From the Scottsdale Gun Club, PDN Executive Director Rob Pincus has an in-depth discussion with champion competitive shooter Mark Hanish. Rob opens by describing competition shooters as world-class athletes who integrate high-performance body mechanics with intellect, poise under pressure, and the tool of the firearm. And the firearm is not the same as those we typically use for personal defense.
Time and Ammo
Mark comments on this perceived difference, stating that most people believe competitors are running jacked-up roboguns that allow them to excel at shooting contests. In reality, he says the main differences are time and ammo. He had enough of both that he has put hundreds of thousands of rounds downrange doing shooting drills to perfect his skills. For years at a time, he fired between 100,000 and 200,000 rounds per year. One result of this is that drawing and firing at targets become a subconscious function. Each movement becomes natural.
Overlap Between Competition and Defensive Shooting
Rob stresses that this is where there is a great amount of overlap between the high-level skill execution in the competition environment and the ability to apply and execute the skills we need in a worst-case scenario dynamic critical incident moment. Being able to draw and fire accurately without having to cognitively think about it is incredibly important.
And in a lot of cases that means taking the time and putting in the effort, energy, ammunition budget and range access to get the reps you need. Which is not the hundreds of thousands of reps required to become a competitive shooting champion, but it does mean as many reps as you need to attain the level of competency required in a defensive shooting situation.
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