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

I feel the timer is there to make up for the fact that targets in real life are not standing still indefinitely like they usually are on a range. It’s pretty easy to not take speed seriously when that’s the case.

– Robert Vogel

You’ve got the rest of your life to solve that problem… how ever long that is.

– John Farnam

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

Qualification and Skill

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People outside the competition world often fail to understand the sort of skill levels possible. Routine qualification is the most vestigial level of basic understanding. Police and military qualification is the equivalent of a simple arithmetic quiz considered easy by elementary school children. It’s a perfectly acceptable level for a student actually in elementary school and basic/recruit/Academy training because we’re working with a brand-new novice. It is no longer acceptable years later because the student should have progressed.

I discuss this at length in my book Beyond Expert: Tripling Military Shooting Skills using U.S. Army qualification standards as compared to NATO combat competition courses. In it I show that anyone interested in competition shooting needs to at least triple military qualification “expert” (or even “perfect”) standards as a starting point. For handgun events, this can be increased by a factor of five or more. Shooters consistently winning need to be better still.
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Robert Vogel Interview

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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.

– See more at: http://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2014/05/11-questions-shooting-pro-robert-vogel/

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