Self defense practice range

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by Squawk, May 1, 2013.

  1. Squawk

    Squawk New Member

    864
    0
    0
    I recently received my CCDW License and started EDC my Shield. I went to the range and was shooting appx. 20-25 yards out with very poor accuracy. A friend said the chances you will have to shoot that far for self defense are very slim.

    So I ask. What distance should I be practicing at for self defense? With a 3 inch barrel pistol?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  2. improvised_prepper

    improvised_prepper New Member

    288
    0
    0
    Your friend was right, the standard range for SD is about 7 yards. Any further than that, people will wonder if you really needed to use deadly force.
     

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,369
    57
    48
    While a short distance is the norm, I suggest that you try for longer.

    With a good operating pistol or revolver, 12" group at 25 yards should be your goal for now.
    Look back at the basics of pistol shooting: sight alignment, breath control, squeeze the trigger, and follow through.

    If you can shoot 12" at 75', you should be able to have 4" at 25' (normal room and hall length).
     
  4. drvsafe

    drvsafe New Member

    1,636
    0
    0
    I would focus on being proficient from between 3-15 yards. Practice your presentation from your EDC holster, and strong hand firing as opposed to two handed. You may want to consider a defensive handgun class as well. As it will help you to understand what drills to focus on.
     
  5. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    2,188
    0
    0
    x100 on all the above advice. After proficiency comes expanding your base skills with variety of distances, variety of positions, barricade drills, strong-side & support-side, kneeling, crouching, etc.
     
  6. Squawk

    Squawk New Member

    864
    0
    0
    Sadly, most ranges in town don't allow drawing from a holster and shooting.
     
  7. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    1,638
    0
    0
    My "short" practice distance is 15 yards, and I think that is the minimum distance one should be proficient in. These days my "long" practice distance is 25 yards. There was a time when I regulary shot 50 yards, but now I have trouble even seeing that far.
     
  8. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,447
    561
    113
    While there WILL be different opinions on distance at which you should practice, FBI stats on LEO shootings some time back were that 90% were at 7 yards or less- and that 50% were at 2 FEET or less (powderburn distance)

    And yes, I DO shoot 25, 50, and 100 yds (with a LOOONG barreled 357 for 100!) But I also spend time on the 7 yd line- draw and double tap, draw and double tap)
     
  9. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

    1,428
    0
    0
    I'd be willing to bet you just need to work on the above/trigger control. Just practice. Also no harm in checking in with an instructor for some assistance if you don't see improvement.
    Aim small, miss small.
     
  10. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    2,188
    0
    0

    Just for fun once in awhile I'll take a handgun back to 70 yds or so and try my luck...and with a tad of barrel elevation hit paper with a .38 or .45
     
  11. bluez

    bluez Well-Known Member

    1,655
    79
    48
    7 yards is the standard.
    A proficient handgunner especially if he is using a revolver may push it out more sometimes a lot more.

    But 20 yards shooting with a hand gun is only for advanced shooters that are enjoying showing off IMO ( I sometimes do it with a revolver only as they are more accurate and usually in single action).

    The US marshals service often shoots their 40 pistols at my range and they shoot at 7 or 8 yards.

    Since I am a bit of a snob at the range I put my targets out at 8 yards usually.
    but 7 yards really <is> the standard for handgunning and once you hit reliably at 7 yards you ought to work on speed and draw and double tapping.

    Only when you are a whiz at 7 yds would you bother going to 10 or anything like that.
    I sometime enjoy shwoing off and taking it to 15 yds but I shoot a revolver so I have an inbuilt advantage anyway when it comes to accuracy.


    But that's really just showing off not proper training.
    For a beginner on an autoloader to try for 20 yds makes no sense at all.
    Go for 7 yds I guess is the moral of my story.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  12. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    6,624
    1
    0
    If you have a home range I would set up multiple targets at 3 to 10 yards. Shoot each target enough to force a reload. I use pizza boxes for practice. I cut a 6" IDPA head on each box. I try to put 2 or 3 shots in each head. Sometimes I don't have enough boxes to empty a 15 shot clip so I put enough shells in each magazine to force a reload.

