There are stages that shooters go through as they go from picking up a pistol for the first time to being ready to use a pistol in a life or death situation.

This is true of all skills.

With riding a bike, people either start with training wheels or a scoot bike. Eventually, people can progress all the way to drafting at high speed on a highway or bombing down a hill on a mountain bike. But everyone ditches the training wheels eventually.

With baseball, a lot of people start with hitting the ball off a tee. Eventually, you can progress up to hitting curveballs and 90 mile per hour fastballs. But everyone ditches the tee eventually.

It’s not that training wheels or a tee are wrong…it’s that they have a place early in the learning process.

For some reason, most people treat shooting differently. They think that if an instructor told them something at any point in their life, it must still hold true today.

That’s not the way it works.

Take the sights on a pistol as an example.

When you first start shooting, most people are told to take time to line up the sights perfectly (equal height, equal light).

Line up the front sight so that what you want to shoot is sitting on top of the middle of the front sight, focus on the front sight, and then slowly press the trigger without disturbing the sights until you get a surprise break of the trigger.

That works. It’s a fundamental skill that all shooters should be able to go back to. And, a lot of times that’s exactly what I’ll do with a new gun.

But it is s l o w.

It’s like training wheels. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but you want to move beyond it.


Because when shooters who only know how to use the sights to line up a shot get into a situation where speed becomes important, the tendency is to rush the shot…and the result is normally a miss.

You can’t manufacture skills that you’ve never used before in the middle of a life and death situation.

So, what do you do about it?

The first thing you want to do is shift your mindset.

You want to change from thinking about using your sights to line up where the muzzle is pointed…to using your grip and muscle memory (neural pathways) to line up where the muzzle is pointed and simply using the sights to verify and validate sight alignment.

Let me say that a different way…

You’re still going to use your sights, but instead of bringing your gun up and then lining up your sights, you’re going to bring your gun up in a way that your sights are automatically aligned and all you have to do is verify sight alignment.

The impact on speed and performance is dramatic.

Instead of shoving your pistol out in front of your face and then spending the next few seconds finding and lining up your sights, you’ll find that your sights are already lined up exactly where you want to shoot as soon as they enter your cone of view.

Most shooters never fully make this jump.

This is odd to me.

The same people who wouldn’t settle for hitting a baseball off a tee their entire life or using training wheels on a bike for their entire life will settle for using beginner techniques with a tool that could save their life.

Don’t be too quick to judge (yourself or others). It’s understandable.

Most live fire training makes the abrupt jump from slow, controlled shooting to fast shooting with a simple command to “speed up!”

This is unfortunate, because it only takes about an hour of the right dry fire practice, a few minutes at a time, spread out over 4-7 days to develop a grip and drawstroke that will automatically bring the sights of your pistol into perfect alignment between your dominant eye and what you want to shoot.

And it will change the way you shoot forever. Dramatically faster first hits with less effort.

That’s exactly what you want for the next time you go to the range with friends, or for a life and death situation.

I want to encourage you to make the jump. Ditch the training wheels and the tee and graduate to the kind of shooting that can save a life.

It’s quick, easy, and costs less than a single trip to the range.