View Full Version : How Far Is Your Target (at the range)

March 22, 2005, 07:09 PM
I was just curious how far you all put your target-paper-thingies (sorry... other than "targets" is there a technical name for that blue guy printed on the paper?) back at the range.

They had me just putting mine back to the "blue line" but I never even thought to ask how far that was (stupid!)

So, lets say with a little one like my PT22, how far back would you put your target?
How about with a .40, .45, .32, or 9?

Thanks for any info!

March 22, 2005, 07:22 PM
Welcome :).

I do the 7, 15 and 25 with all my guns, any caliber. 15 is where I mainly place the target but I like to see if I can get any type of groups with my puny guns out to 25.

The 7 yard target is for drawing and firing drills. They say that most gunfights are up close and personal.


March 22, 2005, 07:23 PM
Going off the fact I've never been to a real range..

With most of the handguns I've used, 25 to 40 yards seems to be best... With a friend's Berreta .22(not sure of the model..it was at least 30 years old though), pinged metal plates that were at least 100 feet away without any problems.

Though, like I said, I only shoot for fun :D

March 22, 2005, 07:48 PM

At most indoor ranges, the yardage markers are 7, 10, 15 and 25 yards. Hang your target at the range you expect it will be needed. Handgun targets are either round bullseye targets or humanoid silhouette targets.

7 Yards is the average max distance something like 88% of police and self-defense shootings take place at. This is a good starting point for CCW holders to begin practicing. 7 yards is the distance across the average livingroom/hallway scenario. It's also very close to the width of a lane on the freeway.

15 Yards is the average max distance for outdoor self-defense and police shootings. 10-15 yards is close to the distance across the average suburban back yard(30 to 45 feet).

The 25 yard line has been a "standard" shooting distance for decades.

March 22, 2005, 08:04 PM
Oops. Forgot. For your little PT22, start with 7 yards. If you can group them in the 9 ring or tighter, then move it back to 10 yards and try that. As you are able to keep your groups inside the 9-ring or better consistently, you can move your target further away. This builds your confidence in being able to hit what you're aiming at.

Of course, the short sight raidus and tiny sights on the PT22 are not condusive to "target shooting" either. With the short barrel and tiny sights your PT22 will be more difficult to master than a longer barreled gun. I'd stay with 7 yards.

Caliber isn't the determining factor in distance shooting. The distance between the front & rear sights (sight radius) is more important. The further apart they are, the more precision you have in aligning the sights on target. For example, a PT22 or Beretta Bobcat will be difficult to shoot with precision at 15 yards, while a Ruger Mk II with a 6" barrel might be easier to shoot with precision at 25 yards.

I practice at 7 yards and 15 yards with .38, .357 Magnum, 9mm and .45ACP. The 7 yard is to practice quickly raising the gun & firing as if defending against a home intruder. The 15 yard line is used to practice hitting the target once the weapon is aimed - such as may happen in a parking lot.

DT Guy
March 22, 2005, 08:08 PM
For the record, that's one of the best screen names ever!

I like to shoot at 50 and 75 feet. If you can group at 50, most of the shorter stuff becomes easier. 75, depending on the gun, is a way to check your accuracy against some known standards, since most people 'shoot for groups' at that distance.


March 22, 2005, 08:32 PM
I use start 10' and work my way back My indoor range is rather small and 45' is the max distance That being said variety is the spice of life practice at different distance so you'll be comfortable with all of them

March 22, 2005, 08:45 PM
most of my shooting(handguns) is 15 yards, sometimes 50.

Blue Heeler
March 22, 2005, 09:46 PM
7,10,25 and 50. Mostly at 25. The speed of the shooting increases as the distance diminishes.At 7 yards it's at the rate of 12 rounds (revolver) in 12 seconds with a reload in between. Fastest segment is at 10 yards - 6 rounds in 4 seconds.
For starters 7 yards is about right.

March 22, 2005, 10:32 PM
I generally shoot my handguns on the 25yd stations. Occasionally I will use the 15yd station with smaller pocket pistols or to practice double tapping.

March 22, 2005, 11:49 PM
Most defensive situations are 15 feet or less. I generally only put my target out to 15 feet. I've found by practicing at 15 feet, I can send it on out to their maximum 45 feet once in awhile and still hit the target pretty accurately.

