Nothing hones and balances speed and accuracy with a defensive handgun than a dueling tree.
Accuracy, power and speed. As Col. Jeff Cooper laid it out, those three legs of defensive pistolcraft had to balance to be effective in a lethal-force situation. And the defensive handgun guru went to great lengths to drill it into his students at his Arizona-based Gunsite Academy.
However, you needn’t pack your bags for the Southwest to hone these facets to a razor’s edge.
A dueling tree—or plate rack—is an excellent way to work on balancing the speed and the accuracy portions of Cooper’s equation. While something like 6-inch targets at 10 yards looks simple, a task you should be able to dust with your eyes close, it actually is more testing than you figure. Move too fast, and as sure as gravity pulls down a bullet, you end up missing a target. There’s that accuracy element. Take too much time to measure and aim each shot, you’ll proceed through the linear progression at a snail’s pace. There’s where the speed fits in.
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The great part about the dueling tree, it doesn’t only help you find an equilibrium between speed and accuracy. It also gives you instant feedback as to how you’re progressing. An added benefit—something shared between all steel targets—you don’t have to stop training to switch-up targets or set something back up. A dueling tree is ready to go the second you’re ready to squeeze the trigger.
Last point, dueling trees are also about as fun as they come. Sure, the work you put in on them is deadly serious, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself as you improve your skills.
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