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Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Many of us are wrapped up in the notion that speed is everything. Speed is a byproduct of working the fundamentals with absolute meaning. With any skill set requiring a tempo, beats per minute, or revolutions per second, we do not get faster by working fast. Any professional performer in any skill set works with meaning and in deep practice mode until the tempo at which he is training is perfected. Then, and only then, will he work / train up to the next level.

Regardless of whether you are playing a cello, drums, doing origami, or perfecting a martial arts move, perfection requires keen intellect, introspection and objective self-critique. Gun fighting is no different. If you are working draw strokes from the holster for example, at a certain speed with a shot timer, and your hit ratio is less than 100 percent, you are probably going too fast. Gradually increase speed once perfection or 100 percent is reached. Push until the wheels come off then back down again to a slower tempo. Additionally, work to a point of diminishing return. When you hit that point, a point that is different for all of us, stop or take a break. No need to encourage a bad habit.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

Pat McNamara

Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

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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11 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

  1. Kaos-1 says:

    We all know it , slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

    • Twistrate says:

      I really hate that saying. Fast is smooth, but slow is always slow. If you move efficiently you can be fast, but if you move slow, you will be slow. To become efficient you need focused meaningful repetition and practice.

      Speed is largely about efficiency, but it’s also about some sense of urgency in applying that efficiency.

      Of course none of that matters if you’re just efficient at missing.

      • Kaos-1 says:

        You don’t clear a house/enter a room at a snails pace, but you also don’t go “speeding” blindly into the muzzle of an AK either. I’ll settle for doing things “smoothly”.

      • Derek says:

        When you are Delta you can tell him he is wrong. Until said time, take a seat and open your fucking ears boy.

      • Paul J says:

        +100
        Sharp mind, smooth motion.

        The mindset is a key element ; if you’re concentrated to the task with the intention of doing it perfect, you’re on the path of a successful training session.

  2. Chris K. says:

    Excellent article. Pat should also start doing a Combat Strength article on a regular basis.

  3. Sierra5 says:

    This simple wisdom, no matter how many times restated continues to elude so many shooters. The timers goes, and the world falls apart, over and over. Thanks Pat.

  4. Paul McCain says:

    “The most important lesson I learned…was that the winner of a gunplay usually was the one who took his time. The second was that, if I hoped to live on the frontier, I would shun flashy trick-shooting–grandstand play–as I would poison…In all my life as a frontier peace officer, I did not know a really proficient gunfighter who had anything but contempt for the gun-fanner, or the man who literally shot from the hip.”

    —Wyatt Earp

  5. Craig says:

    As a semi professional (album and studio) drummer, I can relate to this 100%.
    Great way to illustrate your meaning,Pat