Finger Roll

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Finger Roll
by John Tate

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Dry Practice, Marine Style

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From John Tate

You think “dry fire” practice is new?  Consider this quote about USMC rifle training circa 1950:

“The first week on the range was devoted firing with no ammunition while aiming at large black dots painted on white wooden posts. The second week recruits fired both the .22-caliber and M1 rifles, and worked pulling targets in the rifle range pits.”

http://www.theusmarines.com/rifle-training-then-and-now/

Double Tap and Target Transitions

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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:

++++++++

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.

———————–

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.

A Forgotten Training Aid

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A Forgotten Training Aid
by John Tate

Regardless of the splendid benefits of dry fire training, eventually a shooter needs to shoot – to send lead down range. However, there a many valid factors that constrain those opportunities, such as access to a shooting range; inclement weather*, and lately, inability to find .22 ammunition.

Friends, there is a cure: The Air Gun..

Whether air rifle or air pistol, air gun practice is good practice! Some of the benefits:

  • There are some entirely adequate air guns on the market for a pittance of what firearms cost.
  • The propellant for pump actions is free.
  • .177 or .22 pellets are not hard to find … and with a good bullet trip, some can even be re-used.†
  • You can shoot airgun in your own home: in the basement; down the hall; even across a room.
  • Follow through is dramatically reinforced, because, especially with an air rifle, you can begin dropping the arm before the pellet gets out of the barrel.

 

* On the other hand, warriors will do well to take advantage of opportunities to shoot in foul weather. Wars don’t stop for storms. And for competition, there are a lot of folks who won’t train in the rain. If you know how and thus don’t care, you’ll have a definite advantage!

† I’m told this is not recommended. Not sure why. When not materially deformed, used pellets work fine for me.

John Tate addresses CNN

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Naval Commander, Police Officer and competitive shooter John Tate responds to the Get rid of assault weapons editorial by Jay Parini, a poet and novelist whose opinion piece on firearms was posted by CNN.

[Editor’s note: Perhaps CNN should consider that firearms issues are better addressed by competitive shooters, police and military personnel, and others with relevant training and experience instead of random poets and novelists.]

To: Jay Parini
Your editorial, Get rid of assault weapons [1], prompts a response.
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Why We Don’t Teach the “Bootleg” Ready Position

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Why We Don’t Teach the “Bootleg” Ready Position
by John Tate
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Firearms Training and Quals

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Firearms Training and Qualification
Top Tips for Success
by John Tate

The following will give you some reminders on how to polish your techniques to maximize your firearms training and qualification results. Of late I’ve been working with a person who had developed a flinch. Beating it has been hard. Here is some counsel and resources I provided.
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Great Truths

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Collection of witticisms from John Tate:
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Reflections on Gun Control

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by John Tate, from a theme credited to Stefan Molyneux.

There is no such thing as gun control.

Most people claiming to be for gun control aren’t actually against guns, because guns will be needed to disarm The People in order to enact this control. Police need, and will continue to have, guns even if ordered to take away other people’s guns.

Instead of being anti-gun, such a person is actually very pro-gun; he just believes that only the government should be allowed to have them.

Thus, there is no such thing as the gun elimination espoused as gun control. There is only centralizing gun ownership in the hands of a small, political elite and their minions. That is, in the hands of government – that entity that has proven so reliable, honest, moral and virtuous in the past – when dealing with an unarmed populace.

Militarization of Police

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From John Tate:

Of late, there’s been a lot of chatter about the dangers of “militarization” of police forces.

Ever wonder when this started and where?

Here is a rare photo of a NYPD traffic motorcycle policeman on his Indian motorcycle and partner in a side-car. The date is May 18, 1918. Today many people are opposed to stop and frisk. Can you imagine seeing these guys coming at you?

[Editor’s note: Dig that M1895 Colt!]

http://www.shorpy.com/node/5914?size=_original#caption

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