Realistic Self-Defense Shooting Ranges
Dr. John Woods 06.28.16
If you were to have an armed confrontation with an assailant, say during a SHTF escape or Bug Out, at what shooting range might you expect this to occur? Many would say something like 10 yards, 20, the width or length of 2-3 cars in a parking lot or on the highway, or maybe across the front yard? Based on recent statistics, they would be wrong.
Depending on the sources, most armed self-defense responses occur within 6-10 feet. Others say 3-7 yards. Now, get out a tape measure and mark that off to get a real sense of just how short a distance that is. At only six feet away, you could nearly reach out to touch the person or them you. If they were wielding a baseball bat, tire iron, knife, or machete, you would be within striking distance. Can you effectively draw and accurately shoot at those ranges?
Sure, we see the utility of range shooting practice, but when I visit the local combat or self-defense shooting courses here, I see the shooting distances being utilized from ten to twenty or further yards out using pistols. Defensive rifle shooting would be something else entirely, well, for the most part.
I have yet to see the instructors showing participants how to produce their CCW or purse carry weapons and assume the position to shoot at 6-10 feet. Talk about CQC. However, this is a skill that needs to be developed by all who carry a concealed weapon, including preppers and survivalists who may one day find themselves faced with such a situation.
It also very well means that your weapon of choice needs to be accurate enough to center punch the target at close range. It also means your ammo choices should produce consistent accuracy at these close and personal ranges with 100% reliability. This is not the time for a jam or an excited shot up in the air.
This came home to me recently when range testing the new Iver Johnson 1911 long slide reviewed here at AO. I CQC’d at the range, and this weapon prints nice little groups close enough to disrupt any perp at that range and without a glitch. But there was no heat in that moment.
So, if you think your likely self-defense ranges will be far enough away to give you plenty of time to draw and react, then this is a concept I urge you to rethink and train up.