In our classes, we preach to scan, then identify a threat. Then, and only then, does our gun follow. Remember the Universal Gun Safety Rule, “Never point your muzzle at anything you do not wish to kill, destroy, or buy.” Our eyes find the target, our mind assess the threat, then our muscles punch out with the gun if required.
The speed in which you look and scan should alway far outdistance the speed that you move your gun. When a threat is identified, your gun will drive out to the target, align your sights with your eyes, then press the trigger. DO NOT lead with your gun!
During reloads, it should become second nature to keep your eyes up and focused on threat or where you anticipate a threat appearing. This is why we practice mag changes (both fighting and tactical) until we can do it in the dark or with our eyes closed. You do practice your mag changes dry, right? It is imperative to keep your gun in your “workspace” close to position 3.
When shooting, we teach new and beginning shooters to focus on the front sight. This is important in order to learn form and accuracy. If you are training to become a defensive or reactionary shooter rather than a target shooter, your focus will shift to the threat as your skills progress. Let’s face it, you may not have a say on where you focus during a life or death fight. You may not be able to help but focus on the threat. We are not point shooting, we are looking through our sights to our target and producing a quick flash sight picture to confirm we are on target. (This is how you must focus when using a red dot optic) When practicing, focus on the intended point of impact, not the threat’s hands or weapon! Without practice and discipline, a newer shooter will find himself shooting at the threat’s hand or weapon because that is where their focus is aimed. Go to the range and practice on a good target. Try different area of focus. See where you shoot best! Upgrade your sights too. Makes sure your front sight pops!
Our eyes need be up and on threat during the draw. We teach a four step draw for this reason. We are under control the entire process and just because we are mid-draw does not mean we must shoot. If the threat suddenly complies, we can keep our gun on him but choose not to press the trigger. No “flyfishing” or “digging” during the draw! Position 3 of the draw is truly the most important part of the presentation. I’m sure some of my students will never forget the reps they were required to do until they truly “got it”. Position 3 or Compressed Ready is where we join hands to present a two handed pistol grip. Remember to drive the gun straight to your line of sight from the chest!
Lead with your eyes and place as many shots on threat as needed to neutralize it. Look at threat, look at your sights, but look at nothing else until there are no more threats! Including you magazine and mag changes! Keep your muzzle in a safe direction and your finger off the trigger until your eyes have confirmed there is a threat that requires engagement. When one threat is down, keep your head on a swivel and look for more threats! There is no rush to re-holster after the all clear…
Jim Benoit's thoughts on guns, gear, & training
CAJUN ARMS & TUSCARORA TACTICAL TRAINING
WEST CHESTER, THOMPSONTOWN, PA