Help me think this through..........

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by winds-of-change, May 10, 2011.

  1. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    When I go to the range, I like to shoot with my target as far out as it will go. When I shot with Hunter Joe, he set the targets at 7 yards. I've heard others say you want to shoot at a distance most common for self defense. Now, you all know I'm still learning so my logic might be wrong but it seems to me if I can hit a target at 25 yards or 50 yards I'm probably going to be able to hit a target at 7 yards. Why do I need to practice with a target so close. I like the challenge of trying to shoot well with my target way out there.

    Please educate me. Thank you.
  2. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

    You can do both! For self defense practice I shoot 5-10 yrds. sometimes I shoot up to 25yards, just depends on what I'm doing. Practicing for a defensive shoot or just punching holes.
    Practicing for a defensive shoot would/could include drawing, reloading, failure dills,etc...

  3. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    Well, I guess I'm just punching holes. But by punching holes I hope to become accurate and able to defend myself should the situation ever arise.
  4. orangello

    orangello New Member

    Maybe you could find a place with a pop-up target at close range; i think this would explain the need to be able to rapidly ventilate unwelcome persons or objects at closer range. When something/somebody appears from behind cover, in your IMMEDIATE vicinity, your natural instincts may not lend themselves to a steady aimed shot; you might naturally try to step back or block them with your hand rather than lining up dots on their chest.

    Think about the peanut cans with the spring snakes in them.
  5. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    If someone 25 yards away from you runs full-sprint with a pissed off wanna kill you attitude.....when he gets 7 yards away, do you think your hands would be shaking at all?

    At 25 yards, is someone a threat? Good luck with the jury on that one.

    At 25 yards, how long do you take to line up the shot, breathe, and pull the trigger? Would you have that much time in a self-defense situation?

    Just playin' the devil's advocate, my friend! :)
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  6. orangello

    orangello New Member

    At least she uses a revolver; no ejected brass to give away her firing position to an investigator. ;)

    WOC, maybe you could get one of those cardboard cutouts of Obama & rig it to pop-up with a weighted line or something; that would startle the beejezus out of me. "BOO I'm taxing you!"
  7. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

  8. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    When you're shooting at longer range you're taking your time and trying for the smallest groups possible. When defensive shooting, pinpoint accuracy is not needed-you just have to hit the kill zone, QUICKLY! The whole idea in defensive shooting is to get rounds on target fast. You're already behind the curve by the time you recognize the need to draw your weapon. That means they already have a weapon out & threatening you with it and you have to draw & shoot them before they shoot/stab you. That's why practicing defensive shooting is at close range.
  9. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

    Because you won't be taking well aimed steady shots in a defensive encounter. You need to get your gun out and put rounds into the vital area quickly as possible. You do this at the close ranges you expect to use your gun at to see how accurate you are in that situation and what you need to work on. Only way to get good at clearing your gun from the holster and putting rapid shots into the vital area is to practice it. Also, shooting on the move is EXTREMELY important. In a SHTF self defense encounter neither you or the bad guy is going to stand still. Shooting slow fire at longer distances is a blast...but in my opinion it doesn't prepare you for defending yourself.
  10. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    Points well taken, everyone.

    Lon, you're right. When I shoot, I do take a while to line up my shot. All these points is what I needed to hear. I knew there was something I was missing and I didn't know what it was. It seems that time to react would be the biggest factor I was missing.

    There is no drawing from a holster for me. I live in Illinois so no Conceal Carry and even if I could, I don't think I'm mentally and emotionally ready for that yet. I still have way too much to learn.

    'Gello, I love the idea of a pop up Obama.......BOO I'm taxing you. :D

    So I should probably practice for close range and quickness, right?
  11. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Practice should vary
    Perfect practice on one thing is worse than no practice.
    Follow Bear's advice. Be quick at short ranges, be sure at longer.
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    WoC - I've been to both Thunder Ranch and Valhalla for hands on training in self defense firearm training. I have been a shooter all my life, since I was 5 anyways, and I have read a ton books on defensive & combat shooting.

    So? Big deal. What's that worth? Nothing really.

    Grand total, I have exactly ZERO experience in shooting someone. I've drawn my CC weapon twice in my life, never had to point it, or shoot it.

    Never taken a life, never had to make that choice, and have never been in a situation where I truly had to make that choice.

    I am happy about that actually. I pray that never changes.

    But the fact is the use of a handgun is to defend yourself UNTIL you get a rifle in your hands.

    A handgun round at 25 yards is going to be, in fact, highly ineffective against most male assailants, merely because of trajectory and penetration ability.

    Hitting them isn't enough, you need the ability to successfully end the threat.

    Now, as has been pointed out, a "threat" at 25 yards is one that can be escaped/avoided or negated.

