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Lou Salseda

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Lou Salseda is a retired LAPD sergeant with 34 years of law enforcement experience. He is the chief instructor of TAC-1 Defensive Firearms Training in Santa Clarita, Calif., and is a consultant for law enforcement training and litigation.

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former New York police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.

Maintaining Accuracy With Rapid Fire

It may be necessary to deliver precise shot placement to safely end a hostage situation or to engage multiple violators in a Close Quarter Battle situation.

November 05, 2010  |  by Nick Jacobellis - Also by this author

To ensure you train properly, monitor your progress by inspecting your target after each drill and mark the hits and misses with a colored felt-tip pen. When you see one or more shots located outside of the scoring area that represents one or more misses, back off a bit and try the same drill again with a fully loaded firearm. This time, adjust your rate of fire by slowing down enough to find that perfect combination of speed and accuracy.

It also helps, if you periodically put up a fresh target. Be patient and take your time progressing from one drill to another. Repeat each drill at least two or three times in each range session, but don't over tax yourself because as frustrating as this training can be, it will become more enjoyable once you see some level of improvement with your accuracy and your rate of fire.     

The next drill is to take on two man-sized qualification targets. Always remember to engage each target representing a serious threat with one round, as soon as possible, before you deliver whatever number of additional follow-up shots are required to stop other threats. Remember, when facing multiple adversaries you should always engage the most serious threat first, before engaging other threats.

Depending on the situation, it may also make sense to quickly fire one round into each threat before you sweep back and forth and continue delivering well placed follow-up shots into each adversary. Clearly, this can be an even greater challenge, if you're engaging one or more violent adversaries, while working alone in a more remote area where your closest backup may take 30 minutes to reach your location running Code 3.     

Please understand that I'm not advocating that you spray and pray for a hit. What I am advocating is that LEOs go beyond just trying to qualify with a passing score. It's also important to maintain a pace that you're comfortable with because a good hit is always better than a quickly delivered miss. 

I truly believe that if you increase your training tempo and use the firearms that work best in your hands, you'll increase your confidence and gunfighting skill. Remember, the point of this training exercise is to improve your capabilities. When you think you're at the top of your game, train some more.

Three Drills to Improve Speed and Accuracy

One shooting drill that will help improve your speed and accuracy is to draw and fire one round as fast as possible as soon as you're on target then return to the ready pistol position and repeat this process until your pistol is empty.

Another shooting drill is to fire a double tap (two back-to-back shots), then holster your handgun or return to the ready pistol position where you can continue this drill until your firearm is empty. After executing a combat reload, you can continue both drills while you increase or decreases your speed or rate of fire until you can keep all rounds fired in the scoring area of the target.

As you progress, you can eventually work your way up to firing strings of five rounds at a time. Another drill that's critical to perform is to empty your firearm into a man-sized target at different CQB distances as fast and as accurately as possible then execute a combat reload so you can "precisely" and "quickly" deliver another string of bullets at the same target.

Visualize Your Pace of Fire

Should you be caught out in the open when you need to execute a combat reload you should blade your body from the threat or threats and get as small as possible.

I also recommend that you visualize the pace in which you wish to fire by repeating the level of speed you wish to fire your rifle or pistol by thinking to yourself that when you open fire the rapport of your firearm should sound like BAM!, BAM!, BAM! BAM! BAM! or BAM! BAM! … BAM! BAM! … BAM BAM.

Taking a split second to visualize what you need to do can help you execute your actions with more conviction, when it comes time to pull the trigger.

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Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Morning Eagle @ 11/9/2010 12:08 AM

Listen up boys and girls! This article is loaded with good, solid advice and tips for training yourself and/or others. In to today's world of increasingly violent gangs, training to face mulitple attackers is ever more important. Visualization is priceless self-training. As Nick says, when you think you are getting pretty good, practice some more.

Jim Carlisle @ 6/12/2016 6:07 PM

When i go to my camp i shoot very well rapid fire, i shoot the exact course i am required to shoot each six months to qualify i shoot 240 to 250, perfect 250 at camp but when i shoot to qualify i shoot 210 to 220. Just don't know why but this has happened the last three times i qualified.

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