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ap3572001
02-07-2011, 3:20 PM
In REAL life , what do You think is typical distanse where a pistol will be used is LAWFUL self defence?

Would sights likely be used?

I have my opinion and would like to hear others.

Crom
02-07-2011, 3:21 PM
No more than 21'.

greg36f
02-07-2011, 3:46 PM
In my experience, most shootings (both LEO and non LEO) happen within 7 feet or closer. Proper sight alignment is not really much of an issue. IMO, a quick and smooth presentation, trigger control and practice at close range are more important than sight alignment.

I personally practice shooting one handed so that I can use the other hand to push a threat away, gain distance or otherwise defend myself.

We all know that 21’ is the golden rule, but when you start shooting someone at that distance, it gets harder and harder to defend the shoot.

GrizzlyGuy
02-07-2011, 3:58 PM
If you are talking about the typical person (and not just us gun nuts) I'd guess 5-10 feet and the sights won't be used at all: just point and fire.

DannyInSoCal
02-07-2011, 4:11 PM
No clear cut answer. Everyone has their own fluid personal "trip wire" depending on the situation...

Since I have not gotten my CCW - I only LUCC. I'll only make ready if I heard a gun shot or actually saw/heard a weapon being used...

I generally refuse to carry anything in my right hand - Since that's the side my dual blade folder is kept - After quite possibly thousands of hours of knife instructing/training I'm fairly confident in using it to keep my family and other innocents safe...

Ignored commands and "attacker" attitude/actions/reactions contribute more to the situation - Than an arbitrary line in the sand...

choprzrul
02-07-2011, 4:20 PM
I thought 21' was the distance that a person could cover in 1.5 seconds. Hence the need to be able to present from a concealed position and fire in 1.5 seconds. This would imply that by the time you present, the attacker will very nearly be right on top of you.

Never been in a gun fight, so this is just how I picture it in my mind.

.

OBEY PROPAGANDA
02-07-2011, 4:20 PM
I have not witnessed a shooting.

I have seen video of Men and Women shooting one another and rarely have I observed someone using their sights.

edit... Bank robbery in L.A. 40 minute shootout is the only one that comes to mind.

N6ATF
02-07-2011, 5:12 PM
Probably only used in standoff situations.

renzoku
02-07-2011, 5:19 PM
I thought 21' was the distance that a person could cover in 1.5 seconds. Hence the need to be able to present from a concealed position and fire in 1.5 seconds. This would imply that by the time you present, the attacker will very nearly be right on top of you.

Never been in a gun fight, so this is just how I picture it in my mind.

.

The idea is that you are not remaining a stationary target. When hostilities erupt, it is expected that the defender give ground, placing as many obstacles between himself and his assailant as possible while drawing his weapon. This is expected to buy you the extra second needed to sight in and fire.

Practice before hand is about the best advice one can give.

Jack L
02-07-2011, 5:33 PM
Hard to think about nice smooth trigger pull when you have a millisecond to get off a few rounds before you may get hit.

J.D.Allen
02-07-2011, 5:46 PM
Hard to think about nice smooth trigger pull when you have a millisecond to get off a few rounds before you may get hit.

Right. Which is why single action is a good idea...

JDoe
02-07-2011, 5:49 PM
I thought 21' was the distance that a person could cover in 1.5 seconds. Hence the need to be able to present from a concealed position and fire in 1.5 seconds. This would imply that by the time you present, the attacker will very nearly be right on top of you.

Never been in a gun fight, so this is just how I picture it in my mind.

.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tueller_Drill

ZombieTactics
02-07-2011, 6:03 PM
Hard to think about nice smooth trigger pull when you have a millisecond to get off a few rounds before you may get hit. It's hard to THINK about anything when things are moving fast. Yet, people seem to be able to play basketball & football, drive cars, play the piano ... all sorts of things all the danged time without "thinking" about performing tremendously complicated, coordinated and subtle movements ... all under considerable physical and/or psychological stress.

This is why you see them practicing the basics over-n-over-over ... so they don't have to think about it when it counts.

Which is something to think about. ;)

SVT-40
02-07-2011, 6:09 PM
From the shootings where I was personally involved the distances were 5 feet, 7 feet and 187 feet. No one can predict any distance where it will occur or what will be appropriate based on distance alone.

