The Fundamentals of “Combat Marksmanship” and RealityBehavior Based Combat Marksmanship

• • • •

Grip Stance Sight Alignment Sight Picture

• Trigger Control • Breath Control • Follow-Through

SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS

BREATH CONTROL A method of controlling breathing to minimize gun movement as the body expands and contracts during inhalation and exhalation. Preparing to fire the next shot. STANCE A body position that allows effective movement. Combined with sight alignment = “Sight Package” TRIGGER CONTROL Independent movement of the finger on the trigger moving it straight back until the gun fires with minimal movement of the sights and gun. (Gun-wrist-body alignment for point shooting) SIGHT PICTURE The placement of the aligned sights or weapon on the target or exact aiming point. with control of recoil. fighting.The Fundamentals of Marksmanship GRIP Controlling the weapon while shooting and through recoil with pressure and friction and leverage. SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . and shooting. SIGHT ALIGNMENT The relationship between the front and rear sights. FOLLOW THROUGH Consciously maintaining the shooting fundamentals for a brief time after the shot is fired.

and a firm grip with the support and a lighter grip with the strong hand will allow better trigger manipulation and is the most desirable for accuracy. Two hands are better than one. Get used to the convulsive grip in training.Grip GRIP: Controlling the weapon while shooting and through recoil with pressure and friction and leverage. For Marksmanship. This will most likely require anticipation and control of duress.under duress you will probably squeeze the weapon hard. Grip is reality based. It is quicker and allows the other hand to be used for grasping items and for balance. At close range against sudden encounters. shooting will often be done with one hand. SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . The strong side thumb can be straight or curled down for better contact and control.

Web of hand high up on backstrap with no space showing. Trigger finger on frame.Grip: Strong Hand Initial “Vee” placement. Thumb rests on frame or ‘rides’ safety. Middle finger tight under trigger guardno space.gun directly in line with forearm. Thumb can be straight or bent for better pressure. SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS .

Thumbs and trigger finger point along slide. No space under trigger guard.Grip: Support Hand Second hand always comes from the rearthumb pointed forward fingers down at 45 degrees. strong side thumb rests on top of support hand. Notice change in wrist angle SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . or ‘rides’ safety. Second hand fills the gap.

and shooting. with control of recoil. Shoulders forward • Strong. tight base • Aggressive forward lean • It is also an important part of aiming as the body aligns and points the weapon and the eyes simply verify it is on target with minor correction Traditional marksmanship will direct shooters to bring the gun to their eyes.Stance STANCE A body position that allows effective movement. fighting: • Toes to threat • Lower the center of gravity • Toes Straight • Bent knees • Back Straight • Head. We teach dropping into the fighting stance as the gun is brought up because that will be your natural reaction under duress.facing. Reality Based Combat Stance is based on the instinctive response to threats. fighting. • SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . flinching.

point shooting will be much easier If the body must turn. (Gun-wristbody alignment for point shooting) One of the most important parts of point shooting is the alignment of the gun to the body. but as the gun is brought to the center of the body. This will take more practice. SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS .Sight Alignment: Wrist-Gun-Body Alignment SIGHT ALIGNMENT The relationship between the front and rear sights. via the bend in the wrist Initially the gun is grasped and aligned parallel to the forearm. the wrist must lock and bend to keep it oriented directly to the threat The gun is oriented perpendicular to the upper body along the center line or dominant eye based on the shooters dominance If the upper body and lower body are squared to the threat. the triangle between the arms and the body still must project the gun straight out from under the dominant eye/center line.

Sight Alignment: Full Sight Aimed Alignment FULL SIGHT AIMED FIRE “Sight Picture” • • • • “Equal Height” “Equal Light” Final focus on the top part of the front sight Rear sights and target aligned but blurry Equal on both sides • • • • Set up with combat breath control during the respiratory pause Mostly useful in pro-active and offensive situations with the ability to fully anticipate the need for the shot Front sight should not move during trigger pull Check using dime and washer and unknown empty gun anticipation drill SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS .

Sight Alignment: Wrist-Gun-Body Alignment Peripheral VisionWhen learning the technique. it helps to verify your wrist-guntarget alignment based on the outline of the weapon Errors: • The side of the slide is showing in either direction • The front sight is not visible at all • The top of the slide is showing too much.(greater than half the width of the back of the frame outline) T o R p e a r SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS .

SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS .not just the sights. This is primarily due to the instinctive stress response requiring clear visual focus on the threat. combined with (target profile) • The situational concerns (situation) Sight package involves the entire body and weapon.and the related target It is uncommon for anyone at any level of training to take the time to verify their sights when directly and immediately under close range threat. Secondarily on • The accuracy needed to hit the target. Primarily the level of duress of the shooter (immediate survivability) 2. Combined with sight alignment = “Sight Package” „Sight Package‟ includes the level of aiming verification that takes place before shooting Sight package in reality based shooting is based on: 1.Sight Picture: Sight Package SIGHT PICTURE The placement of the aligned sights or weapon on the target or exact aiming point.

Front sight centered and level. Target Focused Flash Sight Picture. Indexed by body posture. Target Focused Point Shooting. Gun may be partially visible in field of view. body part. Front sight anywhere above rear sight is sufficiently accurate. 1 2 3 4 SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS .rough visual alignment of the sights/weapon while primarily focused on the target. 2. Full sighted fire. 3. 4. Index Shooting (body point).only peripheral and eventually subconscious rough alignment towards the target.lining up the sights completely as in traditional marksmanship. or on the target itself. final focus on front sight.no to little visual verification of the gun.Sight Picture/Sight Package Continuum Continuum of sight package: 1. Top edges of slide form a ‘Runway” to the target below line of vision.

