Importance Of The RIGHT TARGET At The Range ! : I Just Learned That:

Importance Of The RIGHT TARGET At The Range ! : I Just Learned That:

This is a discussion on Importance Of The RIGHT TARGET At The Range ! : I Just Learned That: within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; While shooting tonight I used one of my standard targets I buy at the range-store: very large orange-colored silhouette of a human. That's my usual ...

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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Importance Of The RIGHT TARGET At The Range ! : I Just Learned That:

    While shooting tonight I used one of my standard targets I buy at the range-store: very large orange-colored silhouette of a human. That's my usual type: solid color silhouette. Makes it easier to see the bullet holes.

    I ran out and used for the first time one of those Cartoon-like large targets, evil-looking perp grabbing a blonde woman, you've seen them, sometimes a wolf is the "perp". I did much more poorly shooting.

    Then it hit me: WHAM! ; on the ones I use I like them because "Makes it easier to see the bullet holes."! I correct a faulty first shot by shooting the second based on the error-shot, adjusting accordingly. Well, sounds good doesn't it.

    BUT PERPS WILL NOT BE ORANGE SILHOUETTES ON WHICH YOU CAN SEE BULLET HOLES AND CORRECT AIM! IT'S A HUMAN BEING WEARING VARIOUS AND SUNDRY CLOTHING, OFTEN DARK, OFTEN AT NIGHT!!

    Using my targets was "CHEATING"!

    I think from now on I'm going to use targets hard to see where the bullets went. Much more realistic for SD training. Now I think while first learning shooting it's essential to see where you are hitting, gives you instant feedback. That's how we learn. But for SD those same "easy" targets I now think lead us down the garden path. It won't be like that at all. You'll have to feel the correct aim, and shoot whatever the number based on that - and then the Perp may react, but if he doesn't right away you are shooting without the usual target feedback and aim, or "feel" for point-shooting, is all she wrote.


    If the first shot is off but "feels" right, (I mean it may not even hit the guy), then guess where numbers 2, 3 and 4 are also going to go. We better be accurate to start! and learn to do it the hard way at the range. True for me I decided.

    Anyway, for anyone interested, thought I'd share my "discovery". Many may already know this.

    Best


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    Interesting idea but what will I do with all my green splat targets? Actually I do nearly all my work at 7 meters and in so even when I'm killing the zombie clown in black I can pretty much see where my shots hit the target. I'm starting to practice without using the sights now. Just point and shoot. Surprising how fast reasonable accuracy comes. I'm planning on taking a class in this method. I'll report back.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Hm. And yet, with boxing for example, knowing where the first punch landed and being able to make minor adjustments to ensure the second lands well is just how it goes. Much like a real fight, in which there's some feedback as to quality of strikes. Not much, visually, beyond seeing the impact zone and the reaction of the target. Much the same as with targets and shooting, in which one can roughly see the impact area and some manner of reaction from the target (knocking down the steel, blowing the balloon, seeing the hole).

    If the visible impact ring reliably alters my subsequent aim, then I can see the point ... to a point. But with much target work I doubt it's that way. I'm all for doing away with reactive (or highly-visible) targets, if it can be shown they're a detriment. But the benefits of more-rapid shooting and appreciation for where shots have gone after a short string has been fired is worth the price of not having to stop, check the targets, reset them. So long as it doesn't undermine the training, for which I haven't seen any real evidence.
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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farsidefan1 View Post
    Interesting idea but what will I do with all my green splat targets? Actually I do nearly all my work at 7 meters and in so even when I'm killing the zombie clown in black I can pretty much see where my shots hit the target. I'm starting to practice without using the sights now. Just point and shoot. Surprising how fast reasonable accuracy comes. I'm planning on taking a class in this method. I'll report back.
    I always do better Point Shoot from 10' and in than a feverish-attempted aimed-shot
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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Hm. And yet, with boxing for example, knowing where the first punch landed and being able to make minor adjustments to ensure the second lands well is just how it goes. Much like a real fight, in which there's some feedback as to quality of strikes. Not much, visually, beyond seeing the impact zone and the reaction of the target. Much the same as with targets and shooting, in which one can roughly see the impact area and some manner of reaction from the target (knocking down the steel, blowing the balloon, seeing the hole).

    If the visible impact ring reliably alters my subsequent aim, then I can see the point ... to a point. But with much target work I doubt it's that way. I'm all for doing away with reactive (or highly-visible) targets, if it can be shown they're a detriment. But the benefits of more-rapid shooting and appreciation for where shots have gone after a short string has been fired is worth the price of not having to stop, check the targets, reset them. So long as it doesn't undermine the training, for which I haven't seen any real evidence.
    Maybe it's best to use both: targets showing shots in order to practice, interposed with targets difficult to see hits, this would be to check how you would do in more realistic SD conditions based on your practice: so the ones difficult to spot holes on are the
    "test Yourself Targets". For me, always used to shooting knowing where each shot goes, I think in a real SD crisis I'd be completely unprepared that's now out of the picture, the perp is wearing a black jacket and Levi's at 10:00 at night, the light quite low. I can't see where I hit - or if I miss. I better practice accordingly at the range, least at times.
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    It depends on what you are practicing. For precision work, a paper plate with or without a small dot works just fine. For "combat" drills I prefer the more realistic targets.

    It is all about your goal in a particular training session. There is no reason to use expensive life like targets for every drill. I like them for "putting it all together" at the end of a session.
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    I just LOVE this kind of post. It's the epiphany post. You suddenly make a startling realization. Kudos.

    Now, in fact there is some feedback, but to recognize a thing as a 'crutch' is WONDERFUL. It's how we learn to analyze what we're doing. Even if there is some mitigation of the idea, it's this kind of 'deep thought' and 'ah-ha' that is so cool.

