Special Episode Coming Up!
I always like to do something different for the last episode of the year, and this year I’m going to do an AMA (ask me anything). Here’s the thing: for the last podcast of 2017, I’ll answer any questions you have, that ARE NOT related to shooting.
Enter your question in that form. Please don’t ask your questions in the comments of this post, or on Facebook or anywhere else, as I will not be able to answer them (I can’t track down a bunch of different questions in a bunch of different places…)
That’s it. Should be a lot of fun!
Things that Matter
I talk a lot on the podcast about things that don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you have the coolest newest thing, or if you have a fancy shooting blouse, or even if you wear brightly colored shoes or have a sponsor, but, of course there are a lot of things in competitive shooting that do matter, let’s talk about that.
I don’t think you need to be able to shoot single hole groups at 50y with your pistol (but it helps), but I do think having a gun that is accurate, maybe even slightly above average accuracy is a good thing.
I think one of the reasons the Tango Stock2 has become such a thing in Production division is that on top of being heavy, and reliable, it’s also got a thick bull barrel that’s very accurate.
Most guns on the market are quite accurate. When I used to do gun reviews as a part time job, I really only found a couple guns that were inherently inaccurate from the factory. The one in particular that comes to mind was the Ruger SR9E, which was the value version of the SR9. Everything else that I reviewed was very accurate.
You don’t need the bright colored fancy shooting shoes, but you do need shoes with good traction. I used to kind of think that you didn’t really need anything special on the shoe front for practical shooting, but the better shooter I’ve become, the more I find the traction thing necessary.
If you’re someone who is pushing to get better at shooting, and you’re pushing yourself, get some shoes that have some gnarly knobs on them for practical shooting.
Accurate, consistent, reliable ammo
For a lot of us who reload, we tend to obsess over the price per round when loading our ammo. Getting things as cheap as possible is definitely a thing, and there are certainly ways that you can save money and not impact accuracy and reliability, but don’t take it too far.
You want laser accurate ammo. If you’re switching to a bullet that’s cheaper than what you’ve been loading, don’t sacrifice accuracy.
If you’re not reloading yet, and you have not shot your first match, ignore everything I’m saying about ammo right now. You want to shoot whatever ammo you have that is 100% reliable in your gun. If you’re clearing malfunctions all through your first match, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Also, if you’re a more experienced shooter who’s not reloading your ammo… yet, you need to worry less about the cheapest thing, and more about the most accurate, most reliable stuff. If that happens to be the cheapest stuff, awesome, but if not, you should get better ammo.
Sights that don’t suck
I see a fair number of guys who are experienced shooters who still show up to matches with the stock sights on their gun.
They might have two or three guns that are all set up for competition, but their gun still has the stock garbage sights on it.
I’ll tell you, I’ve got the Dawson Precision adjustable sights on my G34 for competition, and I think at this point, they’re a requirement for me. If a new gun were to come out that didn’t have Dawson adjustable sights available (cough M&P cough) I wouldn’t buy one.
What similarities and differences have you noticed between tactical and competition training?
If I generalize both communities down do what my observations are both online and in real life, here’s what I see:
The tactical community tends to focus more on doing things right, while the competitive community tends to focus more on doing things fast.
For instance, if you go over to Instagram right now and look at the hashtag #tacticaltraining you’ll see a lot of stuff that’s staged just for Instagram, but if you sort through it and find the guy that probably aren’t competition shooters, who are actually training to get better, you’ll dudes who could be a lot faster in the way they manipulate their guns, draw, move, etc, because they’re trying to do things a certain way, because someone told them to do it that specific way. Now, there may be a good reason for doing things that way, so don’t take this as me saying that in a tactical or defensive scenario everything is about the speed, because it’s probably not.
BUUUUT, this sort of focus on “doing things right” in the tactical community has allowed for some folks who are total goobers to rise to in that community because they don’t ever have to back up what they’re telling people to do, they can just explain it away as #becausetacticool.
In competition shooting, it’s different. Our shooting is dictated by the timer. Was your run on a stage/drill/whatever faster and more accurate?
Yes? Then it’s better.
No? Then it’s dumb.
The trouble with the tactical community, when comparing it with the competition community is that there aren’t any rules in the tactical world. People can define things however they want things to be, because realistically almost nobody is going to end up in a gunfight, and those that do, almost none of them get it on film, and there’s no way to replay it to try different things, etc, etc.