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Old September 24, 2005, 12:22 AM   #13
Double Naught Spy
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Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Posts: 11,537
10 feet, 15 feet or 25 feet?
I used to practice at 21 feet but I realized the longest distance in my house is only 10 feet. So i started placing the targets and stuff I shoot at 10 feet.
If the longest distance in your home is 10 feet, then you either live in a small cabin, shed, or a very tiny home. In a square room, the longest distance will be the diagonal between opposite corners, so the room is only slightly more than 7x7 feet.

I'd continue practicing at 21 feet. I figure if you master 21 feet (or more), there's no question you'll be able to accurately hit the center of your target at 10 feet.
Things are not the same at 21 ft. as they are real close. Neither are the skills and tactics you'll need. You may need to use these skills before you can even draw your weapon, not to mention shooting at spittin' distance.

If you were correct, there wouldn't be a number of good tapes by excellent instructors dealing with extreme close quarters fighting.
While it is probably true in most cases that shooting at 10 feet versus 21 are probably not going to be addressed in the same way, whether or not there are instructors offering tapes on ECQB does not substantiate that applied shooting won't be handled in the same or can't be handled in the same way. As I understand it, ECQB distance was arm's reach.

Keep the weapon slightly forward of and tucked into your side. Place your, 'support hand' just below your heart and continue to touch your heart with that raised thumb. (Unless you have to do an arm sweep.) Keep your weight on your back foot as much as possible. If you must move, shuffle, and slide your lead foot slowly forward.
What is being described here is retention shooting and it is for ECQB where you are in contact with your aggressor or feel your aggressor is within arm's reach. Ten feet away should be far enough that retention shooting isn't going to be beneficial to you as you won't need to be protecting your gun from the aggressor and you probably are not going to be able to shoot as well from the gun retention position as you would with point or sighted shooting.

There's an old rule that says, 'The one who has to move - loses!'
While that may be an old rule, I have not ever heard it and quite possibly the reason why is because it doesn't make sense or have any real justification. Think about it. If you are caught in the open by a gunman, failure to evade and/or retreat to cover may be what causes you to lose as you have no protection from incoming rounds (no cover) and you are making yourself an easy stationary target. Motion, speed, and evasionary movement (e.g. serpentine running) all serve to better your chances of not getting shot as compared/over standing still.

In looking more closely at the rule, my guess is that it was not a rule devised for gun fighting. Instead, it seems to be the rule for a game of chicken where the one that loses his nerve first and bolts away is the one deemed to be the loser. Gunfighting is in no way comparable to the game of chicken.

I find it interesting that several of you mentioned the draw and the fact that you won't be able to outdraw your aggressor. That may or may not be true or applicable. If your intruder has a holstered gun when you encounter him, you may very well be able to outdraw him. If he already has his gun out and you don't means you can't outdraw him since his gun is already out.

Except for a couple of circumstances, I am having trouble figuring out why you would have to outdraw a bad guy in your own home. These are all I can guess
- his gun is drawn
- the intruder was in your house and waiting on your return and so his gun will be out when you make entry.
- the intruder clandestinely entered your home with you there and already has his gun out when he encounters you.

In other cases, either you are going to be aware of the intrusion (breaking window, kicked in door, etc.). As it happens, you should be unholstering if you are carrying a holstered gun and quite likely the gun will be out and ready before the attacker comes into your field of view. It may not be possible to get the gun out before you encounter an intruder if he gains entry into the room where you are located.

I've always liked the part about going horizontal in order to minimize your target area - You know, like, lying across a bed or table while firing!
While going prone or horizontal may reduce your personal target area, it does have problems. First, in this position, the COM shot presented to your intruder is your head.

Going prone is not a substitute for cover and is a bad choice if you use it instead of available cover.

Going prone or horizontal also means that you have hampered your ability to move quickly. You will be much slower to getting up and transiting to another location than if you were already standing.

If you are going prone or horizontal around a bed, why in the world would you choose to do this ON the bed? Not only do you not have cover in that position, you don't have any concealment either. So you are caught there with limited mobility, no cover, and no concealment. You are a proverbial sitting duck, but a sitting duck that can shoot back. They only thing going for you is the reduced target size and as noted above, that can be problematic as well.

If you are going to go prone on or around the bed (because you have no available cover to use), then do so from a position behind the bed, aimed peeking around the bed's corner and in position to ambush your intruder. As only a very small portion of you and your gun will be visible to the intruder when he enters your room, he isn't likely to spot you right away, not like he could if you were in the open on the bed. Part of the reason he won't spot you right off is because he probably isn't going to be expecting you in that location.

While the focus of this thread has been on shooting in the interior of the home, not all home defense shootings take place in the home. You may be out in the yard or garage when you have to shoot. You may need to be shooting from the interior of your home to somebody outside your home. As such, only very short range shooting practice isn't going to have you adequately prepared for shooting at longer distances or shooting well at longer distances.

For example, in the case of the North Hollywood bank robbery, LAPD cops only trained/qualified out to 25 yards as I recall and did not train for head shots, or not regularly. So, when fighting the armored robbers and being told they were wearing heavy armor and that the officers should be aiming at the head, distances being 50-100 yards before the robbers went on the move, after hundreds of rounds fired at the robbers, no shots struck the robbers' heads.

The problem here was that the officers were trained at distances where they would most likely be involved in a shooting, 25 yards and less. So when they were put in a position where they needed to shoot very well at 2-4 times their normal distance, they did very poorly.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
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