THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

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THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#1

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:22 am

It has been assumed that if you can hit a target at 50 yards you can certainly do the same in a gunfight at three feet. That assumption is not borne out by the statistics.
during practice, officers often fire only a single round at a stationary target (Adams et al., 2009; Aveni, 2003), sometimes up to 50-75 ft away (Kelly, 2011). This may be beneficial in practice, but a majority of gunfights and critical situations will likely involve multiple shots being fired in close proximity, usually within only 3-15 ft of the suspect
A study of officer-involved shootings in Philadelphia revealed that the average distance between the suspect and officer during a shooting incident was a mere 3.52 ft.... when police officers use deadly force, more often they miss the target than actually hit the target
The real risks during deadly police shootouts

The anti-gunners criticize LTC's as less trained than the police, but statistics clearly show that the actual firearms training that Law Enforcement officers receive is short and ineffective:
The average amount of training time spent on firearms skills in the [law enforcement] academy is a mere 60 hours, with even less time spent on self-defense skills...Understandably, the amount of education and practice with firearms in which an officer may participate, external to the police academy and training, can greatly enhance their performance.
The results of this study indicate that officers had no advantage over intermediate shooters and a small advantage over novices...experts were only 10% more accurate than novices between 3 and 15 ft. Recruits were placed into the novice category if they had no experience or minimal familiarity with firearms, such as only having fired a weapon once or twice in their life....As
demonstrated, rounds fired by novice and intermediate shooters in close proximity encounters are more likely to result in immediately lethal hits, as they fire primarily at the head... Therefore, this study's results indicate an alarming need for improved firearms training for officers.
The real risks during deadly police shootouts

So what are realistic conditions for citizens and police to train for? Results from An ANALYSIS OF NYPD Police COMBAT show:

SHOOTING DISTANCES

From Sept 1854 to Dec 1979, 254 Officers died from wounds received in an armed encounter. The shooting distance in 90% of those cases was less than 15 feet.

Contact to 3 feet ... 34%

3 feet to 6 feet ...... 47%

6 feet to 15 feet ..... 9%

The shooting distances where Officers survived, remained almost the same during the SOP years (1970-1979), and for a random sampling of cases going back as far as 1929. 4,000 cases were reviewed. The shooting distance in 75% of those cases was less than 20 feet.

Contact to 10 feet ... 51%

10 feet to 20 feet .... 24%

LIGHTING CONDITIONS

The majority of incidents occurred in poor lighting conditions. None occurred in what could be called total darkness. It was noted that flashlights were not used as a marksmanship aid. Also, dim light firing involves another element which is different from full light firing, muzzle flash.

SIGHT ALIGNMENT

In 70% of the cases reviewed, sight alignment was not used. Officers reported that they used instinctive or point shooting.

As the distance between the Officer and his opponent increased, some type of aiming was reported in 20% of the cases. This aiming or sighting ran from using the barrel as an aiming reference to picking up the front sight and utilizing fine sight alignment.

The remaining 10% could not remember whether they had aimed or pointed and fired the weapon instinctively.

QUICK DRAW

65% of the Officers who had knowledge of impending danger, had their revolvers drawn and ready.

Reports on incidents involving Police death revealed that the Officer was alone more often than not and that he was confronted by at least two people.

COVER

The element reported as the single most important factor in the Officer's survival during an armed confrontation was cover.

In a stress situation an Officer is likely to react as he was trained to react. There is almost always some type of cover available, but it may not be recognized as such without training.

POSITIONS

In 84% of the cases reviewed, the Officer was in a standing or crouch position (supported and unsupported) when he fired.

(The training doctrine developed for use in an exposed condition involves use of the crouch/point shoulder stance. The feet are spread for balance and the arms locked at shoulder, elbow and wrist. The body becomes the gun platform, swiveling at the knees. Multiple targets can be fired on with speed and accuracy through an arc of 140 degrees without moving the feet.)

