Another jewel to archive in the JohnJacobH Real Gunfight Catalog. I highly recommend it to students of combat arms:
Seconds that Save Your Life
by Jim Higginbotham
Monday, July 19, 2010
There is only one type of shooting competition that only has a trophy for second place. The trophy is generally made of granite, has an epitaph inscribed on it, and when it is awarded to you, you are surrounded by everyone you love, crying their eyes out because you are dead. It’s called a tombstone.
A gunfight is a competition, but it isn’t a standard shooting competition like those you see in timed shooting sports. Speed is a factor, but it isn’t the only factor. And there will always be factors outside of your control, such as the physical and mental state of the threatening party, his competence, how well we shoot under the pressure of a gunfight, and what we are doing while engaging our adversary to keep from getting shot (or cut, or bludgeoned, etc.).
Some things, however, you can control, or at least prepare to control, and many of these involve speed and can be practiced. They are how fast you are able to present your weapon, how fast you can fire it accurately, and how fast you can reload when you are out of bullets or in danger of soon being out of bullets.
Wyatt Earp, one of the most famous gunfighters of all time, is quoted as saying: “Take your time…but be quick about it! He is also quoted as saying something to the effect of “Fast is fine but accuracy is final”. The interplay between these two factors, speed and accuracy, is one reality we must always recognize, the faster you go the less accurate you are.