Impressive groups from unimpressive distances

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  • ChicagoTex

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    Jul 24, 2008
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    Finally, the perfect forum for something I've always wanted to express:

    as a forewarning - this is not meant as a personal attack towards any of my fellow shooting enthusiasts, but it is a pet peeve of mine.

    I get so tired of people posting about the "accuracy" of their handgun and showing off a target with a nice one-ragged hole, almost always fired at, at furthest, 21 feet (just 7 little yards).

    Excepting a VERY small handgun in the vein of an S&W J-Frame or Ruger LCP, getting one-ragged hole at 7 yards requires minimal effort and is something most any handgun is capable of.

    I realize these are fired because 21 feet is considered a "defense distance", something like 90-98% of civilian confrontations involving firearms occur within this distance, I've been told. Nevertheless, anyone can look 25 YARDS ahead of them and realize that it's still a very dangerous distance, isn't it therefore prudent to practice out to this or an even further distance? (I myself demand a certain level of accuracy from a firearm at 25 yards or I don't carry it, but this isn't meant to be a thread about my carry habits/attitudes).
    An added benefit of shooting (and showing targets) at 25 yards is it's a lot easier to gauge the accuracy of a firearm than an easy-as-pie 21 feet.
     

    kville79

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    I agree, a good thing to do (especially if you shoot on your own property) is set up targets at variable distance and shooting at them in various orders. Practicing like this makes it easier to naturally acquire targets at any distance.

    Then again shooting like this isn't focused on precision marksmanship, but rather reflex self defense shooting.
     

    Hoji

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    for defensive handgun shooting purposes it is better NOT to have a super tight group. It is better to have multiple holes all through the "torso center of mass"

    Example, if you shoot a controlled pair{ double tap} and bothe shots are less than 1/2 inch from each other, then what you have done is use two rounds to make one hole in a vital organ. Better to have them 6-8 inches apart in the torso. Multiple organ hits= faster stop.
     

    iratollah

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    It is better to have multiple holes all through the "torso center of mass"
    Well the people qualifying in my CHL class have no worries, cuz they covered the target from head to toe.

    Why is it that when you take a female to the range for her first time with a handgun, invariably the first shot on the silhouette target is in the groin? Always. Every time. They don't miss that spot. The second shot may go lord knows where, but that first shot is always to the groin.
     

    Hoji

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    Well the people qualifying in my CHL class have no worries, cuz they covered the target from head to toe.

    Why is it that when you take a female to the range for her first time with a handgun, invariably the first shot on the silhouette target is in the groin? Always. Every time. They don't miss that spot. The second shot may go lord knows where, but that first shot is always to the groin.

    Well it is good to put the multiple holes in the torso at aimed points and not just willy-nilly
     

    ChicagoTex

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    Why is it that when you take a female to the range for her first time with a handgun, invariably the first shot on the silhouette target is in the groin? Always. Every time. They don't miss that spot. The second shot may go lord knows where, but that first shot is always to the groin.


    for defensive handgun shooting purposes it is better NOT to have a super tight group. It is better to have multiple holes all through the "torso center of mass"

    Example, if you shoot a controlled pair{ double tap} and bothe shots are less than 1/2 inch from each other, then what you have done is use two rounds to make one hole in a vital organ. Better to have them 6-8 inches apart in the torso. Multiple organ hits= faster stop.

    You make a well-reasoned, albeit debateable argument (the hydro-static shock people, for example, would be disinclined to agree with you). But I think we'd agree that it's better to practice precise, consistent accuracy and, using that skill, seperate your shots rather than turn lousy marksmanship into a virtue. In short: you might be right about the benefit of spreading your shots, but being ABLE to make one-ragged hole and choosing not to is always better than being unable.
     

    Hoji

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    You make a well-reasoned, albeit debateable argument (the hydro-static shock people, for example, would be disinclined to agree with you). But I think we'd agree that it's better to practice precise, consistent accuracy and, using that skill, seperate your shots rather than turn lousy marksmanship into a virtue. In short: you might be right about the benefit of spreading your shots, but being ABLE to make one-ragged hole and choosing not to is always better than being unable.

    I was convinced of this by a very good friend that is an agent in DS{ Diplomatic Security, State Department}

    We used to shoot a lot and would keep the groups as tight as can be. When he was doing his specialized training{ cant remember if it was at FLETC in Georgia, or in Virginia} he was shooting like we always do and got chewed for it. Hence the multiple holes in multiple organs theory.
    these are people who are trained to shoot other people. I will go with what the Pros" teach

    But the hydrostatic shock crowd will differ. It is like the 9mm vs .45 argument. I hope I never have to put it to the test though.
     

