View Full Version : Range Question

January 29, 2012, 06:17 AM
In the interest of practical self-defense/practical shooting, what would be the best range to practice at? My range offers 25 yards and 50 yards (for handguns, that is) and I was curious as to which one would be more beneficial to training for real situations. Exclude the option of just doing both lol.

Now, I understand that most self-defense shootings take place from 3-10 yards. So obviously, 25 yards is a lot closer to that distance, and therefore should be much more practical to train at. BUUUT. Ever since I was younger, my dad has been making me shoot at 50 yards; his logic being that if I can put a 1 inch group on a target at 50 yards, I can literally be contemporary Robin Hood at 10.

So in short, should I train at the closest to realistic range of close quarter shootings (25 yards), or should I just keep perfecting my groups at the longest possible range to ensure a tight group in CQB?

The pistol I use at the range is a Beretta 92fs, if that makes any difference.

Anyway, thanks in advance! :)

January 29, 2012, 06:37 AM
Is the range set up in such a way that you can ONLY shoot at 25 yards or 50 yards?

Dave P
January 29, 2012, 08:58 AM
"In the interest of practical self-defense/practical shooting,"

25 or less, is my advice.

Practice double taps, reloads, misfires, shoot&scoot type drills, etc at maybe 10 yards. Then if you can ace all of those at short distance (with good speed) then move out in distance.

Accuracy first, then speed.

serf 'rett
January 29, 2012, 09:07 AM
Perhaps you should try shooting in IDPA competition. You'll get many different distances, movement, use of cover, reloading under pressure, drawing from concealment, etc.

January 29, 2012, 09:21 AM
That's a problem at my range too. The shortest distance is 25 yards, so I have to go at times when other people are unlikely to be there in order to go ahead of the firing line and shoot shorter distances.

Eventually, I will advocate for a 15 yard range... we have the room to construct one.

January 29, 2012, 11:20 AM
Such as skipping over impact area or outside boundaries?

A range is belong to was a depression with backers place on the sides @ 15, 25 & 50, with the impact berm @ 55yds.

You could practice any way that was safe orcleared by S.R.O.

Some handgun course even hand fire with movement, with intermediate impact target that a specific number of hits needed and repaint prior to new shooter doing the course. Ammo was left to shooter but idea was to use an approximate
cpl load.

Too many variable to consider, get more specific about your range.

Nothing wrong with placing clays on final berm @ different elevation and
having a go at them??

January 29, 2012, 03:30 PM
25yds. For me 50yds is "just for fun" range.

January 29, 2012, 10:22 PM
There is of course the option of just shooting at both ranges throughout the day, but - and I'm sorry for the ambiguity - my question was more like which range would offer better training.

And yes, for handguns, the range only offers 25 and 50. We can't go any closer unless we were the only ones on the range, which is infrequent. And as far as I know, we only get cardboard targets. :( However, I've only ever been to the handgun side of this particular range. I've never been to the long gun area of the place.

And I live in the bay area of California lol. Not many organized shooting events take place here. As far as I know, anyway.

Thanks for the help so far. :D

January 30, 2012, 12:26 AM
IPSC and other action shooting sports can help on skills, but you need to be careful you don't develop any bad habits. These shooting sports also are not close to a real world situation. The competitor already knows the layout and what is required on the course of fire before they begin.

IMO, a shoot house with scenarios unknown to the shooter can be very good training. Is there anything like this in your area? One of the things you want to develop is the ability to quickly determine the situation at hand, what you need to do and then doing the appropriate plan of action. Being able to hit your target is good, but there are things that need to be properly assessed before a shot is fired.

January 30, 2012, 12:37 AM
I practice from 25 yards and in. I spend most of my time at 7 yards or less.

Last I read, FBI Statistics for self defense shootings are arm's length to 10 feet maximum.

Don't get me wrong, practice at all distances, but keep yourself grounded in the reality of the situation as far as real world goes.

January 30, 2012, 03:37 PM
And as far as I know, we only get cardboard targets.

I print out targets. Saves a bit of money.

January 30, 2012, 06:36 PM
Here's the uspsa and idpa clubs in California.


January 31, 2012, 03:08 PM
yep do most of my shooting at 7 yards and in when im self-defense mode

February 1, 2012, 05:36 AM
I agree with golfnutrlv, I remember hearing the "10 feet or less" FBI statistic also with a good percentage of those at 3 feet or less (arms length). I do like to shoot longer distances, but my self defense practice distance is from 3 to 7 yards.

