At what distance would you engage a shooter?

At what distance would you engage a shooter?

This is a discussion on At what distance would you engage a shooter? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been thinking about the Colorado church shooting and wondering how close I'd need to be before I would have engaged the shooter in that ...

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Thread: At what distance would you engage a shooter?

  1. #1
    Member Array muskiehunter's Avatar
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    At what distance would you engage a shooter?

    I've been thinking about the Colorado church shooting and wondering how close I'd need to be before I would have engaged the shooter in that situation. I haven't seen those details yet but most of my practice has been inside 20 yds. In that chaotic situation at what distance would you feel confident taking a shot?

  2. #2
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Thats a loaded question that cant have one answer. It depends on a lot of things, mainly how far away the BG is engaging me.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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  3. #3
    Member Array riverkeeper's Avatar
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    Number of possible issues involved here but to simplify max for farthest extremes of my weapons..

    About 80-100 yds for SW629 44 mag and prob about 35-40 yds for the KT P3AT.
    Old testament....Shooting to Live 1942
    Newer testament... Kill or Get Killed 1976/1987

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    As SIXTO said....many things will be factors............

    - The firearm you are carrying. If a belly gun, accuracy at distance is compromised. If 'full sized' (like 5" 1911), range can be further. (I do own & have carried belly guns, usually as a back up to a full sized firearm for this reason.)

    - Is your target moving? If stationary, shot will be easier & a greater distance shot could be successful.

    -Are you moving? Shooting while on the move is hard, even with practice & training.

    -Are you shooting from a rest/support or off hand?

    -Environment? What's the venue? Where will your round go WHEN you miss?

    -Are there a lot of people around?

    -If great distance is involved...are you justified in shooting?

    This is just a few......
    A vote is like a rifle, its usefulness is based on the character of the user -T Roosevelt

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  6. #5
    Member Array muskiehunter's Avatar
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    In this situation it's a large church with thousands of people in the building and parking lot. The woman heard the shots drew her weapon and moved toward the source as opposed to the BG specifically coming after her. She also knew there had been a shooting earlier.

  7. #6
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Thats a loaded question that cant have one answer. It depends on a lot of things, mainly how far away the BG is engaging me.
    That, and the setting. If the BG is solo and no hostages or/GG (good guys) are in the immediate proximity, and BG is presenting me with a full silhouette----30 yds.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    To me the answer is simple.


    Am in imminent danger right now this instant the fan is spinning at max rpm and somebody just pulled the release on the poop chute?
    If so then that is Jeopardy

    Is the shooter able to shoot me, regardles off his weaponry being a 2" revolver or an SKS, from how ever close or far he might be to me?
    If so then that is Ability.

    Does the shooter show imminent purposefulness in wanting to harm me, mine, and/or those within my immediate surroundings?
    If so then that is Means

    If any one of these are not met then there is no J.A.M. and thus no lawfullness nor reasonableness and with that no unholstering/deployment of tools be it firearm, knife, or whatever.

    As to taking a shot at distances outside say 21'.
    I wouldn't bet on tight groups under combat duress with a short barreled revolver or as in my case a 3.5" 1911 in hand.
    But doing the same with a 4.25" or 5" fullsize pistol or a shotgun or even better a rifle, then effective first and second shot range capability increases greatly for the average shooter.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    over 20 feet and I would be worried about picking off GG's. This is a very trickey situation because a church usually has entrences and exits in the back. Assume the BG comes in these doors guns-a-blazn'. That means you would have to get him lined up down the isle[ (PUES HERE) ISLE (PUES HERE) ]<--- a front view where I and E of isle are the doors int he back of the chruch. Shooting across would break rule 3. Its always situational in the Tactical Scenarios, but for entertaining the idea 20 feet is my max comfort level with a compact handgun with people near.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    depends on the gun
    depends on where you are, if u can get closer
    depends on how good you are
    depends on if there are other ppl right around
    ... depends on a lot

  11. #10
    Member Array Reconvic's Avatar
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    No more then 21 feet, if I feel a threat to my life or families lives i will engage
    Till the threat is stopped.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    I'll do whatever it takes, regardless of distance. if something like that happens, you gotta dance with who brung ya, as the wise man once said. that being said, I routinely practice at distances beyond 15 yards for this very reason, and almost without exception, carry full-size pistols. I know with my Champion I can hit small paint cans at 50 yards consistently from a conventional draw.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  13. #12
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    Member Array AMH's Avatar
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    I carry a Taurus PT-145; it has a very short barrel. And I am not about to join the Olympic shooting team any time soon. In a controlled environment without stress I can maintain a 6 inch group at 30 feet.
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    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is about keeping the government in check. This requires that the citizenry is well armed and at all times has immediate access to arms.

  14. #13
    Array GBS's Avatar
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    If I can get the guy to put a red dot on his upper torso and stand still for 3 seconds or so, I can get it within 4" of the red dot from about 27 yards. That's the limit of the indoor range I use...

    Even though it is a G23c....
    Last edited by GBS; December 11th, 2007 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Metric conversion...

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    Realistically I say 25 yards. I am confident that within that range I will be able to place nearly every shot from my XD45 service (4" barrel) in the shooter. And I do practice moving and shooting. I would strongly suggest everyone practice, at least on occasion, that way. If you find yourself in a shooting situation it going to be very fluid, very fast and nothing like standing shooting at a paper target.

    Remember, when things happen you will revert to the way you have trained yourself. If you only practice standing still, that is probably how you will engage the BG. This may well be why the other two security folks in Colorado Springs failed to engage. They had never practice for the scenario they found themselves in.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    Unless you practice regularly at distance with the same handgun you’re carrying, engaging the BG could result in you going to jail for the rest of your life for accidentally killing a bystander.

    While I don’t know about you, I am no longer an LEO so I have no free legal representation, and just having an attorney represent me in questioning could cost $3500 or more. Further if I accidentally shot a bystanders, attorney fees could go upward to $50,000 or more.

    Long story short, I would only engage the BG if I had a clear shot, at close range, with NO background bystanders, or he was shooting at my family and I, thus leaving me no choice.

    Another thing you should consider:

    Since the Church had hired armed security, the security guard may think your part of the threat, and shoot you should you draw your handgun.

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