The probability is greater than 50%
that John Zurek will abort this shot!

What do you do immediately after a Slow Fire shot?

You follow-through, of course.

You reacquire the sight picture on the aiming area, reset the trigger and take up the slack as if you were going to fire again.

And then most of the time, you put the gun down.

In other words, for each shot you fire, you abort the (potential) one that immediately follows.

OK, that’s a 50% abort rate.

That’s a good start, but I’m now convinced that’s not nearly enough.

Here’s a clue: Beginners rarely abort shots while the Masters and the High Masters do it a lot.

Do Masters and High Masters shoot better shots more often?

Yes, they probably do.

And do Masters and High Masters abort bad shots more often?

Ya’ darn tootin’ they do!

You can improve your shooting two ways: shooting better shots and not shooting your worse ones.

The High Masters say it a couple of different ways:

  • If everything’s not right, put the gun down;
  • The instant you think you might want to abort the shot, then abort the shot;
  • If it’s not gonna be a 10, keep it in the gun and put the gun down; and,
  • Don’t shoot the bad shots.

And some won’t say it, but watch them because the better the shooter, the more likely they’ll abort.

The Masters and High Masters know what a good preparation looks like, and if everything doesn’t look good, they abort.

And they know that if they feel like maybe they might want to abort, they abort.

You can too.

Your timer is running, isn’t it? You’ve got a whole ten minutes.

After all, if you can clean or come close to cleaning a target in two whacks of ten or twenty seconds, don’t you have all the time in the world during Slow Fire?


Put the gun down.

Take a couple of breaths and mentally replay your shot process.

I’m embarrassed to think how many times I’ve heard this said and have nodded my understanding of the words but in total ignorance of what a simple but fantastic piece of advice this is.

Abort if it’s not perfect.

Abort if you hear that little voice … and do it no matter what it says — that little voice is always gonna mess up the shot.

Abort because you feel like it … especially because you feel like it.

Be one of the few at your range who didn’t get off ten rounds in ten minutes — how many times have you seen that? And when someone asks, just say, “It wasn’t a ten, so I kept it.”

Keep the ten until everything is ready to let it out so it can fly without being knocked aside.

And you’ll be aborting shots just like the High Masters.

It’s good to put the gun down!

3 thoughts on “Abort!

  1. Thanks. I've been wondering about how to improve my slow fire scores. I'll try this out at the range tomorrow.

  2. Well, my two slow fire targets today averaged ten points higher than the average of my previous four. Is it aborting shots or the new trigger in my pistol?

    Maybe both! I'll gladly take the improvement – whatever the cause.

  3. I also recently changed to a shorter (better fitting) trigger AND to aborting many more Slow Fire shots. And yes, my scores are up too.

    My struggle is to keep aborting the bad shots because the dialog in my head goes like this: "Gee, that's still wobbling a lot, I don't think it's gonna stop, maybe we should abort this, but then again maybe it'll settle down in a few seconds, maybe a little trigger pressure will help, there it slowed for a moment but now it's wobbling real bad again …"

    So my goals are #1: Get that little voice to ut-shy up-ay!

    And #2: When I hear the voice, ABORT! (Don't want for the "abort" word in the monologue.)

    I feel strongly this is the right road.

    But what do I know… … …

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