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Accuracy - A Forgotten Art

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I remember very clearly, many years ago, when I was playing paintball for one of my first times at a large, wooded field. Probably from a mix of fear an inexperience, right after the game started I took up a position behind a cedar tree and waited. After just a few minutes I heard some quiet voices and footsteps a little ways ahead of me. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I was surprised to see two players come directly into my line of sight. I aimed my gun and pulled off two shots at a range of about 30 feet. The second shot was unnecessary as both broke right on the first player's mask. Whether he was more surprised at getting hit or if I was more surprised at actually hitting someone doesn't matter - I had my first definitive one/two-shot kill.

Now when I play paintball, I rarely, if ever, get a one or two-shot kill. Whether it's the ease at firing off a quick 4-5 shots or if it's simply because I don't completely trust my accuracy, I'm really not sure. Either way, I no longer excel at the art of paintball accuracy. When I'm just messing around I can hit just about anything I aim at, but in a game, my first few shots all seem to be wasted.

With the recent improvement in paintball gun accuracy and consistency, it seems that people should improve their one-shot abilities but I've noticed a deterioration in first-shot accuracy in recent years. The goal is to get people out and firing a few extra shots only seems to help. The problem that I've noted in my game and with others I play with this idea has lead to bad first shots. In the heat of a battle the first shot is usually your best chance at hitting your target - if you have to walk in your second and third shot to actually get your target, he's probably long gone.

The art of accuracy has passed many of us by. Maybe we should occasionally revert back to pumps so we can relearn how to actually hit our targets. Judging by how my first few shots have been lately, it definitely can't hurt.

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