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Old November 22, 2011, 12:30 PM   #1
9ballbilly
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yesterday at the range

Took my Ruger Speed-six .38spl to the range yesterday. Two other guys were there shooting Glock and Taurus autoloaders. While I was setting up I noticed that both would shoot a full magazine, lay their pistols down (clear) on the bench and walk up to check the target. We were all shooting at about ten yards. Not a thing wrong with any of that. What seemed to surprise them both was during my turn. I drew,fired one shot double action, reholstered, marked the hit on my target, returned to the firing line and repeated the process with every shot. Both seemed genuinely non-plussed that unless actually shooting or dumping brass my revolver was holstered (not set on the bench) and that I marked every shot. I practice this way because the most comfortable way for me to carry is high and tight behind my left (strong side) hip. I find drawing from this position to be more difficult than with a holster more forward, requiring additional practice. FWIW I fired 30 rounds and 29 were solid center of mass hits. number 30 was in the 7 ring.

Does this seem to be an abnormal way to train for self-defense? If you were at the range with me would you have thought I was weird for doing it this way?

I'm asking because it's been many years since I was a LEO or target shot more than a few times a year and my knowledge of training techniques is Pre-turn of the century. Any up-to-date tips on SD training methodology would be greatly appreciated.
Best wishes, Bill
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Old November 22, 2011, 12:57 PM   #2
Stressfire
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When going for accuracy, I do shoot slowly and deliberately.

As much fun as mag dumps can be, you get much more time out of a box of ammo going a shot (or a couple) at a time.

Doesn't seem strange at all - and I shoot autoloaders (for now)

Quote:
Any up-to-date tips on SD training methodology would be greatly appreciated.
My ccw class and it seems any other teach to shoot and reevaluate. However, they also "teach" to fire until the threat has ended. One ideal, and one realistic, you may not always hit with the cold shot(s), especially under pressure.
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Old November 22, 2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
If you were at the range with me would you have thought I was weird for doing it this way?
The way you describe it, yes. And didn't it bug the other guys to have the range go cold so often? Maybe that's why they were "surprised".

If you were specifically training to call your shots, I'd say it was a good approach. I get the sense, though, you were interested in making sure all hits were center of mass. They all were, including the 7-ring shot, and it wasn't necessary to go forward of the firing line to mark each shot That you considered the 7-ring shot the outlier also suggests you hold a fine distinction between target & combat accuracy.

Finally, none of this training included fast CoM follow-up shots.
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Old November 22, 2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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Just an observation, not a cretique.

Score/Data books works with pistols as they do rifles. What I do, when shooting slow fire, or one shot at a time, is to draw a little picture of the target in a note book, or have another target at your firing point. Plot the shots on the target or note book. Saves a lot of walking plus doesn't tie up the firing line while your down range check targets and ploting shots.

Plus, recording data gives you a record of your shooting, pointing out your progress, or mistakes.
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Old November 22, 2011, 03:20 PM   #5
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I just set up multiple targets if there are not many people there. Though I do not walk up to check every shot. If in a draw, and shoot situation I would not have that luxury anyway.
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Old November 22, 2011, 09:27 PM   #6
9ballbilly
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Thanks for the tips guys, I never thought of plotting the shots in a notebook.

Just so you don't think I was being a jerk, we were taking turns on the range and the time it took them to fire through their full mags was equal to the time it took me to get through my six.

Good luck and good shooting, Bill
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Old November 23, 2011, 12:32 AM   #7
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At some (many) ranges I shoot at, no one is supposed to go in front of the firing line and/or check targets if there is a loaded pistol behind them. Their pistol, or anyone else’s pistol. A handgun in a holster constitutes a loaded one because no one but the wearer knows for sure if it’s loaded or not. Maybe this was their concern?

Typical range commands at most places I shoot at:

Slides back, magazines out, cylinders open and empty, place your pistol on the bench and make the line safe. Is the line safe on the right? Is the line safe on the left? The line is safe you may go forward and check your targets.

Break the above range commands, and you will be escorted off the property, never to return.
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Old November 23, 2011, 07:09 AM   #8
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I must be lucky. The range here has the setup to where you can push the button to bring your target all the way to the bench or as far back as you like (you can shoot rifles in the indoor range). So I can shoot one shot bring it forward mark it or look at it then send it back and shoot again.

Also makes it nice because I can change up the distance of the target after every shot. Last time me and a buddy went we would start holstered put up a fresh target. The one not shooting would bring the target up. You practiced your draw and evaluation of if it was a threat. We would change it up like a guy was approaching with a gun you draw your gun out of the holster and the target retreats. Fun way to change it up. Though sometimes it is nice to have a bunch of 15 round mags all loaded up and burn through them fast.
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Old November 23, 2011, 07:36 AM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Range commands where I shoot, on the rare occasion that you're not alone, generally constitute "Hey Bud, mind if I go check the target?"
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Old November 23, 2011, 10:49 AM   #10
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Maybe they were nervous that you holstered a loaded gun during range cold. That makes me nervous, all guns not being fired should be unloaded and locked open.

