View Full Version : Handgun target distance.

January 7, 2012, 04:55 PM
Hello All,

I was wondering at what distance do you usually practice with your handguns at the range? For myself it depends on the type of pistol. With my
P3AT I've never fired it beyond 20 feet and that is with those big silouette targets. On the other hand with my Ruger 22/45 MkIII I'll practice at different distances anywhere between 20 feet and 25 yards and only use small slow fire targets or small paper plates. All my other handguns I rarely practice beyond 50 feet. One thing I've noticed is that practicing with smaller targets seems to improve marksmanship.

January 7, 2012, 05:01 PM
Anywhere from 5 yards to 23 yards, currently, since that is the distance to the back wall at the LGS range.

However, once we close on the house (and acreage), it wil be from 5 to 50 yards.

I normally shoot my 442 at 5-10 yards, but once in a while will run it to the back wall.

My bigger carry guns see most use at 10 yards, but sometimes 7, and sometimes the back wall.

I typically use B-27 or IDPA silhouettes. I will often affix Shoot-N-C circular targets of varying size to the silhouettes, to aim at sharper, smaller targets when I want to check my grouping.

January 7, 2012, 05:08 PM
From the muzzle to about 200 yards. I'm not saying 200 yards is within self defence range but I don't just just for defence practice, I shoot for fun more then anything else.

January 7, 2012, 05:14 PM
10 ft to 25 yards via range limits.

January 7, 2012, 05:18 PM
kraigwy, what are you shooting at 200 yards? Silhouette, with a magnum revolver? Contenders? What kinds of targets and handguns?

And, for that matter, what kinds of sights?

(Edit: I'm curious, not incredulous.)

January 7, 2012, 05:37 PM
Much the same as the OP. 10 Yds with my CCW firearms, and Walther P22 with some practice @ 25. Twenty Five yards for most of my other pistols. 50 yds with my Super Blackhawk 44 magnum, but I have shot reasonably accurately out to 100. Then there is my T/C Contender, but where I shoot mostly is now limited to 100 yds.

January 7, 2012, 05:40 PM
I had some fun using my S&W Model 10 snubby for Bullseye the other day. Scored an 84 in Rapid Fire (25 yards) using DA. Most guns are capable of far more than the shooter.

January 7, 2012, 05:50 PM
I can barely see the target at 50 feet. My distance glasses make 50' targets visible but then the front sight is a blur...

If I am putting 5 rounds into a sub 1" group at 25 feet I am doing OK as far as shooting fundamentals, holding the sight picture, trigger squeeze, follow-through.

Most of the ranges by me are 50 foot ranges anyway...

Maybe I should get some shooting glasses :o

January 7, 2012, 05:56 PM
I can barely see the target at 50 feet. My distance glasses make 50' targets visible but then the front sight is a blur...

It's much more important to see the sights clearly than it is the target. If anything, get glasses that allow you to see clearly at 2 feet (but no closer), then the target will be as much in focus as possible. A red dot sight is another possibility, but I still use irons only.

January 7, 2012, 06:09 PM
I practice at about the longest distance that I would encounter in my home, 35 feet and targets are colorful 3" Post Its taped to a 8 1/2'' sq sheet of scrap computer paper. I'm too cheap to buy targets.


January 7, 2012, 06:25 PM
We qualify from 3 to 25 yards. When shooting for fun I will shoot from near contact to whatever the range will allow. Often times ranges stop at 100 yards,sometimes I get to plink at greater ranges.

January 7, 2012, 06:46 PM
Thanks for all the quick replies.

I'd love to try shooting my 22/45 at 100 yards but the out door ranges that I know of won't allow it and my regular range is indoors with max distance of 45yards in the rifle bay.

Kyle, I hear ya. I usually just use cheap paper plates from the dollar store.

January 7, 2012, 06:48 PM
mostly at 7 and 11 yards. But sometimes 45-50ft. If i had easier access to a longer range, I'd go out further, but alas I haven't gotten the gumption to drive 2+ hours to get to an outdoor spot.

January 7, 2012, 07:12 PM
Indoors at 50 feet. Outdoors 25 and 50 yards. All one handed!

It's a handgun, not a handsgun. :p

Okay, when I'm shooting a SD pistol, I use two hands. But target pistols one handed.

