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Old July 19, 2004, 08:36 PM   #1
jekla
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what is a good distance.....

to practice shooting targets at? i mean is it good to practice shooting at targets at 7 yrds 10 yrds or 15 yrds? which is the best distance and most practical?

im asking coz a lot of people say gunfights occur within 7 yrds even closer.
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Old July 20, 2004, 02:50 AM   #2
jekla
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erick,

thanks for the reply. as for what you are trying to explain i cant really make out what you are trying to say. im not that familiar with the more "technical" terms in use of guns. if you could explain again using much simpler language id be very grateful.
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Old July 20, 2004, 06:05 AM   #3
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Erich is right, contact distance to about as far as your range allows. There is going to be some issues with distance depending on whether you are using a pistol, shotgun (and various loads, bird, buck, slug), or rifle.

People will tell you, more than likely, that you need to shoot distance more than you need to shoot up close, the idea being that the skills of shooting at distance will make you a better short range shooter. This is both right and wrong. Shooting at distance will allow you to work on your marksmanship skills. As Erich noted, your gun presentation time should be the same, but at distance, it is going to take you longer to sight, get a steady sight picture, and got off an accurate shot. Distance allows less room for error than up close.

What a lot of folks who don't practice at short distances don't realize is that for CQB shooting, a different set of skills is emphasized. Up close, things happen quicker and so you need to have your gun on target quicker. Up close may mean that you don't get to line up your sights, wait for them to steady/settle, and then get off that nice marksmanship shot. By the time you do that for close range conflict, things may be over for you. Remember that your opponent may not be that skilled and so distance is your friend as a person who practices. So up close, the bad guy stands a much better chance of defeating you. If he has a gun, even a poor shot can do well at close range. There was an incident a few years back where a blind guy in a wheel chair was able to shoot an attacker multiple times. How? He grabbed and held on to his attacker, pulled the gun, and started shooting. Not back for a blind guy in a wheel chair. So he had no marksmanship skills, but scored with his shots. He used the lack of distance to his benefit.

At distance, you often have more time to work your shots. One of the guys in Somalia from the Blackhawk Down incident noted that if targets were 75 yards out or more, he would drop to one knee for a steady shot to engage his opponents. This was a slower shooting position than just spraying and praying, but he was able to shoot better and his opponents using the spray and pray technique really had little chance of randomly hitting him.
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Old July 23, 2004, 09:45 PM   #4
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jekla, . . . Erik gave you some real good advice. You cannot get your needed training on line here. What you can get though, is some good advice.
If you are ever involved in a gun fight:
1) Remember that you will have to tell your side to the police first, then maybe a prosecuter, then maybe a grand jury, and then maybe 12 of your peers in a court of law. Will your side of what happened be justifiable???
2) Think about being the juror on a case where the defendant gets all indignant and swears he had to shoot the bg at 45 feet (15 yds) because he felt his life was threatened. Would you believe that scenario??
3) Remember that the prosecutor (in a criminal case) and the local lizard (dead perp's family attorney in a civil lawsuit you will most likely have to defend also) will ask you what kind of ammo you used (hoping you will say "hot hand loads, designed to kill on sight), . . . they will ask why you practiced shooting silhouette tgts at 100 ft (hoping you will say that you were afraid sometime you may have to shoot at that distance), . . . in short, they will use every thing they can against you. Make sure that your actions don't give them enough rope to hang you.
In these days and times, no one walks away from a gunfight. The courts are ready to crucify all of us, so we need to just mind our p's and q's before we get there.
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Old July 23, 2004, 11:35 PM   #5
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What we do is to start every training session, close in, (Like from retention.) and work back. Typically, 3', 5 1/2', 7 1/2', 15', and then 25'.

If you try to do it the other way around, you won't warm up properly and waste a lot of ammunition.
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Old July 24, 2004, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
(dead perp's family attorney in a civil lawsuit you will most likely have to defend also) will ask you what kind of ammo you used (hoping you will say "hot hand loads, designed to kill on sight), . . .

<sigh> Speaking of the Errornet...


Nobody has ever documented a case where the TYPE of ammo came up in a court case. This is pure speculation.


That said, factory ammo is typically more likely to be reliable than home grown.
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Old July 24, 2004, 06:14 PM   #7
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thanks for the tip arc angel.
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Old July 24, 2004, 06:18 PM   #8
jekla
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hi erick,

i do get your point that i cant have training online. i have explained my predicament to jeff gonzales as he too seemed to have the same sentiment as you with regards to me and my questions.

thanks for being forthright with your comments. i am learning.
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Old August 9, 2004, 11:15 PM   #9
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I think the answer to the question of distance also depends on the ability of the firearm.

I carry a .38 snub-nose revolver myself, and I tend to find that it's most accurate at no further than 7 yds, although I still manage to keep things in the Center Of Mass from 25 yds.

As much as I'd like to say that contact distance to 7 yds. is enough for defensive practice, the truth is you never know what circumstances you might entail in a fight for your life.

