Its the most common question asked by new shooters to practical shooting, is it better to be quick and get a lower target score or be slower and get a better gun score? I’d love to offer you an answer but the fact is that there are so many factors to consider and stages vary so much that there is no answer, it depends entirely on the stage each time. I’ve seen a few spreadsheets which try to offer an idea but frankly if we have to look at spreadsheets to enjoy a sport then I’d be giving up anyway but we thought we’d try something a little more fun (if not quite as scientific).

There is a great little app called Hit Factor, its free for IOS and Android and what it does is allow you to enter a score into a stage and calculate your hit factor (score), its dead simple to use and allows you to try different ways of shooting a stage and see how your overall score is affected as you try different ways to shoot. Now my issue I know is that I’m slow so I’m working on speeding up but I thought I’d try some testing of some new cameras with some practice and see how speed affects a short 6 target stage. Usually I try to stop and aim per target but I’m thinking whilst this helps my gun score the detrimental affect on time is outweighing it so I tried a few ways to shoot it. Here is a comparison video of the two ways – slow and deliberate and faster and less aiming.

Now its not 100% scientific and it does show an early run with stopping so I’m slow to get going but does show the relative score in comparing the two methods.

When I’m slow and aiming I get mainly A’s and just drop 2 C’s with a time of 12.84 and hit factor of 4.36

When I speed up my gun score drops as I pick up two D’s and a lot more C’s but as the time is faster at 8.98 my hit factor is better at 4.89.

So what does this mean?

I’ve no idea. 4.36 to 4.89 seems a pretty small margin and I’m sure I could improve the 12 second time but in the course of shooting it several times my score for trying faster was always just a little better than aiming more so I guess on balance faster is better on this sort of stage.

Of course change the stage, add some targets increase the distance and its a whole new question but it was interesting trying and I do recommend the Hit Factor app there is even a ‘what if’ option to see what would have happened if you didnt drop that C but I didnt use that, I’ve enough pain in my life :).

Hope this helps.