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smince
February 13, 2010, 08:15 PM
Making The Case For Distance Shooting
By Ron Avery

Your sidearm will never be a carbine, but it will be there when you need it, provided you brought it in the first place and you have the skill to use it effectively

Back when I first started in law enforcement, the trend on shooting and qualifying emphasized accuracy over speed and the ability to place your shots, albeit slowly, in a nice tight group. We shot out to 50 yards in qualification. We shot with strong hand and support hand and even shot from a sitting and prone position. We also shot at extended distances up to 200 yards or more with our duty handguns when I was training with my friend and mentor, Sgt. Dalton Carr, as a deputy sheriff.

Time went on and new trends appeared. Faster courses of fire of fire came into vogue. These emphasized close quarter and short range shooting skills with the emphasis on more speed, movement off the X, multiple shots, and more realistic time frames.

This was an improvement. But along the way, many agencies started moving away from distance shooting. Many trainers are now calling 25 yards, “long range.” Some even have qualification courses that go out to only 15 yards. They point out that the majority of incidents occur at less than 21 feet with only occasional shootings past 10 yards or so.

This thinking is rational enough — if you only have so much allowed time to train and qualify your people, you have to train them in the most likely form of encounter they will face.

But let’s take a few moments to examine the times we live in and the possibility that cops today may encounter a threat with more than just rudimentary shooting ability, and far more than just a handgun. Consider the events in Mumbai, India, where terrorists armed with long guns and IEDs killed more 100 people and wounded three times that number.
How prepared would you be to face a terrorist or criminal who is armed with a long gun when you are armed only with your current duty weapon or off-duty handgun? Threats like that need to be a consideration as we work in our training to make a handgun function to its true potential.
Observations

From my own experience and research into shooting performance under stress, I’ve been measured and have measured human performance at all levels from the very best to the most basic.

One observation involves the use of the handgun versus the carbine.
As a rule of thumb, given the same person (or even two people of similar skill and ability), whatever you can do with a handgun you can do with a carbine at about two (and usually three) times the distance.

What do I mean by that? What you can do at five yards with a handgun, you can probably do at 10 to 15 yards with a carbine.

So if you practice on being proficient at seven yards and under, start to slow down at 10 and have to take two to three seconds to get your first hit at 15 or 25 yards, and two seconds or more for subsequent hits, or four to seven seconds to get hits at 50 yards or farther then you are seriously behind the performance curve against a carbine wielding opponent of similar skill.

Consider having to face a carbine in the hands of a committed terrorist in a mall when you are off duty and armed with only your handgun. You see him at 25 yards and he sees you. For him it’s a fairly easy shot if he chooses to aim and not spray bullets in your direction. For you, it may be pushing the envelope to ask you to place a bullet in him in under 1.2 seconds from a ready position.

Getting fight-stopping hits at distance — and at the speed of the gunfight — against a threat beyond 15 and 25 yards requires a greater level of skill than shooting at distances less than 10 yards. This is especially true when you consider that the threat you’re likely to face in the abovementioned scenario will be moving, shifting, or partial (such as someone wearing body armor).

Although the bulk of your time will still be spent on the threat you’re most likely to encounter — a typical criminal, armed with a handgun at short range is — it is absolutely to your advantage to learn something about facing that carbine-wielding terrorist on your off day.

Time to Ponder

It is time to rethink our strategies about how we are going to deal with a terrorist or a well-trained criminal armed with a long gun when we only have a handgun with us.

The North Hollywood shootout was a wakeup call that started the trend to place patrol rifles in our squad cars. However, unlike military personnel or special operations law enforcement, the carbine is not present on our person at all times for most law enforcement activities.

It is very likely that we will be facing more and more criminals (and yes, possibly terrorists) armed with long guns in future engagements. For law enforcement patrol officers, BOTH the handgun and the carbine are primary weapons. You don’t have the luxury of calling the handgun a “secondary weapon.”

