Cover Use vs Real Life


From John P Correia

I was watching a video of someone shooting IDPA yesterday, and it struck me that they demand use of cover. And my first thought was that I almost NEVER see shooters using cover in real gunfights.

And then I went back and looked through a couple of months of videos. And the reality is, I do occasionally see the use of cover/concealment in defensive gunfights. Not OFTEN, but not almost never. A majority of gunfights just don’t provide any options for cover, and most people move a step or three and then go to work with their roscoe.

I ain’t nobody in any competitive shooting organization, but if I were, I would consider whether all shooting MUST be done behind cover. If there was one thing I would change, it’s the amount of time I see people have to lean into weird stances as they shoot to keep their feet in bounds and get their hits. THAT, I have never seen in a gunfight. Some squatting, some minor leaning, but not anything like what I see time and again in competition videos.

If an organization really wanted to mimic real-life gunfighting, they would all but eliminate reloads as parts of their CoF. (I know they won’t because it adds a skill metric and a differentiating factor among competitors, but still) Maybe throw an intentionally staged malf in there once in awhile instead. Or allow dropping of partial mags and recognize that movement from one place to another actually stands in for “first gunfight is over, now staging for second scenario as soon as you get more bees in the blaster.”

Just some random thoughts.

I am only an occasional competitive shooter who does it for fun and for grins & giggles with friends, so please don’t take what I am saying as a call out of any shooting org or yelling at gamers to get off my lawn or any of that silliness. Their game, their rules!

Speed of Actual Engagements

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When required to do an El Presidente as one stage of an IDPA match I was running, three police officers who had come said, “But we had 30 seconds to do this in the Academy!”

My response was: “You can take 30 seconds here, too. You’ll just be last.”

The slow, low skill levels reinforced in many qualification courses could be called “an unrealistic speed that is not reflected in the speed of actual engagements.”

Police officer and competition shooter Ron Avery discusses this here:

Low speeds and skill levels are to be expected at the academy level. The problem and failure is never addressing this elementary school skill assessment and asking skills to improve during a career.

Robert Vogel Interview


Robert Vogel was raised on a farm in rural Ohio, where guns and shooting were a part of life, and where Robert learned early to shoot and hunt with rifles, shotguns and handguns. At 15, he decided to become a police officer, joining the police academy after high school. While at the academy, he discovered competitive shooting, launching a career that, as of this writing, has resulted in two World and 16 National Championships across three Practical/Combat shooting disciplines.

“For eight and a half years I served as a full-time street cop. During most of that tenure I was a part of the agency’s SWAT team and was also one of their firearms instructors,” Vogel said.

Do you think that competitive shooting has applications for those who want to train for self-defense purposes with their handgun?

Of course it does. Whether you’re talking about competitive shooting (USPSA, IDPA), law enforcement applications or even concealed carry/self-defense shooting, they all have this in common—you are taking a real handgun and trying to shoot at, and actually hit, a human-sized target as fast as you can hit it under a variety of different circumstances. I don’t care which of those three you’re most interested in, when it comes down to the shooting that is the goal!

There are those, of course, who put down competitive shooting, but it usually seems to be out of convenience, for those people most often fall into one of two categories:
They have very limited experience in it, they’re not very good… or both.

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