This is a discussion on Target Practice for Self Defense. What are my goals? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I grew up around guns and had some of my own, but just getting back into guns from about a 8 year hiatus. I recently ...
I grew up around guns and had some of my own, but just getting back into guns from about a 8 year hiatus. I recently received my CCW and am currently carrying daily. I went to the range today and shot 60 rounds (it is an outdoor range and it was a little chilly this morning.) At nine yards, I shot 40 rounds, hitting all in the center mass. I then shot 20 rounds from a draw. Having a five round revolver, I would draw, shoot 3, draw and shoot the last two. Then I would reload and repeat. Nineteen hit what I would call center mass, with one to the lower left which would be about the appendix area on a BG. I was happy with this result.
I know that there are drills to help me improve and I should continue to practice no matter how good I get. I also know that I do not need to put 20 bullets through the same hole at 100 yards. So what goals should I try to be aiming for (pun intended) while I'm at the range? When can I look at my target and be reasonably sure I can do this in a SD scenario? As I said, I was happy with the result above, but was I good enough?
Edit: It was from 3 yds not 9yds.
If you are ever required to employ lethal force you will know you were good enough if you stopped the attack and survived to contemplate that question.
That may have some bearing on your training regimen.
[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. ---Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
Get Off the X
Find a Suarez group in your area, get an airsoft gun and safety equipment, and practice Force on force for everything else but hitting a stationary target that doesnt fight back or attack you first.
"No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that's in the right and keeps on a-comin."
Texas Ranger Capt William Jessie McDonald
THIS^^^You should practice the first shot more than anything else. This is critical for those who choose double action weapons for self defense. The double-action first shot is the single most missed shot in shooting; it needs to be practiced a great deal. One-shot presentations are a tremendously valuable drill.
Run your target out to an unknown distance. Tell yourself "my life depends on this shot" then make it. This is the way I train for bow hunting with my compound bow, and I brought it along with me wnen I started training with handguns. It's amazing what that little bit of pressure that you put on yourself will do. You have to get to the point where it stops rattling you and makes you screw your concentration down and get it done. Like my coach buddy says... "pressure busts the pipe"
Shooting at a square range is good marksmanship practice. Keep in mind that in a real life scenario, your threat will not always be straight out in front of you squared off. My advise for what it's worth, keep in mind I'm trying to make a very long story short, is to practice or train like a gun fighter not a target shooter. Practice engaging the target (threat) from any and all positions you can imagine. From the left side, from the right, with your back to the threat,prone,kneeling, from cover,multiple targets,lying on your back, on your side, you get the idea. Trouble can come at you from any angle, from any where, with you doing whatever you do throughout the normal course of your day. Have a combat mindset when you practice. Don't see the target as a target, see it as a threat that wants to kill you, and engage it as such. Mindset is very important.I don't know the extent of your training so forgive me if I'm telling you things you know.Your gun handling skills count for about 30%, Mindset and tactics the other 70%. I could write a book on all the things there are to tell you, I hope this gives you enough information to know where to begin.
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunder bolt...... Sun Tzu.
The supreme art of war is to defeat the enemy without fighting........ Sun Tzu.
I would practice drawing and firing one or two rounds re-holster and do it again.
I would practice this until I could reliably hit place my shots in an 8" circle for 0 to 10 yds.
Then I add firing while moving into my training regime
A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.
Sir...it is my opinion, that until you get some reputable defensive pistol/fighting pistol/combat pistol training, from a reputable instructor/company, you will NOT be able to determine what is necessary to practice in order to improve your self defense capabilities...
All of the advice in these forums, all of the you tube videos, and all of the books, are great for general information.
You MUST get training to know what you don't know and to be able to set your own training regimen to improve on your abilities....JMO
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
Practice correctly and safely. Practice enough as to develope muscle memory so you won't have to think about it when the situation arises.
If you can join and start competing in IDPA it will help a lot with safe gun handling skills and shooting under pressure.
