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Old October 17, 2008, 10:14 PM   #1
stephen426
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I think I've had it wrong all these years

I went to the range tonight and there was this guy just unloading his gun as quick as he could into the target. He was shooting at 7 yards and kept most if his shots in a standard B27 target. His groupings looked more like a shotgun blast. Meanwhile, I was taking my time and shooting pretty little groups under controlled fire.

I was suprised the range officers didn't say anything since few, if any, indoor ranges allow rapid fire. It got me thinking though... Who cares about pretty little groups in a real gun fight if you can't do it quickly. In my opinion, it is much more importants to gets shots on your target and get them on quickly. I wish I had the time to get into IPSC but I also have to work a lot. I believe that rapid fire requires rapid target reacquisition. Of course rapid target acquisition is highly important since the first shot may end the gun fight.

For that reason, I think point shooting from the low ready position (basically bringing the gun up quickly from low ready) and rapid target reacquisition should have much more importance when practicing at the range. I'm not suggesting spray and pray by any means, but rather getting so used to your primary defensive gun that you don't rely on your sights.
What do you guys think?
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Old October 17, 2008, 10:19 PM   #2
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That's why I've been thinking about IDPA.

Reaction time, target acquisition , trigger control.

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Old October 17, 2008, 10:24 PM   #3
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I think you have a good point. But I also consider the best drill is to do the point shooting, but start slowly. Practice putting your shots into a small group, speeding up only when you can do so effectively. Shooting is similar learning how to play a musical instrument. Start each lesson slowly and build your speed as your brain learns the fingering. Start your firing slowly, learning to make tight groups, and then move up a notch to faster shots. They will be wider, but with practice you will tighten them at the faster speed. Eventually you will be making effective groups at fast shooting speeds.

Wide groups in practice equal misses in actual self defense; even at close range. If you drill effectively you will learn to shoot those smaller groups rapid fire. That is important if you must ever engage in actual combat. That is how I learned, and how I still drill.
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Old October 17, 2008, 11:52 PM   #4
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Old October 18, 2008, 05:53 AM   #5
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Most "real handgun" fights last no more than 3 rounds.

Think about that...
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Old October 18, 2008, 07:36 AM   #6
stephen426
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Quote:
Most "real handgun" fights last no more than 3 rounds.

Think about that...
Think about slower carefully aimed shots and the ability to do that with a bad guy spray lead in your direction. Even lucky hits count against you and will certainly hamper your ability to shoot back. Of course being able to draw and shoot quickly and accurately is probably the best combination. The problem is most ranges don't allow holstered weapon, much less firing while drawing from a holster. I guess they have seen too many idiots shooting themselves in the legs.

The other point is becoming so familiar with your primary carry gun, that it becomes and extension of your hand. Even without sights, you should be able to hit your target at 21 feet and group relatively well. I think I will practice more with my sights taped up.
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Old October 18, 2008, 08:05 AM   #7
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If you have never seen the video from the dash cam of the Ohio State trooper who shot it out with a bg at about 12 to 15 feet, . . . google around on high speed videos, . . . somebody probably out there has it, . . . it is worth the watch.

The bg comes around his suv passenger side and draws a handgun on the trooper and they begin to exchange rounds, . . . I forget the number of rounds, but it was like 15 from each, . . . maybe somewhat fewer, I don't remember.

Point is, . . . several seconds of spray and pray, . . . no hits. If either of them had taken time for a good aimed head shot, . . . the video would have been much different.

I have always been a proponent of "shoot what you aim at" and "aim at what you shoot". Especially in today, . . . where YOU are responsible for where EVERY LAST ROUND lands that you fire.

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Old October 18, 2008, 08:23 AM   #8
Deaf Smith
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He was shooting at 7 yards and kept most if his shots in a standard B27 target.
B27 is the size of an obese gorilla. MOST of his shots? You mean he missed?

