Why would your accuracy fail?
Have you ever been scared? Not just worried, but “I’m going to die!” terrified. How do you think you would react if you were ever confronted with a home invasion?
Think about the body’s natural reaction when in a state of life and death fear. What happens?
- your heart rate goes up
- you get an adrenaline rush
- your senses go on hyper-alert (you hear, see and smell better)
- you breath faster
- your muscles tense
- you start shaking
- your palms sweat
Combine all of those reactions together. Now imagine shooting with your gun.
Most individuals panic when faced with a life or death situation. They do not think clearly and they will often find themselves wishing afterwards that they had done something different when things got heated.
The first time I was involved in a real firefight, I found myself spraying bullets everywhere in the direction of my target without even paying attention to my sights.
As soon as I realized this, I had to deliberately refocus and aim with more precision. Instead of trying to get as many bullets as I could at my attackers, I started methodically aiming and shooting with more precision than speed.
I had to overcome that fear instinct and think rationally. Although I wanted to shoot as fast as I could, it was more effective to pay closer attention to my weapon’s sights and slow down. I was able to hit more targets with less ammunition and thus overcame more assailants.
I had spent countless hours training and shooting with my weapon. I qualified as an expert marksman and was very familiar with all types of guns and shooting methods. However, all of that counts for zip if you don’t regularly engage in stress shoots.
Stress shoots are basically practicing with your gun when your body is in a state of stress. This is so important that the military uses this for every single training situation. Everything from Reacting to Contact to Precision Shooting Under Fire. While in sniper school, candidates usually undergo at least one stress shoot daily.
It is very important to do this the right way. Safety comes first. You don’t want to have an accident with your firearm. That is not something to joke around with. So make sure when you do engage in a stress shoot that you are not only extremely familiar with your firearm but that you keep your stress level low enough that you can still use your firearm safely. If you are worried at all about making a mistake, then practice with an airsoft or a bb gun.
Just remember that the average person loses about 60% of their accuracy when faced with a life or death situation. So take your current shooting accuracy and cut it in 1/2 (50%). That is about what you can expect from yourself if you were under life and death stress.
Do you think stress shoots are important? Leave a comment below and let me know. I would love to hear your opinion.