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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For those of you that carry a handgun, how many of you actually practice defensive shooting. For the sake of this discussion I'm talking about point shooting WITHOUT the use of sights and that the assailant has a weapon in their hand and intends to use it against you. Again, not using sights, can you draw your weapon and point at a body target and hit 3 times out of 3 shots center mass at 7 yards? If your answer is no, I don't know, or I've never tried, IMO you don't need to be carrying.

I hear all the time that I can shoot a 2" group with this gun or that gun or this ammo or that ammo and that's great if your at the range practicing target shooting and just having fun. But what can you do when SHTF? The bad guy isn't going to give you time to calm down or align your sights or anything else. It will be all over by then if he/she has a firearm and intends to shoot you.

I've been shooting almost 60 years and I'm like everyone else in that I enjoy target shooting for fun and have several target pistols just for that purpose. I'm semi disabled in my legs now and can't move around and practice defensive shooting like I used to do. Before this happened, when at the range plinking & target shooting, I always managed to get in 50-150 quality practice rounds with my carry gun. I had other places to shoot also that I could practice my drawing and shooting kneeling down, lying on my side, shooting one handed both right and left handed. And above all doing it without sights.

I'm at home just with my attack cat Jackson so I guess I'm being long winded and boring. The last thing I'd like to say is if you have a place to do it, practice some night shooting with your weapon mounted light or an area lit by a mercury vapor light. It's really different shooting at night and learning how your muzzle flash will affect you. Learn to "shoot where you look" and when you do that you won't need sights and you'll feel more comfortable in nearly any situation.

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!!! Shoot straight & shoot safe.

Jim D
SE Texas
 

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Merry Christmas, Jim. Well said. I’m planning on taking up this type of practice shooting with a certified instructor after the new year. I shoot good for a girl, but I can always get better. This is one thing you can’t practice enough. My son has a saying, not sure if he said it, or he got it from someone else, but it’s so true. “Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can’t get it wrong.” I’m no professional, just an amateur who wants to get it right the first time.
 

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Interesting argument Jim. I've done a lot of point shooting, and studied advocates of the practice all the way back to Fairbairn. After shooting thousands of rounds without sighting, I got fair at it. At the same time, I was studying a couple guys named Cooper and Siegfried, who advocated the use of sights, because, unless one practiced near daily, it was really hard consistently hitting one's target without using the sights.

Later, I began working as a Coroner and helped crime scene process quite a few shooting scenes. I learned from this that a LOT of missing seems to happen in real gunfights. Later still, I became a Police Firearms Instructor, and began playing badguy for a few SWAT teams in force on force (Simunitions) scenarios.

The conclusion I've come to after 40 years of studying combat and shooting is that the primary issue for succeeding in a gunfight has everything to do with one's ability to control their physical and mental responses and operate under extreme duress. What I've concluded is: that mindset is enhanced by giving the person something to focus on, like a front sight. I've ran myself and trainees through force-on-force scenarios with simunitions, and the hit rates using sights were 4-5 times higher than point shooting, and the "getting hit (being wounded) rates" were about equal.

Thus, I'm no longer an advocate of point shooting. Not because it can't be done; it certainly can, but because point shooting does not interface well with the natural mental and physical responses which happen in a gunfight.

Then, when you look at the miss rate under stress and add in one's culpability for the damage any misses create (like bystanders), it is a dead system. Any quality modern instructor only teaches point shooting as a last-ditch necessity at arm's length distances where poking the gun out in front of you would let the badguy grab it.
 

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I lived a hard and at times very dangerous life in terrible places and am an avid shooter since my child hood. I have started out with ISSF competitions after the military and shot all kind of action games over the decades, most starting out with the practical aspect of defensive shooting but rapidly deteriorating into competition that moved away from the aspects of practical shooting.

In my youth I had been very successful in karate and as a boxer and had learnt a few valuable lessons about fist fights, that carry over well to firefights: no two fights are the same and the more aggressive the fighter is, the bigger is his advantage. Hesitation will definitely not help. Technical skill has a much smaller effect on outcome than pure fighting spirit.

Since I never knew at which distance, nor by how many, I would be engaged, I prepared for all possibilities. To this day, I think that a fast and positive presentation of a handgun is essential to survival of a rapidly developing situation, where a law abiding citizen will always be at the disadvantage of being reactive to a threat.
 

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For those of you that carry a handgun, how many of you actually practice defensive shooting. For the sake of this discussion I'm talking about point shooting WITHOUT the use of sights and that the assailant has a weapon in their hand and intends to use it against you. Again, not using sights, can you draw your weapon and point at a body target and hit 3 times out of 3 shots center mass at 7 yards? If your answer is no, I don't know, or I've never tried, IMO you don't need to be carrying.

I hear all the time that I can shoot a 2" group with this gun or that gun or this ammo or that ammo and that's great if your at the range practicing target shooting and just having fun. But what can you do when SHTF? The bad guy isn't going to give you time to calm down or align your sights or anything else. It will be all over by then if he/she has a firearm and intends to shoot you.