I say it is time to start training at distance again and learn how to make rapid, fight-stopping hits at extended ranges with our handguns. I pledge to make it a priority in my column here on PoliceOne to increase the shooting skills of every law enforcement officer who is willing to work at it.
I believe we need to be as proficient with our handguns as military personnel — if not more so — and we need to get our mindset wrapped around the fact that the handgun will do the job when you need it too. It will never be a carbine, but it will be there when you need it, provided you brought it in the first place and you have the skill to use it effectively.

http://www.policeone.com/active-shoo...ance-shooting/

(Personally, I believe everyone who CCW's needs to own this skill as well as the close-range stuff. I'm also quite sure I'll be in the minority).

orionengnr
February 13, 2010, 08:43 PM
If you are capable of making 50-yard pistol shots in 1.2 seconds, more power to you. I would imagine that this would place you in the 99th percentile, if not the 99.9th percentile.

At the risk of over generalizing, or speaking for others...most of us CHLs who practice regularly tend to practice at readily-recognized SD distances--25 feet or so. That is reality.

Would I like to make good 50 yard shots with my 1911? Sure. Is that likely to happen without extensive resources? No. Do I view it as a priority? No. Do I have unlimited resources, time and ammo? No. So I stick with what I view as the most likely threat scenario. If I ever have to make a 25 or 50 yard shot with my SD sidearm against someone with a pistol, I'm hoping to be on even terms (skill and accuracy wise). If I am going against a rifle at that distance, I am probably better off using my aging legs to open the distance between us, and hoping that my adversary's aim is no better than my legs. :)

RobAB
February 14, 2010, 01:03 AM
What kind of targets would you be shooting at ranges of 200 yards with a duty handgun?

jrothWA
February 14, 2010, 01:13 AM
include maximum distance.

I have used my 4" .357 & .45 GM for back-up for deer hunting with my muzzleloader during rehulat firearms season.
Using the base of front sight I had no problem with keeping shot withing in the 10 ring of a 100yd reduce target.

Present range has a hill impact berm, target line is 15, 25 50 & hill @ 55, I alsway pick a sotne or clump and take good aim.

Sarge
February 14, 2010, 01:35 AM
I went through the KCPD Academy when PPC with DA revolvers was the accuracy standard. Your paycheck rode on your ability to hit at 50 yards.

I've also been around LE long enough to see the sacrifice of accuracy, on the altar of high-volume fire.

I enjoyed the article and generally speaking, agree with the author. Folks who carry guns should be capable of good accuracy and diverse distances. The other side of the coin is that they also need to be able to pour it on at close range- and possess the ability to decide which is the appropriate response when gunfire is called for.

It's a good read all the same & thank you for posting it.

Frank Ettin
February 14, 2010, 01:58 AM
Aside from any possibility that a threat just might need to be engaged at a distance, some practice at longer distances (25 to 50 yards) helps develop and maintain good trigger control. And that will translate to better hits at closer distances.

Hook686
February 14, 2010, 03:21 AM
+1 When I began practicing at 25 yards my accuracy at 10 yards inproved significantly.

noyes
February 14, 2010, 06:36 AM
Another lost art of handgun shooting , Long range handgunning.

Most people that carry (99%) act like a bullet from a hundgun will only go 21 feet and than magically drop to the ground.

Responses I've heard.

You can't shoot a handgun at 50 yards ... That's crazy.
100 yards with a handgun thats insane.
No way you can shoot a handgun at 200 , 300 yards. No buddy can do that.

It's amazing all the lost arts of the firearm usage in todays mind set.

smince
February 14, 2010, 07:39 AM
What kind of targets would you be shooting at ranges of 200 yards with a duty handgun? I use standard IDPA targets and use my Glock and have also used a stock Springfield 1911.

I took an advanced defensive handgun course in Nov. 2008 and we shot at a 1/2 scale silhouette plate at 50-75 yds. Ringing it with my Glock 26 wasn't difficult at all.

