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  1. #1
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    Handgun shooting distances

    recent active thread on accuracy of 38s out of a 357 revolver got me thinking when i read a response about shooting a handgun at 100 and 200 yards.
    so question:
    WHAT DISTANCES DOES IT MAKE SENSE FOR HANDGUNS?

    I would think 99% at 25yds MAX
    and for 44mag, 460, 480, 454, 500mag for hunting then maybe out to 100 yds but that is rare.

    what do others think?

  2. #2
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    the average distance at which police engage in shootings was 21 feet (7 yards) in a study a few years ago.
    I practice at 10 and 15 yds with my ccw every chance I get.
    That should suffice for MOST defensive shooting scenarios.

  3. #3
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    Silhouette shooting can go to 200 meters. Pins are a 7 yds. Whatcha trying to do? Whatcha trying to do it with? The task drives tool selection.

  4. #4
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    "combat" type competition are usually 7-15 yards with PPC going to perhaps 25 yards. IHMSA (metal silhouette) big bore (non 22LR) have the rams at 200m and 22LR at 100m, but the smallbore targets are 3/8 sized.

  5. #5
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    the xp 100 and most tc calibers are not meant for short range ...... so asking what makes sense is like asking what kinda women we all like.

  6. #6
    talldrink's Avatar
    talldrink is offline Member
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    Any distance makes sence as long as you can hit your target.

    I mostly shoot 25 yards off hand, but I'll shoot my 10" Ruger MKII with iron sights rested at 100 yards as well.

  7. #7
    rgrundy's Avatar
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    Most pistol defensive cartridges were designed to shoot out to 100 yards. From what I've seen power and accuracy due to wind and sight picture problems make it hard to hit anything reasonably small. The 357 magnum with 180 grain silhouette bullets and decent sights will shoot acurrately enough to hit the 200 yard rams but sometimes they won't go over with low hits. We shot lots of prarie dogs with 44 magnum revolvers and 22 target pistols (some wore scopes) and became fairly good at it out to 100 yards. I had to shoot a wounded elk at 175 yards with a 4 inch 44 mag S&W 629 when the hunter had run out of cartridges (seems he felt so good about his abilities that he only put 3 rounds in and carried no extras). I hit the elk 5 times before it went down. Just try longer ranges and after some trigger time you'll find yourself shooting better and better. It's better to be on the learning curve at the range than in a gunfight where you're forced to shoot further than you'd like to.

  8. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    After a day of practicing our defensive-shooting skills, we used to fire at rocks on the rifle range that were known distances away, up to 200 yards.
    Doing this is good discipline, and excellent trigger-control practice, but it has little practical application.
    I know that I prefer having a rifle, beginning at 20 yards.
    I also know that, if I'm at least 50 yards from a threat, I can evade and escape with much more success than I could ever get by returning (or initiating) fire.

    But, as others have already pointed out, there are many more pistol disciplines than only self defense.

  9. #9
    Flyboy_451 is offline Junior Member
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    This is a topic of discussion that I always find interesting. It seems that I use and practice with my guns far more at long range than I do at shorter ranges. If I had to guess, I would say that about 30% of the shooting that I do is at 25 yards or less. I love the challenge of long range handgunning! MY favorite target is a 3 foot gong hanging at 400 yards. The is nothing like sending a heavy cast bullet that far and being rewarded with the clang of impact.

    I think a lot (most?) of shooters fail to recognize the long range capabilities of typical service grade handguns. In my experience, even smaller guns, often thought of as back-ups, are perfectly capable of engaging a B-27 target at 100 yards, if the shooter does his part. Even the slow old .45 auto shot from a 3" barrel, such as an officers size 1911 easily shoots well enough to make hits at extended ranges.

    Most of my frequently shot handguns are big bore revolvers with barrels of 6" or less. None of them wear scopes, and many people would be shocked to hear the ring of my 400 yard gong from any of them, but I assure you that it is a regular occurrence. Reactive targets are my favorite, so there are gongs galore on my property. Sizes range from 8" round to 3 foot square at ranges from 50 to 400 yards. Go out and challenge yourself to something more than just punching holes at 25 yards or less. You may find a new way to enjoy shooting. Long range shooting will force you to focus on fundamentals and will make any errors easier to spot.

    JW

  10. #10
    Sawmilljack's Avatar
    Sawmilljack is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill0084 View Post
    Silhouette shooting can go to 200 meters. Pins are a 7 yds. Whatcha trying to do? Whatcha trying to do it with? The task drives tool selection.
    Not much to add except it sure is fun shooting at 100 plus yards. It's very educational and if you haven't tried it you're missing out.

  11. #11
    John2393's Avatar
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    44 specials i plink/ practice at 10-15 yds becauae my defense loads are 44 specials. For 44 magnums i plink at 20+ up to maybe 30. Whatever i can see with open sights. But the 3 1/2 " barrel gives me a short and therefors kinda crappy sight profile. My desert eagle 44 had a much longer barrel and with 44 mags ONLY i could keep nice tight groups at 50 yards all day. With the snubbie i can hit center mass at around 35-40 yds with 180 gr maga.

  12. #12
    rex
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    Quote Originally Posted by talldrink View Post
    Any distance makes sence as long as you can hit your target.

    I mostly shoot 25 yards off hand, but I'll shoot my 10" Ruger MKII with iron sights rested at 100 yards as well.
    Aren't those things great? I wish I never parted with mine,I irritated a few rifle shooters with mine.

  13. #13
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    21 to 30 feet and for fun 25 yds...JJ

  14. #14
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    I have shot the .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk at five to six hundred yards, estimated, just for fun at logs, clumps of grass, etc. Also shot the steel at 200 meters, same gun. For animate targets, depends, I've killed groundhog at estimated 100 yards or over. But for edible game, big game, under 100 yards depending on how comfortable I am with shot placement. For general practice, I shoot at 10 to 25 yards.

    Bob Wright

  15. #15
    cclaxton's Avatar
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    When I was at FrontSight, they claimed that the new "legally permissible" handgun distance is 30 feet. (It used to be 21) That means that you risk a criminal or civil charge if you shoot someone in self-defense beyond that distance. Obviously, this will vary depending on the circumstances. If the criminal has a rifle or automatic, then the distance is further. The thinking is that some juries would convict based on the suggestion that you didn't need to shoot and could have evaded the situation by running away or calling for help, or couldn't have seen their pistol, etc. Women probably have longer than 30 feet...yes its unfair but that's the way juries are.

    Unless you are a master marksman with plenty of tactical training, I think 30 feet is tough for a well-placed shot anyway, especially when under stress. That said, I will practice as far as 20 yards because it makes me a better marksman and forces me to improve. But anything beyond 20-25 yards is not necessary for self-defense IMHO. It can be fun to hit things with your pistol from 50 or 75 yards, but at that point I can barely see the target.

    For those who like to compete bullseye with pistols, I can see where the longer is the better, but I like to compete in action pistol/defensive pistol.

    NOTE: I am not liable in case you use this information in a self-defense situation and it goes badly. I am simply relaying information I heard and it is totally your responsibility to make those decisions as to distance in any self-defense situation. I take no responsiblity for your decisions. Please consult an attorney for a more accurate reading of the laws for your State and jurisdiction.
    Thanks,
    CC

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