I've been shooting almost 60 years and I'm like everyone else in that I enjoy target shooting for fun and have several target pistols just for that purpose. I'm semi disabled in my legs now and can't move around and practice defensive shooting like I used to do. Before this happened, when at the range plinking & target shooting, I always managed to get in 50-150 quality practice rounds with my carry gun. I had other places to shoot also that I could practice my drawing and shooting kneeling down, lying on my side, shooting one handed both right and left handed. And above all doing it without sights.

I'm at home just with my attack cat Jackson so I guess I'm being long winded and boring. The last thing I'd like to say is if you have a place to do it, practice some night shooting with your weapon mounted light or an area lit by a mercury vapor light. It's really different shooting at night and learning how your muzzle flash will affect you. Learn to "shoot where you look" and when you do that you won't need sights and you'll feel more comfortable in nearly any situation.

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!!! Shoot straight & shoot safe.

Jim D
SE Texas
Merry Christmas Jim. I hope this coming year finds you enjoying many more shooting sessions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mandomom, good for you girl. Glad to here you practice. Go girl!
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10MM, I can understand where your coming from but your an instructor and you probably can control stress and your reaction time is great I'm sure. IMO that hit rate ratio being that high is because people haven't practiced it enough. I hate this word but I'd bet a large percent of people in a dangerous situation would choke and freeze up.
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Jimmo, thank you buddy. I plan to keep shooting as long as I can do it safely. This ALS condition is a rough thing but so far has just affected my legs and speech.
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Bless all of you and have a merry Christmas and a great 2019!!!

Jim D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[QUOT
Since I never knew at which distance, nor by how many, I would be engaged, I prepared for all possibilities. To this day, I think that a fast and positive presentation of a handgun is essential to survival of a rapidly developing situation, where a law abiding citizen will always be at the disadvantage of being reactive to a threat.[/QUOTE]



'Prepared" & "fast positive presentation" or fast positive response are the key to survival in a bad situation IMO. Bravo, well spoken.

Jim D
 

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BCD', thoughts and prayers.


I started out as a bullseye shooter, and unhappily that mentality still creeps in sometimes, letting the perfect get in the way of the good.
Contrasting sights that show up well are a help in getting that flash sight picture.
Firing a revolver double action and rolling thru' (rather than staging) is a help in getting a habit of a fast and nasty sight picture.
Moon
 
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[QUOT
Since I never knew at which distance, nor by how many, I would be engaged, I prepared for all possibilities. To this day, I think that a fast and positive presentation of a handgun is essential to survival of a rapidly developing situation, where a law abiding citizen will always be at the disadvantage of being reactive to a threat.


'Prepared" & "fast positive presentation" or fast positive response are the key to survival in a bad situation IMO. Bravo, well spoken.

Jim D[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the acknowledgement. Situational awareness is always pointed out but near impossible to maintain at all times - and if you overdo it, you will pay a much higher price as it eventually affects social relations.

I still have a good bullet proof vest in my house and a shotgun at hand at home but am very, very grateful to live in a relatively safe environment now.
I used to spend about twenty minutes every morning for a dozen years to draw from a concealed holster and have found that despite all that practice, it did not make me perfect under real life conditions. Too often the holster or the shirt shifted and the draw was slowed down.

We can prepare all we want but never be over prepared and not even prepared enough.
 

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From the perspective of an instructor....

Personally, the standards for training that allow someone to qualify for a permit is WAY to low. The vast majority of training that meets state requiremts only mandates that a shooter must demonstrate safe use of a firearm. Think about that. I require my shooters to fire 50 rounds for a score, must be able to clear the weapon, etc.....and I get pushback that I ask for too much 🙂.

IMO, unless you are taking self defense training that requires drawing from concealment and advanced situational awareness, and multiple firing positions, then I question if that individual really has what it takes. But hey....that’s just me. I don’t make the laws.

As to point and shoot....if someone can’t hit a target center of mass at 15 ft without sights than you need more experience.

One final thought.....

Having a permit to carry is not a permit to use. It only means you can carry concealed. That’s it. It’s not permission to act like a cop, a Good Samaritan, or to enter into dangerous situations. Laws regarding deadly force is the same for everyone gun or not. So, if you carry and are mentally prepared to deploy said weapon, make dam sure you are trained to use it...otherwise it will just get used against you or never leave its holster.
 

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[QUOT
Since I never knew at which distance, nor by how many, I would be engaged, I prepared for all possibilities. To this day, I think that a fast and positive presentation of a handgun is essential to survival of a rapidly developing situation, where a law abiding citizen will always be at the disadvantage of being reactive to a threat.


'Prepared" & "fast positive presentation" or fast positive response are the key to survival in a bad situation IMO. Bravo, well spoken.

Jim D
Thanks for the acknowledgement. Situational awareness is always pointed out but near impossible to maintain at all times - and if you overdo it, you will pay a much higher price as it eventually affects social relations.

