The Disconnect Between Combat and Competition Shooters

It has been noted that a sharp disconnect can be seen between combat shooters, and competition shooters.

I wish it did not! Both groups would benefit if we just tried to learn from each other.

I think the disconnect occurs because people blur “good marksman” and “good warrior” together when they are not directly related. A champion marksman may be a lousy warrior and a veteran warrior (even a sniper with solid combat experience) may be a lackluster shooter.

The problem is some people wrongly think pointing out a warrior (combat vet, Ranger/SF, sniper, etc) is less than a perfect marksman some how implies they aren’t a good warrior. So excuses against competitive shooting are concocted.

A firearm can’t tell what/where/when/why; it only launches bullets as directed by the skill of the user. Those bullets will hit the same on steel, cardboard, flesh or paper.

I view organized shooting (competition, classes, etc.) as a venue to learn marksmanship from, no more. A Distinguished badge/President’s tab/Master classification holder is a person who has bothered to study and test marksmanship skills in a formal, peer-reviewed setting. Just like a scholar with a degree, such a person is a demonstrated expert in his field. But that doesn’t make him expert in other fields. The competition shooter should be coaching and teaching marksmanship, not tactics. Similarly, a drill sergeant or Ranger may not be the best person to teach marksmanship.

“Yeah, but can he fight?”

Also true. Shooting events are not warrior training.

Unless he developed sufficient fieldcraft and tactics skills, G. David Tubb wouldn’t cut it as a sniper. However, an expert sniper may not cut as a high-level marksman without additional training, either.

Read: A Sniper’s Confession: The Importance of Competitive Shooting to Sniping

Of course, a champion marksman who is also a true warrior is devastating. Witness Carlos Hathcock and Sam Woodfill.

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