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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having nearly completed rebuilding my backyard range, and not real familiar with this "defensive" type shooting, I have a question about the ranges I see posted by other shooters and how the distances are set. Such as 7 yds, 25 ft, 10 yards, 25 yds et cetera. Are these standards used in different competions or distances commonly available at local ranges? I have capabilities to shoot out to 25 yards (and beyond, if I really wanted to). I typically shoot at 10 yards (30 feet). I'm just trying to correlate someones report of a group at 7 yards to my group at 10 yards and question the variable distances. Thanks for any input. Curt
(also posted on range report forum)
 

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Target distances in IDPA and IPSC matches are generally from almost point-blank out to 10yds. From what I understand, the typical real-world shoot out is, on average, at a distance of around 7 yds.
If you wish to practice "real-world" tactics in your backyard, it would benefit you to engage several targets at various distances from about 3 yrds to 10 yds.
For precision target shooting, you will likely want to practice (on a single target) at 15-25 yds.

Does this help?


I envy you for being able to target practice in your own backyard. :(
 

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Hello MGTD;
most police pistol ranges are set up as 7yds. 15yds, 25yds, and 50yds.
back in the 1980's there was a study which showed that most police shootings were at 7yds or less. after this police developed combat courses to fit this study. The LAPD set up a Hogens alley with targets that simulated what they thought to be real world combat shootings.
the police combats matches still use 7,15,25,and 50yds.
most policeman now have never qualified past 25 yds. The Sheriff's dept. and the Memphis police only shoot between 6 and 18 shots at 25yds.
Most POLICE Can't Shoot!!!!!!!!!
Just Look at the Shooting in Compton Ca. several days ago. the police fired 121 shots at short range and only hit the guy 4 times. Yes i Know that he was in an suv. but a large percentive of shots went into the homes around the suv. A deputy was also shot by friendly fire. the police had the suv surrounded and opened fire at each other(cross fire)
I am a police firearms instructor and from the tape i can't find any reason to shoot this guy. after the shooting they did not find any weapons in the suv.
the best way to learn to shoot better is to shoot at close range untill you can group them all in a very small group. then move the out untill you don't group well. stay at this distance untill you learn to group well at this range. Keep this going untill you reach your goal. auto's don't group as well as revolvers at long distance. it it very possable with a revolver to group 4" at 100yds if you do your part. I know most people will have no need or desire to shoot a pistol at 100 yds. but it can be learned.
just my .02
rick
 

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This thread will help me out as well....as I am fixin to make a "range" out in my woods. Too cool dudes. 8)
 

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XD_Dan said:
Target distances in IDPA and IPSC matches are generally from almost point-blank out to 10yds. From what I understand, the typical real-world shoot out is, on average, at a distance of around 7 yds.
If you wish to practice "real-world" tactics in your backyard, it would benefit you to engage several targets at various distances from about 3 yrds to 10 yds.
For precision target shooting, you will likely want to practice (on a single target) at 15-25 yds.

Does this help?


I envy you for being able to target practice in your own backyard. :(
Dan... IDPA shoots as far as 35yrds

typical distances
7yrds
10yrds
15yrds
25yrds
35yrds


if you want to practice for self defense then take some classes and learn what to do before you start practicing what you dont know.
 

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therooster said:
Dan... IDPA shoots as far as 35yrds

typical distances
7yrds
10yrds
15yrds
25yrds
35yrds


if you want to practice for self defense then take some classes and learn what to do before you start practicing what you dont know.
I guess every IDPA club is different. The club I shot with never set a target farther than about 8 or 10 yds.

I got this quote from the IDPA website...

What types of matches does Defensive Pistol hold?

The Defensive Pistol headquarters has developed a comprehensive course of fire book which is supplied to all affiliated clubs and is also available for a nominal fee to individual members. These courses fall into two categories: Self-defense scenarios or Standard exercises. The self-defense scenarios are simulations of actual or possible "real world" confrontations. These scenarios typically require shots from 3 - 20 yards and often require the shooter to change firing points and shoot from awkward positions. Standard exercises do not attempt to simulate a potential threat situation but are designed to test specific shooting and gun handling skills. Defensive Pistol matches offer diversity and truly test both accuracy and speed. Physical condition has very little to do with your performance in a Defensive Pistol match.

Perhaps where you shoot is different, but, through my research and experience, I haven't found 25-35 yds to be the norm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will post some pictures within a day or two of my recently constructed range. I've utilized stacked 14" thick creosoated bridge timber (removed all residual iron) for the face of the backstop, and a dirt burm that is 5 to 7 feet thick behind it. The whole thing is in front of a gently uphill sloping cornfield. The nieghbor who set the timbers for me with his backhoe, placed the fill dirt and owns the cornfield is very confident of my design. My restriction will be to not shoot during planting, harvest or any other activity in the field. I've probably overkilled the plan, but when safety is concerned, it is far better to overkill. It is definetley not movable. The entire project cost me about $350.00 including purchase of the RR bridge timbers, harware, dirt hauled in, and gravel. (sweat equity not included)
 

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The indoor range I frequent has markers for 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, with the maximum being 25 yards. I don't see a need to go over 25 yards for combat handguns.
 

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Most defensive shootings occur at contact distance. I doubt you need to practice defensive shooting at more then a 10 yard range as 21 feet (7 yards) is closest a you can be expected to defend against a contact weapon. I was taught that self defense can be done up to about 25 yards against an opponent armed with a handgun. Any further and you should extend the range and escape (i.e. run and dodge to safety) . Most crooks are not really handy with a gun. Hope this helps.
 