Considering the handgun is a very weak stopper we all know shot placement is the key to stopping someone. That means good solid COM, perferabley near the sternium unless you can deliver a CNS shot.I won't even get into the potiential of erriant shots killing someone else nor winchestering your gun one just one attacker leaves you vunerable to his friends.

Me think one needs to shoot one heck of alot better than 'most' of the shots on a B27.

Since you can shoot small groups, how about this. Go a little fiaster until the groups spread to about 8 inches. Then try to keep all the shots at 7 yards in that 8 inches as you get faster and faster.

You will have to speed up, then slow down, then speed up, slow down... till you can shoot very fast and keep all the shots COM, not 'most' on a B27.
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Old October 18, 2008, 08:33 AM   #9
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One of my biggest problems with an indoor range is that the ones I've been to will not allow you to holster a loaded gun, especially in concealment. That draw from concealment is vital to your ability to use the gun in self defence.

Now that you've shot for years you should practice drawing from concealment and firing. Your basic tac-tac drill. Do it until it's smooth. Practice that draw at home with an empty weapon daily.

Then learn to draw and fire on the move, seeking C+C and such. Another thing you can't do on an indoor range.
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Old October 18, 2008, 09:30 AM   #10
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Practice that draw at home with an empty weapon daily.
+1 and reloads.
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Old October 18, 2008, 09:43 AM   #11
stephen426
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Dwight,

I fully understand and agree that one is responsible for each and every round he fires. There is a difference between a spray and pray and being able to fire rapidly. While you may be taking your well aimed shot, a bad guy may be unloading his gun at you. Like I said, even off center hits will greatly hinder your ability to fight back. Besides, he could get luck and critically wound you with one of his shots.

The guy basically kept all of his shots on the target with maybe a few close misses.

I think I am just going to have to make time for IPSC or PPC. Shooting controlled fire while stationary at stationary targets has little to do with real world gun fights. I'm thinking paintball or even Airsoft might even be a better form of practice since you have to worry about getting hit as well. In paintball and airsoft, standing still to take a well aimed shot is usually suicide unless you are a sniper. Of course you can't go around spraying bullets like most guys spray paintballs/airsoft (unless you are in combat).
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Old October 18, 2008, 02:04 PM   #12
Deaf Smith
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The guy basically kept all of his shots on the target with maybe a close misses.
Stephen,

A B-27 is HUGE. Way bigger than most men. At 7 yards, standing still, that's not good at all, fast or slow. I would not recommend imitating his 'style'.

Tell you what, time how long it takes him to fire all those shots. Then look at how many are COM hits. Now instead just fire a controled pair of COM shots. Time them. I bet you do it faster than the spary-n-pray style and with better hits.
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Old October 18, 2008, 02:11 PM   #13
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Either I'm old school or just plain poor.

Only thing I use now is an 8"x11" sheet of white paper with a quarter outlined in the center (25 yards) or a penny (at 7 yards)
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Old October 18, 2008, 03:05 PM   #14
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training for drawing

I carry a Kimber 1911. I have two airsoft 1911 replicas: one spring-operated (need to rack the slide for each shot); one gas operated (fill the "magazine" with "green gas" before each session) which repeats and operates just like the real 1911. Each fires 6-mm plastic pellets. The guns are the size and shape of the real thing, but of course are lighter.

I set up a silhouette target in my basement and practice drawing and firing. Once I'm satisfied with my draw, I'll try it with my carry gun and live ammo at my gun club. I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet. Anyway, I think using the airsoft replica gun helps to work out the kinks in drawing and firing.

I've tried firing "from the hip" and "from the gut." I don't do well at it. I have found that I can bring my gun up to eye level quickly and get good hits.