Funtimes
02-07-2011, 11:37 PM
I thought 21' was the distance that a person could cover in 1.5 seconds. Hence the need to be able to present from a concealed position and fire in 1.5 seconds. This would imply that by the time you present, the attacker will very nearly be right on top of you.

Never been in a gun fight, so this is just how I picture it in my mind.

.

With a determined attacker, you generally wouldn't get a firearm out of the holster and onto target within that distance, so you are pretty much correct. God help you if you need to load a round; it probably won't happen in time. The other thing is -- if your hits are not CNS hits, you still may be injured in the attack. Teaching and learning proper draw, and nearly shooting as soon as the weapon barrel clears the holster could be important to saving your life!

Now all this kind of matters on presentation of the firearm, the firearm, the features etc etc. Go try it out with Airsoft imo!

Jack L
02-08-2011, 6:15 AM
From the shootings where I was personally involved the distances were 5 feet, 7 feet and 187 feet. No one can predict any distance where it will occur or what will be appropriate based on distance alone.

Were you thinking about a nice smooth trigger pull at the time?

Jack L
02-08-2011, 6:21 AM
It's hard to THINK about anything when things are moving fast. Yet, people seem to be able to play basketball & football, drive cars, play the piano ... all sorts of things all the danged time without "thinking" about performing tremendously complicated, coordinated and subtle movements ... all under considerable physical and/or psychological stress.

This is why you see them practicing the basics over-n-over-over ... so they don't have to think about it when it counts.

Which is something to think about. ;)


I'm thinking...........and I think a smooth trigger pull at 5 - 7 feet does not matter all that much becsasue that's a wet shot, not all that much different than point blank. At 5 yards or greater I am thinking a smooth trigger pull is more applicable? It all seems like as much chance as it does training when and if SHTF. Training is certainly the best perpetration along with a reliable weapon and ammo.

SVT-40
02-08-2011, 5:02 PM
Were you thinking about a nice smooth trigger pull at the time?

Up close, not so much. Only placing the front sight on the target and a good trigger press. But the shooting at 187' you bet I was. In fact I, without thought switched from double action to single action. (I trained using both modes).

Sometimes it's better to be luck than good.:D

I was armed with a S&W M37 .38 2" revolver. The bad guy had a sporterized German K98k 8mm rifle. I hit him once in the torso. His shot did not strike me.

Even at very close range you can still miss a human target. Remember while you are trying to shoot the bad guy you are also moving and trying to not get shot or stabbed ect. The bad guy is also moving and trying to not get shot.

It's not like any range session you can ever imagine.

Shootings occur extremely quickly and without warning. Rare is it where you have more than a second or two warning that it will occur.

Prowler
02-08-2011, 5:47 PM
Depends on the threat, the size of the threat, the immediate area/surroundings/terrain, their distance, if there are any escape options...there is no true answer

Jack L
02-08-2011, 6:03 PM
Up close, not so much. Only placing the front sight on the target and a good trigger press. But the shooting at 187' you bet I was. In fact I, without thought switched from double action to single action. (I trained using both modes).

Sometimes it's better to be luck than good.:D

I was armed with a S&W M37 .38 2" revolver. The bad guy had a sporterized German K98k 8mm rifle. I hit him once in the torso. His shot did not strike me.

Even at very close range you can still miss a human target. Remember while you are trying to shoot the bad guy you are also moving and trying to not get shot or stabbed ect. The bad guy is also moving and trying to not get shot.

It's not like any range session you can ever imagine.

Shootings occur extremely quickly and without warning. Rear is it where you have more than a second or two warning that it will occur.

Damn, that is great shooting. Hitting anything at 187 feet with a 2 inch barrel is amazing.

nitrofc
02-08-2011, 6:05 PM
It's hard to THINK about anything when things are moving fast. Yet, people seem to be able to play basketball & football, drive cars, play the piano ... all sorts of things all the danged time without "thinking" about performing tremendously complicated, coordinated and subtle movements ... all under considerable physical and/or psychological stress.

This is why you see them practicing the basics over-n-over-over ... so they don't have to think about it when it counts.

