Defensive Accuracy Vs Precision Accuracy
When talking about defensive accuracy or sometimes referred to as combat accuracy. We are looking for shots on target. As a result, any shot that hits in the intended zone is considered accurate. Unlike Precision accuracy that requires it to be close to the bullseye. Defensive accuracy is the most widely taught accuracy for dynamic critical incidents or otherwise known as self-defense. A dynamic critical incident is defined as:
- Surprising – A sudden event that you did not expect or anticipate
- Chaotic – Things are happening rapidly and you have no idea what is going to happen next
- Threatening – With physical violence that could cause grave bodily injury or death
When training for a dynamic critical incident defensive accuracy is used. The purpose of defense accuracy is to simply stop the attack. Attacks happen fast and we have to identify and respond quickly. It is unrealistic to think that you will have time to focus on lining up a shot, take your time, control breathing and shoot. What is even more likely is that you will be caught off guard and not have time to prepare or much less think about what just happened. You will be reacting rather than attacking at least initially.
This is where defensive accuracy comes in. As the intended victim of an attack. You will likely go through multiple physiological responses, which I discuss in another article. As a result, training to respond using defensive accuracy is more efficient and effective. As you can see on the target your accuracy is determined by the size of your target or the area your attacker gives you. For example the top left or top right targets require you to be accurate within a 3 inch area. The lower target gives you the whole torso area. Both are equally accurate based on the accuracy needed.
Precision Accuracy or better known as bullseye shooting. Is typically done in competition type shooting. Shooting a rifle also requires a lot of precision, otherwise known as snipping. It is important to note. That Accuracy and Precision are two different things.
- Accuracy – is measured by how close you hit to the intended target.
- Precision – is measured by how many shots you can get into the intended target repeatedly.
Precision Accuracy is widely used to practiced how well you can aim. It is done when taking your time, and with controlled breathing. All the basic mechanics of shooting must be applied at the time the shot is fired.
Precision shooting in competitions is done using a scoring system. While it does have its uses in self-defense as discussed below. It is more applicable to competitions environment. Especially if facing off with a friend to see who can be more accurate. As a result, you will need to focus on your front site and line everything up just right. Front sight focus is the key to precision accuracy. You can also check out my article on how to aim where I go into more detail in site alignment.
Differences in Aiming
Defensive Accuracy Aiming
Precision Accuracy Aiming
Precision aiming requires that you stay focused on the front sight through the whole shot. Only focusing on the target after the shot. The purpose is to ensure that you are hitting very closely to the spot you are aiming at.
You will need to make sure your front sights and rear sights are properly aligned. Equal height and equal distance between the post. The target is aligned to the front sight. However, the target and rear sight will remained blurred throughout the shot. You will likely have plenty of time to focus and shoot. All the basic mechanics have to be precise when shooting for pinpoint accuracy.
Practice Time & Use
While I could give you some arbitrary number on how much to practice Defensive Accuracy and Precision Accuracy. The truth is it depends on what you are training for. For example if you are training for a Dynamic Critical Incident then something like 90/10 or 70/30 may be the right approach. If you were training for competition you might end up doing 60/40 or 80/20 or even 100%. Depending on the requirements of the competition. Some competitions may have you training simply for bullseyes or simply for target hits in an amount of time. Which would be more of a defensive accuracy type training over precision.
For dynamic critical incidence, you will want to focus on defensive accuracy. As stated above, precision accuracy has its uses in a defensive situation. For example you may not always be the intended victim. In cases like that you will need to be able to take your time get a very accurate shot to stop the attacker without hitting a bystander. The end goal of course is not to kill the attacker but to stop the attack. As a result, it will likely take multiple shots that could end in the death of the attacker.
As explained both have their cross over into their intended worlds. So, practicing both is something everyone should be doing. How much will depend on your training goals. Even though it is unlikely that a person ends up in a dynamic critical incident. If you bought a gun for some type of defense, rather home or carry. Training defensive accuracy will be crucial to your success. Attacks happen fast and with multiple physiological effects. Due to that fact, training is the only thing that can help to you to respond correctly. Below is some basic targets you can print to help train for both types of accuracy.
Defensive Accuracy Target
Must print as portrait and not landscape. You can also check out the Balance of Speed and Precision Drill here.
Precision Accuracy Target