    ReVrEnD_0341

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    Feb 22, 2008
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    Hoji is right about multi shots through the target zone. It is better to zap the heart, lungs and spine rather than just making a single sucking chest wound. Which of course a person can still live through. You would be better off using hammer pairs instead of controlled pairs in this method of shooting however.

    Two hammer pairs and a CNS Failure to stop drill will trump a controlled pair any day if you're playing cards.
     

    SIG_Fiend

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    The way I always heard it, as long as you can maintain fist-sized groups at defense range (0-15yds), and with as fast follow up shots as you can make then you'll be doing well.

    In many circumstances, you might have a hard time justifying a self defense shooting at 25yds. Much past 15yds, and according to everything I've seen and read it seems that prosecutors really like to push the question of "Why didn't you just run away?" whether it's relevant or not. Just my $0.02, so take it for what it's worth. ;) I practice primarily from 3-7yds, with some practice at 10-15yds but not quite as much. What I really want to start practicing is at contact distance with things like firing from retention/low guard, etc etc.
     

    ChicagoTex

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    Jul 24, 2008
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    In many circumstances, you might have a hard time justifying a self defense shooting at 25yds. Much past 15yds, and according to everything I've seen and read it seems that prosecutors really like to push the question of "Why didn't you just run away?" whether it's relevant or not.

    I always imagine shooting it out with someone else in a parking lot, if you imagine it yourself, you'll realize 25 yards isn't as far as you (or the lawyers) tend to think. An unlikely scenario I know, but crazier things have happened.

    As to running away, I got a bum ankle, and am REALLY disinclined to try to outrun a bullet.
     

    Hoji

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    The way I always heard it, as long as you can maintain fist-sized groups at defense range (0-15yds), and with as fast follow up shots as you can make then you'll be doing well.

    In many circumstances, you might have a hard time justifying a self defense shooting at 25yds. Much past 15yds, and according to everything I've seen and read it seems that prosecutors really like to push the question of "Why didn't you just run away?" whether it's relevant or not. Just my $0.02, so take it for what it's worth. ;) I practice primarily from 3-7yds, with some practice at 10-15yds but not quite as much. What I really want to start practicing is at contact distance with things like firing from retention/low guard, etc etc.

    Well, come on out and practice. You have a range that lets you do that.
     

    kingofwylietx

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    Feb 29, 2008
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    I like to shoot farther distances simply because it makes shorter ones much easier and it is fun.

    As a matter of fact, the added difficulty of steadying the gun and the trigger control necessary for longer shots....makes it 20X easier for closer ones.

    Practicing at short distances won't help you with a long shot. So, in a way, by mixing it up and doing both, you get a lot of benefits.
     

    kville79

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    May 24, 2008
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    On the debate between Hydrostatic shock vs. multiple organs approaches... I was always trained, and have always trained others to hit within a 4-6" group within the solar plexus area.

    I was first introduced to tactical shooting in the Marines, and the majority of the same practices and philosophies are the same now that I'm in the Army. Double tapping to create two simultaneous hydrostatic shocks from close proximity creates a larger disturbance in the organs which has more of a possibility to incapacitate the individual, than say 6 random shots through out the body. According to the information I've been given there is also a high possibility that the heart can stop on the spot.

    The body is mostly water, so take two stones and throw them in a pond right after each other in around the same spot... that's pretty much the effect one is looking for in the soft tissue and organs of a target when double tapping.
     

    LHB1

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    Mar 4, 2008
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    I prefer to shoot open sighted pistols at 25 yds also but alas, the outdoor range I use has only 7 yds, 18 yds (?), or 50 yds (?). Thus I have to shoot at 18 yds or whatever it actually measures now. It was a longer distance but they enlarged the dirt backstop on the front side and then moved the targets a couple of yds closer to us than before.
     

    ChicagoTex

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    Jul 24, 2008
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    the outdoor range I use has only 7 yds, 18 yds (?), or 50 yds (?)

    7 yards is a very typical range, 15-18 is common, the 50 (with no 25) baffles me. Probably very enjoyable if you're running a scoped handgun though.
     

    LHB1

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    Why not 50? If ya can't hit with irons at 50, shoot irons at 50 more... ;)

    Perhaps so but 50 yds is a pretty tough challenge for a pistol with iron sights using my 69 1/2 year old eyes and muscles. It's been many years since I shot pistols off hand at 50 yds in Bullseye competition.
     
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