Training and Shooting

Raising the Pistol in Timed and Rapid Fire Events

The vertical raise in timed and rapid fire events is a critical skill to learn. The key lies in your stance and grip, such that even with your eyes closed, you would raise on target. Nobody expects you to do this (yet *s*) but top champions in rapid fire report being able to do this after extensive training. Here's a process to get you started:

  1. Start with your stance and grip. You align your body such that your natural point of aim brings the gun on target with the sights aligned at your aiming point (center of mass, 6 o'clock or sub-6.) To test, close your eyes and bring the gun up: if the gun points to the left of your target, move your rear foot in the direction of the error (in this case, to the left.) Settle and try again: adjust as needed. Finally, raise the pistol and watch the sights during the lift: if you have to adjust, this will show the need. This gets your gun on target and roughly aligned on each raise.
  2. The position: what I do in timed and rapid fire is stand with my arm at the 45 degree angle, head up straight and in position to look at my sights when the gun is raised. I lower my eyes only (not moving my head) and look at the mid-distance to the floor. Don't focus on the floor - look at the empty space between it and you, so you can see the target peripherally.
  3. The raise: The target turns or the whistle blows or whatever happens to indicate the start of the timed stage. You keep your head motionless and lift the pistol smoothly and steadily at a constant speed. Don't move your eyes to the gun. As the pistol is raised through that midpoint and the floor where you're looking, your eyes catch the sight. I repeat: as the sights pass before your vision, you catch the sights and hold them. (The sights come to your eyes, not your eyes go to the sights, and your head doesn't move.) As the pistol raises, your eyes follow it and you make rough to fine adjustments to the sight alignment. As you settle on the target, you should have perfect alignment. Then its time to shoot.

With practice, the process becomes pretty easy (yeah, right, like trigger control and concentration *s*) Don't worry: you'll get it. Just remember to build a proper stance and don't move your head. After that, its just a matter of dedicated training and practice.

TargetShooting Canada - Copyright 2001: Patrick Haynes