What Level or Type of Shooter are you?
A classic example of Intentionally Incompetent gun owners are those who are aware of organized shooting events,
but refuse to attend or even acknowledge the potential benefits.
Typically, these individuals mislead themselves and others by fabricating lies justifying non-participation or below average
results: You may hear them say things like…
“Competition shooting will get you killed.”
“Organized/target shooting isn’t real shooting.”
“Marksmanship is for soldiers/police/hunters and very different than marksmanship for competition.”
“I’m horrible on paper targets, but I’m deadly in the field.”
The UI does not know what he or she does not know. The UI represents the majority of all gun owners and includes people
(police and military) who carry a gun for a living. The UI is incompetent but does not know he or she is incompetent
because he or she had no training or low-level training and has not yet experienced a situation exposing his or her
Examples of the UI can be found everywhere:
**The officer who only practices shooting his weapon a few times per year only to pass the POST or department
mandatory range qualifications is UI.
**The gun owner who buys a gun and box of ammo, only attends mandatory CCW classes, fires a few shots at the
range and then places the gun in his closet, confident he or she can use it effectively to protect him or herself is UI.
**The hunter who only attends mandatory hunter safety and only shoots once a year to sight-in his or her rifle before going
hunting is UI. **Most plinkers are UI. **Military personnel who only shoot the same course of fire as in Basic training
(even with an “Expert” qualification) are still UI. **Any gun owner who has never attended an organized shooting
event beyond a mandated safety/basic training course is UI.
The next level of competence hits you like a ton of bricks because you immediately become aware that you know very little, or
previously held notions are incorrect, and that there is so much to learn. This often happens when the UI
attends his/her first organized shooting event. This is the quickest, cheapest and safest way to figure this out.
If the CI makes the effort to learn, through study, proper training and practice, the CI develops into the CC. The
length of time needed to develop from CI to CC is directly related to the quality of the training or events attended
and the motivation of the student. Study brings you to the level of theoretical knowledge. You understand the
concepts, but to apply them, you have to think about them. In a lot of subjects or skills, you might never move
beyond this level. Every decision and action occurs as a result of an intricate thought process and has not yet
reached the reflex response level.
The speed of reflex. Riding a bike, driving a car, touch, typing and speaking in your native tongue are common
skills most people are Unconsciously Competent in. At this level, theoretical knowledge is transformed into practical
knowledge. Study might get you to CC, but only proper practice and training will get you to UC.
The UC has programmed his mind and body (after thousands of correct repetitions) to react in a fraction of a
second with consistent responses that require no perceivable thought process. The UC functions flawlessly even
under stressful situations because the UC’s extensive training overrides his conscious thought process. As you can
imagine, the UC is not common in today’s society.
CONSCIOUS UNCONSCIOUSLY COMPETENT (very rare & often not considered a sixth level)
The highest level of competence is the ability to do something without thinking about it, yet retain a level of
awareness of how you do it. This level of competence enables you to teach the skill to someone else and is the
identity of a true Master. Many people who are experts at something find it difficult explaining it to someone less skilled.
They are so unconsciously competent, that they don’t know how they do it. They just do it. The CUC is a UC who can effectively teach others to reach a similar level of skill.