Skills Check: Distance Shooting

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posted on March 30, 2020
jack.jpg

Jack Wilson’s heroics were the product of practice, bravery and a sense of duty. The degree of precision he employed has many rethinking their training.

As you’re reading this, the shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas happened about 3 months ago, but as I’m writing this, the shooting and the heroics of Jack Wilson took place yesterday. As you may recall, a murderer stood up in the front of the church and shot down two men with a shotgun he had concealed under his coat.

Mr. Wilson, head of the church volunteer security team, drew his SIG Sauer P229 pistol chambered in .357 SIG and fired one shot, hitting the murderer in the head and stopping the attack. No doubt, many lives were saved due to this excellent shot fired from some 50 feet away. 

Readers of my column will remember I have long advocated concealed-carry licensees, and particularly those in security and law-enforcement activities, should be capable of making a head shot at 25 yards and body shots at 50 yards on an Option or silhouette target. My point is your state of training and the firearm you carry should be capable of this level of accuracy.

On the Gunsite Option target the head is a 6.5x6.5-inch box and the upper-chest area can be considered about a 10-inch circle. Putting a shot into either of these fairly large zones should be your goal and I suggest you select equipment that allows you to make these shots and practice, practice, practice until you can do so with some degree of certainty. 

Here’s the Drill

Fifty feet works out to be pretty close to 17 yards so that’s where we’ll run this drill.
It’s really simple. Use an Option target or make your own by drawing a head on a target backer.

 With your daily-carry pistol concealed, from a standing position, draw and fire a single head shot in 3 seconds.

That’s what Jack Wilson did, and I would hope you can do so, too. Work on it, firing a box of your carry load per practice session.

• If you have access to steel targets, a 6-inch plate can be used. Fire one shot on the plate in 3 seconds from concealment. 

Here are some tips that might help you:

 You’ll need a good holster that allows you to get a full firing grip on the pistol while the gun is in the holster. If your holster impedes that firing grip, get rid of it and buy one that works. 

 Your draw stroke or presentation is always conducted at the same speed—as fast as you can get your hands moving and get on target, then take the time necessary to align the sights and press the trigger. Draw quickly, shoot carefully. Or, as Bill Jordan and many of the old-time gunfighters put it, “Take your time, fast.” 

I hope it never comes to you, but if it does you might need this shot, so get to practicing.

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