How Fast Should You Shoot?

clockI don’t get to do as much 3Gun as I would like, but I am starting to get ready for the couple matches I will go to this year. So, I break out my rifle to do a little practice and I discover something. I can’t hit anything with my rifle! Ok, so I know I hit some things but I was having a terrible practice. Now, mind you I haven’t shot much rifle yet this year, but still I know I can hit a targets at 65 yards and yet- I wasn’t! Then, someone at the range with me said- well why don’t you slow down and just aim. Duh! I swear I was doing that- but obviously I wasn’t, so what was happening?

I spent a lot of time thinking about it and talked to my grandfather about it. My grandfather said, “You aren’t supposed to slow down or speed up, the sights are supposed to dictate your speed.” While this made sense intellectually, I was still having trouble. I felt like I was taking the time that I needed to see the sights but I still couldn’t seem to hit anything.

After a lot of thinking and more conversing with other shooters I figured it out! I was taking the time that I normally took to hit a target- the time that I took while shooting my PISTOL at distance. However, shooting a pistol at 30 yards is WAY different from shooting a rifle at 60 yards. I figured out that I was shooting based on what I was used to FEELING and wanting the sights to be there, but they weren’t.

What I finally had to do is take a step back and really start at the beginning. I had to sit down and shoot some groups with my rifle. Get used to the trigger, get used to the sights and then I was able to start practicing plates. I had to get re-used to what my rifle felt like and what my timing with the rifle needed to be.

So- lesson I learned? That the sights dictate the speed but that different guns, different distances, different sights and different targets mean different speeds. The only way to know how fast to shoot is to PRACTICE with them all to know what that is.