In that case, I'd say practice to as far a range as your weapon will allow. The key word in all of this is: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!!

A good defensive pistol course is also a good idea in my opinion, as you not only want to hit the target from your standard stance at a standard range, you want to be able to make your shot count under stress from a variety of possible situations.

Your results may vary,

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Old August 10, 2004, 01:48 PM   #10
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I am a big fan of starting at fairly close range...say 20 ft.

And moving back as you gain skill

When you can make multiple controlled hits at a given distance..with decent speed.....move back

Then continue practicing at the increased range until you can move back again.

Where to stop backing up ( amx range for practice)is a whole different question
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Old September 3, 2004, 10:23 PM   #11
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Why assume unlimited time, money for practice?

If time or money are issues, you have to go with what's realistic. Nobody has ever proven that he could reliably hit the chest beyond about 25 yds, while he was actually being shot-at. Either they got lucky with a single shot, or they missed several times, proving that the hit was a luck shot.

In the first place, most attacks are not made with a gun. So you can't justify firing much beyond about 10 ft, at most. 6 ft covers about 75% of realistic defensive firing, and 90+% of attackers wont make you shoot them at all, if you get the gun out and "on" them soon enough for them to notice it, and stop their attack. Only 20% of the most doped up, desperate nutcases, facing life in prison for multiple offender armed robber cases, chose to shoot it out with NYPD's Stakeout Unit, in Harlem, late 1960's. More of them probably would have surrendered, but Cirillo and company shot them down before they could do so.

You will not be encountering such hard core offenders. So, 90% of the time, you wont have to hit them with a bullet. Over half of the gunfights occur at less than 10 ft, according to the FBI'S Uniform Crime Report. So about 99% of the time, you won't be firing beyond 10 ft. That's the reality of justifiable civilian defense with guns. 90% of the time, you wont fire at all.
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Old September 4, 2004, 08:34 AM   #12
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Think!

The answer was in the question. If a person can not effectively engage at 7, 10 or 15 yards, then the problem is a lack of skills and not a question of distance to practice. The ballistics won't change meaningfully between 7, 10 and 15 yards.

The fundamentals won't be learned from a video tape, a Marine Corp. drill instructor yelling at you while doing linear drills on a flat shooting range , learning the "five count draw" or jawing on the internet.

The shooter has to understand movement, human biomechanics, shooting fundamentals, the operation and reliability of his firearm. Personally, I know trainers who can have a newbie shooting better than 90% of the LAPD graduates with just about 6 hours of instruction. However, that skill is lost almost immediately if not constantly reviewed and practised flawlessly.

You have to think! If a person is still at the mindless stage of double taps, two to the chest and one to the head, and other patterns of thinking, he is going to be down on the food chain. It is not a matter of whether practicising a 7, 10, or 15 yards static is better. You need to be able to MOVE and do the shooting at those distances from strong side retention and in low light. So go, buy the $12 dark welder's goggles, start shooting at your indoor range with one foot in the air to simulate movement. This is something that you can do now. If you don't, then you are not making the effort.
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Old September 4, 2004, 01:18 PM   #13
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I practice out to 25 yards and sometimes 35 or 40. However, most of my practice is 15, 10, 7, and 5 yards.
As has been said, it is a different story to shoot at 25 or more, and have the extra time for sight alignment, than to have to get a fast shot off at 5 yards.

I cannot imagine a situation where a CHL holder is going to have to shoot beyond 15 yards. His requirement is self defense, and not stopping bank robbers on the run.
You are responsible for every shot you fire, and if you "open the ball" you are in a sense responsible for every shot fired by anyone.

It is not logical to think that I am going to get into a gunfight in a Walmart parking lot, and have to shoot at long distances or for a long period of time. The BG do not want to be there when the cops arrive, and so they are going to try to get away.

I think the most useful ranges are within 15 yards, and maybe 10. I suspect that the attack will take place at 5-7 yards, and will be fast and violent. That is what I practice for mostly.

A cop has a different set of requirements and responsibilities. He needs the type of training to run here and there and shoot from behind doors and walls such as we see at the various types of competition. But I am never going to have to do all that. If I can be aware of what is going on around me, and be prepared for a close and violent confrontation, then that is what I need.

Don't anyone get angry about my comments regarding the competition type shoots and training. But in truth it is a game, and while a fun game for many, it is just that for a CHL holder.

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Old September 4, 2004, 03:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Nobody has ever proven that he could reliably hit the chest beyond about 25 yds, while he was actually being shot-at. Either they got lucky with a single shot, or they missed several times, proving that the hit was a luck shot.
Gee, it is amazing that you can say with authority that anyone who had a first shot hit at 25 yards in a gunfight was only "lucky."

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Old September 4, 2004, 04:47 PM   #15
JerryM
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It would be interesting to know if a CHL holder ever shot at 25 yards or on the run or head shooting while running.

I suppose there are few statistics and records available for CHL shootings.

If anyone comes up with some real situations it would be very interesting. It might change the way we think and train.

