Ideal distance for practice at range

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by G30USMC, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. G30USMC

    G30USMC Well-Known Member Supporter

    Just was trying to get everyone opinion they have on a good distance to practice, where it is self defense range?

    I currently practice at no more then 20 feet, is this the normal, or should i increase the distance?
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    How fast can you run 21 paces?
    How far can you run in 21 paces?
    Could someone stab you if they were prepared with a knife and 21 paces away?
    How fast can you retrieve you firearm?
    How fast can you get your firearm out of the holster and on target?

    20 feet may not be enough (though most homes do not have an area that is more than 20 feet in length).

  3. vincent

    vincent New Member

    Practice at 20 feet is great, but anything further than that should be just for fun if you're training with your carry piece. If you shoot someone from more than 21 ft, you're gonna have some explaining to do and some less than savory new friends. Google Tueller rule.

    Mix up the distances, start at 3 yds, go to 7, and so on. Try the dot drill, if may seem like cheating to shoot from such a short distance but it's a constant challenge to put a hole in a 2" spot consistently. Most SD encounters happen at very short distances, being a good shot at 20 ft does not neccesarily translate into being good at 7 ft.

    Train smart, make EVERY shot count but have fun...and of course, be safe!!
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  4. Chandler51

    Chandler51 New Member

    I agree with Vince...too far away, and you're in BIG trouble, unless they too have pulled a gun. As far as the amount of time it takes to cover 21 paces vs how quickly you react/draw, by the time you are on target they will be MUCH closer than the original 21 paces. But that's just my opinion.
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    Most of my range time is spent at the 10yard mark. A little at 7 and occasionally 25 if i feel im slacking on fundamentals like sight picture or trigger control.

    I mainly work on being accurate as quickly as possible.

    Closer than 7-10 and its hard to tell if im being sloppy with fundamentals

    I kinda disagree with shooting at longer range to be a waste of time. Yeah thats not a realistic sd range but you get good at pulling the trigger with the proper technique which really makes your shorter range shooting more accurate. The more accurate you are the faster you get shots down range into the vitals.

    Just cuz sd doesnt really happen at extended range doesnt equate to 25yard shooting being useless
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  6. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

    The previous posts are correct. Distance doesn't matter that much if you can not perfect the skills to react, draw your weapon, get on target quickly and fire accurate shots! Notice I did not say ONE! If that can not be achieved it is a futile effort at best with disastrous results. So when you are first training Safety is the number one issue! When training and practicing you will need to develop muscle as well as mental memory because you will have no time to think things through in a life or death confrontation. The old saying comes to mind. "You will do as you train!" So with that said training and conditioning is the answer. Things you must work on:
    Do your initial functional training with the weapon *Empty until you develop the above memory skills which include:
    1. It is best if you keep the weapon in the same area of your body when carrying. In a critical situation that is where you will initially mentally go to and acquire your weapon.
    2. Practice Drawing the weapon until it becomes second nature. (Memory)
    3. When Drawing your pistol keep your trigger finger straight and out of the trigger guard until the weapon is on target and press the trigger.
    4. Be sure and practice with light clothing, light and heavy jackets and any other clothing you normally wear! To assure you get use to moving the weapon out from underneath clothing effectively.
    (With a light jacket a little helpful hint is to put change,keys or something with a little weight in the side pocket of the jacket that you have the weapon on. With the jacket unzipped grab the opposite side jacket pocket with your weak hand and pull it sharply a foot or so out from your body on the weak side. This will pull the jacket pocket and jacket on your weapon side away from the weapon and to the rear. (Practice it!)
    Once proficient and confident with the above Load Her Up and proceed!
    5. Do the DOT DRILL that Vince mentioned! And learn to keep both eyes open and look directly at the target! You will not have the time to get a sight picture by aligning the sights up in a confrontation. Practice, Practice, Practice! (Muscle Memory!) *Do not get discouraged! You will succeed if you practice. *Trigger Control is a must. You can also get what we call a flash sight picture by knowing where the weapon is after practicing enough and gaining the muscle memory. As they mentioned very your distances when practicing. Also a one or two yards from the target work on the weak hand push off! But practice empty at first and be sure to bring your weak hand back to the center of your chest when the weapon comes up! This is practice to shove the adversary away from you allowing space and time to get your weapon out!
    Final note SMOOTH IS FAST! And Remember the Safety issue. A lot of people have had accidents due to the NUMBER ONE RULE being violated! FINGER OUT OF THE TRIGGER GAURD and OFF THE TRIGGER until COMING ON THE TARGETS SURFACE!
    With all this said you can see TRAINING IS YOUR NUMBER ONE GOAL!