But they were probably just irritated at the constant call for target checks.
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Old November 23, 2011, 01:17 PM   #11
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I can see why you got looks. Last time I was at the range I was sighting in my bolt-action rifle next to a guy who was unloading an AK. We were both at 100 Yards. I was having a hard time seeing where my shots were landing because the targets I brought were mostly black for the inner couple rings, so I had to make the 100 yard job about 6 times before I was satisfied and started shooting five at a time.

Well the guy with the AK looked like he wanted to freakin' shoot me! I knew I was being a little annoying but I needed to sight-in, and had just as much right as he did to be there, what can I say?

Also, he was unloading bullets as fast as he could (after each shot I was standing their waiting for him to finish unloading his full mag, dude probably went through like 1000 rounds of ammo in just the time I was there), and his brass was flying a good 15-20 feet, most of it bouncing off my bench, and a couple hitting my baseball cap; so I didn't feel TOO bad. Felt like I was in a war zone.

Once I was waiting to use the area designated for clays and the guy in front of my friends and I was trying to shoot the clays with his semi-auto pistol. He tried this over and over again for like an hour and a half before going home without hitting a bird, not that I would better....

Point being that sometimes other shooters will be doing annoying things at the range, and others who share that range should just deal with it, I have waited over 3 hours just to start shooting before, but I go to a "community" range that's free and entirely user maintained... and only has two benches.
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Old November 23, 2011, 01:47 PM   #12
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Spotting scopes are a handy way to avoid excessive trips down range.

"They" say that you fight the same as you train. Fire some rounds for accuracy, fire some double taps, fire some strings. Fire some with your support hand only. Not all bad guys (real or simulated) are out of the fight with just one shot, keep firing until they are no longer a threat.


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Old November 23, 2011, 02:42 PM   #13
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Nineball, . . .

I got this some time back, share it when I can as I really like it:

There is a little sure fire "game" you can shoot against yourself, . . . and it gives you a yard stick to use to "measure" if you are getting better or not.

You shoot at five different distances, . . . 10 shots each. All 10 shots have to be accomplished in 30 seconds or less on each stage.

You shoot at 5 yds, 10 yds, 15 yds, 20 yds, and 25 yds.

Score 1 point for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 5 yds.

Score 2 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 10 yds.

Score 3 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 15 yds.

Score 4 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 20 yds.

Score 5 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 25 yds.

Here is the kicker: you have to shoot a perfect string of 10 on each stage before you can move up to the next one.

Example: you shoot a perfect 10 on the first distance, a perfect 20 on the second, but miss one shot on the third string. Now you have to shoot the third string a second time, and the 4th string once for your 50 shot count.

Keep track of your scores, . . . you will be surprized, . . . seriously, . . . how quickly you can get up to the perfect 150.

That is where the fun begins again: once you have maxed out kinda regularly, . . . change to an 8 inch circle, . . . then a 6 inch circle.

When you max out regularly on a 3 inch circle, . . . you are one darn good shooter.

To adapt it to your revolver, change it to 5 shots in 15 seconds for each stage.

May God bless,
Dwight

PS: Uhh, . . . no, . . . I'm not at 3 inches, . . . yet, . . . but I'm shooting
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Old December 2, 2011, 02:10 PM   #14
9ballbilly
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I feel I should have added a note here concerning always reholstering my revolver. First, I didn't load the weapon until I was ready to take my turn.
Second, while a LEO, our range/officer armorer would have ripped off our heads for leaving a weapon out of our immediate control, which is why I'm conditioned to always re-holster instead of lay a gun on the bench.
Thanks for the different viewpoints though.
Best wishes, Bill
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Old December 2, 2011, 04:41 PM   #15
m&p45acp10+1
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I also forgot to mention in my previous post that as far as the people leaving thier guns on the bench and checking thier targets. It is a common rule at several outdoor ranges that I am aware of that when cold range is called all guns are to be unloaded, and laid on the bench before anyone goes down range. Also no guns or ammo are to be handled during that time also.

The local gun club out here has that rule, and holstering during cold range is not allowed. It must be on the bench with the chamber empty, and marker flag in place.

I know it sounds majorly anal, though the rule is there to assure safety.
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Old December 2, 2011, 10:29 PM   #16
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They were probably looking because it was kinda hard for them to shoot with you walking down range after each shot..
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Old December 3, 2011, 06:16 PM   #17
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I fear your technique is training you to shoot one shot and reholster - IF you are intending this for self defense training. Police officers have been killed when they reholstered before the fight was over.

