When I was in school, math classes such as Algebra used to kick my ass 6 ways from Sunday. While I could often come up with the correct answer to the equation we were working on, it often wouldn’t be a result of the method we were being taught. Failing to show my work would often get me fussed at and a huge hit to the grade for the given assignment. So what does this have to do with shooting? Well in the big flash/little substance social media era that we are currently in, we see a large number of “E famous” shooting personalities that do a lot of shooting on video. Dudes are doing 7000 round mag dumps, hitting Hondo rolls after diving over hay bales and all kinds of stuff that would require a normal person to input a special code on their Xbox controller to successfully do. What these guys don’t usually show is the result of their work.
It’s easy to go crazy with a blaster and do stuff that looks great when you know no one realizes that you are missing the target and barely hitting the berm. If you do see results, it will often be hits on steel or rubber dummies where any hit is generally viewed as a good, or “combat effective”, hit. While there is a time and place for shooting mediums such as steel or humanoid shaped targets they shouldn’t be the only thing a person shoots. At some point, you have to shoot paper and this is where we only see a small number of the E mafia showing the results of their work.
What does shooting paper prove you may ask? Quite simply it shows the accuracy level of the shooter/gun and the amount of precision they are capable of. It also serves to keep those in the spotlight of the media honest about what we are truly capable of. If you watch our Instagram account you will see that we regularly show pictures from the end of range sessions or other things. While many of them show good results, we also show the not so good results (or at least mention them in the description box). Other trainers that post pictures of their targets include Kyle Defoor, Larry Vickers, and Mike Pannone. This might be something to consider the next time you are looking for someone to train with or evaluating whether a technique works or not.
Until next time
PS here’s a target that we shot offhand during some .40 load development for USPSA