STRONG HAND OR WEAK HAND

Officers, with an occasional exception, fired with the strong hand. That was the case even when it appeared advantageous to use the weak hand. The value of placing heavy emphasis on weak hand shooting during training and qualification is subject to question.

RAPID RELOADING

The average number of shots fired by individual Officers in an armed confrontation was between two and three rounds. The two to three rounds per incident remained constant over the years covered by the report. It also substantiates an earlier study by the L.A.P.D. (1967) which found that 2.6 rounds per encounter were discharged.

The necessity for rapid reloading to prevent death or serious injury was not a factor in any of the cases examined.

In close range encounters, under 15 feet, it was never reported as necessary to continue the action.

In 6% of the total cases the Officer reported reloading. These involved cases of pursuit, barricaded persons, and other incidents where the action was prolonged and the distance exceeded the 25 foot death zone.

BULLET EFFICIENCY

Bullet placement was the cause of death or an injury that was serious enough to end the confrontation.

Risks of an unintentional discharge in the SOP-9 study were 0.14% per year.

The solution advocated by COL Rex Applegate, Gabe Suarez, Roger Phillips and others is to train in both Point Shooting and Sighted shooting, so you develop accuracy and speed at all distances under realistic conditions.

This is backed up by studies:
Numerous studies have observed that external focus promotes better performance through allowing more automatic and reflexive movements, rather than interfering with automatic motor responses ...This should be a goal in every department, to train the officer so the motor program becomes automatic, freeing cognitive resources for observation, cognitive processing and immediate decision making
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#2

Post by flechero » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:50 am

Great info, thanks for posting.

The one thing that stood out to me was this:
65% of the Officers who had knowledge of impending danger, had their revolvers drawn and ready.
This one is tough as a LTC since we aren't usually called into bad situations... often an attack will be sudden and unexpected.

This certainly reinforces the need to dry draw/dry fire, if you can't draw and live fire at your range. And this time of year, it means working with sweaters, jackets and other seasonal clothing you may not be used to clearing.

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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#3

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:52 am

flechero wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:50 am
Great info, thanks for posting.

The one thing that stood out to me was this:
65% of the Officers who had knowledge of impending danger, had their revolvers drawn and ready.
This one is tough as a LTC since we aren't usually called into bad situations... often an attack will be sudden and unexpected.

This certainly reinforces the need to dry draw/dry fire, if you can't draw and live fire at your range. And this time of year, it means working with sweaters, jackets and other seasonal clothing you may not be used to clearing.
Absolutely! But keep in mind that for home defense, weapon in hand is better.
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#4

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:54 am

COL Rex Applegate stated:
Results of Practical Range Training
The practical hand gun range described below, known as the “House of Horrors,” was in operation over a two-year period. During this time several thousand handgun shooters, of all degrees of training and experience, fired over it. A study of the records led to the following conclusions:
(1) That target shooting proficiency alone is not enough to equip the average man for combat, where the hand gun is his primary weapon.
(2) That the instinctive-pointing technique of combat firing is the best all-around method of shooting the hand gun with-out the aid of sights.
...
There is no better way to teach and to learn the use of weapons and their employment than by practicing under conditions as close to the real thing as possible.

In The House of Horrors there were twelve silhouette targets at which the shooter fired in bursts of two shots. None of these silhouettes had been at any greater distance than ten feet from the shooter.
...The average number of hits on silhouettes increase from four to ten [for the group trained in instinctive-point shooting]
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#5

Post by Lynyrd » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:12 am

For me, training with a laser attached to my sidearm was the first step towards gaining some measure of marksmanship without using the sights. I would draw and point to a target at various distances without looking at the sights, and then flip on my laser. At first it was a bit startling to see how far I was off center. Over time while practicing an hour or so per week, my pointing got much better. This method saves on ammo cost, but I highly recommend live fire practice too once you gain a bit of proficiency. I have found that plastic quart oil cans make a pretty good target. Of course, you are probably not going to find a shooting range that will let you practice the way I do.
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#6

