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Major differences between sport vs real life shooting

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  • Major differences between sport vs real life shooting

    I know the topic has been covered many times, but I would love to hear the opinions from all of you who have been on combat deployments and missions. In other words, I'd like to hear from people who have been in gunfights. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Well I am not sure where to start on this subject. The most obvious is the in war or any gun fight you are now on a two way range meaning bullets are going both ways. The adrenaline rush you experience will probably be a little different. The main difference to me was knowing that my skill set could have a direct effect on whether myself or my teammates survived. So what that did for me was made me train harder to ensure I was ready to respond to what ever happens. If you are a sport shooter and in a competition and you drop a point or two or miss a target oh well you come in 3rd or 4th. There can be far worse outcomes in a gun fight. You also have to realize is that in combat you can do everything right and it still will not save you or your brothers.
    This is how I feel about it.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GlockGuy View Post
      I know the topic has been covered many times, but I would love to hear the opinions from all of you who have been on combat deployments and missions. In other words, I'd like to hear from people who have been in gunfights. Thanks in advance!
      I agree with Gordon and would like to add training is going to be a big difference. When training for real life you're training your mindset to fight, anytime you carry a gun for self defense or the defense of others training your mindset is number one. Due to the stresses involved in a fight we train gross motor skills and simple techniques. Your training wouldn't necessarily be the best for shooting competitions, would you do ok in a competition? sure but all those .2 second here and a 1 second there are going to add up. training for competitions you typically train on one platform and your perfecting every movement and trying to shave .10th of seconds off everywhere, you're can trying to "game the game" if that make since. you can't game the game in "real life shooting" we keep things simple because when thing start happening very quickly you'll always fall back on simple and your mindset to win the fight.
      My posts are for general educational and informational purposes only. What you do with this information is your responsibility. I encourage you to seek out professional instruction. Nothing replaces in-person training with a qualified professional to ensure you learn properly and train safely.

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      • #4
        I can't share experience from actual gunfights, but I have done some sport, and coincidentally, had dinner with a few retired SEALs (who have done both) and a retired Army SOF unit member the other night

        I'll try to summarize the conversation. When concerned with marksmanship i.e. general shooting skills, they agreed that sport shooting will definitely improve your marksmanship. So if you're looking to improve your accuracy, speed, familiarity with manipulating different weapons systems, sport shooting is beneficial.

        But, once we start thinking outside of general marksmanship, things are really different--training will be really different as Billy mentioned. Mindset, cover, concealment, angles, the speed in which things happen--I hear real gunfights are super fast, scary, chaotic, etc.

        Hope this helps!

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        • #5
          Hey GlockGuy! This is a great question that comes up a lot. Billy and Gordon make excellent points about mindset and Myles summed up our dinner conversation well. I'll try to answer this from my perspective coming from experience on both sides of the argument/discussion.

          The short answer.... They are the same, but different.

          First, I like to divide the topic into two categories:
          1. Shooting
          2. Tactics
          In both situations shooting is the common action. However, you don't shoot differently in one or the other. Aligning the sights and pulling the trigger doesn't change from paper to flesh or flesh to paper if you want to put a bullet hole into either. We can get into deeper discussions later about point shooting, focal planes, acceptable sight pictures, etc. For the sake of this discussion, let's just keep it simple. The fact is that top level competition shooters have mastered the use of their tool (firearm). They have trained to a subconscious level of manipulation that they don't need to think about what they are doing with the firearm or what is required to make a shot. By freeing up bandwidth between the ears, they are now able to fully focus on the course of fire and navigating it for the best score. How long would it take a carpenter to build a house if he had to think about swinging the hammer to hit the nail? Another key thing you learn by competing is efficiency and economy of motion. Not only with firearm manipulation, but also in areas like footwork. All these things could be valuable in a real life defensive situation. Gordon nailed it when he said things could still go wrong even if you did it all right. You can't control some factors, but you can control to what level you train to.

          In the game and in real life you also have tactics. Tactics are actions or strategies carefully planned to achieve a specific end. The way I like to explain it is that tactics are the currency you use to buy you the ability to shoot. This is where the separation begins. In competition you're trying to be the fastest with the highest number of scored hits or points. In real (civilian) life you are trying to survive by neutralizing a threat. It is impossible to say what tactics work best, but shooting and moving fast can't be a bad thing. Reality based training with non-lethal training munitions against another human opponent is where you can build scenarios and put your mindset, will, shooting, manipulation, and movement skills to the test in one major gauntlet. Highly recommended!

          So, in conclusion, I believe that competition breeds excellence and there are many benefits to participating in shooting competitions when it comes to sharpening your skills for self defense. You must sharpen the knife on both sides though, so be sure to get into some sort of defensive based training as well.

          Hope this helps!
          My posts are for general educational and informational purposes only. What you do with this information is your responsibility. I encourage you to seek out professional instruction. Nothing replaces in-person training with a qualified professional to ensure you learn properly and train safely.

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