MTT TL
February 14, 2010, 08:34 AM
Hitting something at 200 yards with a good pistol is not particularly hard. It is more like archery, especially with a .45. Most handgun rounds won't have enough left on them to be effective at that range.

smince
February 14, 2010, 09:00 AM
Most handgun rounds won't have enough left on them to be effective at that range.Desertscout1 who posts on here has shot 55 gal drums at 500yds with .40S&W and they still penetrated both sides.

Another look at the .40 and what it's got left at 500 yards and for those that think that it has a "mortar-like" trajectory at that range....

This still doesn't give us a definitive answer but here's a barrel we shot time before last when we did some shooting at 500. No problem going through and check out the angle of entry and exit

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v519/Desertscout1/Targets/020109_bulletangle.jpg

win-lose
February 14, 2010, 09:19 AM
I always shoot a couple of cylinders worth at my range's max distance (25 yds). I don't have any illusions that it is a skill I'll be likely to need, but 1) I love the challenge of it and 2) it is better to have the skill and not need it than to need the skill and not have it.

noyes
February 14, 2010, 09:32 AM
.45

max.range (yards) 1640
max.range (miles) .93



But the F.B.I. reports..................................................................

Again lost art of long range handgunning.



.

Doc Intrepid
February 14, 2010, 09:46 AM
For a number of years I shot International Handgun Metallic Silhouettes with the IHMSA http://www.ihmsa.org/

You aim at metal knock-down targets: chickens at 50 yards, pigs at 100, turkeys at 150, and rams at 200 yards.

I used a Dan Wesson .44 Magnum revolver with an 8" barrel, and adjustable iron sights. I certainly agree with the idea that long-range handgun shooting can be fun and enjoyable, and you can learn a lot by taking the time to get good at it.

I'm not sure I agree that long-distance handgun training is a high-value item for civilian self defense, however. Possibly for law enforcement personnel, although generally most patrol cars these days are equipped with LE rifles - which offer a better option.

For the armed civilian, however, who will be arrested after any 'successful' self defense shooting (SD is an active defense, ...you'll still be arrested and booked), it might be difficult to argue that you could not out-maneuver, withdraw from, or take cover against an adversary who was 100-200 yards distant. Armed civilians are responsible for determining that their lives or those of their loved ones are in imminent jeopardy - that they are in immediate danger of being murdered - before using lethal force. It would be tough to argue in court that you had no other options but to fire at an adversary who is 150 to 200 yards away.

Just MHO...YMMV.

Doc

jhenry
February 14, 2010, 09:46 AM
Most handguns rounds have enough stink left at 200 yards to kill you dead and that's no joke. Well beyond that too.

Example: .40 SW 180 grain load from Double Tap is sailing along at 885 fps at 200 yards with 313 lbs of energy left. Drop is 40 inches.

Example 2: .36 Colt Navy 76 grain standard load at the muzzle is 750 fps with 100 lbs of energy.

I would never pick a .36 cap and ball Colt Navy for a defensive weapon if given a choice not to, however many folks over the years found them to be deadly indeed. Bill Hickock dropped Dave Tutt with one shot from such a critter in Springfield, MO on the town square at 100 yards. The double tap load is a bit warmer than most but even reducing the above calculations by a bit shows what is left at 200 yards.

No slam at all intended with this, just some illumination regarding the issue. It's very common to view concealable handguns as short range ONLY pieces of equipment when such is not the case. When I first purchased my current Glock 23 I took it to a largish private shoot (mostly handgunners) and wrung it out a bit. Longest range at that event is 180 yards. Plugging a man sized blackened stump while resting over a plywood barrier was no real issue, and raised no eyebrows at all. Heck, most of those old trigger addicts can put me to shame at any given range.

