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Ranges and Self-Defense Skills

Discussion in 'Self Defense and Handgun Carry' started by gerhard1, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. gerhard1

    gerhard1 Sharpshooter

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    What type of firearms self-defense training have the folks here had? I'm referring to civilians here, not LE. What type of training would you seek out? Who from?

    Do the 'safety rules' at many, if not most, ranges inhibit good self-defense training? Here, I mean not drawing from the holster, the requirement to shoot from a static position, (no moving around while you shoot) and only one shot every ten seconds or however many seconds.

    Do these rules, while they might be good for range safety, and good order, hinder developing good self-defense skills?

    The question about the rules is a fair one, I believe. Think about it. Do gunfights require not shooting from the draw, or allow only one shot every ten seconds? Do you just stand in one spot in a defensive scenario? I hope that if any of the members here are ever in a gunfight that they move to good cover as fast as they can, shooting, if needed, at their foe while they move. Yet how many of us actually practice this type of shooting?

    Granted, most of the rules do have a valid, and very rational reason for being in place, but a compelling case can also be made that they inhibit development of self-defense skills. By making rules intended to cover them for the worst shooters, ranges can make it harder for the more skilled shooters to acquire the tools they need.

    I am fortunate in that I own the range at which I do most of my shooting, so I can practice the skills I need to defend myself. I shoot from the draw, shoot while moving, in multiple directions, and there is no arbitrary limitation on the speed at which I shoot.

    Of course, the so-called 'square-range' is better than nothing, but the limitations should be recognized.
     
  2. rswink

    rswink Marksman

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    I miss living out west some days, did a lot of practice in the desert, no restrictions.

    Very interested in answers here as my wife us just getting her head wrapped around these ideas finally.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
     
  3. gerhard1

    gerhard1 Sharpshooter

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    Good on your wife!! My better half is also getting interested in shooting and I do thank God for it. I just gave my Walther PPK/s in 22 LR to her, and she shot it at an OSA get-together yesterday.

    I enjoy having people shoot with me, so depending on where you live, you might want to think about coming to my range.
     
  4. rswink

    rswink Marksman

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    Well, Norman is done here in the middle of the state so everything is sort of close to me, in the state at least. It's all the question of how much time do I have to do anything.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
     
  5. Defcon Shooter

    Defcon Shooter Sharpshooter

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    Start with Gunsite Academy 250 class. then next year take Gunsite Close Quarters Pistol. Then if you really want to stretch your mind set and your response to violence take 350.
     
  6. DRC458

    DRC458 Sharpshooter

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    Some of those rules are dictated by insurance!
     
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  7. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    Yes, for indoor and outdoor ranges some restrictions are sometimes required depending on who you get your insurance from. Most indoor ranges do not allow draw from holster and restrict the rate of fire for a good reason. I see bullet impacts at 1' in the floor in front of the firing line and directly overhead in the ceiling in every indoor range I've ever been to. It's typically the new shooters that need to get some training that do that for the most part, although I'm not going to rule out experienced shooters after 8 years of competitive shooting. Watched the video's.
    At Wilshire range in OKC wife and I rented a couple of CC type pistols for her to shoot. In showing the proper grip, the range safety officer advised me to put the pistol on the table and let her pick it up vs her taking it from my hand. I can accept that. That could lead to a potential bad situation. Good deal, I accept that and can see their concern.
    When you have a mass of people in a confined situation you need to be able to control the mass for the safety of others. Hence the reason for the regulations.
    Outdoor ranges with smaller crowds need strict safety regulations, but are typically more relaxed than the indoor ranges because YOU are the safety person. The outdoor ranges don't employ safety personnel so it becomes a range safety issue among the members of the range.
    The saying that "if you see something say something" is the mantra at our range.
    Every member has to go through an afternoon of safety and range rule orientation before membership is approved. I'm pretty impressed when going out to shoot that our members are good about following the rules. We tend to not be gestapo's when seeing something that needs addressed, only turning it into a teaching moment which preserves the shooters self respect and makes our range safer.
     
  8. Defcon Shooter

    Defcon Shooter Sharpshooter

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    Second day of the 250 class at Gunsite you had to be able to draw and shoot a target at seven yards in the eye-center forehead area from holster in 1.5 seconds. I had to completely change my draw stroke to achieve this. At the last Gunsite class I took my three person team consisting of my wife, myself and a Police Officer from a large Eastern City department were running the scramblers and shoot houses as a team doing live fire. Things I never did as a Police officer. The experience is priceless. The knowledge that in a dynamic situation my wife will cover her part of the scene and I can work solving my part of the problem is something I never dreamed we could do. If you don't train with a top school you do not even have an idea of what you do not know and what you are capable of learning.
     
