terms such as “double tap” or “hammers” or the like. Just shoot two (or one or three or five or whatever) shots on the target as needed. Speed is dictated by shooter skill and target size/distance.

Before competing in conventional disciplines with the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program, I held Master classifications from USPSA and IDPA.

Bill Drills (draw and fire six shots at seven yards) were a staple exercise, with the goal of shooting all six shots inside target center (eight inch circle) in under two seconds. Shooting Rapid Fire in the pistol National Match Course requires two second splits (ten seconds for five shots) while the Bill Drill is ten times faster (0.2 second splits with a draw under one second is about two total seconds.) Of course the Bill Drill is shot on a 114 MOA target while the bull (nine ring) on the 25 yard B-8 target is 22 MOA and shot with one hand.

To gain increased shot-to-shot speed, the shooter must eventually start hauling the gun back down from recoil. Solid and consistent grip and stance is critical and a developed shooting platform will have the firearm returning on its own, sort of like Natural Point of Aim. To increase beyond some rate of speed, however, the shooter will have to help the gun down from recoil. Conventional shooters don’t because there’s nothing gained for them going faster than one shot every two seconds.

Here’s where bullseye shooters get hung up: This hauling from recoil can appear to be a flinch or trigger jerk.

A flinch/trigger jerk is better called a pre-ignition push; the shooter muscled the gun while the shot was fired. Recoil control at speed is a post-ignition push; the shooter brought the gun down from recoil immediately AFTER the shot was fired. The time difference is a few hundredths of a second. Yes really, as training time spent with a shot timer will reveal.

These videos with Rob Leatham are good demonstrations:

>> Also, on the referenced video, Tomasie says first move your eyes to the target, then your sights to your eyes. In fact, I just discovered this (sufficient to articulate it) in the last year or so. FLETC has a shotgun drill where you shoot reactive targets, alternating from side to side. What I found is if you move the sights and eyes to the next target, you’ll overswing and have to come back. If you move your eyes to the next target THEN move the sights, you’ll not overswing. My point here is Tomasie is right (DUH!), but he doesn’t explain why the other option produces sub-par results.

In target transitions, I feel as if I’m presenting the gun to each target, not swinging through the targets. Leading with the eyes helps this.

Rob Leatham demonstrates this here:

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In the 70s, I was a bullseye pistol shooter. Not good, but that’s what I shot … as opposed to rifle. In the mid-80s the Navy needed a commissioned officer to be captain of that year’s rifle team. I got drafted! So I became a rifleman. ((Some day I’ll tell you the history of being trained by the best the USMC had to offer.))

When I retired from the Navy (Jan ’96), I started working with police. That sent me back to the handgun and a new skill: double tap. Now, what you’ve got to understand is: I’ve never actually shot a proper “double tap.” My ordered pairs, controlled pairs, whatever you want to call them, they are both shot about the same – aim, sight picture, squeeze. Fast enough to pass a qual shoot (draw, then two shots center mass in 2 seconds), but not truly fast.

BREAK

Now, as Travis Tomasie suggests in this video:

With a good stance and grip, after the first shot, the pistol will pretty much settle back to the same position. ((I see by your photo that you are double distinguished, so I’m sure you know how this works with a good sitting or prone position in highpower rifle.))

And, as a quick demo for students, I have them extend horizontally a relaxed hand, and then thump one of their fingers. Sure enough, it goes back to where it was.

OK – BACK TO DOUBLE TAP

So here’s my question: Is this the essence of controlled pairs: good stance, firm grip, good sight picture for first shot; now let the pistol recoil and recover, and just pull the trigger again.

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Footnote: On the referenced video, Tomasie says first move your eyes to the target, then your sights to your eyes. In fact, I just discovered this (sufficient to articulate it) in the last year or so. FLETC has a shotgun drill where you shoot reactive targets, alternating from side to side. What I found is if you move the sights and eyes to the next target, you’ll overswing and have to come back. If you move your eyes to the next target THEN move the sights, you’ll not overswing. My point here is Tomasie is right (DUH!), but he doesn’t explain why the other option produces sub-par results.

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