Shooting at Longer Distances with the Handgun

There is no denying that a pistol is a short range weapon of immediate self-defense compared to rifles.  For most people, hitting anything beyond conversation distance with even a full-size pistol is a parlor trick.  However, a shooter can stretch well beyond this typical distance with a pistol if they train for it properly.  25 yards, 50 yards, and even 100 yards, are quite doable with a handgun.  Certainly 25 yards, in my opinion, should be considered within “standard” handgun distance rather than abnormally long pistol distance. 

Two points I want to make regarding shooting at 25 yards or beyond as it pertains to defense:

First, practicing on two inch dots, like in a dot torture drill at only a few yards, does not duplicate shooting at 25 yards.  While the target size might translate to something similar, the point of impact is most likely different, and any competent shooter should know where his or her gun/load combination impacts at farther distances.  Therefore, shooting at 25 yards should be done to verify this point of impact for the gun/round combination.

Second, most distance practice that is done involves only slow shooting with a strong focus on accuracy, such as the typical exercise of firing 10 rounds in 20 seconds at a B8 target at 25 yards.  This is a great exercise and honing accuracy is important, but to bring distance shooting in line with self-defense there needs to be a more pressing time element.  Keeping rounds in a down-zero or A zone area of a target fairly quickly is more sound than shooting slowly for a tight, small, group in this regard.

A good way to practice this realistic approach to distance shooting is doing what I call “Three at a Quarter,” referring to 3 shots fired at a quarter of a football field in distance, 25 yards.  This is done from the holster, from concealment, holding onto effective accuracy, but doing this quickly.  Why, might you ask, would we push the speed here?  Well, maybe if an active shooter armed with a rifle was 25 yards away from you then neutralizing him quickly, before he can turn the superior weapon on you, would be sound, no?

My personal goal for this going forward is to make the 3 shots, clean, in 3 seconds or less, with a first shot in 1.5 seconds or less.  I missed that goal in this demo, as you will see, but this was filmed right out of the gate after not shooting live ammo in three months due to the pandemic, ammo shortage, etc…, of this year.  Once I get back to a normal training routine I think I can make that goal.  I would suggest an initial goal of 6 seconds for this, with a first shot made in 3 seconds, as a good initial goal to work towards, with all A-zone hits. 

See the demo:

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