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Amsdorf 06-23-2013 01:44 PM

Self-Defense Shooting is NOT Bullseye Shooting
When I was a new shooter, I obsessed over putting every round I shot into the bullseye (ok, sure, I still do!), but ... it is very important to understand the difference between self-defense accuracy, or "combat accuracy," if you will, and putting rounds in bullseyes.

The adrenelin is pumping, everything is a blur, you are afraid, shocked and scared for your life....the goal is to get rounds into center mass.

To put it bluntly, putting as many holes in the center mass of an assailant is the BEST WAY to stop a threat. Obsessing over trying to get all the shots into the same hole is actually going to slow you down in a self-defense situation where the goal is always: TO STOP THE THREAT.

Here's a video explanation of the concept. Simply put, if you are getting rounds into a center mass area that is about the size of your open hand, or thereabouts, you are doing just fine.


Sniper03 06-23-2013 02:26 PM

Amsdorf is exactly correct.

One needs to practice Defense Shooting or you will in all probability be seriously injured or dead in your first confrontation.
The reason in a defense or combat situation you "Will Do As You Train". You will not have time to process thoughts and actions (Think!) You most generally will only have time to react. Only on a very rare occasion will you have time to plan out your actions. If you have only been training to stand in one location, concentrate on the target, the sights, your grip position, breathing, operating your weapon with Zero Stress or Speed and etc. you will take too much time in a confrontation trying to process issues and become the victim without responding to the threat in time. So with that said as Amsdorf mentioned you must practice defensive shooting.
like CARDINAL RULE # 1 When practicing *Keeping Your Finger Out Of The Trigger Guard When Drawing The Weapon From The Holster Until It Is Down Range! *When Drawing Keep Your Support Hand Away From The Muzzle At All Times! Be sure there is an adequate safe backstop behind the target for shooting a slight angles. This is because you need to practice drawing and firing for example two or three rounds center chest area and possibly one to the head should an assailant have a vest on. You should practice shoving off the target, with your elbow of the shooting arm against your side and firing rounds. (Once again keeping the support hand from in front of the Muzzle at all times!) Practice Supported moving forward, backward, in addition moving from side to side. Also shooting from cover positions both standing an kneeling. You can make plywood stands as walls or barricades to practice these drills. Well the list goes on! But the bottom line if you only target shoot you will not be mentally prepared for a serious confrontation if all you do is the basic fundamentals listed above in line #5 of this post! It has been reported that only around 22% of the bullets fired in a confrontation in police action shootings hit where the individual wanted them too! And a lot of them train a considerable amount! And even then we have these types of statistics. Imagine if there was no practice what the statistics would be! Once again as Amsdorf mentioned, adrenaline, the body deciding flight or fight response, the speed at which things occur and all play a role in those results. So Practice, Practice, Practice! And above all use EXTREME CAUTION! And practice strict safety when practicing defensive shooting. As safety in any shooting is the Number One !


txpossum 06-23-2013 02:48 PM

Okay. Is somebody saying they are the same? However, I do not believe that Bullseye shooting is necessarily bad training for self defense shooting. It teaches accuracy; it teaches concentration; it teaches shooting under pressure -- all factors that translate favorabily in self defense shooting.

I used to shoot Bullseye; I have also attended self-defense shooting schools. My Bullseye practice was a help in going through that class. Did I use the exact same techniques -- of course not. But being a Bullseye shooter made my self defense skill better.

Sniper03 06-23-2013 03:12 PM


You are correct! And good techniques and fundamentals are essential and a very important part of learning to shoot and also to progress into defense training. It is good and certainly a prerequisite to what we mentioned regarding Defense Shooting. All that I was referring to in my post if an individual is carrying for Defense, training should go further than just basic fundamental stationary training. One should not just jump into to doing defense training because "it is cool and fun" first of all they could very well have a catastrophe or unpleasant and unsafe issue come about. One must first learn the basics and master them and the operation of the weapon they are carrying. Before working on any defense or combat type shooting. And target shooting is fun since I have also done that and some competition for years. I think that is how most of us here began and "we should have".


danf_fl 06-23-2013 03:24 PM

Agreed. We all know someone who is a decent shot on the range trying to hit targets at the 15 yard mark.

Take that same individual and add a little stress. Things seem to go down hill.

We get used to the stress of shooting, and some handle it better than others (compare a noob to a seasoned shooter).

But add the stress of USPSA or IDPA, and blood pressure goes way up!

So your mission is to expose more shooters to the additional stress of competing by inviting them to the next competition shoot.

Jagermeister 06-23-2013 03:47 PM

Do some sit-ups or other exercise and then shoot right away. You will start to understand. The military has a shooting house at my local range so the troops can practice real world shooting. With safety precautions, that is a good idea for civilians too. I like multiple metal human targets, because you get audio feedback right away. I am satisfied as long as I hear the metal sing. My buddy randomly says one through six (amount of targets). I practice on the draw too. My buddy could say on the draw 5, 3, 2. Or, maybe left handed target 2. Options are endless. Combat is more point and shoot then lining up targets. You start to build up an instinct. Front sight only for close range. That is why I use only combat sights, which covers the target. When the range is empty, we walk the range using same principle.

Fathead00 06-23-2013 05:17 PM

Can you guys give other examples, since our indoor range is not set up for defense? It's just a standard indoor range.:(

SSGN_Doc 06-23-2013 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by Fathead00 (Post 1284413)
Can you guys give other examples, since our indoor range is not set up for defense? It's just a standard indoor range.:(

You can have paper targets with different numbered circles, or different colors or shapes on the target. You can turn your back to the target and have a friend call out one specific aiming point that you have to turn and fire at. If you cannot draw from a holster at your range you could set the pistol on the table/counter and pick it up to fire.

As Jaeger stated, you could do some jumping jacks or run in place before he calls out the target. This will get the heart rate up. If your range has retractable targets you could have your shooting partner change the distance as well so you have to shoot at unknown distances. If you don't have a friend to shoot with you can make a deck of cards with the different aiming points on them. Shuffle them and draw one before turning and shooting.

GTX63 06-23-2013 06:22 PM

It's 500' from my back door to our timber line. When I first started teaching my wife some basics, I had her run from the door to a picnic table just inside the trees and pick up her pistol. Immediately after she was look around for gallon jugs of colored water strung from tree limbs, engage, then proceed about 100' down a trail, shooting the containers as she saw them. FYI, she's about 200lbs so it always put her in a state of exhaustion. I never did the run but it sure seemed to work with her.....

txpossum 06-23-2013 06:35 PM

Run? RUN? The REASON I CARRY a gun so so I WON'T have to RUN!

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