  9. gerhard1

    gerhard1 Sharpshooter

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    Dennis, I can certainly see what you are saying here, and like I said in the OP, I can understand and even agree with the reasoning behind some of it. Granted that ranges have to 'dumb' things down, and I'm not certain that that is the right term here, for rank beginners.

    My point is that these range rules, however good they are, still inhibit defensive style shooters. In a fight, you do as you have been conditioned to do, and if rapid shooting is discouraged, or drawing from the holster is forbidden by the range rules, how will you fare in a fight? In short, the range rules might make good sport shooters, but may not serve defensive shooters as well as they do target shooters.

    Let me ask you this, if I might: do you think that someone is prepared to defend themselves just because they do well at a traditional range setting? Does learning to punch holes in paper with great precision with a very generous time allowance serve the defensive shooter? Which is in a better position to defend him (or her) self, a person who can shoot a two-inch group in a minute, or the guy who can shoot a six-inch group at the same distance in ten seconds?

    I hope I'm not coming across as overly critical of target ranges; that's not my intention. But many people think that just because they can shoot a tiny group at a target range, with mild mid-range loads, and generous time allowance, this makes them prepared to carry and protect themselves, and this is what concerns me. On the street, movement can be a vital skill and shooting while moving even more so. On the street, you'll likely have much heavier ammunition that recoils more and what's more, I doubt that hearing protection will be worn. Ranges are usually well-lighted and on the streets the encounter will probably be in the dark.

    Yet I'd bet that these factors are not emphasized at most gun clubs. Part of it is insurance requirements and part of it is they have to allow for the lowest common denominator. Some of it is public relations, as well, I'd venture, as in the Cheney range in Kansas not allowing IDPA type targets. I heard that someone had to remove the heads before they could be used.

    Gun cubs and ranges are great things to have; they are real assets in a community, but these range rules don't often allow defensive-style shooters to develop the skills they need and this concerns me greatly.
     
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  10. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    You have several great points and I agree with them.
    To get my first point across, the ranges have insurance and have to abide by the rules of safety and those that their carrier require to get the lowest $$ paid for their policy and allow them to remain open and make a profit.

    Some of the range rules in indoor and outdoor ranges are draconian in nature and not covered by any insurance but by the owners and their ideas of utmost safety so they can keep their range open even though it may not benefit the defensive shooter. I think it was the Banner outdoor range with a range nazi and bullhorn that didn't allow rapid fire and other insane rules, but that range was alway full.

    It's their range and their rules so one has to abide by them or find a place elsewhere to shoot if they don't like them.

    If one needs to get into defensive shooting, my suggestion would be to enter match competitions.
    Steel Challenge for the newer shooters to learn how to shoot fast and hit a target fast and then graduate to USPSA or IDPA which ever is closest to you. In USPSA or IDPA your running and shooting using barricades, barriers, and shooting ports while reloading on the run and being accurate in your shooting. Of course nobody is shooting back, but it gives training in trigger control, proper grip, target assessment and strategy about how to run the course.

    You don't have to be an athlete to shoot USPSA/IDPA. I've seen lots of folks just fast walk the 30 round course of fire and not run because they want the ability to learn the basics of shooting fast and shooting accurately.

    I'm currently shooting a $500 factory pistol with a red dot in the open gun class where $3000 pistols are common knowing I'm going to come in close to last place because of some vision issues that require me to shoot the dot and I'm too lazy to remove the mag well to put me into the carry optics division....meaning I'm loving to shoot and not really into the competition part of it, but every time one is out shooting that venue your honing your shooting skills.

    When you think you might be really good, look at the TDSA training course in Tulsa. You will be training with some of the best competition shooters in the country, and one of them is on this forum although I don't think he teaches there now.
    After a thousand rounds in two days, you will not believe how well you have improved with their training.

    So, after all this diatribe, find a range that allows one to practice how you want. That is a difficult thing because no range in Oklahoma keeps training props on the range but one that I know of that allows one to set up props and shoot how you want but one.
    You guessed it....Ponca City. I know this sounds like a sales proposition for a membership, but its not. Just stating the facts.
    Gary, if you and your wife/friends would like to be my guest for a day of shooting, I'd be more than happy to accommodate you and it's just an hour away. We have over 40 pieces of falling steel on the pistol bays alone as well as barricades, walls, plastic drums and paper target stands to set up any kind of shooting scenario one desires. Drawing from the holster is permitted. Full Auto is permitted.
    The targets in kansas your talking about may be two different styles and not requiring the "head" cut off. USPSA has two target styles.
    You have the metric which is "humanoid" in some opinions and the headless targets for the "sensitive shooters".

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019

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