Jerry Miculek Video – My Analysis
Jerry Miculek, the fastest gun from all cardinal directions, has done many great videos. I will discuss the one titled “Grip and Technique”. As many of you know I’m a self-defense shooter and not so much into competition although I appreciate the skills and shooting knowledge of competitors. I also appreciate the usefulness of competing for the purpose of learning to shoot and hit under pressure. In this article I will analyze Miculek’s techniques demonstrated in the above referenced video and discuss how self-defense shooters can use or adapt those techniques for their own gunfighter training.
I recommend you first watch the video (25 minutes) before reading on so you can better understand, agree, or disagree with my comments.
You can see the video HERE
As a range officer and regular shooter I spend a lot of time on the range and I see as many different stances as I see shooters. On this matter Miculek makes a great argument for the Isosceles technique. A great argument for competitors, that is. Keep in mind at competition, shooters perform under near “perfect” conditions; much like the hunter shooting from a bench or a bullet fired into ballistic jello. The hunter at the range must later make his hit on live game, at an unknown distance, his heart leaping for the sky and perhaps with just one second to do it. A bullet which got an A-Plus rating while in jello may later need to penetrate an unexpected barrier or stop an attacker determined not to be stopped.
In competition the shooter knows where his targets are, knows which ones to hit and when and the targets usually aren’t moving. The targets definitely are not shooting back. Under these circumstances, as Miculek demonstrates, the Isosceles stance facilitates natural body motion when drawing and bringing your “platform” to your dominate eye and allows for greater efficiency of motion when transitioning targets. I like the Isosceles stance, it makes shooting fast and accurate easier.
For self-defense shooting I prefer Massad Ayoob’s approach of not training with just one favorite stance. Ayoob notes your moment of crisis may not deliver circumstances friendly to your training and it’s best to be familiar with drawing and shooting from a variety of positions. This variety has endless scenarios so instead of listing a bunch I’ll just leave these to your imagination.
I’ll add here, while standing “flat” to the target makes hitting cardboard and steel easier you may not want present your attacker with the largest target possible. Just saying.
Before seeing this video I had never thought of this concept a motion needs to be repeatable to be useful. Since any motion can be repeated, I will add an adjective here and say a motion should be easily repeatable to be useful. To be easily repeatable a motion must be free of any movement which doesn’t “add to the performance”. For the competitor the benefits of being able to easily repeat what’s necessary to complete a stage is obvious. However even though self-defense shooters can benefit from eliminating wasted motion, the existence of a reliable benefit ain’t so obvious. When your next action is needed to save your life or the life of a loved one, you may be required to perform a stunt you’ve never done before and will never do, or repeat, ever. Actually such acts of improvisation are a matter of mindset rather than marksmanship or tactics.
First thing here, did you notice those giant bear mitts hanging off the ends of Miculek’s arms? Now there we have some natural talent. Anyway, everything Miculek says about grip technique is useful for any shooter. I carry a 1911 in .45 ACP and learning to lock my wrists over-center has improved my speed and accuracy with that flippy .45. I’ve been able to adjust the pressures from my locked over-center wrists so the front sight returns to the spot it was before I pressed the trigger. And the more I practice the faster the sight comes back.
As self-defense shooters we practice shooting one-handed. Learning how to lock your wrists in varying over-center positions will improve your one-handed shooting and you may even be encouraged to more readily practice this oft-neglected skill.
Competitive shooting has much to offer the self-defense shooter, particularly learning how to execute your training under pressure. We just need to carefully analyze the techniques proven to win trophies and understand if they really “add to our performance”, whatever that may be.
I liked Miculek’s observation: “There’s no right or wrong, just winning and losing.”