God grant me the self-control to take the time I need to shoot accurately in a defensive gun use. Ah, but how do you know how fast you can shoot accurately? The Rabbi taught me . . .

“For defense shooting you don’t want tight groups. Tight groups hit flesh that’s already been destroyed. You want to hit additional locations to increase the speed of bleed out.

“Always aim for a hand-sized group at every distance. If the group’s too large, you’re shooting too fast. If the group’s too tight, you’re shooting too slowly.”

[Armed Response’s most excellent videos available here. h/t everydaynodaysoff.com]

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30 Responses to The Best Thunder Ranch Video Ever? Just Thought I’d Leave This Here [NSFW]

      • And that’s difference between the 1911/revolver vs the polymer.

        My rounds on the x and the polymer lots of rounds on target,anywhere.

        Now you can take me to task.

  1. Generally when I shoot as a defensive drill I care much, much more about the first round than I do about two and three unless three is part of a Mozambique drill. If that first one drills them, at the very least they’re not going to be moving as fast. I’ll tap off the second round rapidly and sometimes it’s two inches off where I want it but unless it’s the “surgical shot” he describes then it really doesn’t matter and that’s generally gonna be shot #1 anyway.

    I also tend to believe that slow is smooth and smooth is fast. A lot of people disagree with me on that, but IMHO 1 round on target .25 seconds later than the first round out of a mag dump that scores no hits is a hell of a lot better than said mag dump because all that does is make a ton of noise and possibly hurt people you don’t mean to.

    • If slow is smooth and smooth is fast then
      slow = smooth
      smooth = fast

      There fore
      slow = smooth = fast

      Which also means
      slow = fast

      The reality is that phrase has been so overused that it has lost all meaning. It was meant to be that you should work on your fundamentals first before you work on speed. Not that you should ignore speed. Because in the end smooth doesn’t equal fast, because fast is jerky because you are going balls out for some segments and slowing down for others.

      • I have found that when in too big a hurry, the problem is in the reach for the gun on the draw rather than the pull, presentation and first shot. Especially drawing from a pocket holster. Go in smooth, come out fast is my mantra.

      • In my experience, when you are in a hurry, SLOW DOWN! It takes less time to do it right the first time than to do it twice because you hurried and made mistakes. This mantra works in lots of circumstances.

        • Or, you practice that speed until you can’t get it wrong. Getting faster isn’t an instant process it is a long series of small gains

    • “Get a shot off fast. This upsets him long enough to let you make your second shot perfect.” – Robert A. Heinlein “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

      • Don’t know if I buy that. Seems like most instances when a bad guy gets shot once, he starts moving at lightning speed and ripping off multiple shots in your direction. I say place the first shot perfectly and don’t wait around to see how effective it was. Follow up with a barrage of technically sound two handed shit storm of JHP hate.

      • Wyatt Earp would disagree. Then again your magazine capacity might come into play.

        Just hope you don’t come up against someone like Earp who will let you miss while he aims.

  2. Sorry, but on the issue of speed Clint is 100% wrong, you don’t just gain speed when you need. Just like the shooting fundamentals it is something that you have to build.

    To do that means pulling out the timer that he dislikes, you start pushing your speed until things fall apart. Then you step back to work at bring back accuracy without losing too much of the speed gains. You repeat the process until you are satisfied with your results.

    That doesn’t mean that you should ignore the fundamentals. Simply that you need to work on both.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I respect Clint. But no one is ever right 100% of the time.

    • Absolutely agreed. This is like arguing that race car drivers don’t need to train at speed because on the race track they will drive fast. I love Clint Smith and greatly respect him but I disagree with this particular observation.

  3. I get what he says about shooting fast. But what about the draw? That video last week showing the Alpine Bank robbery reminded me that your world can turn bad real fast. That officer’s ability to draw fast and get some lead into the perp in a hurry probably saved his life.

    I have a shot timer like Clint here tossed on the floor. I use it to time my draw. I work on that draw speed as often as I can.

    • Most of shooting fast isn’t actually shooting the gun faster because the gun actually recovers fairly quickly. It is about seeing what you need to see faster, doing the non-trigger pulling aspects faster, and working finally as the last step pulling the trigger faster.

    • I’ve watched a lot of DGU videos on YouTube and while I can’t give specific numbers I would say that in most cases situational awareness – being prepared, and stealth – distracting attention from your gun hand, play a more important role than being a fast-draw artist.

      This isn’t a wild-west face off in the street, mano-a-mano. The perp will almost always have the advantage of location and surprise, not to mention the gun already out and available. You will have to be damned fast to overcome those issues with speed alone. You cannot (reliably) win drawing on a drawn gun so long as the perp has his eyes and attention on you and is prepared to respond as soon as he is aware that you may be going for a weapon.

      On the other hand, 85% of people survive a pistol wound, you might get lucky.

      In the bank robbery video the guard got lucky. That bank robber watched too many Hollywood movies to learn his trade and popped a round off at the ceiling when he walked in rather than using the pistol to cover the armed guard. That gave the guard time to draw and respond. The part about putting shots effectively on target quickly is absolutely spot-on, however.

  4. 7 words: Shoot as fast as you can hit.

    No faster, or you will miss.
    No slower, or you are giving the BG(s) extra opportunities to cause harm.

    No matter how fast (or slow) that is, shoot only as fast as you can hit.
    Long-range or small target? Slow down.
    Close-up charging target? Half-mag dump at 700 RPM.

  5. Ever since the meltdown about their love affair with James Yeager, I’ve stopped watching Thunder Ranch videos. Screw those guys.

  6. My goal is to break them through one hole in practice.

    Pretty sure that adrenaline and the target movement is going to open up any group I might shoot.

