Need For Speed?

Slow Down, Be Happy.

The skill using firearms and how to train with them is in a constant state of flux even though the actual tool itself and how to use it effectively hasn’t changed much over the last 100 years or so. Sadly, happily or logically if you look at your sighting system, keep it properly aligned and discharge the weapon by firing—usually a result of pressing the trigger well—the projectile hits the target, which still today remains to be the point of the exercise, I believe.

For many of us regular gun homeowners or what editor Jeff calls Sam & Suzie homemakers, much of the Outdoorsy Channel “gun” programming is based on competitions and the shooting fast, run and gun that goes with it and… might be a bit beyond most of us? I grasp the concept and actually understand TV needs to be active and exciting, even though a 1-hour show is only about 35 minutes in duration after they repeat and repeat the redundant, redundant stuff again and again echo, echo.

Watch one and you’ll get it. It’s like watching the goofy State of the Union address and just when you think it is over somebody from the other party comes on and tells us what we just heard like we’re stupid and didn’t understand English or that we all don’t already know that both sides of the political aisle are fulla crooks. By now we all got it.

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Although not always cool or vogue the shotgun for example is still a solid fight changer. Patterns at 15 feet with a variety of shot sizes show the potential lethal results. The patterns marked 30″ with No. 6 and 7-1/2 shot show the potential of the average duck gun.

TV Speed Vs. Reality

So, just after the guy on Outdoorsy Run & Gun TV tells us we gotta shoot fast like the “experts” another guy comes on and tells us we gotta shoot fast. Or what? Like what happens if we don’t shoot fast? What happens if we shoot first to hit the target and then do it as quick as we can—but we hit the target first and foremost?

The speed we need to shoot at is a speed that we can—and will—hit the target effectively. We could or should train to hit the target regularly and then increase the distance and or reduce the size of the target so as to continue to increase and change the challenge. We get better because we press ourselves. A timer may help us to gain skill if used as a tool to tell us where we are. The timer will not tell us if we will be a success or failure in a future gunfight. The timer can show us what we did and repetition will make us do what we are doing in less time because we get smoother, and we get smoother because we practiced.

A timer thing could tell us when to start. In a real fight when we hit the target and it doesn’t kill us back that will be how long it took for us to solve the problem.

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Good solid equipment and good skills with a touch of reality might save the day. A rifle, shotgun or handgun—whatever you choose—along with a phone, first aid and fire stuff might come in handy.

TV Speed Vs. Reality

Bluntly, in my older age I am not often impressed by some of today’s young people and even less impressed when I am exposed to them for a length of time. Call it creative differences. I have seen some of these people walk around free rifle ammo to walk off the range so they can go play a computer game. I am also not talking about civilians here but I do include active military people going on deployment to Afghanistan.

“Blasphemy!” is now screamed by the readers. “Anti-American, anti-military. How dare Clint besmirch our people in uniform?!” First I’m not besmirching anyone per se but I am by the grace of God telling the truth.

So what gun the military issues or uses or what training the military does or doesn’t do is a “yeah so what?” thing. There are a lot more issues civilians need to consider before and after rather than what are the current cool guns and tactics.
As examples, down your hallway at 3 a.m., the other side may not be impressed with your cool stuff. All tactics on stairwells suck, your strobing light will jack your eyes up as well as the bad guy’s, and do you know where the light switch is on your hallway wall? Did you take the safety off your weapon? Be sure you don’t kill your own kids while looking for a response to a threat… and that doesn’t stop the threat from killing you back while you’re using your strobe and tactical guns and gear.

Always remember lots of people have been killed by people they have killed, but who haven’t died yet.

Unlike Modern Warrior there is no reset for you or one of your kid’s lying on the floor with a sucking chest wound. Unfortunately both children and adults by age groups just don’t get it sometimes. Combat or conflict has a way of resolving who paid attention and who didn’t, and life can often be a cruel learning curve.

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Clint isn’t sure a timer is essential, but the Robar Glock, Mossberg 500 and a good light might be helpful for home/personal defense.

Operator / SWAT Not

Not an operator or SWAT or 20 years old anymore and guess what you don’t have to be. It simply isn’t required and it isn’t a reality or a life. Train and gear up to meet “your” potential problems and then train up a bit more.


Here is a concept: Get a gun that works, train up in fundamentals, maybe shoot an IDPA match or something realistic at the range with like minded friends who own guns for defense. So then look at the sights press the trigger even use a timer… but most of all remember the ultimate goal was to be smart enough not to shoot but good enough that if you have to shoot you can solve your problem.

There is no reset button in life.
Clint Smith

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Guns Magazine March 2013

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2 thoughts on “Need For Speed?

  1. scott

    unfortunatly this is so true. most gun owners will be hurt by their own wepons because they dont have a cool enough head in an emergency situation to be of sound mind that they will probly hit the wrong target or be over taken be the perp. all gun owners should be trained or go thruogh a basic corse to learn how to handle a gun and or rifle.

  2. Mick

    Well said and long overdue! While continuing education is required in my line of work (nurse), the fundamentals remain the same. Such is true as Clint brings forth above. Thank you, sir, for stating what needs to be said. We are NOT military, thus don’t “need” their tactics; nor are we a one-person SWAT team. Familiarization, repitition, and the cool head are more likely to overcome than trying all the latest fads, conflicting/confusing with the basics.


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