Post by JustSomeOldGuy » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:29 am

Lynyrd wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:12 am
I have found that plastic quart oil cans make a pretty good target.
You gave me a Steve Martin moment there. (Sniper scene from the movie "The Jerk"
He hates these cans!
;-)
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#7

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:36 am

Lynyrd wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:12 am
...Of course, you are probably not going to find a shooting range that will let you practice the way I do.
That is the biggest challenge. A good range that lets you do rapid-fire point-shooting at multiple targets is a rare and wonderful thing. I tend to rely on airsoft in my backyard, because even action shooting competitions often place targets outside of the critical 3-to-20ft zone and movement is limited for safety reasons.
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#8

Post by oljames3 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:58 am

Tom Givens and Karl Rehn discuss real-life defensive gun use (DGU) in their classes. John Correia, Active Self Protection, has viewed tens of thousands of videos of real life gun fights and reviews many on his YouTube channel.

Tom Givens students in gun fights: https://americanhandgunner.com/when-cit ... ight-back/ .

Karl Rhen, KR Training https://www.krtraining.com, has created his own Defensive Pistol Skills Program https://www.krtraining.com/defensivepis ... ogram.html that uses his "Three Seconds or Less Drill" https://www.krtraining.com/IPSC/Informa ... OrLess.htm . Karl's classes beyond the Basics classes use a hot range and drawing from the holster.

Active Self Protection YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsE_m2 ... 4mw/videos .

Even though Tom Givens' students' DGUs and John Correia's videos show that most DGUs do not involve reloading, both Givens and Rehn include reloading in their drills.

Training is available for the close-in fight (DGU). I've completed Givens' Dynamic Marksmanship and Rehn's Defensive Pistol Skills Program. As a result, I am confident in my ability to respond quickly, reliably, and accurately at 0-15 yards. I am also confident in my ability to hit the 8 inch A-Zone at 20 and 25 yards. Now I am working more on speed at all ranges, especially at over 15 yards.

Jeff Gonzales, The Range at Austin http://therangeaustin.com often emphasizes marksmanship at longer ranges. I have found this instructive in my own progress. You can get approved to draw from the holster by taking a level 2 or 3 class.

I have also found that participating in USPSA matches is a good way to practice drawing from the holster, shooting while moving, and reloading while moving. All while avoiding the no-shoot targets.

No training will completely prepare one for the real gun fight, but you can improve your outcome by seeking out and taking effective training.
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#9

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:59 pm

oljames3 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:58 am
Tom Givens students in gun fights: https://americanhandgunner.com/when-cit ... ight-back/ .
Tom's dataset is a lot smaller, but he shows that:
92 percent of our student-involved incidents took place at a distance of 3 to 7 yards, with the majority occurring between 3 and 5 yards. The rule of thumb then is most civilian shootings occur within the length of a car.

Only about 10 percent of our student-involved incidents occurred in or around the home, while 90 percent occurred in places like convenience stores, parking lots and shopping malls. The majority of the incidents began as armed robberies or carjackings, with a few violent break-ins involved....

Every one of our students who were armed won their confrontation...This is why we put a great deal of emphasis in our training on the necessity of routinely carrying your gun.
Having a firearm to protect your home is great, but 90% of the encounters are outside the home so concealed carry is vital and again most shooting is within 15 ft. 15ft or less is also likely for armed citizens.

Edit: Tom Givens states:
Thus the typical armed robbery occurs at anywhere from two or three steps, to roughly the length of a car — between the robber and his victim.


