Saving your practice targets is a great idea…it helps you track progress and patterns with your shooting and documents your journey and development as a shooter, while also helping to set goals. At no time, however, should you see your target as a final accomplishment, or an “arrival” to a destination, no matter how good it looks.
Many times I have people tell me that they “are a good shot”, or that they “shoot good enough to stop a bad guy”. My question is always just how good is good enough?, or how good is good enough to stop a bad guy? Digging deeper with the questions, the typical end to the story is the person making the claims is able to make a scattered grouping about the size of a human torso at about 10 feet while standing in a booth at an indoor range. So lets talk about that…..
So if we look at FBI statistics, your “average” attack occurs at 3 to 7 feet, and lasts about 3 seconds. If we look at this statistic alone, the above shooter is “good enough”…BUT…..there is more we need to think about here.
Lets start the conversation with speed and distance, and go back to the Tueller rule, which tells us a bad guy can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds (recent studies have increased that to 32 and even 36 feet depending on the study). The rule also tells us thats about how long it takes someone with training and practice to draw and fire their weapon…and actually hit someone. So if we are at 10 feet, that is less than a second, once we recognize the threat, to draw and fire our weapon.
First question…when you are making your “good enough” groups at 10 feet, how long are you taking to make each shot? (Make sure you time it from picking up your gun, and not starting from when you are holding it aligned to the target, because attacks are usually a surprise)
Ok, back to analysis. Movement. If someone is attacking you, chances are they are moving, which means they are likely harder to hit, and you are probably going to be moving your gun around trying to get on target.
Second question…are either your targets or you moving around when you are testing your shooting?, and if so, how is this affecting the time it takes you to make the shot that we talked about earlier?
Lets keep talking. Heart Rate. When the adrenaline hits and your heart starts feeling like someone is pounding a drum in your chest, your accuracy significantly declines. On avaerage your group size will double. This is the reason many defensive targets have a 6 inch circle. The vital zone in the chest is about 12 inches. If you are not keeping it in the circle on the range, you wont be hitting the bad guy when you are under stress.
Third question…are you keeping your shots in a 6 inch circle?…while moving around…and in less than a second like we were discussing?
There are several other variables as well, like if the bad guy gets his hands on you because you couldnt get your gun out fast enough, or if you are stunned because he just hit you, or if he used a weapon on you first, or if you are pinned against a car or wall to name a few…bit you get the idea.
So how good is good enough?…..the answer is there is no good enough because no matter how well you shoot in a elaxed situation on the range, the variables involved in an attack are unpredictable and many, which means you need to continuously be practicing and training in hopes that the level of skill you achieve is enough to overcome the circumstances of the attack and keep you alive.
Defending yourself with a firearm goes far beyond the confidence many have, based on an isolated single statistic. Train like your life depends on it…because statistically, it really does.
Femme Fatale ARMS & Training is a woman-owned business that provides education and support to an over victimized and underserved segment of our population. We have programs to build confidence and skill without the intimidating aspects that tend to exist elsewhere in this industry. Our goal is customer satisfaction and loyalty. We’d appreciate an opportunity to show you how we are different, yet still, help you to accomplish your education and safety goals.
Amyone can shoot a gun, we train you to defend yourself!
Femme Fatale Arms & Training is located at 160 Malabar Road, Palm Bay, Fl. We are open Mon-Wed 10 to 5, Thurs and Fri10 to 6, and Saturday 12 to 4