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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recent Mediterranean cafe attack along with clips of ISIS recruiting videos has increased my perception of the threat of radicals in my area. I think we are going to continue to see in increase in lone wolf uncoordinated attacks of all sorts. I could see situations in my area where the threat could be in line of sight from 1 to 125 yards.

I also understand that if I am the 1% who is involved in a self defense incident it'll most likely be crime of opportunity occurring less than 7 yards away. I feel fairly proficient in this situation. And with my situational awareness I feel confident in avoiding the situation all together.

So with this extreme threat what are good measurable standards of proficiency to shoot for?
 

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I train more for close quarters from muzzle contact to 21 feet distances, pistols are of limited use past that distance when your fine motor skills go to crap from adrenalin dump.

I train to look for cover and identify threats engaging them in order of proximity and severity. I train not to take shots that I cannot be reasonably sure of solid hits.

But I also don't go where there are a ton of people at any given time, I don't like crowds if I am not at work. The places I do frequent I study the structures, exit/entry points, blind areas etc. I always think of what tactics would work in the location.

When I do range work my first shot is always cold, from the holster at the closest target to me, move then look and reengage the first target and scan/engage others. I have a friend set the targets up so I do not know which are threat or non threat and what distances/positions they will be in. He also loads the mags, inserting snap caps at random points so that I have to deal with malfunction clearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it's over 30 yards with my current skill level it'd take a couple(5) seconds and a steady stance to reliably make the shot.

I'm not the guy who'd run towards the situation. If a shot presents itself I hope I'll be able to take it, but I'm not going into a situation unless the threat is between me and a loved one or I know I can make the difference. If I had to take down more than 1 threat I'd need them to be severely disorganized and focusing on different areas for me to get engage the threat before they got me. This is assuming they have long guns and very little training.

How much should skill degrade on average in a situation like this? Factor of 2 or factor of 4?
 

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I think you should be able to hit a B27 size target at 50 yards. There is also a case for being able to engage from 25 yards as well. I know what the stats say and 1-2 rounds at bad breath distance is the normal but things being what they are you should practice your fundamentals every chance you get.
One thing to never forget is your limitations with your EDC. Most of us (I am guilty as well) think we are capable of much more than we really are. Try to challenge yourself physically so you can know your limits. And prepare with the largest handgun you can comfortably and reliably CCW. There is not a short isle in most shopping stores (think wally) and you may have to engage to save a life or to save yours. Practice and think like a gun fighter, not a target shooter. Train the big movements or gross motor skills, the fine motor skills disappear quickly under the adrenaline dump you get when the SHTF and blows back at you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One thing to never forget is your limitations with your EDC. Most of us (I am guilty as well) think we are capable of much more than we really are. Try to challenge yourself physically so you can know your limits.
I agree completely. I can hit an 12x20 silhouette at 60 yards 9 out of 10 time with say 2-3 seconds per shot. This is with no stress besides my buddies giving me crap if I miss. I've always heard undress the stress the best of the best will be 1/2 ass accurate. I'm no where near the best of the best. So does this make my make engagement range 15 yards? I really want to figure out my limit.
 

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I think 50 yards is a reasonable distance to be training out to, it's normally the max I'll train out to and normally I do it to help improve deficiencies in my tecniques. Or when I'm short on ammo because it is slower and more deliberate then closer ranged shooting.

Having said that I'll be completely honest if somthing was going down 50 yards away from me then that means I could probably get away. In today's super legal PC world I would only use my gun to protect my self, my family, or my friends. I wouldn't want to fight a court battle over why I shot a troubled I'd that was peace loving Muslim who was being used by evil extremists when I happened to be standing next to an exit far enough away that he couldn't hurt me.

However, at the end of the day it comes down to what you can live with. If knowing you saved life's is worth it after being finically ruined to clear you good name then you do what you got to do. Personally as long as my family is ok I can sleep fine at night having walked away from a situation where there was only a chance that I could have made a difference. Every one is different though, and that's all stuff you need to figure out before the time comes not during.

Also for the record I generally suck at 50 yards with a pistol shooting a man sized target and wouldn't trust my self to make the shot if anyone other then the person I was trying to kill happened to be in the general area, which is another reason I would just break contact.
 