jhenry
February 14, 2010, 10:59 AM
Interesting thread and topic. I'll add an example involving an unusual incident. I agree that in most any case, a CCW holder firing back at 200 yards would be 'rara avis' certainly. In the county adjacent to mine (south) a cattle and grazing disagreement went real wrong, and a 2 folks (unarmed for some unfathomable reason) were trapped in an open pasture by a vehicle with two assailants. The bad actors were fortified by intoxicating spirits, malice in their hearts, and a repeating rifle capable of inflicting mortal wounds at that range. The seige of Chevrolet Walls went on for over three hours, and scared the Bejesus out of the two innocent parties. The modern day Curly Bill, and Ringo left a pile of beer cans, and empty casings covered in mud and cow poop from their "Yeehaw!!!" and extended rooster tail of triumph back to the gravel road. They thought they had killed the two. The incident was reported, the deputy told the folks that the prosecutor would not file charges because their were no witnesses and no injuries, the agrieved parties went to the newspaper, the prosecutor hit the proverbial roof, and the duly chastened deputy went to the pasture to take photos and collect the rather obvious evidence. Like beer cans, tire tracks, casings, and a one perforated Chevy. Convictions all around, thank you very much.

Now...what would any of us do in such a situation? Lament our lack of efficacy at range, or by God shoot back. Can't run, you'll get plugged in the back by some drunk murderous Ernest T. Bass.

Like the man said, I'd sure hate to get killed for a lack of shootin' back.

kraigwy
February 14, 2010, 11:33 AM
Ahhhh............a man after my own heart. I agree 100% with the OPs article.

I can see common occasions where an LE officer would need the ability to use his servicer revolver/pistol at extended ranges. Yes now days many carry rifles. I carried a Counter-Sniper rifle (LE Snipers arent PC). But I carried it in the car.

Now lets look at one of the most common call for service, that being Domistic Violence. You certainly dont park in front of the house, and you don't pack a rifle or shotgun to the door on ever DV call. It's not unreasonable to think the bandit, who is intent on bad behavier is going to wait until you get on the front steps to act. You could very well be caught on the curb 25-50 yards from the door, and that far from your car.

What's wrong we being able to protect your self in such a situation.

In SD situations, the mall is a perfect example. Its not unreasonable to find distantances ove 15 yards in the mall. Its not unreasonable to think people go wacko in malls. It dosnt have to be a terrorist situation.

Most of us dont even carry heavy pistols as our CW. The sales numbers of S&Ws little 5 shot revolvers prove this.

Lets be honest, the main reasons people dont practice distance shooting with our carry piece is because of lazyness and ego. We are too lazy to put in the time and effort. Our egos wont allow it. We like the itty bitty groups we get at 10 yards, we don't want to embarris ourselfs scattering rounds all over the place at 50 yards or so.

The dept. I worked with gave officers 50 rounds a month to practice. Plus us range officers furnished additional ammo to any who asked for it. It was not uncommon to see stacks of ammo in officer's lockers. Years worth. It wasnt that there wasnt ammo, it was the officers didnt take the time and effort to use it.

If we are gonna carry, we ow it to our self and our families to learn to shoot it, and not just at 10 yards.

You want to really learn to shoot you little 5 shot revolver, try shooting Bullseye pistol with it. No you arnt going to compete with a $2000 Hard Ball Match 1911, but you will learn to shoot. You wont shoot Xs and 10s but you will get on paper. Then go home and see what happens to your 7 yards groups.

I use to shoot pistol Metalic Shill. 50 -200 meters and chichens, pigs, geese and rams. I had better pistols, Model 29s, 27s, TCs etc, but I shot them with my 4 in Model 28 Service revolver. No it wouldnt knock over the rams at 200 meters, but I found if I paid attention, I could hit them.

I shoot at IDPA targets at 100 yards with my 642. I dont hit every time, I certainly dont keep them in the A range, but I'm convinced I can discourage bad behavier at that range.

AND ITS FUN.

Sure you wont be as fast at extended ranges, but you can make up with accuracy, it takes a split second to drop to the prone or knelling position and get a good sight picture.

Practice for accuracy, when there, start working of speed. It takes work, it takes ammo. Better if you reload, better yet if you cast your own bullets, but still, one night in a bar, or a fancy resturant will buy a lot of ammo.

It boils down to what are your priorities I guess.

So there's my Sunday Morning rant.

noyes
February 14, 2010, 11:52 AM
Law enforcement personnel lives are worth more than civilians ?

Politically correct gun fights?