    Most people shoot faster when they miss. Can’t miss fast enough to win.

  7. Cutesy, clever, memorable.

    That said, most shooters have no idea if they are getting better at shooting quickly unless they have a timer. Is your draw and Mozambique improving in accuracy and speed? Unless it’s measured, no idea. Working without a timer is the rough equivalent of working with a target with no scoring rings.

    Don’t worry though, 45 ACP means even a grazing hit will knock him down and out.

  8. I’m not sure what audience Clint was speaking to there but I would say learn to shoot well first and then learn to do it quickly.

  9. ““For defense shooting you don’t want tight groups. Tight groups hit flesh that’s already been destroyed. You want to hit additional locations to increase the speed of bleed out.”

    That’s why I don’t carry a $3,000 pistol. It’s too accurate to spread my holes out.
    If you’re going to bullshit the people, put a week or two between contradictory articles in the chance we might forget what we just read.

    I want a tight group shooting paper that doesn’t move. My goal is to put 5 rounds through the same hole in two seconds. I’ll let the motherfucker that’s getting shot move around enough to spread my group out.

    And it is “shoot well”, not “shoot good”.

  10. Reminds me of an incident decades ago where a turd bolted from his vehicle as the officer who’d just stopped him emerged and approached from his patrol car. As the turd advanced spraying rounds from a Model 59 S&W, the officer drew and initiated sight alignment and trigger control with his Model 19 S&W resulting in the turd collapsing dead on street with a single gunshot wound to the face. That officer was good, but also lucky the turd wasn’t.

  11. Have told students for decades,, as long as you can do SAFELY,, try to remember it’s best to AVOID getting into a shooting situation or having to shoot. Doesn’t matter what other party is saying or verbally threatening- NEVER saw an injury caused by ‘Words’. Go back, refer to First sentence: ‘as long as you can SAFELY, you AVOID. Nothing will prepare you for mess you life will become or financial changes if you need to defend a shooting if local DA doesn’t like your story or running for office and trying for publicity at your expense.. children’s slogan, “sticks and stones may hurt your bones, but names will never hurt you”.. or something like that…… Examples:
    ….. *Man across the street is yelling threats, saying unkind things about what he’s done or like to do with female members of your family- man with a very loud mouth, still a vulgar man who’s hands are empty- AVOID.
    ….. *Man across the street is waving baseball bat around, standing 30-yards away, making threats- man’s words can’t hurt you even using the worst in cuss words- not can that baseball bat cause you harm or financial losses- AVOID.
    …… *In ANY of aforementioned situations, IF you have a cell phone in your pocket , … -or- …. if you can turn around and go inside your home to call the police– DO SO and you can honestly say you’ve done all that’s humanly possible to AVOID- Even with Law saying you don’t HAVE retreat and can ‘stand your ground’ or neighbor is saying they passed Castle Doctrine last year and you don’t need to take that abuse- AVOID, better to be able to say (or prove) that you tried your best not to become involved in a shooting situation. Even when your ego has been ‘bruised’ for not being the ‘hero like in action movie or TV- remember life is not Hollywood, the good guys don’t always win and life isn’t fair- you may know and your family may know that shooting anyone or anything was the last thing on your mind- that MAY NOT BE HOW YOU ARE PORTRAYED by DA to Grand Jury and sometimes worse a newspaper reporter who wrote up ‘YOUR STORY’ for the am edition (that’s not what I said, and reporter has it all wrong- that’s NOT what I said and months and years go by trying to repair damage from newspaper story (STFU holds true for ANYONE from new’s media as well as sworn officers (Saying to LEO- Officer, I will cooperate with your investigation in every way possible, once I have consulted my attorney” – then Silence is golden. Rule still stands- AVOID.

    NOW, ONCE ALL ELSE HAS FAILED,,, LIKE COL. COOPER, LISTEN TO CLINT. World is a Crazy- make sure you and your loved ones survive.
    * Nut job across the street not happy with yelling threats, he’s picked up a machete from the bushes and is threatening to cut your head off. As long as he’s staying on his side of the street, making sure you haven’t said anything, best to get inside your home, in your car and drive off, and ASAP call to report said nut job to local police, do so as soon as possible. (Don’t ignore and allow said nut job call FIRST and submit a big LIE on police, making YOU out to be the BG and so on, There ARE some real crazy’s out there ) — still AVOID.
    ** Guy across the street is on latest DRUG and looking to score or cause harm.. pulls out a GUN. OK, Safety issue is no longer in question.. Hopefully you have removed yourself from ‘Condition White’, and really out of ‘Condition Yellow’ by now.. Should have been in Condition Red, threat is likely imminent where Gun throws everything into ‘Condition BLACK’,, time to shoot.. like Tuco said, when you gotta shoot, shoot. No talking or hands up. or I have a gun. IF YOU BRING A GUN INTO A SITUATION THAT DOES NOT JUSTIFY SHOOTING- YOU ARE ALREADY MOST LIKELY IN ‘FELONY’ TERRITORY ANYWAY.
    This is when you should have already attended class at Thunder Ranch, paid attention and hopefully done some live fire practice. Fast matters, but not as much as ACCURATE, being that first one who place an ACCURATE round where it will STOP the gunfight, putting an end to whatever bad things the nut job has intended to inflict on you or your family. Montezuma drill, two center of mass, not going down BG wearing Body Armor,,, keeping shooting, and shooting until THREAT IS OVER WITH. Ten rounds in magazine, continuing with your shooting until Threat is gone. One round or ALL Ten, hoping this isn’t time you got lazy on carrying that extra magazine and not cursing with your LAST breath, the politicians who dictated it wasn’t safe to have more than ten rounds… Heck that BG has already fired twenty rounds; isn’t he under the same laws? End of story.

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