Institutional Inertia will Get You Killed.


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I’m not anti-competition shooting, but I do find fault with most of the competitions out there. The reason being they aren’t realistic and cause the shooter to form extremely bad habits that can get them killed on the street. I realize that most gun owners will never be involved in a shooting incident, but it can happen at any moment to any of us, hence my passion to train in a realistic manner so that I am prepared as well as those I regularly train.

Police One. 5 differences between competitive shooting and combat shooting

Caught this article via a Facebook Friend and his response is Cecil B. De Mille spectacular. Please take a moment to read the original article and then come back for the brutal fisking posted below:

This article is so chock full of fail that it required some rebuttal.
Almost nothing in the linked article is actually true.

1. All targets are single shot targets

Nearly every paper target I’ve shot in IDPA and USPSA matches required multiple shots. Usually 2 shots. Sometimes as many as 6.
Steel targets are required to be knocked over. However many shots that takes.

2. Speed reigns supreme in competition.

Speed is important in IDPA and USPSA. But so is accuracy. I regularly place higher in matches than shooters that have a faster raw time than I do. I also see many targets placed behind non-threat or no-shoot targets.
The author of this piece derisively puts down techniques developed in competition, but neglects to point out that the modern pistol method using two hands to control a handgun was developed in competition.

3. There is no need to take cover.

In IDPA matches using cover is required. I’ve kneeled behind a car hood, leaned around door frames, barrels, and countless other props at IDPA matches.
Most of the USPSA matches I’ve shot are set up in a way that forces shooters to lean awkwardly around walls or other props.

4. You’re limiting your configuration possibilities.

This argument clearly shows how out of touch the author is with what actually happens at most pistol competitions.
I’ve shot strong hand only, and weak hand only in matches quite often. I’ve fallen down running from one position to another and had to get back up, or shoot from the ground.
I’ve shot on 100° days, in the cold, in the rain, with the sun in my eyes, after dark with targets in shadows.

I would have never done these things outside of competition. My local range owner would shit pink plastic kittens if I tried to do any of this stuff on his range.

5. Competition shooting breeds an environment of gizmos, gadgets, and race guns.

No shit. They call that innovation. You know all those red dot sights you see on patrol rifles, and combat rifles being used by our troops? Those were initially developed for competition. Flip up back up iron sights? Again, developed for competition.

The most common gun I see at an IDPA match fits into the Stock Service Pistol (SSP) division. At USPSA matches I see numerous folks shooting those same SSP guns in the Production division. These are guns that would be perfectly at home in a duty holster or inside the waistband of an armed civilian.
Often times I show up at an IDPA match wearing the same holster and using the same gun that I carried concealed that day.

Most regular folks won’t do anything that will better prepare them for armed self defense than practical/defensive competition. Neither will most police officers.

Come on out and shoot a match. You’ll probably find it much more challenging than what you’re doing when you rent a lane at your local range.

Shooting competitions aren’t gunfights, but every gunfight is a shooting competition.

Jay Hafemeister.

I just love that ending….My thoughts in the next post.




Owner/Operator of this Blog. Pamphleteer De Lux. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.


  1. […] just wanted to add one quick though to the previous post. It has been my experience that the most reticent people to learn better ways to shoot are cops. […]

  2. These “competition will getcha killed on the streets” guys are usually people who have never shot in, let alone even seen on Youtube, any competitive firearms match, be it IDPA, USPSA, Steel Challenge, 3-Gun, F-class or Bullseye. They forget that some of the best LEO tactical trainers, e.g., Massad Ayoob and the late Jim Cirillo were big advocates of competition.

    Why? Because artificially-induced stress inures you, at least partly, against the actual stress of a gunfight, helping you to keep your head clear and shots on target. Don’t believe me– believe those IDPA and USPSA LEO’s who have actually been in gunfights. Ask NC Justice Academy Lead Instructor, and USPSA Grand Master Chad Thompson. He’ll tell ya the same thing.

    These naysayers can safely be ignored, I think. I sure am– I shoot both IDPA and USPSA.

  3. Did anyone else notice all of the bullet strikes on the number markers above the targets? You almost can’t make out the 3 on target 39.

  4. My take on this: Some cop with delusions of being John McClane lost big at an IDPA match to a bunch of CCW permit holders and had a sour grapes fest online.

  5. My guess is that it was a 3-gun match. Other than that, I suspect you’re spot on.

  6. My problem with these matches is that competitors run a gauntlets of engagements as they advance through a course. That doesn’t strike me as defensive. That’s offensive. There should be some courses of fire in reverse. Start out at the end of the course and engage targets as you retreat, using effective cover as you go.

    • Jay Hafemeister : May 22, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      The six or seven clubs in my area do retreating stages regularly. I just assumed that was happening in other places.

      Do the matches that you regularly shoot not do that? Maybe you could suggest it to your match director.

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .

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