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I carry my full size Glock 35 40 cal long slide as my CCW. I Use to carry my Glock 23, but i compete with my G35 in TNS(Tuesday Night Steel) @ Rio Salado Sportsman Club in Mesa AZ.

I highly recommend anyone that is "stuck" in a range stall shooting paper targets look for this type of competition in your area.

Every Tuesday evening they run this rain or shine and always have 4 different stages each night.

When the weather is good there are up to 200 shooters with at least 30 Grand Mastwr Shooters. These guys include some of the worlds best like Rob Leatham as Rio is is Home Club.

Here is a video of a great shooter running the 4 stages.

All stages usually involve multiple shooting positions that require moving between then(running), engaging targets from 5 -75 feet or greater and multiple magazine changes.

Besides a livefire shoot house, this is the nxt best thing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPrnzXVoG6E

And to TXRs point About financial ruin, I carry the USCCA 1+ Million Dollar insurance policy and have for the last 3 years.
https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/uscca-membership/22Facts/index.html?id=3steps&sid=Homepage&kmi=
 

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I am not a good shot with a pistol when not under stress, and I'msure worse if slobbering adrenaline. To help my arm and eye learn to acquire a target, sight and shoot, I bought a CO2BB pistol for soup can and paper target practice.

Shooting at around 15-20 yards, multiple cans at different angles and distances, I seem to be gradually improving. Much further and the BBs begin to drop enough to make aiming unlike "real" bullets. My idea is that the technique is basically the same, the trigger pull (BB a little stiff) is similar, but the ammo is essentially free per round.

When I can hit what I want, I will move up to .22, which used to be nearly free, and go from there.

Am I thinking right? I suspect I am already a better shot than the punk on the street, but they still manage to kill people. Watched an old cowboy movie and laughed when the fellow shot a man off a horse about 150 yards away, shooting from the hip. Possible, but--
 

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I'm a IDPA shooter and I'd say that I am in the bottom half of the competition. I'm biased, but I think IPDA or USPSA shooting is more than adequate preparation as it combines accuracy with speed & movement.

Check out the IDPA website to see if any local ranges host IDPA and then contact the POC. I find that people are supportive and encouraging to beginners.
 

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Think about the places you normally find your self in. If you primarily go to small restaurants, work in a business office, school, etc. what is the average space "wall to wall"?
Unless you are in a theater, orchestra, etc. most of us are 30ft max.
If you are in an open street situation you may need to shoot 50yds (but most states have an escape clause (if you can escape a situation you must do so before you use a firearm in self-defense)).
Find a place where you can set up several 8" paper plates, chest high, and at distances from 4ft to 20ft and practice moving and shooting. You can do this at some of the outdoor ranges that have firing lanes 20ft wide and 30ft deep.
Many places now offer "live" video training scenarios that allow you to test your reaction time as well as your shooting proficiency (though most are fairly pricey).
 

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The majority of my training is within 10 feet. I wear my P229 or my work issue G23 exactly how I normally would and I focus on speed. One and two handed. I get in a few strings of fire per week out to 35 feet but it's slower.

Within 10 feet I typically double tap or fire 4 second strings of fire that empty the 14+1 Sig or the 13+1 Glock. The Glock is typically a second or so slower due to the Sig's short reset trigger. That thing is so light I have accidentally double tapped learning it's reset.

At the longer ranges that magazine will take about 10 seconds to empty.

I use 8 inch targets.

I am one of those 1% of people and I know the physiological effects of it. I have no illusions that I will score a perfect shot under those conditions despite weekly training sessions at the range and reloading, drawing and malfunction clearing drills at home with snap caps.

I intent to instead score a dozen torso hits within 4 seconds. That is within the realm of reality under that kind of adrenaline.

Defensive pistol shooting at typical defensive ranges is a drag race. Not figure skating. Just point in the right direction and go faster than your opponent.
 

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With a Handgun I shoot at 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 25, 35, 50 yards. Not every time each of those ranges, but enough that I'm proficient at those ranges.

And most importantly I shoot from different positions and I shoot different Drills.