Which is something to think about. ;)

Well said.

FXR
02-08-2011, 6:08 PM
I was armed with a S&W M37 .38 2" revolver. The bad guy had a sporterized German K98k 8mm rifle. I hit him once in the torso. His shot did not strike me.

:eek:

nitrofc
02-08-2011, 6:08 PM
The idea is that you are not remaining a stationary target. When hostilities erupt, it is expected that the defender give ground, placing as many obstacles between himself and his assailant as possible while drawing his weapon. This is expected to buy you the extra second needed to sight in and fire.

Practice before hand is about the best advice one can give.

Exactly. Practice using real life scenarios. This is why I like the open range target practice. You can move your body.

Cobrafreak
02-08-2011, 6:23 PM
There are exceptions. If the bad guy has a gun and is pointing it at you and he is farther away than 21' then it is open season on him. If he has a melee weapon, bat, knife, you need to get him close. We covered this in my CCW class.

Librarian
02-08-2011, 7:15 PM
There are exceptions. If the bad guy has a gun and is pointing it at you and he is farther away than 21' then it is open season on him. If he has a melee weapon, bat, knife, you need to get him close. We covered this in my CCW class.

That's an odd phrasing.

With a gun pointed at you, it's 'open season' on the attacker so long as you are sure of your target, what is beyond, and what your capability is. Distance is only relevant there if he can't likely hit you.

Melee weapons? 21 feet is plenty close enough, because a person can cover that distance in less than a second (that would be a 14-second 100 yard dash, rather a poor time, but faster than I can run it today. Um, now that I think of it, faster than I could ever run it. Not built for speed...)

Paladin
02-09-2011, 7:33 PM
In REAL life , what do You think is typical distanse where a pistol will be used is LAWFUL self defence?

Would sights likely be used?

I have my opinion and would like to hear others.Why speculate? Just look thru the list of actual CCW shootings linked in my sig line and you'll see they are usually VERY close.

ETA: my list is becoming out of date because that one post has run into its character limit and I cannot add more examples. There have been 2 or 3 new good shoots by CCWers that I've could not add.

dustoff31
02-09-2011, 7:50 PM
In my experience, most shootings (both LEO and non LEO) happen within 7 feet or closer. Proper sight alignment is not really much of an issue. IMO, a quick and smooth presentation, trigger control and practice at close range are more important than sight alignment.

I personally practice shooting one handed so that I can use the other hand to push a threat away, gain distance or otherwise defend myself.

We all know that 21 is the golden rule, but when you start shooting someone at that distance, it gets harder and harder to defend the shoot.

This. FBI studies also back this up. Typical shooting incident is at 7 feet or less, 3 rounds fired. From memory, might be off a little bit.

yellowfin
02-09-2011, 7:55 PM
This. FBI studies also back this up. Typical shooting incident is at 7 feet or less, 3 rounds fired. From memory, might be off a little bit.Typical means nothing because there's nothing typical about needing to shoot (at) someone. It's just a situation you have to win, whether 6 inches or 60 yards or 600 yards--whatever the odds of the situation happening are on paper it's 100% as far as you're concerned.

dustoff31
02-09-2011, 8:37 PM
Typical means nothing because there's nothing typical about needing to shoot (at) someone. It's just a situation you have to win, whether 6 inches or 60 yards or 600 yards--whatever the odds of the situation happening are on paper it's 100% as far as you're concerned.

Typical does mean something. It means more often than not. Typical obviously means something to the OP as that is what he specifically asked. And it just so happens that in the typical self defense shooting with a handgun, more often than not, it will be at a distance of 7 feet or less.

GettoPhilosopher
02-10-2011, 7:46 AM
I was armed with a S&W M37 .38 2" revolver. The bad guy had a sporterized German K98k 8mm rifle. I hit him once in the torso. His shot did not strike me.

:eek:
http://www.fogcityjournal.com/images/photos/big_balls_std.jpg

locosway
02-11-2011, 6:31 AM
For most of us a SD shooting will occur in the home. So, go into your house and find the longest place. Maybe it's a hallway... What's the distance there? This is the distance you'll likely have to shoot in. The notion that you need to shoot 25 yards is ridiculous. Yes, it's nice to put lead on a target at longer ranges, but it's not something that is common for a SD type of shooting. I can shoot several hundred yards with a handgun and hit a man sized target, but this isn't practical.