Most everyone knows where being politically correct has gotten them. The other side wins. Zero tolerance policies. Hide guns from kids instead of teaching them. Etc.

Never never underestimate the enemy.
Never do away with any of your options.

OldMarksman
February 14, 2010, 12:29 PM
I'm not sure I agree that long-distance handgun training is a high-value item for civilian self defense, however. Possibly for law enforcement personnel, although generally most patrol cars these days are equipped with LE rifles - which offer a better option.

For the armed civilian, however, who will be arrested after any 'successful' self defense shooting (SD is an active defense, ...you'll still be arrested and booked), it might be difficult to argue that you could not out-maneuver, withdraw from, or take cover against an adversary who was 100-200 yards distant. Armed civilians are responsible for determining that their lives or those of their loved ones are in imminent jeopardy - that they are in immediate danger of being murdered - before using lethal force. It would be tough to argue in court that you had no other options but to fire at an adversary who is 150 to 200 yards away.

Good put, Doc.

The sworn officer has the duty to enforce the law--to apprehend, or put out of action, a violent criminal actor and to prevent him from presenting a serious present danger to others in the community. That could easily require firing effectively at long range.

The citizen has the right to use deadly force to defend himself or others when and only when such force is immediately necessary; that is, when the danger is imminent and when there is no reasonable alternative, such as avoidance or evasion.

That the danger is imminent is determined by the assailant's having the ability and opportunity to cause death or great bodily harm at the time, and by the defender's having been put in jeopardy, again at the time. Most of the time, those conditions and an inability to otherwise avoid the danger will not be met unless the distance is short.

Having said that, I don't see anything wrong with shooting some targets at longer range with a handgun. There is always the possibility that the skill could prove useful.

MTT TL
February 14, 2010, 01:15 PM
.36 Colt Navy 76 grain standard load at the muzzle is 750 fps with 100 lbs of energy

Sure, that is about the same amount of energy as a good fastball or about half what a .380 produces at the muzzle.

True a good fast ball can hurt or kill you but I was talking effectiveness. To me that means reliably stopping the target. MOST handgun rounds will be well below what is considered acceptable energy levels for stopping power out of a handgun at 200 yards.

jhenry
February 14, 2010, 02:12 PM
I think you may have missed the point of the post. The .36 Navy figures were given as a comparrison to what a common carry piece (.40 SW) has left at 200 yards, which is slightly over 3 times the energy of the .36 at the muzzle. The .36 was not given as an example of something which would have alot left at 200 yards, or even a prefered piece at all. The .36 Colt Navy accounted for quite a few immediate fatalities with a smaller, lighter projectile, with 1/3 the energy point blank, over the .40 at 200 yards. THAT would be the salient factor. You can fairly easily look up remaining energy of various rifle and handfun rounds at all kinds of ranges. Compare them to something which would be considered effective at point blank range, such as a good .32 or .380, even a .38 Special, and it is pretty obvious that many common handgun cartridges retain lethality at range, assuming you can hit them anyway.

Stating most handgun rounds won't have enough lef on them to be effective at 200 yards is simply not the case. The dirt common .40 SW has enough left to go in one side of a normal person and out the other. A rifle? no, it is absolutely not that. Can it be effective? Yes. As effective as if it were 10 yards, no.

If the standard is reliably stopping the target, well, that is a pretty subjective standard. I personally don't view any common handgun rounds like that. We carry handguns because rifles and shotguns are bulky and get in the way.

Again, no argument intended, just tryingto clarify my point.

Old Grump
February 14, 2010, 02:32 PM
Sigh, here we go again. Why do most people think this is fairy tale stuff and impossible to achieve by the average shooter. I don't have a clue what the energy level of a 230 grain FMJ bullet is out of my 45 at 200 yards but I know it will penetrate a 2x4. I know I can hit a 5 gallon bucket at 200 yards with all my handguns but one and that includes 22, 357, 41 mag, 44 mag, 9 MM and 45 ACP. I haven't tried it with my 45 cal BP revolver and have some doubts It could do it, accuracy with the balls I shoot fall off drastically after 30 yards and I'm lucky to stay on paper at 50 yards.

