Skills Check: Handgun Shooting at Extended Range

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posted on May 9, 2016
exrange.jpg

Do something for me: For the next couple of days, as you go about your daily activities, look around and estimate some distances. If you can use a rangefinder to do this (without causing alarm) that would be even better. How far is it from your front door to across the street? To your neighbor’s front door? How long is the aisle in the supermarket, or the local big-box store? How about the distance across the parking lot at places you frequent, like your favorite restaurant, convenience store, newsstand or bowling alley? What’s the typical open distance inside your favorite mall? How far is it from one sidewalk to another across a four-lane street? Are there large, open spaces where you work?

What I’m getting at is you might need to defend yourself, your loved ones or your co-workers in any of these environments. The crime rate in the U.S. is going down, but the threat from terrorists seems to be increasing. While a street robbery might take place at very close range (often measured in feet) terrorist mass shootings in public areas often take place in more wide-open areas. If you’re serious about developing your defensive-shooting skills, can you afford to ignore the possibility of an engagement at 15, 25 or even 50 yards?

Most qualifications or training courses start at close range and move back to longer ranges. For this drill, I’m going to suggest you start at the greatest distance and work your way in, so you can get a better idea of what your long-range capabilities really are. For this drill you will need your defensive pistol, about 50 rounds of your carry ammunition and two silhouette targets.

Before we get started I can hear you say, “Whoa, 50 rounds of carry ammo? That’s expensive!” My response is, “Yes it is, but you need to practice with your carry ammunition, shoot up what you have been carrying from time to time and, hey, you’re worth it.”

You can run this from the holster, from concealment or starting with the pistol in your hands. In all cases, if you have cover or a barricade available you can add movement, too, and shooting from behind cover. All shots except those noted as headshots are fired to center-of-mass. I didn’t include time limits because I think it’s important for you to shoot as quickly as you can
safely get hits.

Here’s the drill:
At a distance of 50 yards, fire two shots on each target from a kneeling position. Then, rise to your feet and repeat while standing. Advance to 25 yards and fire two shots on each target while kneeling. Afterward, transition to a standing position and place two more shots on each target. Move to 15 yards and fire one round on each target while standing, move to cover, then place another shot on each target. Move to 10 yards and fire one shot on each target while standing, move to cover and fire two more shots on each target. Next, from 7 yards, fire one shot on the first target, two shots on the second target and one more shot on the first target, all while standing. Advance to 3 yards and fire two shots on each target. Then deliver headshots to each target. Finally, fire two shots on one target followed by a headshot and repeat.

Try this drill to see what areas you need to work on, and you might find that extending your range will increase your skill level and confidence.

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