Scientific Breakthroughs In Pistol Training


Today’s article is different from what we usually do.  It’s an interview (and written highlights of that interview) that I did recently with Dustin Solomon, author of the book, “Building Shooters.”

Shortly after the USS Cole bombings, Dusty was overseas and was tasked with training up a 240 man harbor/port security force.  Only there were a couple of problems…

First, to a large extent, shooting standards had been severely undermined during the Clinton years.  The qualification was underwhelming.  When ships were at sea, sailors would go to the edge of the ship, get handed a firearm with 5 rounds loaded in it, and shoot those 5 rounds.  If they hit the water, the sailor would pass.  It sounds like a joke, but it’s not funny.

Second, Dusty was allocated 2,000 rounds per year to train those 240 sailors.  Not 2,000 rounds per person…2,000 rounds total.  Less than 9 rounds per sailor.

Dusty went to the Naval Academy with Larry Yatch and they were on the Combat Pistol Team together.  As a result, Dusty had a solid background in both shooting and dry fire training.  So he created a dry fire curriculum for the security force and began executing it.

Long story short, when compared to security personnel who had received the full live fire security training package that included several months of training and dozens of 1,000+ round days, the shooters who went through the training that was primarily dry fire training performed at the same level AND had way fewer bad habits that needed to be fixed on a regular basis.

As with most great discoveries in life, it took awhile for science to catch up and figure out what happened.

Most great discoveries/advancements are made by dreamers, hackers, and risk takers.  Only later, once all the bugs have been worked out, do scientists come in and do “respectable” testing and give the discovery their blessing.

“Building Shooters” is a collection of high leverage firearms teaching/training techniques that dramatically shortcut the process of becoming a high level shooter under stress as well as the scientific studies to back up what has already been proven in the real world…both downrange in OEF/OIF and at home in numerous law enforcement and civilian self defense situations.

I’m getting the audio transcribed, and I’ll post it when it’s ready, but here’s a quick overview of what we talk about…

  • How to maximize performance with minimal training facilities, minimal time, minimal training budgets.
  • 5 ways dry fire training is superior to live fire training…not just a cheap substitute or a way to compensate.
  • The science behind why, when you spend 8 hours in a firearms training class, there’s a good chance that everything after the first hour is wasted.

    It has to do with progressive interference.  Basically, your short term memory is incredibly small and can only transfer a certain amount into long term memory in a given 24 hour period.
    How small is it?  If you teach someone to load, unload, and clear a pistol, they’ve learned all of the physical skills that they can EFFECTIVELY learn in a 24 hour period.  Anything more than that either doesn’t transfer to long term memory or does so at the expense of replacing other material.

    The end result when you keep piling new skills on a student (or yourself) in rapid fire succession in a single day is that you might have head knowledge at the end of the day, but your memory of the skill will be scrambled, fragmented, and ineffective the next day and weeks down the road.

  • The reality of what kind of speed is necessary to win gunfights.  What performance is REALLY important and what performance is important for qualifications and competition but relatively irrelevant in a gun fight.

    It’s great to be able to shoot tight groups with quarter second splits, but after action videos show that .4 splits and effective hits will win the majority of fights.  And the “speed” that matters most in a gunfight?  It’s the speed that you’re able to go from receiving a lethal force stimulus to taking positive action.  That’s WAY more important than the speed of your drawstroke or the speed of your multi shot strings.

  • Why, if you grip the gun slightly differently every time (most shooters do), you may be able to shoot well slowly when you have time to think about it, but why your high speed performance and your high speed performance under stress will suffer tremendously.
  • The science behind why frequent small-block learning/training works better and lasts longer than traditional 2, 3, and 5 day firearms training classes.
  • The best time of day to do your training to have it stick faster and last longer.
  • For law enforcement, how to break through the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality and make improvements to your firearms training program that can save lives and limit liability.
  • And, the back story on how Dusty’s dry fire training curriculum with the fleet became the core of the SEALed Mindset training methodology and the Concealed Carry Masters Course DVDs.

Here’s the audio:

What I suggest is that you pull it up on your phone and listen to it the next time you’re in your car.  It’s just under 1 hour and it’s loaded with high value content.

And, once you do, I want to STRONGLY suggest that you get Dusty’s book.

You’ve got a few options…

First off, it’s not shown, but you get it FREE with the SEALed Mindset DVD + SIRT Laser Pistol Platinum package >HERE<

Second, it’s not shown, but you get it FREE when you buy the SEALed Mindset Concealed Carry Masters Course Platinum package when you buy through >THIS LINK< between now and December 16th.

Finally, you can buy it on Amazon when you click >HERE<

And you can read more about Dusty at

Questions?  Comments?  Fire away by asking below:





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  • Russ Garrett

    Reply Reply December 10, 2016

    I already ordered the book and it came in last week. Just getting around to reading and flip through it. This is not your average How to Shoot book and I have read many of them.
    It has info that I have never seen in other books or even thought about such as long and short term memory, neurological maps, Visuomotor, etc… applied to shooting. Great book it could help shooters from novice to grandmaster

    • Ox

      Reply Reply December 10, 2016

      Thanks, Russ…Dusty is an awesome guy and a phenomenal instructor. Again, anyone who’s serious about shooting should get this book and it should be required reading for all instructors.

  • Vince Welch

    Reply Reply December 9, 2016

    I already have a sirt pistol and the sealed mindset course. How much is just the book?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply December 10, 2016

      Thanks, Vince! Amazon changes their prices so often this time of year that I didn’t want to write down the price, but you can see the current price here:

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