Book Review: TROUBLESHOOTING

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posted on June 5, 2015
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If you watch cable television, you may recall seeing Gabby make it to the individual stage during Season 4 of the History Channel’s TOP SHOT Series. If you follow the Olympics, you’ll also recognize the name. Gabriela "Gabby" Franco began her competitive career in 1996 and later represented her country as a member of the Venezuelan Olympic Air and Sport Pistol Teams in the 2000 Sydney Games. She has earned a dozen International titles, including multi-year Venezuelan National Champion, and has walked away with three Gold medals she earned during the 2002 South American Games. She has since relocated to the United States where she extended her skill sets to include USPSA-style action shooting.

This last phase is what gives her book a unique perspective. As an Olympic shooter-turned-action-pistol-champion, she is one of the few who can apply precision bullseye skills while running and shooting with tactical reloads and a timer held near her ear.

In 100, easy-to-read and professionally-illustrated pages (also available in Spanish), Franco succinctly reinforces the safety rules and basic techniques taught in the NRA Basic Pistol Class, but then continues the lessons in areas typically absorbed only after years of tactical competition. With a writing style that leaves the reader feeling like she is standing next to them, Franco goes into detail about topics such as natural point of aim whereby you aim your body at the target for better alignment during movement and rapid fire; adjustment of your center-of-gravity; facing the next target by following your chin and eyes; the error of rolling the shoulders to high; and proper elbow alignment for recoil management. And while the book is direct and to-the-point, Franco doesn’t skimp on the critical skills. For instance, seven pages are devoted to a properly balanced grip for better alignment, followed by dry-fire exercises to effectively transfer the skills to the reader.

“You don’t need to wait for a ‘perfect moment’ to shoot because that moment does not exist.”

As an NRA Training Counselor with a few hundred classes behind me, my early impression of TROUBLESHOOTING was that I was about to read another basic textbook. But every other page provides just enough “Gabby” to contribute a new and impactful point of view of competitive shooting. It’s as if she is waiting for the student to exit their NRA Basic Course so she can greet them with her book to say: “Now let’s take what you just learned and get you ready to compete!”

“The truth is, the process of a shot doesn’t end until you recover your front sight as if you were going to shoot again.”

One can spend a lot more than the book’s $20 price tag on travel, training, ammunition and entrance fees before discovering Gabby’s “gold nuggets” on their own. And, as the gift-that-keeps-on-giving, the book is organized such that you can pack it in your range bag for easy review, to reference the numerous practice drills, and to enter notes into the logbook section. This book will easily help new competitors skip over several years of trial-and-error, so buy one today in time for the 2015 season. For more about Gabby Franco or to purchase her book, go to: www.GabbyFranco.com.

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