  7. dks7895

    dks7895 New Member

    I love shooting cans with my Buck Mark 22. I shoot them low so they pop up. I see how far I can get them out there. About 40 yards is my max. It's a great game to sharpen pistol skills. I can do the same with my SR9c but max out around 25 yards. Shooting paper gets boring to me. I like the reaction of the can. If I can hit a can at 25 yards, I consider that good.
  8. WilliamTF

    WilliamTF New Member

    I agree unless we're talkn about a break in or they're armed that much past 7yds would be tough to explain. I also agree with practice,muscle memory and reflex training. But when it comes to accuracy , the better you can shoot at 50yds or whatever the more accurate you will be @ closer shots. Ask any bowhunter you know how much easier those 20-30 yd shots became when they became proficient @ 50yds. Like pistols a bow is a short range instrument that requires concentration,muscle memory and concentration. One of the best pieces of advice I've heard when it comes to accurate shooting was - "aim small,shoot small". Which you probably won't have time to do in an SD situation. But it does apply well to accurate shooting. Imho the more accurate you become @ 40yds the more accurate you'll be at 7yds. For me I shoot @ 25yds draw rapid fire is about my max, but when I bring it in to 10yds its fairly easy.
  9. lyodbraun

    lyodbraun New Member

    I know when I was in the Academy we had to qualify at a distance of 50 feet, along with alot of other distances, and strong and and weak hand qualifications...
  10. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

    Shooting from all distances can contribute to your skill.

    7-10yds probably is the best mix of practical training at a distance that will require some precision. At 2-10yds, learn to shoot from the hip. Also practice extending your arm without using the sights (rely on that trigger finger to point out its target). Work on precisely aimed groupings at all distances 5-25yds. Learn to double tap. Work on efficient draws from your holster. Learn to do as much of this as possible with both hands. Toy around with longer distances if you like, maybe 50yds. I'm not saying you should ever be engaging anyone with a pistol at this range, but it's worth knowing what both you and your pistol are capable of. And it's also fun. Fortunately we defend ourselves with pistols rarely enough, that all this time and money spent sure oughta result in some fun.

    Be both versatile and repetitive. Shooting is a muscle memory and positive habits skill, so repetitious (but varied) training rules.
  11. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

    20 feet is a good range for self defense practice. Almost all SD situations happen at this or less distance.

    Practicing at greater distances helps you with you technique, as your errors are magnified.
  12. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

    I have to disagree with those who say not to, or that it is not beneficial to practice at longer distances. As ChainFire mentioned, greater distances will magnify errors and help to improve your basic technique. While his may not appear to be important at typical self defense ranges, it is actually critical. If you are ever in a situation that you are forced to use your carry gun in defense of life, lack of mastery of the basics will be evident. Under the stress of a defensive situation, you will be acting almost completely by muscle memory. Your accuracy and speed will both suffer when stress is induced and the adrenaline is pumping. If you are a mediocre or average marksman when under no stress on the range, you will be a miserable marksman in a gunfight.

    Your range practice should be structured to focus heavily on the basics; stance, grip, sight alignment, trigger control, and follow through. As your skill increases, speed will come on its own. Do not try to be fast, try to be efficient. Smooth is efficient, and efficient is fast. Seek out professional instruction, have goals for your practice sessions. Evaluate your performance and be critical of any deficiencies. Understand where your errors are coming from and what the proper corrective action is. A video camera or shooting partner can be a huge advantage. The ability to review video of yourself can make it easy to spot a problem that is otherwise difficult to spot. Don't just go blast away, practice with a purpose.

  13. undumb

    undumb New Member

    Seek a professional instructor, don't develop bad habits, learn it correctly from the start.... It may just save your life!