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Dave in PA
Average Member

USA
422 Posts

Posted - May 26 2018 :  08:30:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Recently an officer from my former department was involved in a shooting. He fired a single, fatal shot from a distance of just over 30 yards. The officer had a side profile of the suspect and hit him in the upper chest with the round penetrating both lungs, his heart and was immediately incapacitating and fatal.

My reason for posting this is to remind all of us (especially me) of the need to shoot our pistols at longer distances on occasion. I realize that it is very unlikely that a civilian with be presented with a similar scenario but the practice certainly won't hurt.

jle3030
Advanced Member

USA
5166 Posts

Posted - May 26 2018 :  09:24:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Point taken. "Traditional" SD shootings will be up close and personal. The much rarer, but increasingly possible active shooter or terrorist shootings can be at any unpredictable distance. With distance favoring the more skilled shooter.

Along with practice at distance, we need to consider whether our chosen carry gun, in our hands, is up to the task. Where does that lower powered or fixed sight gun shoot at longer distances?

Jeff

jle3030
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ASCTLC
Senior Member

669 Posts

Posted - May 26 2018 :  10:53:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If your family member is the focus of the thug and they (family member and thug) are not next to you, you'd be wishing to have the skill to distance shoot the thug to prevent them your family member. It's a skill I see as a step beyond personal SD that one may never know they would get faced with.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4877 Posts

Posted - May 26 2018 :  12:04:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It only makes sense to be skilled with your weapon to the full range of itís capabilities.

You just never know....

Plus, itís fun. I can still recall the thrill of pressing the trigger of my P226, and watching that plastic gallon jug of water explode from fifty yards away.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 26 2018 12:07:19 PM
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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
844 Posts

Posted - May 26 2018 :  12:38:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As my age increases, and with current health problems, I cans see my skills slowly deteriorating, and I must practice more and more to keep those same skills honed. I have not shot at dist ance, in a while, but with your encouragement, I will my next outing. thanks Dave.

Pop Pop
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Evan
Administrator

34314 Posts

Posted - May 26 2018 :  1:46:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The first fatal shooting I was involved in my partner hit the thug with a .357 Magnum thru both lungs and the heart and their was absolutely no reaction from the perp even though he was dying so he got shot some more.

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5258 Posts

Posted - May 26 2018 :  7:03:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our range sergeant used to get mildly irritated when I'd do intentional head shots during qualification. At qual time, I didn't do it from very far back--maybe 10 or 15 yards--but my eyes were better then and my hands steadier, so in 'private practice' I'd work it out to 25-ish. Back then, with the guns I/we had, I could do it on paper pretty reliably. Sarge said we didn't really need the skill, but....
Then I had a 'banger take his baby hostage, and the real possibility of needing that 'skill' popped up. Had somebody measure the distance for me afterwards, it would have been right at 21 yards. At the moment, I felt very confident in the ability, but I'm glad he gave it up. Nowadays, less practice, worse eyes, not near as steady hands---if I can, I'll let the youngsters take care of it. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
If pro-gunners are as murderous as anti-gunners claim, why are there so many anti-gunners still running their mouths?
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jle3030
Advanced Member

USA
5166 Posts

Posted - May 27 2018 :  08:25:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For most of us our abilities decline over time. I have shooting notebooks going back to 1980. I can't shoot the groups or hit at the distances I could back then. And practice doesn't seem to sharpen the skills as well as it used to. I can only see so well or hold so steady. Front sights blur and I medicate for an essential tremor. (aka "senile tremor", but let's not go there! <GRIN>)

So I see practice as serving two purposes: to maintain skills and to realize what shots have become problematic. For example, up close speed and accuracy standards are about what they have always been. It's the distant shots that have become harder. 25 yard handgun head shots are pretty much a thing of the past.

I also notice the gun makes more difference than it used to. Weight helps a lot. It helps to damp out the tremor. I can still make better shots with a 1911 Government Model or six inch revolvers than I can with a shorter lighter Commander, Glock, or shorter barreled revolver. The M1 Garand works better for me that the AR15. The difference has always been there, of course, but the disparity seems to be getting greater.

Jeff

jle3030
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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2251 Posts

Posted - May 27 2018 :  12:45:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jle3030

For most of us our abilities decline over time. I have shooting notebooks going back to 1980. I can't shoot the groups or hit at the distances I could back then. And practice doesn't seem to sharpen the skills as well as it used to. I can only see so well or hold so steady. Front sights blur and I medicate for an essential tremor. (aka "senile tremor", but let's not go there! <GRIN>)

So I see practice as serving two purposes: to maintain skills and to realize what shots have become problematic. For example, up close speed and accuracy standards are about what they have always been. It's the distant shots that have become harder. 25 yard handgun head shots are pretty much a thing of the past.

I also notice the gun makes more difference than it used to. Weight helps a lot. It helps to damp out the tremor. I can still make better shots with a 1911 Government Model or six inch revolvers than I can with a shorter lighter Commander, Glock, or shorter barreled revolver. The M1 Garand works better for me that the AR15. The difference has always been there, of course, but the disparity seems to be getting greater.

Jeff





Yup, I am seeing the same problems as you. Plus it seems harder to get myself out to practice.
Russs

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
3193 Posts

Posted - May 27 2018 :  1:02:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shooting is a frangible skill. But, realistically, it's a lot like ammo........I know of no one who has ever been in a shooting situation that wished they'd had less ammo or less skill.