When I shoot at the range it's 7-10 yards. I can shoot longer distances if I take my time without any problems, it's the fast and close shots that matter.

creekside
02-11-2011, 7:25 AM
Up close, not so much. Only placing the front sight on the target and a good trigger press. But the shooting at 187' you bet I was. In fact I, without thought switched from double action to single action. (I trained using both modes).

Sometimes it's better to be luck than good.:D

I was armed with a S&W M37 .38 2" revolver. The bad guy had a sporterized German K98k 8mm rifle. I hit him once in the torso. His shot did not strike me.


The angels were on your side that day, because the odds certainly were not. In rifle versus snubnose wheelgun at 60 yards, the rifle has a vast advantage. I distantly recall a study that claimed that a rifle was 270 times more deadly than a handgun.

You made your own luck, and it is very fortunate that you were trained to use your revolver in single action. The importance of training cannot be over-emphasized.

To answer the OP, distance is just one of many other factors. Most handgun shootings take place at astonishingly close range and the hit to miss ratio is poor even in police shootings. Also, I might have trouble convincing a jury that I was in danger from a derringer 300' away. That's not to say that long range fights cannot happen, just that they are comparatively rare.

Decoligny
02-11-2011, 8:18 AM
In a life or death situation, such as home defense, it is probably going to be close quarters, and it is probably going to be closing the distance between you and your target at a pretty fast pace (bad guy running towards you). Lots of people pratice shooting at 25 yards at the range, not too many people practice at arms length or just down the hall distance.

Some guy half a city block away is probably not going to be an immediate threat to your life (single active shooter in a mall may be the exception).

A good skill to learn is "point and shoot" using your own natural aim point without the use of the sights. Learn where your hand naturally sends the bullets, and learn how to get them center mass at close range.

glock22fs
02-11-2011, 8:52 AM
like everyone else said your "average" SD shooting will be within 21 meters and more likely at bad breath distance so perfect sight alignment and trigger control are not as critical BUT remember it is going to be nothing like what you do on the range.
You and the adversary will both probably be moving and the adrenaline of having someone try to kill you is going to significantly reduce your skill level. With that in mind you need to train the fundamentals (sights, trigger) so that even with your degraded ability you will be able to get good hits and hopefully not get shot. Also remember Mr Murphy, you will find yourself in the situation where you need to make a "precision" shot and if you just train to thrust your gun out there and slap the trigger knowing you are going to hit the paper target 10 feet away from you are not helping yourself. remember he will not be standing still directly facing you, as you pie out a corner (which you will be doing if you are clearing your house) you will only have a small portion of the adversary available to shoot at.

SVT-40
02-11-2011, 10:05 AM
The angels were on your side that day, because the odds certainly were not. In rifle versus snubnose wheelgun at 60 yards, the rifle has a vast advantage. I distantly recall a study that claimed that a rifle was 270 times more deadly than a handgun.

You made your own luck, and it is very fortunate that you were trained to use your revolver in single action. The importance of training cannot be over-emphasized.

To answer the OP, distance is just one of many other factors. Most handgun shootings take place at astonishingly close range and the hit to miss ratio is poor even in police shootings. Also, I might have trouble convincing a jury that I was in danger from a derringer 300' away. That's not to say that long range fights cannot happen, just that they are comparatively rare.

Yup many angels!!

This occurred back in the early 80's. Just about every cop carried a 2" S&W off duty. There was not really any other good option for a small handgun other than a Walther PPK. So yes I was very lucky. The shooting occurred in a city park, and I was off duty with my wife. The shooter had over 100 rounds of ammo with him and was also drunk. Later he said he was just going to do some "target practice" :rolleyes:. But it was believed based on info from his family that he was going to shoot people. I surprised him, and acted aggressively during the encounter so he had to react to my moves verses me reacting to his.

I fired all five of my shots, hitting him on the last shot before I reloaded. It was shoot move to cover. shoot move to cover each time closing on him keeping him down.

As I said. It's sometimes better to be lucky than good.