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7 yards is a typically quoted distance for defensive shooting. It comes from the Tueller Drill, which was first demonstrated in the 70's or so. They took an average young cop and had him draw his weapon and fire a shot. It took a certain amount of time, like 1.5 seconds or so. Then they measured how far an average young man could run from a standing start in the same amount of time. The distance was 21 feet, or 7 yards.

What this means is that an attacker who starts from standing still 21 feet away can rush you and touch you, or stab you, in the same time it would take to draw a pistol and shoot him once.

The 7 yards has thus become kind of a standard for training, and unfortunately maybe for legal cases because someone within 21 feet is a serious potentially lethal threat even if not armed with a gun. But, can you shoot someone further away who is a threat? Yes, absolutely, but you may have to be able to articulate a very good reason you felt threatened compared to the exact same scenario but at a closer distance.

IMHO, practice should be done at a variety of distances from contact out to 100 yards. Obviously most attacks occur at very close distances, so most practice should be in the close ranges. As the distance increases you will have to shoot more slowly to attain sufficient accuracy, and at 100 yards it takes a very different aiming technique than at 1 yard. There's nothing magical about practicing at 21 feet other than the idea that if you are accurate at that distance then you are good enough for most situations.
 

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I can agree with some of what has been posted, but the common assumption that most police shootings take place at 7 yards doesn't tell the whole story. Those statistics are based on officers killed or injured, not on the total number of police shootings, which would include those in which the officer wasn't hit or injured.

In my 26 years "on the job", I was shot at several times, but never hit. The closest was at about 20 yards and the farthest was over 100 yards.

I was the rangemaster for our department of 600 sworn officers in the late 1970's, and when I took over that job, most of the officers had never fired past 25 yards.

I posed this question, based on several officer involved shootings in our department. "What is the average distance from the front door of a rural house to the curb, and then the driver's side of a patrol car?" We found that the average distance was about 35 to 40 yards, and that several of our shootings involved officers taking fire as they exited their cars, either from the front of the house or down the street. It only made sense to teach them how to shoot at those distances, so we extended our qualification out to include at least 18 rounds at 50 yards. We also shot at the regular 7, 15 and 25 yard distances, too.

The first qualification found officers shooting 6' over the target, because they believed a handgun round had that much drop over 50 yards, when it actually only has about 2" average drop from a 25 yard zero, depending on the gun and ammunition. I taught officers who considered 50 yards as being out of range that they could effectively engage a target with a handgun out to 75 yards and beyond. One course consisted of shooting 10" metal plates at 95 yards, point shoulder, and it was amazing how well some of them did at that.

For those who say cops can't shoot, let me throw this out for your consideration:
1. When you're shooting, all you have to worry about is a paper target,
2. Your target isn't moving,
3. Your target doesn't pose any threat to you,
4. Your target isn't going to shoot back at you,
5. You don't have to watch your target to see what it's going to do next,
6. Your target doesn't have two hands on opposite sides of it's body that
you have to keep track of,
7. You don't have to watch what you're about to trip over while moving,
8. The place where the shooting is taking place is probably someplace
you've never been before,
9. You don't have to worry about what's going on all around you, including
traffic, pedestrians, children, accomplices, etc.

I could go on, but you should get the idea from these. Police shootings are not range shooting sessions. They are not planned by the officer. They are usually a total surprise and the officer is playing catch up to something already in progress. He has to make a split second assessment of what is taking place and react to that.

Of course there are bad decisions made. We're dealing with people, on both sides of the badge. Humans make mistakes, but we don't usually have the luxury of different camera angles, conferences to discuss what may or may not be happening, or even someone else to consult with. I worked alone most of the time, and some stations were counted in hundreds of square miles. Only twice did I have another officer with me when I was shot at. The other times it was just me, with the nearest backup over 30 miles away.

The biggest problem with police shootings is that the officers don't watch their front sights. That's because of all the items I mentioned above. It takes great will power and training to take your eyes off the suspect and look at those sights. Unless you've been there, you have no idea whatsoever what it's like to really be shot at. It's not like the movies, believe me.

I've gone on long enough, but I do get tired of people who have no experience in a situation spouting off like they are experts. I've "been there and done that", so I feel a little better qualified to address the subject.

And no, the LASO shouldn't have used the tactics they did in that redent case. It was counter to all the training they have received.

Hope this helps.

Fred
 

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"not real familiar with this "defensive" type shooting,"

Going to assume you're not referring to the game called IDPA. If correct you need to use 3,5,7 10 15 &25 meters or yds. Staying only at 10 is no good as you will find there are differnt thresholds where you need to slow down a few tenths to insure you can consistantly get a "Quick Aimed Pair" to COM. IME, 10 is a lot "further" out than 7 is. Need to know you can make c/o shots into ca. a 3x4" box from 3 to 7 m. and some practice at 10 also. Should be doing from holster and from the ready.
 

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Of course there are bad decisions made. We're dealing with people, on both sides of the badge. Humans make mistakes, but we don't usually have the luxury of different camera angles, conferences to discuss what may or may not be happening, or even someone else to consult with.
Not to mention that leos have a variety of complex and sometimes contradictory rules that they have to consider moment to moment during a shooting situation. Plus, they'll be vilified by the press and political opposition no matter what they do. Cops have a rediculous environment to work in.
 
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