Why You Aren’t A Better Shooter

I was going through my list of unprocessed suggestions for blog posts and found this one from almost six years ago. The outline is:

  1. You don’t believe you are capable of being skilled
  2. You don’t know what skill looks like
  3. You don’t have a goal
  4. You don’t have adequate training
  5. You aren’t surrounded with people who are better than you
  6. You have poor physical conditioning
  7. You aren’t willing to fail
  8. You aren’t using the proper equipment
  9. Your shooting range is inadequate

Read the whole thing for some good insights.

She didn’t say this in the article but my guess is the order is by priority of things to work on for the average person.

My excuse isn’t listed. I haven’t been going to the range or matches enough. I have my own range well suited to the type of shooting I want to get better at but it’s 300+ miles from where I currently live.


8 thoughts on “Why You Aren’t A Better Shooter

  1. I have owned firearms for a number of years. When I purchased my first firearms I went to the range and shot. I was “happy” with the results. Not good, but not bad either. Or so I thought.

    I was better with rifles by far. But with a pistol I was putting lead on target.

    Years go by and I am carrying all the time and I get a chance to go to the range with my newest pistol. The sights are horrible. Consistently off. Nowhere near as accurate as my 1911 or full size 9mm. I ask about having the sights adjust and am told to come back some other time.

    I end up joining the range and shooting nearly every week. And my accuracy gets better. But not as good as the other people around.

    Finally I paid for 30 minutes of personal instruction. The instructor comes out, observes for a few minutes and starts correcting me. Grip, stance and a few other things.

    Today my daughter gives me shit if my group of 50+ rounds down range exceeds palm size at 30ft. And she expects me to shoot the bullseye out with 9 rounds are less (1911).

    You can be really really good and still improve when somebody is watching you from the side. That little sig has great sights. I had horrible grip and I was anticipating each shot so pulling down and to the left.

    Practice, practice and make sure you get somebody to observe that can help pick up what you might be doing wrong

    • Rob Leatham talked about pulling the gun off in one of his vids. His teaching method was to dry-fire till you can pull the trigger without the barrel moving.
      It’s one of my favorite practices, especially with my double action revolvers.

  2. Getting old. The list doesn’t mention that one. My eyes are getting bad, sonny. (Not that I was a good shot in my youth.)

  3. Technique, focus, measurement, reflection.

    Technique is important; find someone much, much much better than you to provide instruction in technique even if you have to pay them, and pay them REAL money, to learn what you need to know. High value expertise does not come cheap, being highly skilled in helping you learn it costs even more, understand that and value it.

    Focus is important; establish precisely what you are attempting to accomplish and stay absolutely, positively, completely focused on it – nothing else in the universe exists while you are focusing on it.

    Reflection is critical; without frequently examining the goal, the purpose of achieving it, the means of doing so, and the progress made toward it you’re living in Fantasy Land. As you learn you come to know more, knowing more can lead to changing how you reach your goals, knowing more can lead to changing your goals, changing your goals can lead to finding different ways of achieving them.

    As Ben Franklin said 250 years ago in Poor Richard’s Almanac, “Nothing is constant except change.” Each step along the journey reveals new things. Embrace them.

    Measurement is everything; time, distance, accuracy, precision*. Without measuring where you were where you are is meaningless, as is the progress you made between those points and what learning occurred to achieve that progress.

    *Precision is not Accuracy; Accuracy is not Precision. Understand that and appreciate the difference. Learn from it and use the difference to your advantage.

    • I was at my LGS the other day looking over a pistol that wanted to follow me home. I have permission to dry fire the pistol, I’ve verified that it is indeed empty, I’ve got it pointed in a safe direction and I’m slowly pressing the trigger.

      I’m listening and feeling for the trigger as that has become important to me.

      My dealer at that moment says “BANG!”.

      I continued pressing the trigger until the hammer drops then turn to him and ask “What was that?”

      My daughter, who was observing says the barrel didn’t move when he said “bang”. That it was rock solid. That is part of focus.

      Knowing what is going on around you yet able to choose what you are going to respond to.

      I want to get better, it takes more practice and more rounds than I’m willing to send down range at this time of inflation.

  4. Of course Proper Instruction is A Key.
    And things have changed over the years boys, like it or not….except for ONE.


    The Platform is irrelevant.

    Until you can do them…without thought, consistently and under pressure..there will be “issues” to use modern syntax.
    Miss’s… We all make them and…will.
    The catch is to know when you have blown one (before the round hits the target) or more of the above AND correct your follow up(s)

    This has been Driven into me, yea, beaten into me by both my instructors.
    And Proven time and time and time again.
    To be absolutely 100% FACT.

    DRIVE your GUN, Do Not, let it drive you.
    It really is…that simple.

    Best of Luck to all

  5. One more bullet point…. Training equals practice. Practice costs money.
    Most people either can’t or won’t spend the money required to achieve

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