It's tougher to maintain skill as we age. I know at 68 I am not as sharp as I was at 28... or even 50. But.. we can still try... and we can (as Clint Eastwood so philosophically stated in Dirty Harry... " A man has to know his limitations").

The only way to truly know one's limitations is to put them to the test. Then, file that data away for "Real Life".

A lot of folks get dead... or make the wrong folks dead... because they think they're more skilled than they are.

Knowing your limitations is a first step in developing an immediate tactical plan for whatever 'poop' situation you find yourself in.

Just a thought... it's free... so it's worth what you paid for it.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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ACP230
Advanced Member

1061 Posts

Posted - May 27 2018 :  5:27:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I practice from three yards to 25 yards often.
At 50 yards now and then. Once, with a M649, I shot a better group at 50 yards
DA than at 25 SA. Not usually the way things go.

If I don't have the range to myself and can't approach the backstop
closely, usually shoot at 50 feet because the pistol
side of the range is set up for that distance.

I'm right handed but also practice shooting with my left.
When I was in college the pistol club was full of ROTC guys.
They all figured they were slated for a tour of South East Asia
shortly after graduation. They were all practicing with their
non-dominant hand. It may have rubbed off on me.


"Never part with your weapons when you are in the field. You never know when, on some lengthy plain, you may suddenly need your spear." Old Norse saying.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4877 Posts

Posted - May 28 2018 :  3:41:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

Shooting is a frangible skill. But, realistically, it's a lot like ammo........I know of no one who has ever been in a shooting situation that wished they'd had less ammo or less skill.

It's tougher to maintain skill as we age. I know at 68 I am not as sharp as I was at 28... or even 50. But.. we can still try... and we can (as Clint Eastwood so philosophically stated in Dirty Harry... " A man has to know his limitations").

The only way to truly know one's limitations is to put them to the test. Then, file that data away for "Real Life".

A lot of folks get dead... or make the wrong folks dead... because they think they're more skilled than they are.

Knowing your limitations is a first step in developing an immediate tactical plan for whatever 'poop' situation you find yourself in.

Just a thought... it's free... so it's worth what you paid for it.



Yeah, for sure, compared to my youth, Iím not as strong, or quick, or agile, or eagle-eyed... not as skilled in a physical sense.

But regarding Ďmental skillsí: Iíd like to think Iím both smarter, and wiser.... more aware of my limitations, and of what to do to avoid the avoidable...


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 28 2018 3:44:46 PM
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Dave in PA
Average Member

USA
422 Posts

Posted - June 05 2018 :  4:14:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I took my own advice and tried to replicate the above scenario that I presented. I walked to the 30-35 yard mark, drew and took one cold shot in about 2 seconds, as did the officer I formerly worked with. I was able to hit the brain box on an anatomically correct target (I actually aimed there).

Of course I realize I had no stress and no one was shooting back but I was very pleased with the results. I then repeated the same shot and aimed for the upper chest box and was able to again hit what I aimed at. I used my G19, Gen4 and my carry ammo, Speer 124+P 9mm. Feeling pretty good about that, I then moved to about 6 yards and mag-dumped the rest of my carry ammo and was able to keep all the rounds in the upper chest box. At that point I felt I should just leave as I'll never get any better than that. :)

I really don't know what, if anything, this proves other than I surprised myself a bit and at least now I know my gun/ammo combination is good enough if I am.
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
3193 Posts

Posted - June 05 2018 :  5:00:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave in PA

Well, I took my own advice and tried to replicate the above scenario that I presented. I walked to the 30-35 yard mark, drew and took one cold shot in about 2 seconds, as did the officer I formerly worked with. I was able to hit the brain box on an anatomically correct target (I actually aimed there).

Of course I realize I had no stress and no one was shooting back but I was very pleased with the results. I then repeated the same shot and aimed for the upper chest box and was able to again hit what I aimed at. I used my G19, Gen4 and my carry ammo, Speer 124+P 9mm. Feeling pretty good about that, I then moved to about 6 yards and mag-dumped the rest of my carry ammo and was able to keep all the rounds in the upper chest box. At that point I felt I should just leave as I'll never get any better than that. :)

I really don't know what, if anything, this proves other than I surprised myself a bit and at least now I know my gun/ammo combination is good enough if I am.



What it proves to me is that you understand reality and are trying to keep your skills in line with it.
Yes... as you noted... there was no 'stress' involved. But at the 30 yard range you noted, and the circumstances related, a skilled pistol shot isn't going to be feeling a lot of true stress.... just breath control, sight alignment, trigger press..focus...and everything else required to correctly execute the shot that they have chosen to take. It also helps if they have taken the time to confirm their gun/load zero.
Six yards is a totally different story. But, that's what they make 17+shot handguns for

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on June 05 2018 5:02:30 PM
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Dave in PA
Average Member

USA
422 Posts

Posted - June 05 2018 :  6:19:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chris, Thanks for the kind words and as I said, I was a bit surprised and wasn't sure ahead of time if I could do that.

The mag dump was just hammering the target as fast as I could and really is pretty satisfying.

I will try and repeat the longer shots much more often, as I think it really was beneficial.
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