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So, class, what did we learn at Gunsite Academy’s Pistol Range? The video above illustrates the lesson on the day: sometimes the brain just gets in the way. Yes, you CAN over-think things. A misfiring mind will result in poor shooting, which could lead to extinction. Let’s review . . .

As the video comes to an end, you see me checking my targets and taping them up to reset for the next go around. The groupings on the first target are all on center-mass, but I’ve created a very substantial portion of target real estate between bullet-strikes.

My shot placement is paper plate sized (definitely “Minute of Bad Guy”), but it’s still a large group. Move on to the second target and you notice I’ve placed a MUCH better group. I asked the instructor for his explanation for why I was engaging the second target better than the first. His answer (not picked up by the camera mic) – “You stopped thinking and started shooting.”

As RF would say, Roger that.

In the first few hours of instruction I was bombarded with things to remember. Instructions how to do and how not do things. Tips and tricks that help make one a better shooter. Proper support hand placement during draw, proper extension to the target and so on. My first shots on target are taken with all of this in mind – the follow-ups, from muscle memory.

After the command “FIRE!” it should all have slipped into the background. And so it did—after I progressed to the second target. By then I was concentrating on eliminating the threat and taking-down bad guy rather than technique or strategy. I was focused and alert but acting rather than thinking.

Message received. When it’s time to put hammer to firing-pin and lead to bad guy, trust your practice and ACT.

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