Sight Picture: Sight Package Point Shooting Sight Package • We want to practice while being focused on the threat as much as possible. is at or above the edge of body armor. with only peripheral verification of the sight package The amount of peripheral verification will be slowly reduced over time until it is subconscious The primary shot zone is high center mass. It contains vital organs. and gives the best combination of a wide target area for misses and severity of injury. miss small. we want to be focused on a small part of the threat: “Aim small.” We are looking for “railroad tracks” or a “runway” along the edge of the outline of the sides of the gun’s frame straight to the target like a perspective drawing.the top part of the sternum. • • • • SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . With precision.

Trigger Control • TRIGGER CONTROL. (A) may be too much trigger for some and may push shots to the left.Independent movement of the finger on the trigger moving it straight back until the gun fires with minimal movement of the sights and gun • Trigger control is probably the greatest source of error in pistol marksmanship • The trigger must be pulled or squeezed straight backward to avoid pulling the weapon out of alignment during the shot • Ideally a shooter wants to squeeze the trigger back slowly until there is a “surprise break” and the shot is fired • Trigger control and grip work together to eliminate shot anticipation • Finger placement on the trigger is highly individualistic. and can greatly affect marksmanship. but not best for every person SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . (B) is the preferred point.

useful only at very close range SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS Fully Forward Fully Back Reset . but with minimal time between shots.One sight picture is acquired and weapon is fired as fast as the weapon can be controlled. they are able to do this rhythmically and quickly.Each shot is fired separately with a new sight picture.Shot is fired with a single sight picture with careful and full follow through as if firing another shot (always prepare for one more during follow through practice) • String (Tap). This requires a harder grasp on the weapon to keep it steady • Single shot. which indicates the trigger has reset • Trigger reset is part of good follow up • After the final shot.Trigger Control • The trigger should be released only far enough so a “click” is felt and heard. As shooters improve. the trigger and gun are often squeezed convulsively. always prepare to take one more • For combative marksmanship. • Burst (Hammer).

forces out a quick exhalation. and take a deliberate fully aimed shot as quickly as possible Example: Run. • Ideally. the officer stops quickly. you will most likely hold your breath while shooting. finds the sights fully and shoots in a compressed time frame. another full breath with release should take place • Combat breathing should start as soon as you are alerted to the potential need for violence • Against a spontaneous threat. The skill is to snap into position. SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . Shoot Officer chases and armed bad guy until he gets a clear shot. breath out. stop doing this as soon as you recognize it and make breathing part of your tactical response and follow through • If you make the deliberate decision for a perfect shot. one should shoot during the respiratory pause after exhaling while the body is the most motionless • If the shot is not made in time. Stop.Breath Control BREATH CONTROL A method of controlling breathing to minimize gun movement as the body expands and contracts during inhalation and exhalation. you should set up the breath. which sets you up mentally for the fundamentals of marksmanship.

this can be done on the move The shooter should then “take off” and “take cover” getting behind cover or moving to a flank while checking the rear for un-expected threats Other “T’s” are Talk. compress the weapon.5 From Randy Harris Suarez International Staff Instructor • • • • • SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . In real-life situations. right.Follow Through • • • • • FOLLOW THROUGH. otherwise it will be highly compressed Combat follow through is shooting the threat until it is no longer a threattypically to the ground and/or with weapon dropped Next the shooter follows the threat down and assesses. it is not a major error. middle (back to check the threat). or Take care of injuries Verbal commands should initially be “Don’t move” or “Stay down” FAST-5 Fight Assess Scan Take off Take Cover Talk Top Off Treat injuries FAST. Top off. and scan his surroundings If the shooter is more comfortable staying extended.Consciously maintaining the shooting fundamentals for a brief time after the shot is fired. Preparing to fire the next shot. this will only happen if taking one perfect shot. while still aimed in and ready to shoot If the threat does not need to continue to be shot. middle (checking the threat one last time). the shooter should place the finger on frame. The purpose of the compression to a ready position is to break tunnel vision and protect it from a potential attack The shooter should scan “left.

target blurry “Controlled Surprise Break” Respiratory Pause REALITY-BEHAVIOR BASED COMBAT MARKSMANSHIP Strong ‘convulsive’ grip with both hands Combat Crouch. light squeeze strong hand More upright.Differences Between Combat Marksmanship and Reality-Behavior Based Combat Marksmanship FUNDAMENTAL GRIP STANCE SIGHT ALIGNMENT “COMBAT” MARKSMANSHIP Heavy squeeze support hand. body dropped as gun brought up Focus on threat. focus on small part of target. body-wrist-gun forms runway to the target under eyes High upper chest (when available). or forced exhalation for a fast shot Preparing for the next shot and tactical response SIGHT PICTURE TRIGGER CONTROL BREATH CONTROL FOLLOW THROUGH Preparing for the next shot SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS . gun in peripheral vision “Convulsive grip” and straight rearward pressure if possible Combat breathing before and after. again final focus on front sight. gun brought to eyes Focus on front sight perfectly centered in rear sight High upper chest (when available).

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