January 7, 2012, 07:23 PM
J-Frame ... 10 yards
L & N-Frame 25 yards
Desert Eagle 75 yards

January 7, 2012, 10:03 PM
Self defense practice with either a snub nosed 38spl or the my 9m Stoeger Cougar: 3 yards-10 yards, the longest distance I would have to shoot in my house is not more than 20 feet so that is what I concentrate on. I try to place my shots into about an 8"x10" area, center mass.
For fun with my 9.5" bbl Ruger Single Six, S&W 22a, as well as the above self defense guns start at 7 yards but I go out to 25-30 yards or so. Much beyond that is beyond the effective range of most handguns. Not to say we don't shoot a bit out to 100 yards, we just don't hit much!

January 7, 2012, 10:33 PM
Indoors at 50 feet. Outdoors 25 and 50 yards. All one handed!


Willie Lowman
January 7, 2012, 11:30 PM
Between 10 and 25 yards. With 9mm, .40, .357 mag and, .45 ACP. I don't shoot my .44 mag much any more.

I have a great fondness for lobbing .45 ACPs at the 12" gong that sits at the 100 yard mark behind my friend's house. I need to take one of my magnums out and try a few long shots.

January 7, 2012, 11:57 PM
kraigwy, what are you shooting at 200 yards? Silhouette, with a magnum revolver? Contenders? What kinds of targets and handguns?

All of the above with iron sights. Not saying I hit every time but I have a heck of a lot of fun.

I even shoot my 642 at 100. Again I don't hit all the time but I'm convinced I could discourage bad behavior if I had to.

You'd be surprised what shooting long distance does to your short range handgun shooting.

January 8, 2012, 12:08 AM
25yards is default. Occasionally I back up to 15yds and occasionally I go out to 50 or 100yds.

If I'm trying a gun for the first time it's 10yds.

Doublea A
January 8, 2012, 02:17 AM
I first start with 25ft and move on to 50ft and then end at 75ft at the indoor range.

January 8, 2012, 06:46 AM
25 yds - that was the benchmark when I was in the Navy. Sticks with me to this day.

January 8, 2012, 06:52 AM
Our pistol range is 25 yards. I can shoot at less distance only if I'm the only one there. I will probably try and see if we can get another built at 10 or 15 yards, we have the room on the property.

January 8, 2012, 09:41 AM
95% of the time it's seven to ten yards. Once in a while I move out to thirty or so just for fun.

January 8, 2012, 09:47 AM
I like to practice @ 25 yrds. Then when I shoot @ closer ranges it seems easier.
I'm no expert by any means and consider any shot in the pie plate at 25 yds to be good enough. I practice for hunting & SD and don't care too much for bullseyes. With my old eyes bullseyes try my patience.

January 8, 2012, 11:34 AM
I at least want to know where my carry gun hits @25 yards or more. I killed a really unlucky coyote last October at a little over 25 yards with my KP95 Ruger.

January 8, 2012, 11:46 AM
Since I hunt with many of my handguns, I generally practice @ 50 yards. I also shoot @ 75 yards. I have no problem hitting a bowlin' pin @ 50 yards with the 1911 and figure anything closer will be just that much easier.

January 9, 2012, 01:04 PM
A classmate of mine described hand to hand combat as the max effective range (50yds) of a 1911 pistol.

I normally warm up at 25 yards, shoot some slow fire at 50 yds and then depending what I am training with I will move in or out.

If I'm working with my 357 I will shoot out to 100yds using animal targets. With my 45 or 9mm I will move into the shorter ranges.

I allways like to finish each session by shooting some bowling pins or playing kick the can. It is fun and generally leaves me with a good feeling.

January 9, 2012, 01:55 PM
7-15 yds ...

January 9, 2012, 06:55 PM
When I was shooting PPC I did all my practicing from 50 yards, everything closer was easy. When I started with the BP our qualification was 50 yards.

Now, it depends on the type of practice, usually from 15-25 yards.

January 10, 2012, 07:19 AM
Anywhere between 10 ft to 60.

