There are three stages to follow through:
- Watch the front sight until the weapon is fired.
- Re-establish sight use immediately (both sight alignment and sight picture) and prepare to shoot again if necessary.
- The attacker you shot may require multiple shots to stop life threatening activity.
- Just because you shot does not mean:
- that you hit your attacker.
- That you incapacitated your attacker to the point that he /she no longer poses life threatening activity.
How many shots should you fire at someone who is trying to kill you? There is no set number of shots to fire. You shoot until that individual no longer poses life threatening activity to you. You shoot until the problem is solved.
Every person that is shot will react differently. Your attacker may be drunk or on drugs and may never feel the impact of the bullet even on a well placed shot. It may take 12 – 15 seconds for him/her to bleed out and they could still be cutting at you with a knife or shooting at you with their pistol. Even if you make a well placed shot or two, that doesn’t mean the fight is over and you have won! Make sure the problem is solved before you re-holster!
Ask yourself: do I need to take another shot? If so will I hit my target? Assess the situation.
- Scan the surrounding area immediately for other life threatening targets.
- Remember that in approximately 50% of all gun fights there will be multiple adversaries.
Even if you shoot and neutralize the bad guy that was trying to kill you, this still does not mean the fight is over! There is a 50/50 chance he has another accomplice or two with him. Do not re-holster thinking the fight is over. I recommend that you keep your pistol or whatever weapon you have drawn until the cops arrive (do not meet the police at the door with a weapon in your hand) and of course when they get there, do exactly what they say. Remember: when the cops arrive on the seen, they don’t know what the situation is. They don’t know who you are, who the bad guys are or anything else. Co-operate fully be patient, and they will sort it all out.
This should give you a better understanding of what the fundamentals of handgun shooting are all about. If you have trouble in your shooting, it will be in one of the following four areas: sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press or follow through. Of the fundamentals these are what matter. I can have a sloppy stance, a sloppy grip, and a sloppy draw stroke and still make a good shot if I have sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press and follow through. I often demonstrate this on the range in most all my courses by holding the pistol upside down in my hands and hit a head shot out to 25 yards. My stance may not be the best, my grip definitely is not best, and the draw stroke does not matter; but in order to make a 25 yard shot with the pistol upside down in my hands, I have to have sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press and follow through. I am not saying that stance, grip and the draw and presentation are not important; but I am saying that they have little to do with you hitting your target. The last four fundamentals have every thing to do with you hitting your target.
Again, if you are having some problem in your shooting, it is more than likely in your sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press, or follow through. Start first with your trigger press. The vast majority of the time that is what you will find to be the problem. Make sure you are pressing the trigger in “slow motion” as slow as you possibly can. This, for some reason, is the hardest thing to get people to understand. Everyone seems to think they can slowly take up the slack in the trigger and then hurry up the trigger press when they have all the slack out. You can not hurry the press at any time. A good drill to do is put a coin out on the end of your muzzle and dry fire the pistol and see if you can press the trigger with out the coin falling. That is what you should be able to do every time you press the trigger.
Next, check your follow through. Make sure you are watching the front sight until the pistol is fired. Let the gun surprise you. It is what is known in the shooting world as the “surprise break.” The gun should surprise you each time it goes off.
The next thing you should do is make sure you are watching the front sight and not the target. Remember: the front sight is to the pistol what cross hairs are to the scope. You must see the front sight each time you shoot.
It takes one thing to shoot any handgun and that is fundamentals. If you practice and perfect the fundamentals as discussed here, you should be able to pick up any handgun and shoot a very good group with it. I sincerely hope this article helps you. Train hard, Train safe.