Spring-operated replicas run about $30. Gas operated replicas run over $100. You might want to try one of the spring-operated ones to see if it helps.
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Old October 18, 2008, 03:35 PM   #15
David Armstrong
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Spray and pray is not a good shooting technique. Learning target focused shooting (point shooting, instinctive shooting, etc.), on the other hand, is an excellent way to survive the usual CCW incident.
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Old October 18, 2008, 05:01 PM   #16
stephen426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Armstrong
Spray and pray is not a good shooting technique. Learning target focused shooting (point shooting, instinctive shooting, etc.), on the other hand, is an excellent way to survive the usual CCW incident.
I edited my posts to show that I never advocated spray and pray. I think we agree on the point shooting technique though. I believe most would agree that you react in the manner you practice when the poop hits the fan. If you are attacked and you try to get the perfect sight picture before firing, you may end up dead. If you can draw and get your gun on target faster than the bad guy, your odds go up significantly.

I think I need to get back to my airsoft practice where I would start with the gun at low ready and try to acquire the target and fire as quickly as possible. I was hitting a 8" x 8" sticky target from across the room without relying on the sights. I was actually at the point where most of my shots were grouping within 3 inches. The problem is the airsoft I have is a Sig P226 replica and I carry a Glock 26. Time to get a new Airsoft I guess.

The idea behind being able to empty the gun as quickly as possible is you are relying more on the muscle memory of the "reset" than on sight picture. Basically, you can reset to where your point of aim is without relying on the sights, despite the recoil. I'm sure that is a matter of being very used to a gun. Like I said, few ranges allow you to rapid fire so many may not have even experienced it.

I guess my main point of this thread is to get people to think about their practice time at the range and see how it would translate to a real life gun fight. In my opinion, pretty groups under controlled fire is meaningless unless you can draw and fire quickly and accurately.
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Old October 18, 2008, 05:07 PM   #17
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i shoot in a "league" at my local pistol range for this very reason

it really helps to become familiar with your weapon.
stuff like having 7 seconds to rack one in the chamber and fire 6 rounds at a ~6" target, 50' away.
very good practice
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Old October 18, 2008, 05:08 PM   #18
David Armstrong
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I believe most would agree that you react in the manner you practice when the poop hits the fan.
That seems to depend in large part on just how much you have practiced.
Quote:
I edited my posts to show that I never advocated spray and pray.
Fair enough, my comment was more of a general point than at you specifically.
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I guess my main point of this thread is to get people to think about their practice time at the range and see how it would translate to a real life gun fight.
It's a good point, one that lots of folks never do get. My old training group's motto was "HOPE THAT YOUR TRAINING WILL BE A REFLECTION OF REAL LIFE INSTEAD OF HOPING THAT REAL LIFE WILL BE A REFLECTION OF YOUR TRAINING."
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Old October 18, 2008, 05:09 PM   #19
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I just listened to a Michael Bane Podcast and he now believes the "shoot until they are on the ground" as opposed to shoot to stop as he taught before. The bottomline is eliminate the threat. BTW, I knew you weren't advocating "spray and pray" and the example you gave was not such.
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Old October 18, 2008, 05:36 PM   #20
stephen426
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I just saw a thread about sighted versus non-sighted shooting. I think this is what I had in mind when I started this thread. Here is the link.
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Old October 18, 2008, 05:44 PM   #21
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There's a great deal of difference between a precise sight picture, a flash sight picture, point shooting, and spray and pray.

I have been shooting IDPA for about a year now and my outlook on all four of those things has greatly changed. I am far from a pro shooter and don't present IDPA as tactical training or anything other than a good test of a variety of shooting and gun handling skills.

When I buy a new gun (or new ammo with an old gun) I will begin with precise sight pictures so I can get an idea of POI. I have never bought a gun that required any sight tweaking.

After I have an idea of how the gun "aims" I work from the holster, my goal is to obtain a good hit as fast as possible. I have a 3-6 inch target I consider a good hit depending on distance. 7 yards and closer I do well with a flash sight picture, basically just enough to see that the front sight is centered and the top is even with the rear sights. This is not a precise alignment...just a quick check to make sure I'm on target.

