Tactical Accuracy: The Art of Not Missing

Accuracy in our shooting context means the ability of a shooter and their firearm to work in harmony to hit exactly what they’re aiming at. I’ve heard “tactical accuracy” defined as the ability to hit an attacker-sized target in a more or less vital area…to which I add- “under duress, while uncomfortable, and at a realistic distance.” But tactical accuracy implies more than just hitting what you’re aiming at—it implies not hitting that which you’re trying to not hit.


Target Practice

Like bystanders. Hostages. Noncombatants.


For all the range time we spend shooting silhouettes with our carry guns, bowling pins with our race guns, even steel plates with our carbines, how often do we practice the implied—but unique—art of not missing?


It’s one thing to crank rounds downrange as fast as possible, trying to hit our target with most of them. It’s a completely different experience when you square up to the line and instead of trying to hit the target, trying to not miss. Put yourself in the mindset of actually using your defensive firearm outside of the range—out where a miss means a round you’re responsible for that goes tearing through the walls of an occupied structure, zipping down the street, or smashing through a window behind your attacker. In practice, you’re proudly responsible for your hits.


In the real world, you’re legally responsible for your misses, too. The next time you practice, flank your target with “no shoot” targets—a few extra cans, a sheet of colored paper, a dedicated no-shoot silhouette target—and as you focus on your accuracy, be mindful of keeping even your misses on target…lest some day you have to miss someone as accurately as you hit their attacker.


Story and Photos by Dave Norman


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