In early June, I was fortunate to spend most of a week at the SIG Sauer Academy in New Hampshire, training with some of my Team SIG Sauer teammates. Almost all of our time was on the range, where we worked on a variety of skills to prepare for the upcoming summer competition season.
One set of drills was intended to help with the concept of shooting at the best pace for different targets, depending on the difficulty of each target. The idea makes intuitive sense: easier target, shoot faster; harder target, shoot slower. But what does that mean in terms of technique, and how do you train yourself to switch gears as needed?
Because our primary shooting sport, USPSA, scores based on a balance of speed and accuracy, we can’t just yank the trigger faster because it’s also important to land our shots in the highest scoring zones on each target. That means yes, you have to use the bumpy things on top of the pistol…but at speed, it may not be as vital to line them up perfectly. Errors in sight alignment can still result in well-placed shots as long as you have adequate trigger control that doesn’t pull your shot further off course. Of course, the more difficult a target is in terms of size or distance, the less error is acceptable. If you don’t believe me, try the sight deviation drill.
Likewise, speed shooting allows for a certain forgiveness in how much of the sights you see and how focused they are. As pistol shooters, we are normally taught that it’s important to maintain a crystal clear focus on the front sight at all times. It’s not always possible to do so as you get faster, though, and that’s okay. There still needs to be some sense of alignment, but you can shoot accurately enough at closer or easier targets even if the sights feel blurry to you.
Varying levels of precision in sight picture are the key to addressing multiple targets with, as my teammate Mason Lane puts it, the speed and respect they each deserve. In order to practice that, teammate Anthony Spinelli started us with two drills: the Point vs. Precision Drill and the V Drill.
The Point vs. Precision Drill requires the shooter to rapidly switch back and forth between easier and more difficult targets without going too fast and missing on the smaller, further targets but without wasting time on the bigger, closer targets. In contrast, the V Drill requires the shooter to increase speed incrementally then back off. We found these drills helpful in practice and hope you do too. Try them and report back! Make sure you stay tuned for part 2 of my time training with Team Sig, and be sure to follow Gun Carrier on Facebook.