Tactical Tuesday: Balance of Speed & Precision

Varying your number of shots and the size of the target can help you find your balance of speed and precision.

How many shots do you fire in a row when you train?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5+
  • It varies (please explain below)

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Three rounds is what I learned in the US Army, pretty much gives you a good indication of your shot grouping and placement.


I really need to take a picture of targets I make/ use when shooting outdoors. I cut out a box shape on a “vital” area. I make a boxed in ledge, I guess you could call it, to fit the ball. I shoot till I knock the ball out. If it’s one shot, great, if it’s 16, fine. I try to train my brain for a reaction, not a number of shots.


I was taught to fire three to center mass, assess, three more if deemed necessary. Emphasis was placed on making a quick assessment; essentially, ‘is the enemy still standing?’.


I actually got to the range today! (WooHoo!!!). I normally start out squeezing off shots slowly making sure of trigger control and focusing on the front sight. Then after a few mags I start “point shooting” and squeezing off multiple rounds, usually three shot sequences.


Training with a set number of repetitions can make for bad habits. I shoot whatever number I feel like shooting, then one additional sight picture.


I’d be interested to see those targets!


@JKetchem I’m with @James on that… pictures!

Number of rounds… depends on what I’m shooting.

  • Walkbacks it’s 5 shots at each distance.

  • First shot accuracy it’s one round each draw.

  • Target reacquisition it’s 2 rounds, one on the draw and a second round on target, then holster.

  • Multiple targets: it’s 1-3 rounds per location, with multiple locations. Sometimes I do that multiple shots on a target then next target, sometimes I do it one shot each target in rotation.

  • Dot Torture it’s 10-20 rounds, whatever my mag capacity is.

  • Speed it’s 2-8 rounds at the fastest rate I can hit with, the number varies.

  • Mag changes it’s 1-5 rounds per mag with a reload, then next mag.

    • If I’m doing emergency reload drills, I vary the number of rounds loaded in each mag and shoot them dry, then reload.
    • If I’m doing regular reloads I load the mags all the way up. I shoot 1-4 rounds then mag change and keep doing that until all my mags are empty.