And for Fun I shoot at a 100 yards. Usually once or twice a month.

Jungle Work
 

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The recent Mediterranean cafe attack along with clips of ISIS recruiting videos has increased my perception of the threat of radicals in my area. I think we are going to continue to see in increase in lone wolf uncoordinated attacks of all sorts. I could see situations in my area where the threat could be in line of sight from 1 to 125 yards.

I also understand that if I am the 1% who is involved in a self defense incident it'll most likely be crime of opportunity occurring less than 7 yards away. I feel fairly proficient in this situation. And with my situational awareness I feel confident in avoiding the situation all together.

So with this extreme threat what are good measurable standards of proficiency to shoot for?
Hmmm...

Personally, I am a fan of the "El Presidente" and "Chaos Drills" for such thinking.

In my own case, the targets are set up at different distances and, when I have a partner at the rage (90% of the time), we hang red or blue balloons on the standing targets. Red for baddies, blue for good guys. On a timer, turn, acquire the targets and ONLY kill the baddies (normally any, all or none of the 3 that are set up).

Fun as can be and allows for decision making in such scenarios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTuycSFYk4M Enjoy! ;)
 

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Think about the places you normally find your self in. If you primarily go to small restaurants, work in a business office, school, etc. what is the average space "wall to wall"?
Unless you are in a theater, orchestra, etc. most of us are 30ft max.
If you are in an open street situation you may need to shoot 50yds (but most states have an escape clause (if you can escape a situation you must do so before you use a firearm in self-defense)).
Not all "indoor" shots will necessarily close range. Next time youre in the market, Walmart, etc, pace off the isles, departments, across the front of the store, etc, and I think you'll be surprised at the length of some of the shots that could be available to, and/or required of you.

Having some longer range handgun shooting under your belt is pretty much a necessity if you hope to be well rounded.

I have no illusions that I will score a perfect shot under those conditions despite weekly training sessions at the range and reloading, drawing and malfunction clearing drills at home with snap caps.

I intent to instead score a dozen torso hits within 4 seconds. That is within the realm of reality under that kind of adrenaline.

Defensive pistol shooting at typical defensive ranges is a drag race. Not figure skating. Just point in the right direction and go faster than your opponent.
I often think a lot of people deceive themselves when it comes to their skills and capabilities. Many, if not most of the ranges Ive been to in the last 15-20 years, wont allow you to practice the least bit realistically. No speed, movement, drawing, etc, all you can do is stand there and slow fire, and even then, often only at bullseye targets. Shooting nice, tight little groups at your leisure only shows you have the basics down, and really isnt an indication of your skills.

At closer ranges, you should be moving and point shooting, quickly and in bursts. As the distances open up, you have a bit more of a luxury of slowing things down a bit, and focusing more on the sights. That doesnt mean you slow down and "target shoot" though.

Im lucky enough these days to have a range available where I can practice pretty much any way I need or want. I fully understand the luxury it really is, yet I rarely see anyone there, who takes advantage of it, and does anything but slow fire bullseye type shooting. Not that I ever see many people there when I go (another luxury, and "rarely" is the norm). The few I have talked to, while quick to tell you they have their permit and carry their gun regularly, have admitted they never practiced realistically, and have never drawn that gun loaded from their holster. They just stand there and slow fire, and marvel at their little groups. Kind of makes you wonder.
 

