Friday Fundamentals – Terminology

#fridayfundamentals

In reply to the Back to Basics WheelgunWednesday post, a pertinent question came up.

“I was ‘hammering’ instead of firing a ‘controlled pair.’
What do you mean by hammering?”

Great question – thanks for asking. Sometimes we trainers take our subject matter knowledge for granted. Several concepts developed by Jeff Cooper have remained constant despite having been formulated nearly half a century ago.

Fundamental Terminology

  • Flash Sight Picture
  • Controlled Pair
  • Hammer

Flash Sight Picture

The concept of accepting that perfect sight alignment is not necessary to achieve an acceptable hit. Shooters often assume that they need to obtain a perfect sight picture for acceptable hits.

That’s not necessarily the case, depending on the distance to target.

Controlled Pair

Achieving an acceptable sight picture on a target, firing a shot, bringing the pistol down in recoil, obtaining a second acceptable sight picture, and firing a second shot.

Hammer

Achieving an acceptable sight picture on a target, firing a shot, bringing the pistol down in recoil, and firing a second shot using only a physical index to the target without regard to achieving a second sight picture.

Note that the term ‘double tap’ is obsolete because it could refer to either a controlled pair or a hammer and so is inadequate as a description. Others have written in-depth articles about Cooper’s concepts so I will just link to them.

Flash Sight Picture

Chris Baker

What is a Flash Sight Picture?

Jim Wilson

Hammer v. Controlled Pair

Jim Wilson

Darryl Bolke via Greg Ellifritz

Why the Hammer Pair?

Chgowiz wins a free book of mine for asking a great question.