Chuck Pressburg

2 Comments

SGM(R) Chuck Pressburg of Presscheck Consulting discusses training.

The subject of bullseye-style shooting vs. combat shooting (not the sport, the actual disciplines) are on another instructor’s FB page and since I took the time to address the shooter’s question on a response to a sub-thread that wouldn’t be seen by many, I thought I should repost my thoughts here.

If you can’t execute near-perfect under perfect conditions, everything starts to deteriorate rapidly from there…

Combat shooting is a complex math game where you are stacking tolerances of maximum spreads of human, weapon, and ammo in real time against the acceptable impact zone, what’s in front and beyond it and usually while both you and the impact zone as well as potential itermediate barriers are all in movement.

An acceptable “firing solution” occurs when you believe that you can place the bullet close enough to where you want it to land and make the decision to ignite the primer.

Fundamentals don’t change, How much emphasis we put on any single fundamental changes rapidly as we attempt to get a proper firing solution.

For shooting students exhibiting significant inability to exercise any fundamentals, an isolation of flaws and focus on improving them individually should take place. In the DOD we used the “crawl, walk, run” method of teaching and training.

Basic trigger press drills and sight diagnostics are FOUNDATIONAL in nature, but are crawl-level events. The only time they should be brought up with a “grown” professional is when their shooting foundation was built out of sand and they shoot like dog crap.

So shooting is hitting what you want and “bullseye-style” shooting (shooting bulls at distance) is the perfect execution of these fundamentals.

Combat shooting is like being a Doolittle Raider on the deck of the USS Hornet and someone is ordering you to strip critical items off your plane to be light enough to take off.

“What you do mean I have to dump my tail guns” (perfect sight picture)?! I NEED THOSE”!

“Look son, you’re gonna dump that weight (accept flash sight pictures at closer distances) if you want to make it off this flight deck”! (Shoot fast)

So combat shooting isn’t a different technique as much as it is the process of sacrifing perfection in real time in order to achieve an acceptable outcome sooner. Here’s the secret that nobody will tell you: 99.9% of people choose poorly and sacrifice too many of those fundamentals when fear of death is upon them.

Gripping the ever-living crap out of your blaster and hammering your trigger as fast as you humanly can, WILL work (I do it all the time), HOWEVER it will only work for certain firing solutions, and if you don’t read the cues that you need to ratchet things back and apply more of your fundamentals, then you are spraying. That cue will NORMALLY come from your dot or front sight post. It is nearly impossible for your dot to stay on target and your bullet to miss…that angry bee moved within (or completely out of) the glass before the gun went bang. Did you see it? Did you try to fix it, or did you run with it?

In my handgun classes I call my shots even if they land INSIDE the black from 25 yards in front of my students and its not magic, its EASY. I just ask myself a simple question, where was my sight/dot when the gun went bang?

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Cognitive differences between competition and application of deadly force

2 Comments

All great points, but the vast majority of firearm users (military, law enforcement, or civilians carrying concealed) are not being hampered because they’re spending too much time getting too good at improving their match scores.

This applies to already-skilled tactically minded shooters (I’m confident SGM(R) Pressburg’s students are an example) that are a second-ish off pace on a speed shoot or drill compared to a gamer.

This does not apply to folks that can’t keep up with Level 2 (C class, Sharpshooter, etc.) participants “because tactical.”

Getting good at anything begins by learning the most introductory basics. Getting good with firearms must start by improving on those things that will be universally beneficial to all applications in all situations always. Call them fundamentals or call it developing a shot process, the idea is the same. This is the part most humans fail to address as well as they could. Increasing improvement also increases the amount of diminishing return. Getting “better” must get more specific. The shot process has to become more refined and works for a decreasing range of contexts.

In competition terms, I’d peg this at around a Level 3-4 classification. Given a reasonably relevant discipline, this would be an NRA or IDPA Expert, USPSA B class, CMP competitor with some leg points, or something similar. Prior to this point, all improvement was very general and readily translated to any other use, however, now they’re at a point where improvement is beginning to demand shooting in the specific context of the game and may not translate to other contexts.

We can argue where this point (or area…) of diminishing return begins (feel free to comment below!) but the important idea is that it does exist. Just don’t confuse that fact as being an excuse to avoiding the general improvement that a lesser-skilled shooter (which is most humans) would benefit from.

My point is that we want to avoid very avoidable incidents like this:


https://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2019/02/re-holstering-range-shooting/

I’ve witnessed plenty of similar sloppy gun handling done by military personnel that had to be corrected (thankfully, done prior to live fire.) I have never witnessed anything like this done by folks that had participated in more than one or two matches.

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