A balance of speed and accuracy

I saw this humorous little bit today on Facebook:

Gamertard: “hahaha none of you tacticaltards can shoot just because you can’t shoot as good as us!”

Tacticaltard: “That will get you killed in a gunfight!”

– Jay

Sadly, that’s an accurate summary of just about every conversation between dedicated tactical shooters and dedicated competition shooters basically ever. While the more savvy competitors realize that there’s value in the tactical community, and vice versa from squared away tactical guys, billions of pixels have been slaughtered having these discussions.

But let’s talk about value for a second. Obviously, for tactical shooters there is value to be had in shooting faster and more accurately, which are the goals of competition shooting. Similarly, competition shooters who also carry guns for self-defense can benefit from learning about practical applications of their shooting skill, because let’s be honest – if I ever get mugged again, I’m probably not going to be carrying a Limited gun in a Ghost race holster. Life isn’t Triple Tap, after all. You don’t come across a robbery while driving your GT-R back from the IPSC match with your open gun in the trunk, and if you do, well you have a very interesting life indeed.

The reason then that this post is titled “a balance of speed and accuracy” is to address that key point, and something that I as a competition shooter frequently forget: there are a lot fewer competition shooters than people who carry concealed. USPSA and IDPA have about 20,000 members each, with best guest estimates at 20% active crossover between the two organizations.

Meanwhile, there are quite literally millions of concealed carry permit holders out there just looking to be better equipped to defend their families. To these people, the amount of time necessary to shave 0.5 seconds off their draw isn’t a good investment of their time, unless they’ve made shooting their hobby. But there are lots of other hobbies out there, and things that compete with people’s time.

So the question is, how do we as competition shooters help with that balance? While our numbers are small, we are frequently ambassadors for the shooting sports because of our great passion. We have frequent opportunities to introduce people to the shooting sports in meaningful ways to encourage long term participation and even more importantly, political engagement. What is the best way, to your mind, to do that in an effective manner?


  1. I’m a regular runner but not a competitor in running realms, but I’m still striving to make myself better.
    So when it comes to the sentiment here, I grok it from both sides as I am also a USPSA competitor (A76366)
    But long ago I found this quote and I think the same mentality applies to shooting as well:

    “And too there were questions: What did he eat? Did he believe
    in isometrics? Isotonics? Ice and heat? How about aerobics,
    est, ESP, STP? What did he have to say about yoga, yogurt,
    Yogi Berra? What was his pulse rate, his blood pressure, his
    time for the 100-yard dash? What was the secret, they wanted
    to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The
    Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to
    believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy
    mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes
    heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the
    very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training
    shoes. The Trial of Miles, Miles of Trials. How could they
    be expected to understand that?”

  2. One of the local competitors (and an extremely successful one as well) is major in the US Army Special Forces. He got into competitive shooting when his unit brought in competitors to help train them to shoot faster and more accurately during the daily gunfights in Sadr City.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: