Wyatt Earp said, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. In a gunfight, you need to take your time in a hurry.”
When it comes to self-defense the more accurate shooter is often the one who lives.
In combat, a precision shooter such as a sniper can change the outcome on the battlefield.
During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian forces killed several high-ranking military leaders.
Maj. Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky was one such Russian military leader who was killed.
Russia released very little information about his death, but the Kremlin-backed media said he was killed “during a special operation in Ukraine.”
Regarding Sukhovetsky’s death, former CIA officer Dan Hoffman said, “If it’s true, it’s big.”
The Russian military leader was killed after Russian convoys stalled outside of Kyiv.
But the part of the story that Russia won’t talk about is that the major wasn’t killed by regular Ukrainian soldiers.
Western intelligence reports suggest the Major was taken out by a sniper – specifically, an American-trained sniper.
You see, after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, the U.S. knew that it was only a matter of time before Russia went further.
In 2014, paramilitary officers with the CIA Special Activities Division began secret training in sniping, anti-tank warfare, and evasion.
The CIA program was very small, the goal was to minimize exposure to the intelligence agency. So, only a handful of paramilitaries were sent to Ukraine.
During 2014, the CIA’s involvement was limited to advising and training, there was no direct combat from the CIA themselves.
And six former CIA officials have said they recognize their training in the current war in Ukraine.
One former CIA official said, “I think we’re seeing a big impact from snipers. Especially as Russian forces get bogged down from lack of supplies.”
A few weeks into the invasion, Ukrainian forces had killed four Russian generals.
The losses for Russia are so severe that U.S. intelligence believes some units can’t keep fighting.
Which serves as a testament to the resolve of the Ukrainians and the training they’ve received.
Even if you aren’t fighting on the battlefield, there are lessons that apply to self-defense.
One major lesson is that accuracy is vital to self-defense shooting.
But unlike sniping, in a self-defense shooting, there are two main factors, accuracy and speed.
That is, getting your shots on target, under stress, and in the shortest amount of time possible.
Many times, snipers have enough time to make accuracy the number one priority. They have the time to make sure it counts.
In a self-defense shooting, you don’t have this same amount of time.
So, it’s important to understand how you might not have time to get your firearm up to your face to line up your shot.
Which means, you may have no choice but to fire your gun immediately after drawing from the holster, without traditionally lining up your sights.
That said, here are a few considerations about sighting in your shot, versus shooting without sighting.
Benefits of sighted shooting:
In a perfect world, if you have sight alignment and sight picture, then you shouldn’t miss your target.
The problem is that even if you have these, you still have to pull the trigger, which is where things can be thrown off target.
The benefit of sighted shooting is that you can figure out which skills in shooting you need to work on.
For instance, you can always practice sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger press, and you will be able to figure out where things go wrong.
If you are facing a threat from a farther distance, then your sights are likely the only way you could stop the threat.
Acquiring sight alignment is something every shooter should train to do.
Benefits of unsighted shooting:
When you fire your gun with your sights it takes time. And when your life is on the line time is what matters.
If you shoot without using your sights you will be faster. There is no waiting for your eyes and brain to focus.
Stress is uncontrollable for many people in a survival situation.
In a life and death situation, it’s natural that you’ll be focused on the threat, not the mechanics of bringing your gun up to sight.
Distance and speed are two big factors when shooting. If you plan to acquire sight picture you need to have the time and distance to do so.
But, in a close-quarter encounter, there might not be time, and you may have to shoot without sighting in on your target.
However, we all know how to point at things. We’ve been doing it all our lives.
So, next time you are at the range practice firing without sighting your shot.
To do it, imagine the barrel of your gun is your index finger. Point it at your target like you would your finger, and fire.
See how different it feels and how off-target your round is. Work on it until you get acceptable accuracy.
Add unsighted shooting to your range training to help keep yourself prepared for any situation you may encounter.
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