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  1. #1
    tnxd9er's Avatar
    tnxd9er is offline Junior Member
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    Help me understand target practice distance

    I am trying to understand why there are people that are practicing at 25 yards with a handgun. I got my CCW in order to protect myself and my family and during the CCW qualification course, it was drilled in the threat had to be immediate and that firing the weapon should be your last option, doing everything possible to avoid pulling and discharging the weapon. At 25 yards, I would consider that out of the range of immediate threat unless they were firing at you. A friend of mine that is LEO and other information out there states that most threats come at you from between 3-10 ft. I practice at a maximum of 21 feet and have only shot at 15 yards during my CCW qualification, hitting the center mass of the target but not the tight groups at 21 ft and closer. I want to be consistent at those ranges and see no need to go past 15 yards when shooting.

    If I'm missing something here, I'd like to understand the logic. I'm in my 50's and even at 15 yds the target seems a long ways off, much less 25 yards.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up 3yrds.

    maybe those people are planning to go into competition shooting. i have my pistol for self defense also, and i practice at 3, 7, 15, and 25 yards. it just keeps me toned up.i can shoot tight groups at 25yrds. w/my sig 239 in 9mm,
    i believe any practice is good.
    if you shoot someone trying to rob a store and threatening to shoot you, and you were right next to them they might have some loco friend 25 yards away that might start shooting at you.
    This probably would not happen and the close range practice is the best,but it never hurts to practice at all the targets.
    you never know.
    the targets are there you might as well use them.

    just being me.

  3. #3
    Shenkursk is offline Junior Member
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    I completely understand what you are saying about the concept of practice for what you are likely to face in the real world. Unfortunately, we do not ever really know what we will face until it is upon us.

    Recently came across a story about a gentleman from Texas who left the safety of his home to defend strangers from a fellow who was on a shooting rampage. Clearly this is a situation where engagement at distance is a possibility, depending on your individual skill and confidence with the weapon, potential for a clear shot, etc., etc. Unfortunately, in that case the concerned citizen was killed by the bad guy.

    Practice for real-life possibilities is important. Failure drills, malfunction drills, shooting from uncomfortable positions, proper utilization of cover and concealment (and understanding the difference between those two), are all things that should be covered thoroughly in training. The idea is to make the mechanical part of your reaction almost automatic, relying on muscle memory as much as anything else - so your brain can concentrate on spotting the danger and analyzing the situation. You want your mind to worry about things like "do I have justification to take the shot?" and "what / who is behind the target in the line of fire?", rather than concentrating on grip, stance, movement, trigger control, etc. where hopefully your training will take over and run these on 'autopilot'.

    The best advice that anyone can receive is "get professional training." There are lots of active and retired police officers and military guys offering extremely good training at private ranges all over the country. Taking classes from them as often as possible is well worth the investment, and will help you to focus your private practice time on the specific skills that you wish to develop.

    This is also a big part of the fun - no one knows it all, and the learning never stops!

  4. #4
    dourdave is offline Junior Member
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    I also think that training is very important. The "trigger" to enact the training is the gut reaction to do something about the situation at hand.

    I will never be adequately trained to correctly respond to every situation I might encounter. I will, however, be mentally conditioned to respond in the best way I can, given the immediate situation.

    I will always try my best to be a victor, but if I fall, it will be after the best fight I could manage. Should that be the end, --------

    ------I will look down upon my wretched body and be at ease.

  5. #5
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    Set realistic distance goals. When you shoot well at a shorter distance move the target to the next mark. As a relativly new shooter, I still concentrate on the basics. Breathing and front sight. I start each session at the 7 yard line. Then when I'm satisfied, I go to 10 yards. I don't use any fancy targets. I generally shoot at computer paper. I figure that at any distance I can get a solid hit on an 8x11 inch sheet of paper, I'll be able to get a chest shot. (Besides, I'm a cheapskate) When I get better, I'll move the target out to 15 yards. I have shot at 15 yards a few times, but only single action with my revolver. It was better than I anticipated, but not yet practical for my abilities.

  6. #6
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    As defenders, we do not have the luxury of choosing how our opponents will attack us. Very very probably, it will be at close range. However, the remote possibility exists that we may have to make a longer shot, and we need to have the skill available to do that if the need arises. I generally shoot close and fast in training and practice, but I do "stretch my legs" from time to time and shoot at longer distances.

    Most likely, however, people shooting at 25 yards are doing it for the fun of it. It is much more challenging than shooting at seven yards. Some people's interest in pistols is not confined to the grim business of defense.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  7. #7
    Old Padawan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Some people's interest in pistols is not confined to the grim business of defense.
    I am so rembering that line in October...
    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain

  8. #8
    SigZagger's Avatar
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    Self defense means up close and personal!

    I agree, in that using a handgun wayyyyy out there is for fun or competition shooting. You are correct, statistically the vast majority of self defense shootings occur within 10 feet + or -. My LE training was up close and personal. To this day, my shooting range is between 20-45 feet. Besides, any dirtbag criminal defense attorney would love to get someone on the stand and ask them to explain why he shot his dirtbag client from 100 feet away. Not me! Stay within your short comfort range and you'll do fine.

  9. #9
    Frank V is offline Junior Member
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    Statistics are tricky slippery fellows. I'd hate to be engaged by a rifleman @ 100 yards & have never shot my gun her than 15'. I have shot NRA pistol Bullseye for 20 years it's really fun we shoot slow fire @ 50yds offhand one handed. It's really tricky, but unbelievably comforting to know you can hit a target one handed at that range. I regularly shoot at things in excess of 150 yards with my guns & it's really fun. After awhile you get to know how much front sight to hold up to get you out to very long range.
    I practice my slow fire/ long range stuff first,then my up close fast stuff. Check out a copy of Sixguns by Elmer Keith from your library it's really good reading to see just what can be done with a good handgun by someone who practices. Hope this sheds some light on the whys of shooting past 15 yards. Take care & have fun. Frank

  10. #10
    Bob Wright's Avatar
    Bob Wright is offline Senior Member
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    The closest shot I have ever made at a groundhog was about thirty-five yards. And for deer about sixty yards.

    Sighted in for twenty five yards (using a six inch bull and six o'clock hold) my Super Blackhawk is right on out to about 100 yards. And, the rams are at 200 meters (218 yards).

    Bob Wright

  11. #11
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Padawan View Post
    I am so rembering that line in October...
    Just bear in mind that I am not "some people," my young apprentice.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: http://www.nierecovery.com/.

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  12. #12
    tgrogan's Avatar
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    For it's worth, coming from a newbie, one of the reasons I carry is so I can protect others as well. As stated, in cases like that, you aren't the target and the assailant may be out aways.

  13. #13
    hberttmank's Avatar
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    I often shoot at 25 to 50yds not so much for self defense training, but because it is a lot of fun. Shooting at the longer distances makes you concentrate more on the basics like sight alignment and trigger pull. When you can consistently shoot good groups at 25yds, putting them in the x-ring at 7yds is much easier.

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