As a long time member of the Armed Forces I can tell you one thing - whatever you train for will go down the crapper when the first shot comes in your direction. Training without a huge adrenalin dump is just training. Nobody knows how they'll react until the SHTF. The important thing is to be able to train yourself in such a manner that you can put your body in automatic. That means lots of muscle memory & being able to do things like shoot a firearm like a robot without giving it a thought. Putting lead downrange is your first goal. Give your opponent his own adrenalin dump.
This may sound extreme & it is. God forbid you ever find yourself in the position where you're greeted with incoming without the slightest hint that it was going to happen. This is where situational awareness comes to play. Survey your surroundings & play a possible scenario in your head. "What am going to do if that homeless-looking person doesn't just ask me for a buck & pulls a weapon?" If you decide to stand your ground be prepared to draw & fire the second you spot that weapon or put distance between you without alerting him that you've discovered his intentions. There are way too many scenarios to get into. I've gone long enough already.
You're working on the first step by trying to be the best marksman that ever walked the earth. This is good. It's also good that you're seeking advice. Once you master that do it with your weak hand & master that, too. You never know when you might become strong hand incapacitated. Center of mass at 21' should be your first goal weak or strong hand. Refine that later trying to make the first shot count. Getting into a good training class should be the next. Become familiar with your firearm first. This includes changing magazines rapidly & efficiently. You'll want to shoot reflexively before spending lots of money in a scenario/situational class. Having a shooting coach is also a good idea for familiarization. Learn to walk before you try to run in other words. Become proficient with the firearms you'll use for self defense. Always remember that your brain is your best weapon.
I'm usually not this long-winded & I apologize.
USN Submarine & UDT/SEAL Veteran
1SG, US Army Retired - Airborne Infantry All the Way!
Retired PI/Armed Security
Thank you everyone for your advice. I know that I still have a long way to go. Given my inexperience, it looks like the first thing I should work on is straight marksmanship. I've been shooting with both hands and after I get a bit better, I will work with strong hand and weak hand only. After that, I will look into shooting from different angles. I do have a speedloader that I've been using so I will continue to practice with so I can use it effectively.
The instructor that lead my CC class, also has an advanced CC class and a self defense class that I have been looking at. These two classes are offered only during the summer so when they become available, I will take them.
In most situations we as CCers will not need, that MT target marksmanship, we need combat accuracy and getting ourselves moving up the ladder from starting behind in the fight. You need gunfighting skills not marksmanship skills. Learn the marksmanship skills after you learn to save yourself from harm you face each day.
I think Roger will agree you can learn to win most gunfights without knowing how to shoot small groups first. But you will need to know the fundamentals of gun handling
It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45
"Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?" Guantes
I am not trying to claim bragging rights here but I do have a modicum of handgun handling and actual combat experience. I am a graduate of the “old” Gunsite Ranch school (when LTC Cooper was still top instructor) and I served six years total “in country” in Nam. I have served on USMC Pistol and Rifle teams over a 30 year time and I have used both rifle and handgun (1911) in combat.
What I state here is simply my own opinion based on my own observations.
1. “School solutions”
a. You should be able to take out multiple targets out to 25 yards, including headshots on BGs holding hostages.
b. If you can’t get a 3” group at fifteen yards, you shouldn’t be carrying a gun.
c. You should keep coming back to this this school until you can do all of the above.
2. Real Life
a. Be able to hit an 8” target at 10-21 ft. (Jeff Cooper always told us that” If you have a tight group, you are shooting too d**n slow!”
b. Worry about the BG coming at you first.
c. Paint your front site a highly visible color (I use International Orange) or have an insert installed and practice “shoving” your gun out in front of you and firing when you see orange on target. Practice will give you a physical lineup of rear sights and front blade without your actually seeing rear sights. Trigger squeeze doesn’t need to be super delicate but should be consistently the same each time!
d. Fire at least five times.
e. If there are a bunch of BGs and you are alone, run and/or hide, don’t shoot! Taking on multiple assailants while alone with a handgun qualifies for the “Samurai Death Wish" syndrome.) There are unfortunately a lot of dead and buried Law Enforcement Officers out there to validate this theory! Defense against multiple BGs requires multiple good guys armed with long guns. Best scenario is to have a Marine Rifle Squad as you SD weapon!
Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.