    Shooting a formal IDPA match will help a lot too. IDPA forces you to get used to shooting from cover and some matches force you to shoot with your off hand. You will need 100 shell to shoot full bore six course of fire match. Beginners matches are usually four courses of fire. You may or may not need to reload on every course of fire. Brind more ammo than you are required. I shoot the targets that I have problems hitting more than is required.
     
  13. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    1,638
    0
    0

    Even if most "gunfights" happen at 7 yards or less, I don't see any down side to practicing at 15 yards or more. I believe if you can keep a tight, accurate group at the longer distance, it will only help at shorter ranges. I will admit that, in shooting, accuracy is more important to me than speed, as I shot bullseye competition in my late teens to mid-twenties. I believe that one should not sacrifice shot placement for speed, nor assume that they will never need to make a shot 25 or more yards.

    A few years ago I went to a combat shooting school, where we drew and shot at targets, went through a "fun house", and then were paired to up to compete against on another to see who could draw and hit metal plates downrange first. I wasn't the fastest in the class, but at the end of the class I ranked no. 1 out of 14 students. Now, this isn't to say I'm such a great shakes with a handgun -- I know there are many, many on this forum who undoubtably could shoot circles around me. But my ranking was due in no little part because I practiced at longer ranges and hit what I shot at.

    (In my competition days I shot 50 yards regulary with a 1911 and Smith Model 41; these days I still sometimes play around at that distance, but I've never tried a 100 yard shot with a handgun. )
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  14. NOVA

    NOVA New Member

    209
    0
    0
    3" barrel = short site radius - so definitely lots of practice needed here. I predict that if you follow all of the basics as suggested in previous posts with lots of practice you should get better. 7 yards (21 feet) is realistic, if you think about it, is it not? Starting out farther than that would be, IMO, very challenging for anyone.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  15. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    1,638
    0
    0
    I realize I am in the minority here, but I still believe that one should be proficient at distances longer than seven yards.
     
  16. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    5,044
    95
    48
    First you MUST become proficient up close and personal, that is why I teach point shooting in my armed self defense classes. Once you master this then work on 'marksmanship'. I agree that shooting at distances out to 25 yds is good training for SD situations after you learn to shoot up close.
    Aim small, miss small. Aim big, miss big!;)
     
  17. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    1,638
    0
    0
    Well, I've been called backwards before, but I was learned marksmanship and target shooting first, then later on worked on self defense and/or combat shooting.

    I think that teaching someone to shoot at too close of a range does them a disservice, as they tend to develop bad shooting habits that might not make much difference at 7 yards, but would seriously effect accuracy at longer distances. This means they would essentially have to learn twice.

    But, as stated, I'm prejudiced toward target shooting.
     
  18. drvsafe

    drvsafe New Member

    1,636
    0
    0
    Same here.
     
  19. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,369
    57
    48
    I, like others, prefer to be proficient at longer distances.
    7 yards (21 feet) - a person with knife already drawn coming at you would have cut you before you get a shot off (I mean most normal people with a holstered firearm).

    We learn to draw and fire, but how about weapon retention training?
     
  20. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    4,823
    0
    0
    I'm sorry but I can throw a bullet 21 feet and hit something. I do practice close some but do most of my (pistol) shooting ar 20 yards and out (average 25 yds).
    My dad was a surveyor. He would drill in my head all the time a small error can be overlooked if it is over a short distance. Allow that error to travel over a longer distance and you will see the error in a much more glaring light. Meaning you are cornering a sight a little you might see a loose group at 7-10 yds but you have that same error at 25 and you will miss your target. I've used this mind set for years and it has done me a great service. I can see my mistakes much faster and get to correcting them in a hurry before they become bad habits that are much harder to get rid of.