Not magic and I have coached a lot of shooters using their duty guns or personal weapons with iron sights who thought it was beyond their and their guns ability to do the same thing. Without fail the concentration learned with long distance shooting has showed up at their 50 and 25 yard target scores. I know a lot of people cannot practice at that range but they can approximate the difficulty a little just by using reduced targets. It isn't the same as learning holdover at various ranges for long distance shooting but it helps focus the concentration on their front sight better than any 10 yard or less shooting can do.

I can't shoot 200 yards very often because the range isn't available for me in my present location but I can do 100 and I get a magazine or a cylinder full at that range every time I go out with whichever gun I'm shooting that day and it helps me keep my old eyeballs and skills in shape for the 'Maybe Shot' that you hope never to have to do.

It isn't Rambo stuff, its common sense to hone your skill and get as competent as you can get. You shoot what you have and if some mope is shooting at you from 85 yards away with a rifle and all you have is your 9 or 40 and no cover you had better be able to return effective fire.

Deaf Smith
February 14, 2010, 09:56 PM
John Farnam has his own views on long range defensive shooting.

http://www.defense-training.com/quips/07Feb10.html

My colleague and professional shooter, Ron Avery, points out the any pistol with a sight-radius significantly less than four inches (10.2cm), in the hands of all but extremely talented shooters, will be limited in effectiveness to twenty meters. Conversely, nearly everyone can be trained to hit human-sized targets at fifty meters, when they are supplied with a pistol with a sight-radius of four inches or more.

He talks about the Mumbai/Beslan-style attacks and terrorist. He feels it's only a matter of time for these to happen here and for cops as well as CCW armed people, you many very well need skills to use your handgun past normal defensive range.

Hook686
February 14, 2010, 11:51 PM
Out at the club range the local P.D. uses (use to) the range for practice a couple of times a month. A few months ago an officer lost grip on the slide of his .40. The slide slammed home and the pistol discharged. The gun was pointed at the ground in front of the berm. The bullet bounced over the berm and came down 900 yards away. A worker, in a PU truck, was out checking the clay field. The bullet came down, went through the truck windshield, and hit his thigh. The bullet did not break the skin.

Murdock
February 15, 2010, 08:25 AM
I think the OP is right on.

What surprises me is that a mall terrorist mall shooting -- or some similar incident -- has not yet taken place. It would be an inexpensive act (from the the terrorists' point of view), would be instantly sensationalized and have international prominence (a prime requirement for terrorism), and would serve to turn us against ourselves anew in arguments about our rights and duties.

Tom Clancy already has already written this up in a novel, as he wrote up a kamikaze airliner attack on Washington DC years prior to 9/11. After 9/11 how many times did we hear (from those who hadn't read Clancy) how unimaginable such a crime would be? In Clancy's mall shooting scenario, at least one terrorist had to be taken out from way beyond the classic 7-yard range so frequently quoted. Malls would lend themselves to that.

A shooting buddy of mine, who like me is retired military and a former LEO, works in a gun shop in a mall. He keeps his AR in his truck at all times.

I have not quite gotten to that point, because I can't see a situation where I could get to it in time, and I would be hinky about being at the scene of a mass shooting in civvies carrying a carbine as the cavalry starts to show up.

But I always have my pistol.;)

smince
February 15, 2010, 09:01 AM
http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?t=58803&highlight=long+distance+pistol+shooting
I know all about how pistol fights tend toward being close and fast. However, there have been several instances where a long shot could have saved the day. I recall reading statements from some witnesses of various “Active Shooters” detailing how they saw the shooter twenty-five, or forty yards away reloading his rifle. And there have also been instances where the lack of skill, or the lack of confidence, on the part of police officers to take a longer than usual shot could have stopped the action and saved the day. I know a story about officers who were within 15 yards of a fully armored rifle-armed active shooter who did not try to fire head shots for fear of missing.

I think that while we should definitely prioritize the close range problem, we should not ignore the possibility of the longer shots.

