Sunday Sermon: Fire for Effect

Ammunition is cheap. Lives are not.

Often in our efforts to practice our essential skills we short change round counts. We use less ammunition for one simple reason, it saves us money.

There are a number of training options that help us in that endeavour. I’ve detailed them a few times here

But whether we use dry fire, low round count drills, training programs like MantisX or Targetize, or any combination thereof we cannot lose focus on the fact that in a fight we aren’t counting holes in an A zone and checking out phone apps and the shot timer.

In our practice we must remind ourselves that fighting is a ‘fire for effect’ event. Mentally notating the difference and pairing it with a live fire drill helps reduce the complacency bleed that can result from good scores in qualifications and competitions.

Half the battle is the conscious game. We are easily lulled into a sense of security based on scoring metrics. If we score well we like to translate that as we will fight well. But cleanly clearing an IDPA stage and cleanly drawing and addressing one or more moving and armed aggressors are not the same.

Using the competitive fields to test yourself and scoring metrics to grade your performance is valuable data but mentally compartmentalizing those scores and not letting them gain any artificial influence on your defensive mindset is critical.

So remind yourself constantly fire for effect, the only true scoring metric that will matter in the moment is an out of commision adversary. Not a single beat buzzer, A zone strike, or ring of steel impact matters nearly that much.

Shoot UNTIL you stop the threat.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.