January 11, 2012, 06:54 AM
I have .22 conversion units for most of my auto pistols. If I'm shooting a .22 converter, I shoot at a reduced scale target at 50 feet. Usually I use an NRA B-34 target (which is the 1/2 scale version of the B-27 like they use in PPC matches) but I also sometimes shoot on the B-29 (1/3rd scale B-27), or a TQ-16 (1/3rd scale TQ-15) or TQ-20 (1/3rd scale TQ)

When I'm shooting the bigger guns, I use full size targets. The NRA B-18 (like the Army & Air Force used for handgun qual with the M1911A1 and S&W 15), or the NRA TQ-15. Sometimes I shoot on the full sized B-27 target if I'm practicing for a PPC match. I have shot on B-21 and TQ-19 targets too.

Sometimes I use NRA B-24 targets, which are a reduced version of the B-18.

Most often when shooting larger caliber handguns I use IPSC or IDPA cardboard silhouettes. I can usually get some slightly shot up ones left over from a match, glue a little scrap cardboard on the back to repair the center scoring zone, and shoot on them for another 60 to 100 rounds.

I practice routinely out to 25 yards. A couple times a summer I do a little shooting at 50 yards.

With rifle, with the AR-15 I usually practice out to 100 yards. When shooting the S&W M&P AR-15/22 I shoot on reduced targets at 50 feet.

January 11, 2012, 09:03 AM
Usually shoot at 7-25 yards (pistol range). I usually start at 7, then move to 15 and then to 25. I'd like to shoot up to 50 but I would have to move to the rifle range area. I'm pretty sure it's allowed. Just have to go there one day.

January 11, 2012, 09:40 AM
I mostly practice at 50ft but the ranges include 25', 50', 75' (25yds), 100' occasionally, and 150' (50 yds) whenever I get to Bill's Gun Shop with there nice long lanes.

Pop cans at 25 yds is one of my favorites. :D

January 11, 2012, 03:01 PM
25-60ft and regularly shoot steel at 100 plus. hit a 1x1ft plate at 200 yards the other week but it took a 10rd mag. 22/45 ruger. R

January 11, 2012, 05:14 PM
From powder burn distance to 100 yards. Saturday it took 3 feeler shots with my Sig P250 subcompact 9mm to get the hold over down for the 100 yard range. I then hit five one gallon jugs of water after that.

There were a few jaws on the ground at the rifle range.:D

January 11, 2012, 05:36 PM
Self defense guns including pocket carry SW Bodyguard 380, SW Model 10, Ruger GP100 start at 15 feet, rapid fire for a few rounds and then concentrate mostly on targets at 21 feet, with a slower rate of fire, double action.

With my CZ75 compact I prefer to practice rapid fire at 21 feet aiming for COM on a silouhette target.

My SW1911 is fine for 25 yard targets, even shooting off hand.

My Ruger Super Redhawk, 44 mag and ported has a Bushnell Elite series 3200 scope on it - am planning my next trip to the range soon and will try Keith Semi-Wadcutters - the goal is groups in a 4" circle at 50 yards

January 12, 2012, 02:40 AM
Start at 50yds. and work out to 220yds. At 50yds. I use a 8" target. At 100yds on out I shoot at 9 gal. propane tanks.

I shoot:
S&W Mdl. 10 (4" Hvy. Bbl.)
S&W Mdl. 19 (6" Bbl.)
S&W Mdl. 29 (6' Bbl.)
Colt 1911A1 Government
Colt 1911 Officer
Ruger Security-Six (6" Bbl.)
Ruger Blackhawk .44 Mag.(6" Bbl.)
Ruger Blackhawk .41 Mag. (6" Bbl.)

January 12, 2012, 09:17 PM
My typical practice distances are between 15 and 25 yards.

I did do a video review of the GSG1911-22 showing how well it can shoot out to 100 yards.


January 15, 2012, 08:29 PM
One of the ranges I frequent is indoors and the light is shadowy and weird. I'm getting old and I have a hard time seeing the front sight if it's a tiny little front sight like on my Chief Special or Walther PPK.

If I'm at that range, and shooting those guns, I use buff colored targets so the front sight shows up better. IPSC or IDPA silhouettes or the NRA TQ-15 and TQ-16 targets. With those guns most of my practice is at 5-7-10 yards, with a little bit at the 15 yard line.

January 15, 2012, 09:32 PM
45ACP,FROM 25-100YDS.MAN SIZE targets.
454 Casull SRH & 7-08 ENCORE out to 250 yards,both are scoped use old sewer caps love to hear impact from that 454.BONG!!!!:D