We have pushed our Advanced Close Range Gunfighting students out to 200 yards with CCW carry pistols. I know the "close range" thing sounds like a misnomer, but we do plenty of close and fast point shooting in that class as well. Recently, at a class in Houston, Texas, after several hours of training, a full 1/3 of the class was able to hit a man-sized steel target from a standing position at 200 yards. The reason we shot from standing was simply that there was too much brush to use any sort of supported shooting position.

As a matter of note we had one gentleman in Houston repeatedly shoot a 50 yard metal silhouette (all were human sized or smaller) with a totally sightless pistol!

What we found as we began shooting past the close range envelope at 50 yards was that any type of dots, bars or other designs found on the front or rear sights were distracting to the shooter's objective of aligning the front sight with the rear sight. Misalignment of a small degree spelled complete misses here.

The mission was this - Top of the Front Sight must be held level with the top of the Rear Sight, and the shooter must see an equal amount of light visible on either side of the Front Sight. Fiber optics, or pronounced dots made it exceedingly difficult to determine the exact top of the front sight. It could be done, but with some greater effort required.

Additionally and excessively thick front sight made long shots difficult because the width prevented indexing on the visibly smaller target. I have always favored a thin front sight....as thin as possible without making it weak. Thick front sights tended to totally cover the target as soon as we moved out farther than 50 yards. At 100 yards, hits could still be made but not very often, requiring the shooter to align the sights as best he could and then estimate where the target was. At 200 yards, it became even more obvious that the type of sights on the pistol helped or prevented any hits.

The angle of the sights was a factor as well. Serrations on the front and rear sights seemed to help provide a visible sharp sight picture at various lighting levels regardless of distance. That said, some folks in class were using those fiber optic sights as well with good effect. Most of our distance shooting was done in the afternoon as the sun was dropping lower in the sky. - Gabe Suarez

Double Naught Spy
February 15, 2010, 11:21 AM
I took an advanced defensive handgun course in Nov. 2008 and we shot at a 1/2 scale silhouette plate at 50-75 yds. Ringing it with my Glock 26 wasn't difficult at all.

Shooting 1/2 size targets isn't the same thing as shooting full-sized targets at double the distance.

He talks about the Mumbai/Beslan-style attacks and terrorist. He feels it's only a matter of time for these to happen here and for cops as well as CCW armed people, you many very well need skills to use your handgun past normal defensive range.

I agree completely. However, who is going to pay to cover all the expenses to bring our police officers up to speed of hitting moving targets with their pistols at 100-200 yards? I am not talking about just plinking, but actually learning to fight at those distances.

How successful are our current short range training and proficiency programs. Cops tend to his 25-30% of the time and certainly most of their shootings are inside of 25 yards. So if that is all that we are getting out of our officers, on average with the current sorts of programs we have, what is it going to take to make our officers be able to be comparably proficient at 4-8 times the distance? Do we really think the current real world proficiency figures reflect officers getting and maintaining the best sort of instruction to make them good fighters?

Based on my experiences with Joe Public in CHL classes, the vast majority of CHL holders don't even carry a gun with them most of the time and few see a range more than once or twice a year, some even less. The vast majority of the public concealed carry folks are going to have trouble beyond 20 yards, maybe less, because they do nothing to maintain their skills.

Even amongst people of this forum, there are those who think long range shooting can't be justified legally (which sounds silly, does it not) and/or think long range defensive pistol simply isn't practical.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341344&highlight=long+distance+self+defense
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=340723&highlight=long+distance+self+defense
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=337532&highlight=long+distance+self+defense
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=308689&highlight=long+distance+self+defense
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=308689&highlight=long+distance+self+defense
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=229557&highlight=long+distance+self+defense

It will be a long fight to get folks onboard with the idea of needing to be proficient and maintaining proficiency with a pistol at longer distances. And here I definitely do NOT want to stress bullseye stationary target proficiency, but combat moving target proficiency involving aspects of shooting on the move and shooting from less than ideal positions. Look at all the officers in the North Hollywood bank robbery shooting that were attempting to engage the robbers at 75-150 yards from around corners, from underneath cars, around the bumpers of cars, etc.

smince
February 15, 2010, 11:40 AM
Shooting 1/2 size targets isn't the same thing as shooting full-sized targets at double the distance.No kidding? :rolleyes:

I was merely making a point to a previous poster: if I can hit half-scale targets with a G26 at 75 yds, a full scale at 200 with a service pistol isn't really much more difficult. I can hit farther with my G26 if necessary, and it only took a short time for everyone in the class to be hitting at the 75 yd. distance.