    A thread at 7 yards is NOT one that can be negated or avoided.

    Shooting with a controlled sight picture, from a stable triangle stance, with controlled breathing and all the time in the world is NOT the same as drawing from a holster and shooting a target at 7 yards with adrenaline coursing and no sight picture.

    Pull. Point. Shoot. Did you hit the target?

    Rob Pincus, the mastermind behind Valhalla and "Combat Focus", his proven self defense shooting system teaches that your responsibility is to end a threat. When "the average" shooter is confronted with a threat they INSTINCTIVELY focus on that threat.

    With Combat Focus they are taught to shoot to eliminate that threat. Usually at varying ranges from 5 to 10 yards and always by pop up targets/innocents to test your vision and decision making skills.

    Essentially my very long post to your simple question comes down to this:

    A pistol is a short range defensive weapon.

    25-50 yards is a long gun's realm.

    Hope that helps.

  13. TGReaper

    TGReaper New Member

    I am certainly not any expert, I tend to like to practice at longer distances.
    While the fast draw and fire is fun and I do a limited amount of it I am far happier when I practice precision shooting at 25 to 200 yards.
    It seems to me that this is the way to learn what you and your gun are capable of.
    As far as I can see the secret is to be comfortable with your ability and spend as much time as possible with your gun in your hand.
    You would probably get a real kick out of N,R.A Bullseye shooting.
  14. Gordo323

    Gordo323 New Member

    I've seen you shoot at long range, and was impressed!
    Your question only gives me another excuse for a trip to the range and more practice at close range and more importantly, knowing exactly where my weapon is at all times, whether carrying, or on the seat next to me in the truck.
    When the adrenaline rush hits from a SHTF encounter, I hope my memory serves me right.
    Practice, practice, and more practice. We all could use more!
  15. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    there ar two types of shooters and some that live in the middle. growing up most of my shooting was hunting small game like rabbits and squirrels. i did not own a handgun until i was 21 and the first one was a desert eagle in 357 mag. so i wasnt a serious handgun shooter until after i left the army and even then it wasnt about self defense and more about just plinking.

    only in the last ten years or so have i gotten serious about SD practice. if your not using your handgun for self defense there is nothing wrong at enjoying the art of hitting longer range targets with a handgun.
  16. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    There are valid reasons to shoot fast and close as well as at distance. My practice consists of multiple targets at variable, random ranges. Occasionally I will set targets at 25 - 50 yards for slow, accurate fire.

    Varying your practice can only help your overall skill.
  17. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    In real life shootings at very close range, an amazing percentage of rounds miss the target, even from veteran, experienced police officers. Ultra high stress and a massive, sudden adrenalin dump can have a very strange effect on marksmanship.

    Whether it be distance, or basic marksmanship, practice using a variety of scenarios. Learn to shoot standing, sitting, laying on your butt (simulated getting knocked down), using your support hand, etc. Think outside the box and try to be prepared for the unexpected.

    It is one thing to stand up at a range and shoot at paper targets, or at Bambi in the woods, but it is quite another thing to shoot at someone who shoots back at you. That'll tend to rattle most folks.
  18. WDB

    WDB New Member

    I practice at 7 to 10 yards as that is 10 to 12 steps away walking, 7 to 10 steps running, depending on the person and walking or running that is 3 to 15 seconds. I also practice with three or four shot rapid fire as I don't have a magic bullet that will stop a threat with one shot. With luck the first shot will put them down but not chancing my life on luck. Shooting papper is far different than shooting an aggeressor, in that moment in time training/practice is what decieds who goes home and who doesn't. I can shoot at a longer distance with my pistol aimed at a static traget but that isn't the skill requied if need my firearm. Sort of like driving your car, yes you can go 120 MPH but how often is that going to be something you need to do? Practice what you expect you will need to do and practice that until it is a habit.

    At the local public range I've had this conversation several times, typically started by "dude anyone can hit a target from there". I share pretty much the above thought and most can't put 1-4 center mass, if picking there pistol up off the bench and aquire target with out taking more time than they may have. In a position of already on target most get the first in center mass, 2-4 were often out of center mass. Practice what the tool in hand is intended for.
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  19. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    Thank you very much for all the answers. I see now what I had been missing and not understanding/knowing before. I will practice speed at close range when I go shooting. But I also like the skill/thrill, of hitting the target at far range. I'll do much more close, quick shooting from now on.
  20. camiller

    camiller New Member

    Back in high school when I worked summers at a local amusement park we had a problem with a particular stray(unlicensed) dog. Eventually park management call the local police to put the dog down. With the dog 3-4 yards away, standing still, tongue lolling, the "veteran, experienced police officer" missed ... six times. After he reloaded though he did finally get him. :p