    What I would suggest is use both types of targets. Seeing and having a fun shoot is enhanced by Shoot-n-see targets. Just use some hard-ta-see types as well. Don't throw the baby out...er, well that would be a weird way to couch it, lol, but you get my drift...

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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Great post. I also have seen many at the range with snubs or other small weapons shooting at the small splash targets an saying they just cant shoot well with their snubs. When I put up half man targets an ask them to shoot they are amazed when all rounds fall within the center mass of the target an they realize their mistake. These weapons are not meant for 2" groups even tho with practice you can achieve that level of accuracy but most bgs don't stand still.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by detective View Post
    Maybe it's best to use both: targets showing shots in order to practice, interposed with targets difficult to see hits, this would be to check how you would do in more realistic SD conditions based on your practice ...
    Agreed.

    I just haven't found much difference between various targets. Either I'm aiming consistently and striking what I aim at, or I'm not. The patterns don't seem to have ever tied to the prior hit, at least not for sequences of 2-3 shots. I have used a variety of targets, both paper and other, for the reasons you suggest. But I just haven't found enough differences to suggest one target provides a crutch that the others don't. YMMV.
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    Importance Of The RIGHT TARGET At The Range ! : I Just Learned That:

    If you aim every shot to center mass this is a non issue. If you are looking to see where the bullets hit between every shot you are firing too slowly for a defensive drill.

    The time to see where the holes are is after the drill IMO.

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    Senior Member Array denclaste's Avatar
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    We use: matte black (no way to see hits until you reel the target back up to you ) buff tan (easy to see holes ) and steel plates (outdoors). The buff are great for sighting in or checking sight alignment. The matte black for SD practice so you actually have to practice rapid fire and then see if you are "on". Steel is always fun just for the bang clang down aspect or how fast can you transition from target to target at differing distances and maintain hits.
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    It's not really so much seeing the bullet holes that will trip you up, it's the fact that you are shooting at something that's easy to visually center vs. something that has an amorphous center. Or at least that's my opinion on it. It's definitely a good lesson to learn because, you are correct, in a real shooting, you won't be aiming for the center circle inside the circle. You'll be aiming at the vital area of an object that will most likely be moving. I shoot at paper plates a lot simply because they are cheap and I can stack them up on each other to create large areas that don't have a definite center. The plain cardboard IDPA type of silhouette targets are good also, but they are a lot more expensive than paper plates

    If only we could get the government to pass a law saying all bad guys have to wear these t-shirts!

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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Im a big believer in hitting what you shoot at, at any reasonable distance for that particular weapon. Different weapons have different effective ranges. Ie a pocket pistol probably wont do well at 25 yards, no matter how good a marksman you are.

    Saying that, I think the biggest mistake people make is practicing at too long a distance. Years ago I would have laughed at the notion of training, or practicing shooting, at a target 6' (or closer) away. Well, no longer.

    I have never heard of anyone being mugged from 25 yards away. I absolutely believe that being able to hit from the greatest effective range of the weapon is a plus. Ie every foot between you and the BG is to your advantage, (BGs dont go to the range), but I dont see the initial encounter happening at that distance.

    Those who have not tried close range practice/training, might well think "Yeah. I think I can hit something 6' away. There is hardly reason to practice that." To that Id respond; "Then what are you practicing for, if not a real world encounter?" If its simply target shooting that bears no relation to CC concerns, thats fine. Thats what most Civilian ranges were set up for. They were set up when there was no CC for average Joes.

    Btw, at a distance of 6' or closer, you are going to see where you hit, regardless of how fast you shoot, lol.

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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Fess up. You have put bottles on tree limbs to shoot at, too. Havent you? Or tied nuts on a string, and set them swinging, to shoot at.

    There is no end to the creative ways to practice and have fun. Oh, I certainly agree re paper plates.

    The first time I took my wife pistol shooting I used paper plates. I had some for her dedicated to her use. She did not shoot as well as I did, and did not think that she had done good, despite my praise for her shooting.

    I had expected that reaction. So, I took her paper plate targets and put them over my chest, and asked her if I was the BG, would I have had a bad day? That convinced her, lol

    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    It's not really so much seeing the bullet holes that will trip you up, it's the fact that you are shooting at something that's easy to visually center vs. something that has an amorphous center. Or at least that's my opinion on it. It's definitely a good lesson to learn because, you are correct, in a real shooting, you won't be aiming for the center circle inside the circle. You'll be aiming at the vital area of an object that will most likely be moving. I shoot at paper plates a lot simply because they are cheap and I can stack them up on each other to create large areas that don't have a definite center. The plain cardboard IDPA type of silhouette targets are good also, but they are a lot more expensive than paper plates

    If only we could get the government to pass a law saying all bad guys have to wear these t-shirts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormRhydr View Post
    Fess up. You have put bottles on tree limbs to shoot at, too. Havent you? Or tied nuts on a string, and set them swinging, to shoot at.

    There is no end to the creative ways to practice and have fun. Oh, I certainly agree re paper plates.

    The first time I took my wife pistol shooting I used paper plates. I had some for her dedicated to her use. She did not shoot as well as I did, and did not think that she had done good, despite my praise for her shooting.

    I had expected that reaction. So, I took her paper plate targets and put them over my chest, and asked her if I was the BG, would I have had a bad day? That convinced her, lol
    I freeze colored water in small disposable cups with toothpicks poking out and then stick those on the top of the target frame for my son to shoot. He does a great job of concentrating when he's shooting, but the reactive nature of colored ice getting hit by a .22 really gives him a reason to focus his efforts on marksmanship.

    That's why I love the paper plates! The small embossed inner ring (the cheap plates gives you about a 5" ring) isn't really visible from any decent distance but it gives you a way to judge a good shot from a really good shot.
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