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Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

The Triad
a crucial intersection

I have been preaching for nearly a decade now that shooting is about body mechanics and body mechanics is all about what I call “the triad”. That is the point at which we operate with the best efficiency i.e. reliable and repeatable speed and precision.

* Strength- “power in the most efficient range of motion”
* Dexterity-“control with minimum effort and maximum precision”
* Visual acuity- “vision that is specifically as precise as the task requires”

Everything we do in the shooting world puts a premium on the efficient use of the body and weapon together at the intersection of at a minimum two of these three factors. Every action and technique should be evaluated and refined based on this in order to maximize its speed, precision and effectiveness. Operating at the triad makes motions and techniques feel more natural and allow the shooter to learn them faster, more precisely and conduct them in varied conditions more reliably. Anyone who has been in one of my classes has heard me say repeatedly “if you get outside your range of motion for strength and dexterity you are making the action harder and compromising your efficiency.” Every human body is different so your “triad” is your own…find it and don’t violate it.

– Mike Pannone


Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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7 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

  1. JohnC says:

    Visual acuity- “vision that is specifically as precise as the task requires.”

    FYI, “Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training: The Quiet Eye in Action,” by Joan Vickers is a very good (if not the leading) explanation of the research re how vision controls and guides movement, and “Quiet Eye” techniques (which are useful for any activity that involves targeting, i.e., shooting (obviously), golf, baseball, basketball, darts, bowling, sky diving, kayaking/skiing through gates…).

    Strength- “power in the most efficient range of motion”

    I’m not quite sure what that means.

  2. Mike P says:

    The primary definition from Merriam Webster’s for the word “power”
    1a (1) : ability to act or produce an effect

    Strength- “(power) ability to act or produce an effect in the most efficient range of motion”

    This GF moment was a brief exhortation of the principles of my training methodology and some key terms I use with brief definitions. It was not intended to be a PhD dissertation
    Vickers is great as is Digby/Kahn (Vision and Goal Directed Movement) and a study done at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in’04 . This was not the venue for any of those due to the necessity for brevity.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • JohnC says:

      Vickers was mentioned for everyone’s general benefit.

      You don’t know how happy I get when someone in the tac community has heard of Vickers, etc., or any of research commonplace in the sports world. Maybe it’s more common on the upper-eschelons.

  3. JSF says:

    Who makes those pants? Thanks!

  4. Alexnchgo says:

    Where can i get that t shirt

  5. JohnC says:


    It looks a bit dirty. And Mike’s probably armed. You might want to get your own from BCM.

    The percentage of comments devoted to issues of GFM fashion makes me think there’s a market for a magazine called Tactical Style*: “10 snazzy holsters that won’t blow a hole in your pocket!”

    *Or “Fashion Points?” SpecTACular?” Maybe “Tactichic?”