March 23, 2005, 12:03 AM
depends on what I am practicing on. If I am working on home defense "Oh crap there is some one in my apartment." Then I set a full silohuette(sp) at about ten feet. In general though I shoot at a 12" shoot-n-see at 25 feet. If there is a cute girl in the lane next to me then I push it 50ft...the range limit.

March 23, 2005, 12:10 AM
I heard that most self defense scenarios for us civilians are 7 yards or less, so 7 yards is where I do the bulk of my practice. In a "conventional" self defense scenario against 1 or more bad guys, my thinking is that if the threat is more than about 7 yards away, I'm not going to shoot, I'm going to run. Also, 7 yards covers the majority of home defense scenarios I can think of, at least at my house. I do shoot at longer ranges than that, with my 686 I do shoot out to 25 yards, which happens to be the longest range available at the indoor range I shoot at, I'd shoot at longer ranges if they were available. I'll be practicing a lot at longer range if I ever really get the "hunting bug" again, or if it looks like I'll be carrying into the backwoods where dangerous wildlife may be encountered. But mostly I practice at 7.

Colonel Klink
March 23, 2005, 12:37 AM
I had an answer in my head as I read all the posts. When I got to the last one, "gb in ga", above, where everything I was going to write was already there.

If a bad guy (BG) is more that 21 feet away from me I'm also running. I do all my practice at 21 feet or with long guns 100 yards.

March 23, 2005, 10:56 AM
From what I understand, FBI stats show that most shootings occur at 5 feet. At that range anyone can hit the target. Also note that most happen in low light or at night so if you are going to have a gun, get a good light too. I agree with getting out of dodge if you have room, esp. since in SC if there was a way out of the problem then shooting is not justifiably self defense. Most of the work I've been doing is with a sig p226 in 9mm from 7 yards or less for self/home defense purposes.

March 23, 2005, 02:27 PM
I shoot rifles and hunting handguns at the outdoor range at 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, and 200 yards.

You should just ask what the range of your range is.

On handguns....The "standard maximum" test range for centerfire, non-match, non-hunting handguns is 25 yards. But that's just arbitrary - defensive (non-hunting, non-match) pistols are not designed to have any real practical accuracy beyond 25 yards or so (75 feet). Rimfire (.22) pistols with longer barrels are often capable of quite good accuracy, and therefore often tested/shot/compared at 50 yards.

But as for defensive handguns, you can practice at whatever range feels right, out to 25 yards (or more), and try it at varying distances, BUT since a REAL live defensive encounter is almost invariably seven yards (21 feet) or less, seven yards is *probably* what you want to practice the MOST on BG silhouette targets. 7 yards, IINM, is considered the "standard" defensive range, if there even is such a thing as a "standard".

One indoor range I go to has lines at 3 yards, 5 yards, 7 yards, then that's it as far as lines, but then the max distance is 25 yards. You might try practicing something like this...at each of these more common ranges at which people practice with handguns.

-3 yds (9 ft)
-5 yds (15 ft)
-7 yds (21 ft)
-10 yds (30 ft)
-15 yds (45 ft)
-50 feet
-25 yds (75 feet)

But I'd make most of your practicing at 10 yards or less, since that's what typical defensive encounters are - the idea being is that if a violent aggressive attacker is more than 21 feet from you, you should be running away/retreating rather than shooting; but if you run and the BG catches up to you, and gets within 7 yards of you, then he becomes an imminent threat, and it's time to let some lead fly.

Having said all that, for spits and giggles, I love hitting the metallic silhouette full-sized ram at 200 yards with defensive handguns. I can hit it more often than not with my Taurus Tracker .45 and CZ75 9mm. I hit it about half the time with my Springfield 1911.

Unique 5.7
March 23, 2005, 03:31 PM
7 yards and 50 ft at my gun club.

March 23, 2005, 03:52 PM
From 0-15 yards. I'm lucky enough to belong to a range where you can practice draw and fire drills. You can set up muliple targets at different distances. Practice shooting from all manner of positions. Up close you can practice strike and draw drills on the target. Since most gunfights are measured in feet not yards I don't shoot much at 25 yards. As a private citizen the chances of me being justified in shooting at that distance or it ever happening are slim to none. YMMV.