Jerry
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Old September 5, 2004, 02:22 PM   #16
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Interesting question, jekla. I'm glad you asked it....

I'm looking at the same question in a different way. I want to add a long gun to my truck to suppelment my pistol for possible SHTF (heavily-armed, criminal-type, not UN-invasion/TEOTWAWKI-type) situations. I'm deciding b/t a 12ga. "riot" shotgun, a .22Mag rifle, or a larger caliber centerfire rifle. While most situations would occur at less than 100 yds. (well in 12ga. & .22Mag range), I can't help but think about the rare--yet DID happen--instances like the DC snipers or the UT Tower Sniper. And I'd prefer not to be caught flat-footed there, either.

So, if we expand the choices to long guns, how does that change things?

Thanks in advance....
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Old September 11, 2004, 11:28 AM   #17
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Anyone?...
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Old September 12, 2004, 09:06 AM   #18
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seeker_two,

If legal in your locale, a "trunk rifle" for possible emergency use can't be too bad of an idea. After all, two zillion rednecks with pick-'em-ups and thutty-thuttys can't be wrong.

Depending on where you live, however, a loaded long-gun may not be legal for you to keep in the car. (In a lot of Southern states, that's not an 'anti-gun' thing, it's an 'anti-road-hunting' thing. ) A friend used to use a Steyr-Mannlicher Stutzen for his trunk rifle, along with a bandolier of ammo on en-bloc clips. His reasoning? It was fast to load (pull back the bolt, toss in a clip, and start shootin'.) It was cheap, and thus would be no great loss should it get stolen. Lastly, he could hit out to 200yds with it just fine. When has any good law-abiding citizen had to shoot out to 200yds? Probably never, but wouldn't you hate to be the first one and wind up having to flag down some passing pickup and ask Billy Bob if you could borrow his Marlin, "just for a minute?"
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Old September 12, 2004, 09:20 AM   #19
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Limiting ability

What I am seeing is a lot of limited thinking which perpetuates limited ability. The bottom line is you cannot predict with 100% certainty where you will be justified in using your weapon. If you take the time to look around, you will find that there is distance all around you. The first thing you have to do is see it. If you cannot see it, then it really doesn't matter.

An example, bedroom door to bedroom door down the hallway 13 yards. Bumper to bumper of the average large SUV or truck 8 yards. Both these represent the measurements from the end of the objects, don't forget you are more than likely going to be standing back from them.

Hopefully, you get the picture.

Lastly, most arguments for the focus of the short range training is the probability of not having to shoot out far. Like Tam already mentioned the statistic only work when you are on the good side, but for every 90% who are on the good side there are 10% on the bad side. How can you say you won't find yourself on the shallow end. Beside, I think most people will stand fast on the argument for short distance shooting because shooting at distance (mild distance of 25 yards) is not easy. As ego driven creatures we seldom practice what we suck at

Later,
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Old September 12, 2004, 09:53 AM   #20
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Heck, I think more folks should find time to bust roc... er, practice with their pistols out at 100yds. There's very few things more enjoyable than long-range shooting with a pistol, whether it's actually a skill one will ever need or not.
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Old September 12, 2004, 10:06 AM   #21
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You can never know what will really happen. so three inches to a hunfred yards.
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Old September 12, 2004, 10:28 AM   #22
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That is exactly right

The fact is you will not know when and where you will be called upon to use your skills. As a result you are only developing a false sense of security by working the majority of your skill up close. Times are changing and so are the threats, those who fail to adapt to the changing threats will be left to deal with them without a full compliment of skills.
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Old September 12, 2004, 05:05 PM   #23
sm
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Quote:
One never knows the where or when of next encounter
-CRSam.

I practice from contact to "out yonder" , with handguns and shotguns mostly. Since I tend to shoot shotguns more than rifles, and am a big believer in slugs for SGs...

The "rock style" targets are okay - I feel like I'm "helping" critters and getting quality trigger time if I break the canteloupes/ mellons and such from contact - 100 yds( or "on out yonder") with handguns and SGs...it is benefical to both me and the critters.

Being in the South , well heck anywhere, I can see a problem with today's "concerns", having to shoot "out yonder" to err...satisfy a situation. "Critter Control" with handgun, shotgun or that thutty thutty that is so prevalent down here.
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Old September 12, 2004, 07:18 PM   #24
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Here's a thought on the subject

http://www.thegunzone.com/well-enough.html


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Old September 12, 2004, 07:27 PM   #25
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Just a quick note, house guns are great if you are in your house, car/truck guns if you are inside your car or truck, and trunk guns are great if you are inside your trunk. I don't spend much time in my trunk. Few crises allow you the option of going and getting your preferred weapon out of the trunk, or going out to your vehicle if you are inside some business. Chances are, your crises will involve no more than what you have on you at the moment it starts. That isn't to say you should not have the option for a better firearm in your trunk or out in your vehicle, but that the feeling of security by having it may not mean squat unless you are wehre you have ready access to it.
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