Shooting for Self-Mastery

I watched a couple of videos on YouTube last night showing some drills that a shooter can move through in order to build confidence. Doing so was productive in giving me ideas on how to progress towards mastery of this skill.

Where I am right now, in relation to handguns:
My first shot is good. Point of impact and point of aim are aligned and within a tolerable margin of error.

As I continue to discharge the firearm, however, recoil-induced flinch begins to negatively impact my trigger discipline. I had a friend record me shooting in slow-motion so that I could see it for myself. The last time that I did this exercise, I made it to the sixth round in the magazine before flinch began sending my rounds off of their initial point of aim.

Upon reviewing this footage, I slowed down, and conducted an exercise in order to better visualize the issue that I was having with follow-up shots. I loaded a single round into the handgun and dropped the magazine to prevent the slide from locking back on empty. I took my first shot, set the same point of aim, and squeezed the trigger again knowing full well that the gun wouldn’t go off this second time. I repeated this exercise a few times, slowly and deliberately.

By maintaining the same point of aim throughout, I’m also able to diagnose any discrepancies between point of aim and point of impact.

The next time that I go pistol shooting, I intend to try HaleyStrategic’s Venti 100 Shot Wake Up Drill:

Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to shoot the AR-15 with brothers Basil and Brian W. I shot at the same type of target at 25 yards, then at 50 yards, and once again at 25 yards, discharging 70 rounds altogether. I was only able to retain the first of the three targets that I shot at – I wish I’d gotten the other two as well for comparison’s sake, because, well, data. I shot from a seated position.

The diameter of the red circle on the large target is 5-7/8″, and the diameter of the same circle on the small targets is 3″.

1-5/8″ diameter on large target, extreme
2-1/8″ diameter on small target (left), extreme
1-1/8″ diameter on small target (left) w/o outlier
1-3/16″ diameter on small target (right)

Consider the separate skills that make up shooting

Marksmanship: Precision & Accuracy

Mechanics / weapon handling: Controls, reloads, trigger action, recoil management

Defensive shooting: firing from draw