I had a fellow in a class back in the spring who showed up in head to toe multicam. He wore a shemagh, a plate carrier, Oakley gloves, and Salomon boots. He carried a state of the art LWRCi rifle, complete with BAD lever, 45 degree sights, EoTech and magnifier.
He had a very narrow stance, and when he fired more than a couple shots in a string, he would begin to rock back throwing his shots out of the 3×5 card at seven yards during rapid strings.
I went to the guy and suggested that he widen his stance just a bit, and lean into the rifle just a bit. He replied “In a gunfight, no one will care where your feet are”. Ummmmm, ok. I responded that they would likely care where you hit, and your stance is allowing you to miss far more than what you are hitting. I asked him where he worked, and he advised he was an investment banker. Got it. Check. After some respectful debate, he changed up his stance, and started hitting more than he was missing.
While dude was right, he was also dead wrong. Sometimes, we as shooters get so wrapped around the tactical, we miss the practical. I had another student who was an IT guy who demanded to shoot his P226 9mm with gloves and from a thigh holster. He was a good enough shot, but his ego sort of got in his own way of getting to the next level. We talked about it during the break, and I explained to him that some of the top shooters I have had in class have looked, dressed, and acted like very fit homeless guys. They didn’t wear gloves, thigh holsters, or multicam. But, what they did do is have very clean gun handling, and they could hit whatever they wished upon demand. And by their own admission, they got there by having clean fundamentals that they could fall back on under stress and at speed. During practice, they worked feverishly on stance, grip, sight alignment, and sight picture. All are subservient to trigger control. And what it produced was the ability to hit stuff when it matters without worrying about where your feet are.
I understand that if you are tasked to shoot in certain gear, then you should train in it. I completely believe and understand that. But, we seem to get more wrapped around the gear as a hardware fix for the software problem as it comes to the inability to hit stuff at speed.
We, as shooters, can pay attention to or ignore anything we choose. Some tend to gravitate toward “IN A GUNFIGHT” as a rationalization of the execution of bad training. Some of this has to do with the tactical tourist mentality, or the guys in LE who think they are covert operatives of SEAL Team 26. If you have been around the training world for more than a few days you know what I mean. You can spot them quickly, if nothing else by all the crap hanging off of their rifle.
The guys who are better than than us are better because they have more repetitions of performing the fundamentals correctly, and can do so at a high level when it matters because of the attention to detail on the techniques. It doesn’t matter if they have gloves, keffiyeh, or armor on or not.