…From the 50th Percentile.
We all have to deal with finite amounts of time and resources to allocate to those things that we deem worthy. It would make sense then that it should be a priority to invest those limited commodities as wisely as possible. We want the most bang for the buck.
From what I’ve seen and from personal experience, when it comes to improving the ability to use a rifle to hit things with bullets, people tend to use their time, effort, and money unwisely. I have wasted plenty myself.
The basic problem is a failure to consider return on investment. How much are you getting for what you put in? I have been willing to invest a lot of time and effort into improving my shooting. Think of the Soviet Union and their military budget. That has been me. I rarely considered the cost of my input. If I thought it might be possible that I could squeeze anything more out of my performance I was willing to make the sacrifice.
That approach could make sense for a certain segment of shooters, namely those who represent the top shooters. The one little issue with that is that’s not going to be appropriate for most of the shooters out there. By definition, for there to be top shooters, the rest of us have to be worse than them to a greater or lesser degree.
I have always had the problem of wanting everything to be right, all at once. I just don’t like the idea that I could be doing it wrong. The reason that’s a problem is because not all things are of equal importance. Some of the things we fuss over may not make a difference at all, except in terms of the preferences of different internet forums or communities.
In most disciplines and in most products there is a “sweet spot” in which value is maximized. Take rifles, for instance. A $1000 dollar rifle may be twice as good quality wise as a $500 rifle, but a $5000 rifle will not likely be five times as good as the $1000 rifle. It’s just minor details, quality control, finish work that looks nice, maybe better options, etc. The way that many of us approach our practice is like putting in the $5000, and not even getting the basic functional product, but only the minor details. Those minor details don’t translate to increased function without a foundation to place them on, and it only makes sense to put in that extra work if you’re good enough to appreciate the difference. Think about it this way- if you still have room to improve your follow through and trigger control, is weighing cases and neck turning a wise investment of time?
I’ve come to the conclusion that most of us can get the greatest value and satisfaction from our shooting relative to what we put in by making modest expenditures of time, effort, and money in the areas that have the greatest effect on final performance. In fact, I believe that expending too much time and effort in an inefficient manner can reduce performance and is likely to reduce one’s level of satisfaction with the outcome. I think that it would lower one’s satisfaction even if performance is maintained or even slightly increased, due to the paltry return on investment. I’m not going to make suggestions with what you do with your money. Check with your spouse on that one.
I think the most bang for the buck areas of practice are standing, trigger control up to the command break, getting control of balance in all positions, and shot timing.