As the distance increases that "flash" sight picture gets a little bit longer because I know a deviation in my sight picture will affect my shot more @ 15 yards than at 7. At 20 yards or better I'm almost back to a "precise" sight picture but I'm still not striving for "one ragged hole".

I regard point shooting as a good tool for rapid fire at 3-5 yards with a completely clear backstop. I don't do this from the hip but with my gun indexed at my pectoral muscle, slightly canted to the side so the slide doesn't hit me during recoil.

I think being able to get good hits as fast as possible is the primary objective for competitive or defensive purposes. I can think of scenarios where precise aiming, flash aiming, and point shooting could all mean the difference between life and death (your own or someone other than the bad guy(s)). Understand the difference in the three techniques and what situations they would be applicable and get good at all three.

Working from the holster is very important during practice (or just at home doing dry work if you can't do it at the range) because in real life you do not have time to pick your gun off of a bench, slip a fresh mag in, rack the slide, loosen your shoulders up, get into your stance, and aim for an X. If a typical SD situation is only 3-5 seconds long and it takes you 3 seconds to clear leather and get off a good shot you're in trouble. Distance and movement (either you or the BG) are very important variables in that equation that dictate the type of shot you will take.
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Old October 18, 2008, 06:08 PM   #22
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Sigma 40 Blaster...

Thanks for your insight. That is pretty much what I was talking about. You summed up my mumble jumble thoughts nicely.

My problem was that I fell into the trap of competitiveness with a friend of mine. We would work on shooting pretty little groups rather than getting lead on the target quickly and accurately.

Thanks for the input and ideas so far. Please keep them coming.
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Old October 18, 2008, 06:14 PM   #23
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I like shooting tight groups too, but for defensive fire, fire as fast as you can, while still keeping your shots in the A and B (and maybe the C) zones (using something like an IPSC target for reference)...there's no use in remaking the same hole over and over

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Old October 18, 2008, 08:54 PM   #24
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There's a difference between target accuracy and self defense accuracy, and there's a difference between acceptable self defense accuracy and poking a whole lot of holes all over a big silhouette target.

In classes I took recently with both Louis Awerbuck and Massad Ayoob, they each stressed the need to be appropriately accurate. For one thing, the things you need to put the holes in to maximize the likelihood that you will stop the fight are grouped in a relatively small area. For another thing, your performance will deteriorate significantly under stress, so to stand a good chance of getting the hits you need when you need them, you need to do better at the range.

So you don't need everything in one ragged hole, but you also don't want holes all over the paper. You want pretty much all your shots in the A zone, and you want them there quickly. The good news is that you can learn to do it. That's what training and practice are all about.

BTW, it's a good idea to end each practice with some precision shooting. That's how you program and confirm good trigger control.
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Old October 18, 2008, 09:37 PM   #25
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Spray and pray is not a good shooting technique. Learning target focused shooting (point shooting, instinctive shooting, etc.), on the other hand, is an excellent way to survive the usual CCW incident.
And so is learning a good sighted fire method.

But missing a B-27 target at 7 yards and thinking that's point shooting and the way to go isn't a good way to 'survive the usual CCW incident", although I'd remind people that the 'usual CCW incident' dosn't even involve firing the weapon.

And pray tell, david, what if it's not quite the 'usual CCW incident'. Not like you can pick what incident you encounter.

Quote:
So you don't need everything in one ragged hole, but you also don't want holes all over the paper. You want pretty much all your shots in the A zone, and you want them there quickly. The good news is that you can learn to do it. That's what training and practice are all about.
Absolutly fiddletown, absolutly.


If you have time to fire a whole magazine you have time to aim. Learn to use a form of sighted fire first. Master it and a form of hip/retention. Then if you want to learn point/instinctive/target focused fireing methods, great.

Don't accept 'shotgun like groups' on a static target at 7 yards. Especially if you are forced to enguage a partialy exposed attacker, armored one, or one with a hostage.
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