Drill of the Week – Accelerator
Since we worked on transitions in depth shooting from near to far and from far to near we will bring it all together in one drill this week. Accelerator requires transitioning to targets near and far. The size and distance of the targets will also dictate the type of focus needed as discussed in DOTW Smoke and Hope. Accelerator can fool you with the large targets. It is easy to get carried away shooting this drill faster than you are capable of with your attention is not where it should be.
What you will need
- Steel targets or paper/cardboard targets cut to the appropriate size (paper plates work well)
- Paint or pasters
- 5 target stands
- Tape measure
The large targets are easy fast shots that can be hit with a target focus, but you will have to get a good sight picture for the smaller round plates. The trick is to seamlessly transition from a target focus to a clear sight picture on the front sight. This is particularly important for the 12″ plate at 20 yards. Let’s break down the sight pictures needed to hit each target:
- Target 1 (going from left to right) – Front sight focus, doesn’t have to be crisp or clean as long as you know the post is in the notch and on the white of the target.
- Target 2 – Target focus, having the sights are just in the peripheral will give you enough feedback.
- Target 4 – Sharp focus on the front sight. If you have a serrated front you should see the ribs on it.
- Target 5 – Front sight focus, doesn’t have to be crisp or clean just like target 1.
- Target 3 (stop plate) Front sight focus, doesn’t have to be crisp or clean.
What this all means is the distance and size of the targets will dictate the clarity needed in your sight picture. You should be aware of the changes as you are shooting. The second thing to worry about and equally important is trigger control. It’s easy to be very hard on the trigger when shooting a large target, but having a good sight picture on tight shot with poor trigger control is just as worthless as not aiming. Fight the urge to be heavy on the trigger and I think you’ll find the transitions will be much easier. As usual, don’t forget to snap your eyes from one target to the next.
This is one of those things that is very subjective and your skill level can really drive what works best for you. As you improve you might discover another order works better since you have acquired new skills or improved old ones. Personally I lean towards 5, 4, 2, 1, 3. Even though the large target is 20 yards way it’s still large enough to get a fast shot off. I can usually hit it in less than 1 second. The closer large target is only .15 seconds faster if I draw to it. By drawing to target 5 I can still get of a quick 1st shot and easily transition to a sharp sight focus for target 4. After that I drive quickly to target 2 using a target focus, and back of just enough to finish target 1 and 3. Essentially I’m accelerating my shooting speed as I transition to the closer targets.
Others prefer to start on the closer target by shooting 2, 1, 5 , 4, 3. Using this method you will start very fast and then really have to put on the brakes as you get to target 4. For me this tends to lead to frequently missing target 4 because I’m fighting trying to go too fast. Another order to consider is 1, 2, 5, 4, 3. Drawing to the smaller target can be more of a challenge, but it could potentially save time in the transition if you are still struggling with going from target to target. Try different ways and see what is most consistent for you. The timer doesn’t lie.