I often see people at the range shooting fast, yet they seem to ignore the idea of hitting their target with all of their shots. This is clearly evident with the long trail of shots that shotgun the target. For some people all shots that come after the first shot, if following in close succession, is classified as a followup shot. I personally define a followup shot as being an AIMED shot that is delivered on the same target as the previous shot. Shooting fast is easy, but shooting fast and accurately is another deal.
Shooting fast and accurately is not a magic trick that only Operators and competitors can do. All it takes is for you to commit yourself to confirming that your sights are back on the target after each shot, before you send another. Sounds simple, right? Well it is, but we are trying to shoot fast while being absolutely sure that our sights are aligned and in the desired location….roughly.
I see people prioritize accuracy over speed when I say for them to only shoot as fast as they can hit. I think it can kind of mess with their head a bit and make them feel like only hitting a fly at 100 yards is acceptable accuracy when shooting fast, but that is not the case. But if I just tell them to hit the target as many times and in as little time as possible, it seems to do the trick for most people. They turn it into a competition and a game, which is a great way to build confidence and encourage self-analysis. They want to hit the target every time, but get that time down to a new record. Once this starts, I usually encourage them to shrink the size of the acceptable target zone to a size they struggle to hit fast.
Notice that I am leaving out a definition of “THE TARGET”? That is because the target is relative. In a classroom, they may want you to hit a standard sheet of 11″x8.5″ paper at 2 yards. Then again, they may be asking you to shoot a 6″ steel plate at 100 yards. The size of your target and your distance to it are the two important factors that will determine your speed. Generally an increase in distance, or a decrease in the target size is going to slow you down and make you have to take that extra millisecond to readjust and aim again. And of course, your will be faster if we decrease the distance and increase the target size.
Shooting fast is all about finding that fine balance between putting your gun on full auto, and shooting one tiny hole out with your whole magazine. It is not about making your magazine empty as fast as possible, but instead it is about hitting where you intended to hit as fast as possible.