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I'm wear my Nomex underwear. Even though I'm a certified NRA pistol instructor and a TX LTC instructor, I suggest one take "conventional" advice with a grain of salt. I'm don't think that skill deteriorate nearly as fast as some suggest (assuming that skills are real and deeply imbedded). There was a time when I shot 20K rounds per year, year in, year out. I know from the number of primers that I've purchased (by the case-- five sleeves or 25000 at a time), I have fired at least 200K of .45 ACP. I've had a Dillon 550B since they came out and have used the heck out of it. For many years, I fired at least four PPC courses-- 3 yds to 25 yds-- with 18 rounds fired at 25 yds. I'm not bragging, I'm just stating facts. Then I shot IPSC style Comstock scored courses on a regular basis, plus handgun silhouettes out to 200 yds-- sometimes with my .45 ACP. Now, I shoot maybe once every two months. I still use a timer when I'm shooting my "go to guns". I shoot a whole lot more .22LR than I do .45. When I go to the indoor range, I'm shooting 3" groups at 25 yds while people to the left and right are shooting minute of barndoor groups at 3 to 7 yds. They are blazing away but I'm spitting 40 gr. pellets down range at the rate of 1 per second. When I bear down, my splits are still about .25 seconds at close range. Okay-- to make my point. I think the key to it all is to be so familiar with your handguns that they are an extension of your being. I don't think any more about the gun than I think about the accelerator or the brake pedals of my truck. I've shot my guns at bad breathe distance to 200 yds. I don't think about stance. I naturally point shoot out to about seven yards and then begin to pick up my sights. I shoot around barricades with either right or left hand and don't think about what I'm doing. I think about the target. But my point is that while my edge may be dulled, I'm no longer 30 years old. I'm well more than twice that. I don't want to be in a gun fight, but if I am, I hope I'm wise enough to follow the training I've received (moved to cover, if you're not shooting, you're reloading or moving or behind cover.) I was at a store opening this weekend and they had a video shooting game set up. I saw some really good scores posted, but all the people I watched (while they were half my age) we well behind my score. I didn't have the fastest scores but I didn't shoot hostages and I didn't miss. Get familiar with your gun. Shoot with each hand. Don't practice the same way every time. Work on the areas where you are weak. If you are shoot great groups, shoot faster. If you are missing, slow down. Learn from every shot. There will come a time when the gun is just an extension of who you are. Right now, Right now, when I shoot, I'm spending more time on my M4 (sometimes with .22LR conversion kit) and my BR-308, working out over 300 yards. I want them to become part of me as well. I'm only 10 years into the the "black rifle" stuff but it's growing on me.
 

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Not all "indoor" shots will necessarily close range. Next time youre in the market, Walmart, etc, pace off the isles, departments, across the front of the store, etc, and I think you'll be surprised at the length of some of the shots that could be available to, and/or required of you.

Having some longer range handgun shooting under your belt is pretty much a necessity if you hope to be well rounded.


I often think a lot of people deceive themselves when it comes to their skills and capabilities. Many, if not most of the ranges Ive been to in the last 15-20 years, wont allow you to practice the least bit realistically. No speed, movement, drawing, etc, all you can do is stand there and slow fire, and even then, often only at bullseye targets. Shooting nice, tight little groups at your leisure only shows you have the basics down, and really isnt an indication of your skills.

At closer ranges, you should be moving and point shooting, quickly and in bursts. As the distances open up, you have a bit more of a luxury of slowing things down a bit, and focusing more on the sights. That doesnt mean you slow down and "target shoot" though.

Im lucky enough these days to have a range available where I can practice pretty much any way I need or want. I fully understand the luxury it really is, yet I rarely see anyone there, who takes advantage of it, and does anything but slow fire bullseye type shooting. Not that I ever see many people there when I go (another luxury, and "rarely" is the norm). The few I have talked to, while quick to tell you they have their permit and carry their gun regularly, have admitted they never practiced realistically, and have never drawn that gun loaded from their holster. They just stand there and slow fire, and marvel at their little groups. Kind of makes you wonder.
The range I go to is the only one I know of in my area that allows drawing from the holster and does not restrict firing speed. I very rarely see anyone taking advantage of that. I don't understand why that is. Do these people think slowly plinking at a target is in any way preparing them to defend themselves? I will draw and fire a string of 4 rounds into an 8 inch target at 10 feet in about 2-3 seconds and had a guy make a comment that while it was fast my group wasn't as good as his slow fire :confused:.

Almost forgot to add: The guy even said "You'll burn through all your ammo real quick doing that." That comment blew my mind. I just laughed and went back to my training. I never expected to hear anything like that from someone. Especially a range member in the Training Bay.
 

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With handguns I don't tend to practice at more than about 15yds maximum. Beyond those ranges I figure it is easier to either withdraw or advance to a closer position...or grab a rifle.

Handguns are a close range weapon and should be used that way IMHO. What you can do at the range and what you can do under fire are rarely the same thing.
 
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