At 10 yards, I can still see my hits on the target, so I don't need to check after each shot. Even the NRA Bullseye course calls for 10 shots before checking the targets.

Since the bad guys don't read the advertising from the ammunition companies, they may not know they are supposed to fall down after one hit. These days, I teach that you shoot until they are no longer a threat - one may do it, 15 may not, so have a plan B - and C, and D, etc.
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Old December 3, 2011, 06:25 PM   #18
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When I was new to hand gun shooting I all ways did slow fire. I now mostly practice double taps unless doing long range shooting.
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Old December 3, 2011, 08:47 PM   #19
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Many people are trained that the gun must be empty and open and on the ground or bench before anyone can go forward. This is a COLD range. This is also a very good policy, especially when the shooters are strangers. If you know each other, you might agree to a holstered gun on a COLD range. And, yes, going downrange to the target after each shot seems a bit excessive.

Similarly, fast draws/presentations shouldn't be done unless agreed to by all shooters. Often it's best to give the range to a guy that needs to do that for a little while and stand well back.

The key is for all shooters to communicate and be respectful.
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Old December 4, 2011, 10:16 AM   #20
9ballbilly
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Thanks for all the input guys, I appreciate it.

Just wanted to add that since the other two guys and I were taking turns at the range it was "cold" an equal amount of time for all of us. What I mean is that they were firing double stack auto's and then checking target. Then I was practicing draw and fire with my revolver and checking each shot. In the interest of keeping shooting times equal I didn't move on to double taps. We had no problems and had a nice conversation. I think what I meant to say was that they were surprised I practiced my complete draw each time, I believe the entire act of drawing and firing should be practiced. As for re-holstering my (empty) gun while they were at the bench, I can only re-state that I was heavily conditioned while a LEO to NEVER leave a weapon outside my immediate control. I should have included this all in the OP, sorry.

Just to point out a different viewpoint; It seemed odd to me that they both would leave their guns, mags, and ammo on the bench and walk up together to check their targets since we didn't know each other. Had I not been alone I probably would have felt OK leaving my gun under the watchful eye of a friend.
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Old December 4, 2011, 12:36 PM   #21
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My Gun Club range is a cold range. Before you go forward of the firing line, you put your unloaded weapons down. There is no handling of weapons while people are forward of the firing line. No fiddling with sights, cleaning the weapon, bore sighting the scope.

The only time weapons are allowed to be loaded is when you are infact shooting on the line. Holstering a loaded weapon to practice draw and fire, well, OK. Just don't shoot yourself in the leg. Walking around with a holstered loaded weapon is not allowed.

Any accidental discharges that result in a death or injury, it is likely our Club will be sued by the person or the relatives of the victim and that will be the last of our Gun Club. It is not in the interest of the gun club to encourage risky behavior that will result in a court decision of negligence.
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Old December 4, 2011, 01:53 PM   #22
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My range also calls for guns to be unloaded during cease fire, but they have no problem with holstered pistols loaded or otherwise. Now, if you remove your gun from the holster during cease fire you will be of course asked to leave.

Being afraid of holstered guns at the range? Really guys? How do you feel around people that are carrying around you?
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Old December 4, 2011, 02:13 PM   #23
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Guns carried around me remain holstered, not subject to being drawn unless the situation requires.
I did 27 years in Law Enforcement, and had more guns pointed at me at public ranges than on the job. None of them were pointed "with intent", just sloppy gun handling - including the woman, pushed to shoot it by her husband, who pointed a loaded Uzi subgun at me with her finger on the trigger!
Public ranges are dangerous places (police ranges are only slightly less dangerous), mostly because shooters go into their private 'bubble', particularly if they have a problem. They are so intent on what they are doing, they don't hear range commands, horns, buzzers, etc.
Even after a "Cease Fire", with everyone back behind the 'yellow line', I have stopped people who walked forward to case, clean, adjust, and even LOAD their guns with folks down range.

If you frequent a public range, stay alert, trust no one!
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Old December 5, 2011, 12:17 AM   #24
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IMHO, you are creating a possibly deadly training scar with your "Shoot once, holster, mark" routine. Under stress (IE: lethal encounter) you might find yourself doing exactly what you trained yourself to do: fire one chot and then re-holster.

Even if you made a hit there is no guarantee that the BG will cooperate and stop trying to kill you. Handguns are notoriously underpowered which is why the "one-shot-stop" and "stopping power" myths has been very dangerous for amateurs who believe in their existence.

Accuracy is ultimately more important than speed. But multiple hits will be more effective than a single one. As they say, "ammo is cheap..."
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Old December 5, 2011, 12:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
If you were at the range with me would you have thought I was weird for doing it this way?
Good fort Bullseye, not so much for SD shooting.

And in Bullseye, we just use a spotting scope.

Saves a lot of time.
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