Competition Shooting Vs. Self Defense: Our Take

The following article was originally penned by  titled “5 differences between competitive shooting and combat shooting” which immediately caught our attention. A-TAC actually custom manufactures both types of guns and we tend to use foundational principles found in competition shooting as a guideline, but our overall philosophy is that there is no need in the practical sense for the two to be mutually exclusive.

It turns out this is one of the more popular articles on the subject matter on the worldwide web when you do a Google search for “competitive shooting“. The article contains five key points as to the differences and why competition shooting isn’t the same as fighting for your life. Don’t mistake our angle on this. Given that our founder is a lifelong competition shooter AND a combat veteran, we certainly agree that
certain aspects of the sport are not appropriate to a situation involving life or death.

The aim of this blog entry is to persuasively articulate our position and why it matters with regards to building your firearm(s) and what we achieve without compromising on the most vital elements needed for either purpose. Note that certain areas of the cited article are being paraphrased to keep things short sweet and to the point.

Key Point#1: Target Practice [quoted from the article]:

Training yourself to fire one bullet at a target can mean your death in real life. Regardless of what caliber you shoot, in a real life gun fight you will generally need multiple shots on target to end a threat to your life. Training to fire once and then look for more targets can be a deadly habit to form.”

Key Point #2: Being Fast is Great But It Depends on What Kind of Fast! 

“Speed is important, but not at the expense of accuracy and tactical technique.”

Rebuttal: This is why it’s important to have a gun that keep you on target and allow you to have rapid successive fire while having reduced recoil. This is a standard feature of our manufacturing. The ergonomic advantages of such can easily accommodate sports & combat applications.

We also aim to find the fastest high quality barrels on the market, in some cases we’ve even built an AR-15 rifle with a twist rate of 1:6! (Visit our Workshop page for more details).

Key Points 3 & 4: You Need To Be Cover-Smart & Don’t Practice Poor Habits

“… competition shooters never use cover in a tactical manner. They use the cover in a manner that facilitates speed. There is never any “slicing the pie” technique. What I normally see is peek and shoot at best or the shooter leaning out as far as possible to engage as many targets as possible…”

“Muscle memory is what controls your ability to shoot under extreme stress. If your muscles remember doing the same things over and over then that is what they will do. Shooting two close targets, five medium range target, and four long range targets at varying heights is great for a match, but isn’t very realistic…”

Rebuttal: Admittedly, some of this undoubtedly falls on the particular individual behind the weapon. In order to be effective for both scenarios, you need to be aware of each and what the different requirements are. No amount of modification or technical innovating is going to circumvent the human element to the equation.

At the same time it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an engineer to realize not all tools (even if made for the same purpose) are of the same quality. And quality is what we’re about. We’re all about ergonomic grips placed at strategic areas to allow for easy handling & transitioning for when & where you need it most! These will be standard features on our upcoming designs & models in the near future.

Key Point #5: Don’t Limit Yourself to Fancy Gadgets

“Reflex sights are great, but batteries fail. Any electronic gadget can and will fail, especially under harsh conditions. Daily carry is harsh! My gun gets wet, dirty, and beat up daily.

The other big consideration is that the more there is hanging off your gun, the more likely you are to snag your gun upon drawing it from the holster. Competition shooters usually have belts set up for just that competition…”

Rebuttal: Ah yes! This is why we opt for what is known as “co-witness optics.” Believing in the best of both worlds, having laser sights has its advantages. But as the article points out, gadgetry has this certain tendency widely known as failure. That is why we’ve constructed guns in the past (again, consult our Workshop page for pictures & info) to have traditional iron sights as back up, configured on a picatinny rail system in such a manner as to where you can maintain your aim around corners, should the need arise.

The second part of this quote is easy. We happen to sell CrossBreed Holsters which are designed specifically to be both incredibly durable & comfortable at the same time. If you are not already familiar, CrossBreed’s Super Tuck series are holsters specifically made so you can wear them completely concealed in your pant line. No joke!


So there you have it. As you can see, we’ve covered our bases well enough to successfully address that fine grey area the article refers too. And in so doing we’ve had fun in writing this blog. If you are at all interested in learning more from us, visit our Contact Us page or give us a shout out here on this blog. You may also reach us at 720-427-1520. Happy Shooting!!!


Where Did We Go?

NEWS FLASH: We’re back with a fresh and more improved website!

If you knew of us on the web with our previous set up or even if this is your first time visiting you might be wondering what this is all about:

Our last website was more of an ecommerce store centered on selling firearms & gear. During this initial phase however, we came across a few hurdles that prevented us from expanding in the manner we desired and needed to best service our customers and to operate efficiently.

Due to the particular platform we had been using along with certain changes in Colorado legislation, we had but no other choice than to temporarily pull the plug and reassess our priorities going forward.

Meanwhile A-TAC has built a reputation for itself amongst the gun show community here in Colorado and neighboring states. While our relaunch is not quite focused on a store format for now, we do have plans for a new Ecommerce store which will be more site intergrated. There are other tentative ideas we are working on as well as we continue to become more developed which will be unveiled with future blog entries.

We want to assure our customers this time around we can be reached in a variety of different ways:

Contact the Webmaster:




Customer Service:

Phone: 720-427-1520


Hours: 9 AM – 7 PM MST

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions/concerns or just want to reach out to us. We aim to make the communication process as open and straightforward as possible.

Lastly, be sure to read our Commenting Policy before you decide to comment on our posts.

Thanks for dropping by, and hopefully we’ll see you around again soon!

Stay Tuned,

– The A-TAC Team