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Slow is Slow, and Smooth is Smooth

Herky jerky is slow, and slow is slow, but fast is smooth.

Several weeks back the old Tactical Compact Sedan decided that she had rolled her last mile, and blew up in my driveway (dropped a valve on cylinder #3) and the next day I replaced it with a new car which happens to have a manual transmission. I hadn’t driven a manual transmission in about 15 years, so over the past several weeks I’ve been really fine tuning how I drive the car. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in the last month and a half driving the car is that in order to drive fast, you’ve got to be smooth.

There’s nothing more satisfying that grabbing a rev matched downshift and punching the gas through a turn while feeling the extra torque push you back in the seat, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than missing a shift and having the engine bog down and not want to go anywhere.

I’ve been carrying this thought over into my dryfire practice recently, and I’ve noticed that just like driving the manual transmission, herky jerky isn’t fast in dryfire either. When I try to rip the gun out of the holster as fast as I can, I’m actually slower than when I’m smooth and fast. If I try to muscle the pistol from target to target, slapping the trigger, and pushing to go as hard as I can to break the speed goal, I’ll call sloppy hits. Just like driving a manual transmission, there’s a balance to be had that only comes from experience.

Fast is smooth.

Smooth isn’t necessarily fast.

Slow is slow.

Slow can be smooth, but it’s still slow.


About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.

One comment

  1. I agree with you Luke. My struggle as of late has been balancing speed and accuracy. I am consciously working on shooting faster…after my gun is out of the holster. I find that while my smooth draw is a little slower, i get on the first target much faster.

    i tried this technique and I ended up in 19th place at the Wake County Action Pistol Match this past Monday. if you take the 10 seconds that was added to my raw time by mistake (stage 2 scored as 31.92 when i watched the video it was clearly called 21.92) I would have finished 10th. Both are far and away my best finishes at that match and I focused on being smooth, not fast. By the way it is also important to note that I did not run once between shooting positions. I prefer to walk briskly and keep the gun up.

    I am going to try it all again tomorrow out at the USPSA match in Oxford and will let you know how it went

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