Training Bite: Developing Speed Safely

In any armed confrontation with an attacker there are many factors that determine whether or not the potential victim will survive, the most important of which is shot placement. Regardless of what occurs, or how fast it happens, a shot fired from a firearm in self defense is meaningless unless it hits where it needs to. Keeping this in mind, we need to look at another factor, the speed at which the bullet is accurately placed.

Speed is an aspect of shooting that must be developed carefully, and slowly, within the confines of accuracy…and safety. A fast miss is not only far less effective than a slow hit, but is also a danger to any innocent bystanders. What is the most important and determining shot in an armed confrontation?…its not the first shot fired, but the first shot that hits something. That being said, there is also the sense of urgency, with a short window of time, in which to stop the attack.

So how do we find the balance of speed, within the confines of accuracy and safety, insuring that we can quickly stop an attack without injuring ourselves or anyone else in the process?

First, master the fundamentals of shooting. Form, grip, trigger control, etc. learn to effectively…and consistently…place the bullet where you want it…every time. Sloppy fundamentals, when sped up, become hazardous. Remember also that mastering the findamentals does not mean having a good day on the range, it means have consistent and repeated good days as your muscle memory develops and your mind hard-wires the repeated actions to insure your fundamentals remain solid even when the effects of adrenaline impact your cognitive processes.

Second, become proficient in drawing from your holster, understanding that proficiency is more than removing your gun from the holster and returning it. More accidental discharges happen when people start using a holster than at any other point in the development of a shooter. There is much that can go wrong from finger placement, to clothing, to pulling the trigger before the barrel is aligned with the ‘intended’ target. This comes with training and practice, and by training I dont mean a 20 minute orientation at a local indoor range which then allows you draw from your holster while standing on a crowded shooting line. Training and practice must be repetitious, again hard wiring your movements insuring consistent and safe action. Undeveloped holster skills, with speed added, is a recipe for a life-threatening injury.

Once you master your fundamentals and develop your holster skills, and have practiced with many hundreds of rounds, you will notice your speed naturally becoming quicker. Now is when its time to work on speed…but…always within the confines of accuracy and safety. If you are working on your draw speed, but are hitting all over the paper, you need to slow down and keep working on mastering your movements. If you are hitting a vital zone, then keep increasing your speed until you reach a point where accuracy falls off, then once again back off on speed, develop more, then move quicker again once you can.

Words of caution: moving faster than you are ready for WILL result in premature discharges, accuracy problems, and bullets firing in unsafe directions. If the results arent what you need, keep working…slower. The ability to draw and fire quick is great, and can be developed systematically, but it can also be a recipe for disaster when attempted prematurely. How many times have we heard or read of confrontations where more than a dozen shots were fired, but only a couple of wounds were sustained? Where did these other shots go?? How many other lives were put in danger??

Train, and practice your fundamentals, to include the safe and proper use of your holster, then slowly develop your speed under the direction of an instructor who understands the pitfalls of moving too fast too soon.

In the words of the late/great Wyatt Earp, “Fast is fine but accuracy is final. You must learn to be slow in a hurry”

Femme Fatale ARMS & Training has a carefully prescribed and systematic curriculum that takes into account physical, psychological, and biomechanical considerations, designed to build a solid foundation followed by progressive skill sets enabling students to peform effectively. From Basic Firearms Use and Safety through to our Protective Tactics classes…we can get you where you need to be.

Femme Fatale ARMS & Training
 is a woman-owned business that provides education and support to an over victimized and underserved segment of our population.  We have programs to build confidence and skill without the intimidating aspects that tend to exist elsewhere in this industry. Our goal is customer satisfaction and loyalty.  We’d appreciate an opportunity to show you how we are different, yet still, help you to accomplish your education and safety goals.

Anyone can shoot a gun, we train you to defend yourself!

Femme Fatale Arms & Training is located at 160 Malabar Road, Palm Bay, Fl. We are open Mon-Wed 10 to 5, Thurs and Fri10 to 6, and Saturday 12 to 4



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