I still have a good bullet proof vest in my house and a shotgun at hand at home but am very, very grateful to live in a relatively safe environment now.
I used to spend about twenty minutes every morning for a dozen years to draw from a concealed holster and have found that despite all that practice, it did not make me perfect under real life conditions. Too often the holster or the shirt shifted and the draw was slowed down.

We can prepare all we want but never be over prepared and not even prepared enough.[/QUOTE]

Right on! In fact, unlike a cop, we dress differently every day too. As a result, change Holsters, change guns etc.....
 

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Point and shoot is best left for cameras, IMO. If you practice enough you can use sights and get on target in roughly a second and your follow up shots in under a second. Three on target shots in three seconds at seven yards is very doable. Two seconds is more realistic. I’m not saying I can do this and place all three shots in one hole but you should be able to cover the holes with one hand. Most indoor ranges don’t allow drawing from a holster so typically I practice from a low ready which does give you an advantage.
 

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Point and shoot is best left for cameras, IMO. If you practice enough you can use sights and get on target in roughly a second and your follow up shots in under a second. Three on target shots in three seconds at seven yards is very doable. Two seconds is more realistic. I’m not saying I can do this and place all three shots in one hole but you should be able to cover the holes with one hand. Most indoor ranges don’t allow drawing from a holster so typically I practice from a low ready which does give you an advantage.

Given the following research results performed by Dr Lewinski I would prefer to use the flash point procedure. That 1 second you refer to is simply far too long. I have proven that for myself using the simulator trainer at the club.



From Lewinski's Research

In one startling test, for example, a female volunteer who had never before held a firearm (simulating an inexperienced offender) was able to pull a hidden gun from her waistband and shoot at an officer in an average of 16/100 of a second. The typical officer going for his weapon in a Level I holster requires 1.5 seconds to draw and fire a sighted shot once he perceives a stimulus to act. "In 1.7 seconds, an attacker using a Glock 9mm pistol can deliver six rounds on average," Lewinski says. "Considering just reaction time alone, the officer is screwed."

Amazingly, that's true even if the officer has his gun out in a "ready" position and is mentally committed to defending his life once a lethal threat is evident. Lewinski compared the timing of the woman "assailant" against officers with guns held in the belt-tuck, low-ready, close-ready, and "Hollywood high-guard" positions. In every case, the woman with her hand on the hidden gun in her waistband was able to produce a deadly action faster than the officers could perceive the threat and respond with a defensive reaction. Lewinski independently and scientifically replicated these findings with other volunteers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
WaterDR, well said. I'll go a step further about hitting center mass without sights at 15 ft., I don't think you should carry a firearm until you "CAN" do that over & over, with 2 hands or either hand. I personally think this should be one of the requirements to obtain a permit.

I'm sorry if sometimes I sound overbearing about personal defense and training for personal defense. But when you've been in battle such as Vietnam you get a different perspective about personal defense and awareness of your surroundings. I guess it just comes natural to stay alert for danger and try to be prepared to handle any situation that may come your way. Nothing will take the place of training and practice.

Jim D
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
[QUOTE in a "ready" position and is mentally committed to defending his life once a lethal threat is evident.


That's the sad thing. An officer has to view the weapon before it is considered a lethal threat and she has already made up her mind to shoot. By the time his eyes are drawn to the weapon to consider it a "LEATHAL THREAT" and return to the fire stage, it's too late.

.....and you can bet that she wasn't taking her time to line up sights.

Jim D
 

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If you've trained to bring your pistol up to your dominant eye, you are in the game, but XS big dot sights for the win for a carry pistol. I hope I never have to back up this statement! THE RANGE is NOT the REAL WORLD.
 

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[QUOTE in a "ready" position and is mentally committed to defending his life once a lethal threat is evident.

That's the sad thing. An officer has to view the weapon before it is considered a lethal threat and she has already made up her mind to shoot. By the time his eyes are drawn to the weapon to consider it a "LEATHAL THREAT" and return to the fire stage, it's too late.



Every one of us will do exactly what the officer does to "verify" a deadly threat. I experienced that same response in the simulator which is just one reason I died 5 out of a dozen situations.....and all situations were based on real life cases.
 

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Just remember there are many more dynamics to a gunfight than who can draw the fastest.

I have a reputation as being "the gun guy" on my department, and everyone looks to my level of performance and expertise with weapons. They expect me to be most likely to use a weapon... I suprised the heck out of my instructors (because I don't get "a pass" on training/qualifying simply because I'm certified, which is as it should be) when in a close-range force on force scenario, I never went for my gun. As soon as the threat moved for their back (at interview distance -about 24"), I drove into them, gained control of their weapon, and disarmed them without a shot fired. (Kinda startled the role-player too. :D )

There's a LOT more to tactics than gun-play. What's the old saying? "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." As WaterDR said, ongoing training and skill maintenance is key. And situational awareness can be maintained for long periods without undue stress by merely playing the "what-if" game in your head. It keeps you alert and your mind flexible.

Merry Christmas Ladies and Gentlemen!
 
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