February 1, 2012, 07:04 AM
While 25 to 50 yards shooting is great marksmanship practice, I would bet that in a SD senario you wont be doing much of it, nor will you have time to line up and take a perfect bullseye shot at your adversary. Practical self defense shooting is about up close and personal, quick target acquisition, and keep moving. No matter how good your shooting is at 50 yards, making effective shots on a humanoid target at 3 to 7 yards while moving and ducking for cover is a whole other skillset. On top of that, if you do a self defense shooting at 50 or even 25 yards, you're going to have some explaining to do about why you had engage rather than beat feet. Certainly, there are cases where a long distance shot may be valid, but generaly you will be 10 yards or less. Just my 2 cents. :)

February 1, 2012, 07:27 AM
I knew a police firearms instructor who held that if you can do it consistently at 25 yards, the shorter distances will take care of themselves. I don't necessarily agree with him and practice mostly from seven to 15 yards but also at 25 yards when other people are on the range. My range also has a rule that prohibits mid-range targets as this increases the likelyhood that bullets will impact the range structure itself.

The problem is that at the longer distances we tend to take too much time in aligning the sights. You might recall Wild Bill Hickok's advice: in a gunbattle, you must take your time in a hurry. Short range shooting teaches us point shooting techniques. Aimed fire at real close range takes too long and can sometimes result in a disarming attempt by our adversary.

Lee Lapin
February 1, 2012, 01:46 PM
Assuming you will even have room to draw your sidearm unimpeded if attacked is a dangerous assumption. If you aren't training from 0 feet on out, you're risking a lot more than can be fixed by practicing at 25 or 50 yards.

If you can get to an ECQC class, it's IMHO a necessary foundation to work from - http://shivworks.com/?page_id=2 . See http://shivworks.com/?p=822 for course description.

February 4, 2012, 09:04 AM
Most of my handgun shooting is done from 15 yards or less at an outdoor range. Most people shoot from 5 to 10 yards there, so I will shoot from those distances mostly. I shoot steels at 15 yards which is a range requirement, and a common sense thing. A couple of guys though they could get away with shooting them at 10 yards, and wound up with some bullet jackets peppering thier legs. It is about like having someone flip a lit cigarette on you.

February 4, 2012, 09:54 AM
With all the restrictions that most ranges and clubs have, it's hard to practice much of what is needed, to be effective for self defense and competition.
One way to deal with this problem is to divide the practice up.
At the range, focus on the basics at what ever distances and targets are provided, or can be set up.
At home use airguns, both pellet guns and airsoft, to practice all the things not allowed at the range.
The modern airguns have become so realistic, with blowback and recoil, that they are excellent training tools.
Fast draw, point shooting, house clearing, low light practice, shoot and move, multiple targets at various distances, barricades and other props.............
All the things definitely not allowed at most ranges, are all doable with air guns.

February 9, 2012, 11:55 PM
Practice at 50 yards? If I have a threat 50 yards away, I'm going to turn and run.

February 11, 2012, 02:39 PM
I see far too many people practicing at close range simply because it is so much easier to make an impressive number of holes in the target.

February 11, 2012, 03:04 PM
My club's outdoors handgun range was set up for only the traditional target distances of 25 and 50-yards. Shorter distance target foundations and anti-ricochet berms have been recently added. If your club doesn't have the distances you want, perhaps you can get together with some other like minded shooters and make your wishes known to the general membership. That's what happened at my club.

February 13, 2012, 09:43 PM
Well, like my old drill sergeant used to tell me (often at high volumes...), 'train how you fight'. Keep it at practical distances and get to work. Then again, keep shooting at 25 and 50 yards, you never hear about the guy that had too much training.

Bubba in c.a.
February 13, 2012, 10:12 PM
Like taking sports judo to learn street fighting.

ยด`Now, I understand that most self-defense shootings take place from 3-10 yards``

Forget them yards! The stats are 0 to 20 feet. Can you visualize 0 feet? Can you shoot somebody while you are jabbing him in the throat? How good are you at butt strokes and pistol whipping?

Can you move and shoot at the same time (without, among other things, the range master jumping all over you)?

Try to find a friend`s farm or public lands or something.

To simplify things, I practice at 10 feet most of the time. I practicing to shoot felons, not to impress people. Not even myself.

February 13, 2012, 10:25 PM
I would say practice at what range you think you should or what benefits you the most. Alot say that 0-10 yards is most popular. for me I like 10-25 yards and still put a target at about 75 yards to keep my distance shooting up in tune. I figuer most could not touch me at 75 yards but I believe I can hit most at 75 yards with my carry gun. Be practicle and practice, practice and more practice!

February 17, 2012, 05:44 PM
Actually the IDPA idea was a good one. Not only do you get varied distances, you practice moving and use of cover.

One thing to watch for is the range specific firing-rate allowances.

A lot of ranges I've dealt with lately have a mandatory 3-second wait between shots.

You can't practice self defense shooting like that!

February 18, 2012, 04:16 PM
I practice at 7 and 15 yards ... if the target is farther out, odds are I'm zigging and zagging in the other direction ... I occasionally shoot at the 25 yd stations -- the longest my range offers for handguns -- but mainly for fun ...