Be Like Max?

16-Oct-13 – 10:01 by ToddG

keep-calm-and-shoot-like-max-1Max Wins, eleventy-time national pistol champion, closes his eyes when he draws and turns his pistol upside down to reload.

Should you? Maybe, maybe not.

When thinking about changing or adopting a technique, it’s not good enough simply to say Max Wins does it and he wins! or Sheepdog247 does it and he’s hard core! The questions I always ask myself when considering someone’s technique are: why, where, and how?

Why is he doing it that way? Is there really an advantage or is it just habit? A good shooter should understand why he does things. A good instructor needs to be able to explain the why in a way students can understand. If there isn’t an intelligent reason behind a technique, copying it just because you hope it has some magical power is probably silly.

Where does it apply? Something that works awesome after a five minute air gunning session on a square range with predetermined easily identified targets in bright daylight may not be as ideal when you’re ambushed in a mall parking lot at 9pm in the rain with bystanders everywhere. Or it may, in fact, be every bit as awesome. But you need to figure out if the why applies to your where.

How did he get that good at it? This is the big one that people often ignore. Some techniques are simply easier to learn — and easier to apply under stress — than others. Just because something works well for the guy whose weekly practice routine includes 20 hours of dry fire and 2,000 rounds downrange doesn’t mean it will be the best choice for someone who only gets that much practice in a month, or a year, or a lifetime. Even if it’s the best, most applicable technique in the world it’s only good for you if you can achieve it.

Don’t be afraid to try new techniques. Don’t be afraid to question the way you do things today. But don’t assume that what works best for Max Wins will necessarily be the best choice for you. Ask yourself why, where, and how… then decide if it’s something to pursue.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

(gun logo courtesy wikimedia Open Clip Art Library)

  1. 7 Responses to “Be Like Max?”

  2. Hmm … doesn’t Max shoot for TeamSig?? :-)

    By Tim on Oct 16, 2013

  3. Wrong Max. 8-)

    By ToddG on Oct 16, 2013

  4. Context. It’s important and often overlooked.

    By Alan T on Oct 16, 2013

  5. Great advise. We always provided several techniques for officers to try, and then told them to perfect the one that worked for them best. Bigger hands, muscles over muscles, longer torso, shorter legs, you name it, it all makes some things easier for some to do and harder for others. An instructor should not get tied into the “this works for me, so it should work for you” mentality. Variety does work, but I agree with Todd that the guy who can practice daily, with lots of rounds down range usually is a lot better at things than the guy who only does it once a year.

    Good thoughts.

    By Kenny T on Oct 16, 2013

  6. I saw a guy win a national championship shooting one-handed with his hand in his pocket, so that’s how I’m shooting these days.

    By Tam on Oct 17, 2013

  7. But are you also wearing a fedora and a tie, like the shooters in Atkin’s “The art of handgun shooting”?

    By peterb on Oct 17, 2013

  8. I completely agree that simply jumping onto the bandwagon of a style/tactic/piece of equipment is a bad idea. However, since very few of my students have the money to spend on the super cool guns and accessories, I have learned to recommend ways to guide them towards implementing what they can while using what they have. Most folks don’t have Teflon coated mags to use, so we learn alternative ways to speed up re-loads. Also, most can’t afford a lot of ammo to train every aspect of their newly leaned fundamentals – so I try to group them up by caliber & they share the price of 12-pack Snapcaps. Then they train in their garage or living room in order to reduce the training ammo costs. The key is to keep an open mind to every method & strategy you encounter, I just might make the sport of shooting better for you.

    By Norm on Oct 18, 2013

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