That gives an actual distance between 4.3 ft-to-7.5 ft, based on a 26 inch female and 30 inch male average stride.
Last edited by Paladin on Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#10

Post by RicoTX » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:10 pm

Great info. I train using a laser dry fire technique. The laser is similar to a sight laser, but it activates off the firing pin. It's a great option for training because the laser will light up the exact spot you would have hit. I practice mostly quick draw no sights or even barrel, just instinct. I do multiple exercises, standing, sitting in recliner, couch, walking into room. Etc. The laser stays in the chamber as long as you rack the slide just enough to reset it. If you pull it back all the way, you have to remove the laser everytime. I use a pencil to remove it when I am done. I usually aim for certain spots. For example a light switch when inside, or a picture frame, etc. Outside is a bit harder... the daylight hides the laser of course.

Note: for safety, I always unload the gun, clear the chamber, install an empty magazine, and put the live ammo in another room. Always! Once I am finished training, I clean the gun and set it down for at least 30 minutes... mainly to break the cycle of quick drawing. This may not be necessary, but I take no chances. I want my training session to be a completely separate event... if that makes sense.

Thanks again for the above info.
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#11

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:09 pm

Tom Given's opinion is:

#1 Routinely carry your gun
Training Implications

Based on this data, we believe the following are key skills the private citizen should concentrate on in their training:

Quick, safe, efficient presentation of the handgun from concealed carry.

Delivery of several well-placed shots at distances from 3 to 7 yards.

Keeping the gun running, including reloading and fixing malfunctions.

Two-handed firing. We train our students to use two hands if at all possible and most have done so in their fights.
Bring the gun to eye level. This is the fastest way to achieve accurate gun alignment. All but two of our students brought the gun to eye level, and as a result got good hits. Two had to shoot from below eye level due to unusual circumstances.

Some effort expended on the contact distance problem, including empty hand skills and weapon retention skills. However, these are secondary skills for the private citizen.

Some effort dedicated to longer shots in the 15- to 25-yard range.
I agree with most of this but strongly disagree with Tom regarding empty hand skills. He is dead wrong on that point. Empty hand skills are important for everything from mindset, to fitness, to recovery from a surprise attack, to having a non-lethal force option. You can't always have your gun (like on an airliner, overseas, prohibited areas), but you take empty handed skills with you everywhere you go.

I believe the critical distance for civilian training is zero-to-7 yards.
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#12

Post by Lynyrd » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:03 pm

Paladin wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:36 am
Lynyrd wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:12 am
...Of course, you are probably not going to find a shooting range that will let you practice the way I do.
That is the biggest challenge. A good range that lets you do rapid-fire point-shooting at multiple targets is a rare and wonderful thing. I tend to rely on airsoft in my backyard, because even action shooting competitions often place targets outside of the critical 3-to-20ft zone and movement is limited for safety reasons.
One of the many benefits of living out in the country is having your own firing range. The closest house to mine is about 1/2 mile away through the woods, so I don't worry about sound complaints. I built a large dirt berm for a backstop so I don't have worry about pass through shots hitting anything. The old western movies where a cowboy practiced his shooting by knocking bottles off a fence is actually quite good practice. I like to sit plastic oil cans on top of saw horses every now and then.
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#13

Post by crazy2medic » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:57 pm

My Sister has 10 acres with a creek through it, the bank on the far side is about 12ft high and we (family) use it as our range, when I practice my initial start is to draw from the holster and point an shoot the silhouette target, I can put 15rds of .45acp all in the torso just point shooting! Now mind you the target looks like it was hit with a shotgun loaded with .45 cal buckshot but all are in the torso, after the initial draw, point and shoot, I start practicing using the sights, and go for accuracy! Muscle memory is very important under stress!
Distance usually about 15 to 20yds
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#14

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:50 pm

Some examples of targets used by various big name instructors, many who insist on using realistic targets:

The Targets of the Pros
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Re: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN RANGE MARKSMANSHIP & GUNFIGHT MARKSMANSHIP

#15

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:01 am

One thing that is worth practicing is shooting in a Squatting or combat crouch position. Most gunfights occur while standing and the crouch is an instinctive position that is commonly seen in reactive gunfights.

Forms of this position are taught in the Army and by the Israelis.
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