It really doesn't require massive amounts of time or money to do.

However, who is going to pay to cover all the expenses to bring our police officers up to speed of hitting moving targets with their pistols at 100-200 yards?Just say "It's for the children" and the .gov will pick up the tab...

Deaf Smith
February 15, 2010, 11:27 PM
Just say "It's for the children" and the .gov will pick up the tab...

While that is funny... Guys, why do we sit around and wait for the 'government' to do anything?

What is Sam Hill is wrong with us?

Now if you the boat you are in might sink if you don't put the plug in the hole near the transom do you wait for the 'government' to do it?

Do you wait for the 'government' to put a fire extinguisher in your car (you do have one of those in it, right?)

Do you wait for the 'government' to put a first aid kit in your car (please tell me you do have one of those in it, right?)

If the police are too lazy to practice themselves, even after such warnings as North Hollywood and what happened in India, well it's their arse Cochise. Those that are committed do, those that aren’t, don't. Simple as that.

As Farnam has said, 'You are on your own.'

Double Naught Spy
February 16, 2010, 02:13 AM
It really doesn't require massive amounts of time or money to do.

If you are talking about police departments, then it really will be a lot of money. First, there will be the expenses of bringing every officer up to speed. That means you are paying their salaries and the salaries of the trainers for the extra training. If you have a large department like Dallas with 3500 officers or so and getting folks to the level of being proficient at 200 yards is going to take at least a couple of hours. So that is 7000 hours of salary costs that will be incurred. That means that the extra training will cost as much as funding 3.5 officers for a year. The average 1 year Dallas officer makes roughly $42K.
Assuming that would be the average for the department (and it isn't - this would be very low), then you are looking at $147,000.

Let's say that the department can make their officers proficient at shooting stationary targets at 200 yards with just on 50 round box of ammo. Let's say that the department is getting the super bulk discount for ordering in large quantities and each box of ammo costs only $5. That adds another $17,500 to the costs making a total of $164,500.

Shooting stationary targets, however, probably isn't going to be the shots officers are likely to be getting given scenarios like Mumbai and North Hollywood. So how many more hours is it going to take per officer to be proficient at hitting moving targets at 200 yards with pistols?

I would be willing to bet that it would take at least three times as long and three times the amount of ammo to become proficient with moving targets at 200 yards. That adds another $493,500 for a total of $658,000.

Maybe you are a small department with just 100 officers. Assuming the same training times and costs, then you are looking at $18,800

Assuming that you get officers up to speed in hitting stationary and moving targets at 200 yards with handguns, what percentage of those officers are going to still be proficient the next time qualifications come around? For every officer who can't do it, more costs will be incurred with retraining.

Getting officers competent at slow fire marksmanship is nice, but the problem orientation isn't for slow fire marksmanship. The problem orientation stated was for fighting combatants such as those from Mumbai or North Hollywood. Getting officers to be effective long range pistol combatants and keeping those skills proficient will involve significant costs.

Just say "It's for the children" and the .gov will pick up the tab...

No, they won't. Many departments have trouble as it is just with getting funds to add new officers and getting new gear. To incur the costs of additional training, departments are either going to have to cut other aspects of their budgets to cover the training, or successful justify the need for the training to their respective governing entities and get funds for a larger budget.

Look at the track record for getting patrol rifles in squad cars. How many departments have managed to be able to afford getting patrol rifles in every squad car? Contrary to what you might think, costs are a very real hurdle that must be overcome to implement such programs.