March 23, 2005, 04:22 PM
Its a known fact that most handgun defensive situations take place within 30 feet. With that said I actually cut my targets up into 5 inch x 5 inch squares. I then place a 2-inch bulleye in the center of a 5 inch x 5 inch and run the target out to 15, 20, 25 and 30 feet for semi-auto firearm shooting. I shoot for the bullseye each distance until I am comfortable that I am conistentent placing the shots either in the bullseye or near it within the
5 in. x 5 in. target. I occasionally run the 5x5 out to 35 and 40 feet and do the same.

For revolvers I do the same except the distances are 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 feet. I do this different with revolvers because the sight radius of the revolvers is usually longer so it is condusive for shooting the bullseyes at greater distances.

I then repeat the entire cycle for the semi-autos only but using a dime-sized bullseye instead of a 2-inch bullseye. In addition I switch-up firearms every 20 minutes or so in order to vary the kind of firearm and the sight radius.

And lastly for rifle I use scoped firearms at max distances that the ranges allow and I always shoot dime-sized bulleyes on 5 in. x 5 in. pieces of paper.

I employed a similar method when I was professionally shooting target bow in the 1980's and I was consistently shooting 60 out of 60 10-spots at 60 feet in the competitions. It always for me came down to how many of the 60 bullseyes had the arrow cut through the dead-center "X" in the 10-spot.

Since I have been employing this similar practicve technique to my firearm practice my shooting has improved to the point that where I want to put the round, that is where it will go for all the distances I listed above. I am hitting inside the 2-inch OR dime-size bullseye about 85-90% of the time no matter the above listed distances.

I shoot the following firearms using this method usually shooting every gun in the primary firing list every week with the rotating into the mix of one or two firearms from the secondary list once a month:

Primary Firing List
Kimber 45 ACP Target II
S&W 500
Ruger 300 Winchester Magnum Rifle
Savage 17 HMR Mach-2 Rifle

Secondary Firing List
Para-Ordinance 45 ACP Black-Watch LDA (4-inch)
Browning 9mm Hi-Power
Taurus Raging Bull 454
Ruger SRH 480
Lady S&W 357 Snub-nose revovler
Browning 22LR Buckmark semi-auto
Walther P22
Ruger 22LR Mach III Hunter

In my opinion...one well placed shot is more damaging than a full clip or cylinder of "spray and pray" shots. And "yes" I practice this techique under both slow-fire and fast-fire timing.

March 23, 2005, 05:28 PM
If you cant hold a good group then your shooting to far.
I have trained 100's of people in the 30 years I have been shooting and I start them the same way I was 30 years ago by a person that used to carry a gun in the presence of President Harry Truman for 3 years.
Hand gun start at 7 yards, when you can hold a two inch or less group then 15 yards, then 25.
Its simply a matter of holding groups. When you know where the bullet is going to hit before you actualy see the hole after you have fired, thats when your shooting well.
You might get some kidding from Stupid people when you start that short range but you can see the mistakes your making much quicker than at 25 yards where your shooting a shotgun pattern and dont know where the last round hit without bringing the target back within seeing distance.

March 23, 2005, 05:32 PM
is there a technical name for that blue guy printed on the paper

If it looks like this: http://www.pistoleer.com/targets/pics/TTII(blue)_sm.gif
it was lovingly refered to as "the blob" when I was in training.

7 - 15 yards is most practical, especially just starting out. I'd stay at 7 until you get pretty comfortable with your handgun. Shooting at 25 can be disappointing and/or discouraging sometimes (most of the time for me). All my shooting during training was multiple shots, timed, drawing from the holster. I shot bent elbow, each hand ("from the hip" so to speak), both hands (low ready), as well as one handed, both strong and support hand, and two handed at various distances as close as 1.5 yards. Don't feel like you have to prove anything on the range by shooting farther than is practical. Keep the taget close until you're comfortable and practice shooting with either hand. I was surprised to learn my support hand trigger finger had not learned all the bad habits my strong handed one did, and I shot pretty well with it.

Jungle Work
March 23, 2005, 05:36 PM
No less than 3 yards and no further than 25 yards at this time. That is the length of the ranges I belong to for pistol shooting. I do like to pratice up to 100 yards with some of my pistols when I have the oppurtunity.

Jungle Work