“Give me one perfect shot.”
Irv, my first serious firearms instructor is fond of saying that. But the catch is that he demands that perfect shot cold bore, your ass not just adjusted that you are about to shoot and your mind still somewhere but in the range. But the beauty of that command is that you promptly realize it applies to the real world with uncanny realism: you may only have that one chance for one perfect shot that might save a life.
At IDPA matches I am usually behind a laptop setting up and doing scores. When everybody is finally registered and with at least one stage fired, I get to go shoot. There is a good chance I have not heard the Course of Fire description or seen the good shooters raze through the CoF I am about to shoot so basically I go cold bore both of gun and mind. Add to it that I will consider that every target has the capability of actually shooting back and that makes me treat cover very seriously which precludes any temptation I may have of gaming.
By the end of last year I was all over the damn place accuracy-wise and at the Florida State IDPA Championship where I truly sucked in points down, I decided to slow the hell down and go back to improve accuracy. I started the year with a terrible 56 points down in the first match to a low of 15 at my last match.
What have I done differently? First, I slowed the hell down. I have never been fast or agile so, why try to go as fast as the Master Shooters? I am the one to beat, not them. Second: Front Sight, Front Sight and Front Sight. If that front sight is not covering what I want to shoot, the bullet is not going to change its flight path to please me. Third: Make sure the target is down. The CoF may require only two shots, but I will shoot whatever number of rounds are necessary to make sure it is down or slow even more. Although it might be considered spray-and-pray I find myself needing less shots as I apply less speed and more Front Sight and it shows on those Limited Vickers CoFs . But since I am not shooting for competition but for life practice, making sure that I place rounds where they are effective take precedent over shaving seconds in competition. Funny thing also happened when the accuracy improved: my time has gotten a smidgen better since I do not have to go back and reshoot a previously engaged target.
One last comment. Competition shooting will always beat static range as practice and as a gauge of your shooting accuracy. In these first five months I have shot on the move slow, on the move fast, shooting from the ground on my back, on my face and on my sides. I shot kneeling and sitting or transitioning to or from any combination of positions. Since most ranges will not allow shooters to do nothing more than static practice, I must recommend that you find yourself an action shooting club and join. It does not matter if it is IDPA, IPSC, Cowboy, Polite Society, etc. Get yourself involved in a discipline that challenges that imposed legal paralysis found at ranges. Also pay no heed to the crowd that bitches about action shooting is not real life practice and the only way is by taking classes: THERE IS NOTHING OUT THERE THAT CAN DUPLICATE A REAL LIFE SITUATION. Anybody telling you that Pistol Ninja Tactical Handgun Class 402 with Mr Joe Instructor DuJour does that is 100% bullshitting you and he is either an idiot or trolling for customers. Do take classes with good instructors because you will learn to do things right, but the responsibility of practice is all yours and competition is the best way to practice…unless you have mongo moola to take Pistol Ninja Tactical Handgun Class 402 every weekend.