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.
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.
This drill requires ten rounds and five standard USPSA or IDPA targets, arranged as shown below. The open targets are set closer to the shooter, and the head targets further away by five yards or so. Use a distance that is challenging, but not impossible for you to make good shots. You can also set this drill up in dry fire by using scaled targets to simulate different distances.
To shoot the drill, you shoot two rounds at each target going from left to right or right to left, at the speed where you can keep all of your shots in the highest scoring target zones. You should find that the closer, open targets require a less refined sight picture and can be shot faster while still landing A-zone or down-zero hits, but the further headshots will demand more attention, and thus should take slightly longer to fire.
The V Drill is another 10-round, 5-target drill, except that all of the targets are open targets and they are placed at varying distances to form a V with the point 5-7 yards from the shooter and each leg opening out to the left and right of the shooter with targets at 12-15 and 18-20 yards from the shooter.
Much like the last drill, you will shoot two rounds at each target from one side or the other, giving to each target only the attention and time you need to ensure good hits while making sure you don’t shortchange any target.
– In this video, you can hear the shot cadence of Anthony Spinelli demonstrating this 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.
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Training With Team SIG: Variable Speed Drills