Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy


“Are you experienced?” The question of experience is very subjective, especially when it comes to fighting with firearms. For example we’ll have people call to inquire about instruction, and they start out by stating they are experienced shooters and have been shooting for X amount of years, but that doesn’t’ really say anything about experience.

Example: Shooter A has been shooting for ten years, however never understands the fundamentals of marksmanship. They can hit the target, but not consistently and with tight groups. Shooter B fires for a day, receiving the proper instruction on marksmanship, and actually can not hit more accurately than shooter A. Time often has little or nothing to do with experience.

The value of experience also depends on quality. Ten empty reloads performed properly are better than one hundred reloads done haphazardly without thought to technique. Out of those hundred you may have a few good ones, where everything flows right and seems to occur without effort, but the other ninety something you did wrong will cancel the good ones out, and require more reloads done correctly to erase the bad. When you break it down into numbers one good performance equals ten bad ones. Mental focus is critical to training and practice.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that your brain doesn’t and can’t distinguish between good and bad repetitions. There’s no filter running to ignore the bad. This means that every time we perform an action we want to make sure it’s a good ‘un. Then, when it comes time to execute your skills under stress – someone’s trying to put the hurt to you and now it’s show time – you’ll perform properly.

There are many elements to fighting you cannot learn on your own. For instance resetting the trigger after firing a shot is an important element to shooting multiple shots accurately and efficiently. (To reset the trigger we release it, but only to the point that the internal components are reset and ready to fire again, avoiding letting any slack out of the trigger or losing contact between the trigger and finger.) This is a basic fundamental part of shooting, yet most people don’t know what trigger reset is. It’s one of those things you don’t know you don’t know. Once you’ve been shown how it works, understand the reasons you want to use it, and have actually learned to reset the trigger after every shot, it becomes a simple action that occurs without conscious thought. Now you are starting to experience the process of shooting properly, and so can become experienced through repetition.

To be experienced means you know what to do, how to do it, why you’re doing it this way, are aware of it occurring as you are actually doing it, and if necessary what to fix when things go wrong. This is a result of proper repetition. It’s not just experience, which can be good or bad, that’s important. Knowledge and ability are what we seek.


August 18, 2011 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset, General Training

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