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Handgun Training – Practice Drills For Defensive Shooting by Grant Cunningham

Interesting book with good suggestions.
By Smiley42 on August 22, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

The book is sound, but I’m at a loss to find a weapons range where I can practice the techniques described in the book. If such a site was available I would certainly be using the book for practice.

Firearms Training: Shooting Drills – Figure-8 Drill by Rob Pincus
Jumpymonkey2000

I don’t have a place where to practice these drills. My range doesn’t allow this. That’s the only thing that stops me.

Defensive Shooting Standards Drill
Ross

These videos all assume something that is usually very wrong. How many people have access to a place to safely set up and shoot like this? Most of us can only shoot at a range where there are prescribed lanes and no opportunity to do anything but shoot in a controlled manner on our own lane.

The types of things shown in these videos are only for the rich guys who own a big piece of land. Great for them, I’m happy for them. The rest of us are working stiffs.

Guess what? Ranges hosting practical, action, and Service Conditions competitions are places these sorts of things can be done. Given that competitive shooters routinely host events featuring movement and shooting around/through barricades, those people and places are open to this sort of thing.

Ranges catering only to the general gun owning public and failing to host such events are more likely to enforce babysitting measures that would prevent the conduct of defensive shooting drills, probably because such gun owners sometimes require babysitting measures.

If such a site was available I would certainly be using the book for practice” is a very telling comment. If/when such a person buys into taking a class, any skills learned will soon degrade as he lacks the facility to put them into practice.

Finding a range/facility/club hosting organized shooting events, attending events, and meeting like-minded participants interested in skill testing and development is more important than whatever class or other instruction someone is trying to sell. No matter how good the instructor, class, book/video/etc. may be, it’s for naught unless the skills, concepts, and ideas can be put to hands-on practice on at least a semi-regular basis. Anything beyond simple range drills will likely require a training partner and certainly requires a range set up more involved than standing still in a booth or seated at a bench and slowly plinking at a single target on a range disallowing shooting from position, drawing from a holster, and/or shooting quickly. Having these things arranged and available to you is the best predictor of skill retention and development. However, once your credit card clears and the class is over or the book/DVD is delivered, you’re on your own.

Another reason to support and attend organized shooting events.

Basketball Shooting Coaches

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The difference between winning and losing, and anonymity and stardom, can come down to shooting.

Some teams don’t even have a dedicated shooting coach. “I think some teams don’t because it’s such a new concept,” says Philadelphia 76ers shooting coach John Townsend. “There was a time not every team had a strength and conditioning coach, and it’s just grown and now most teams have at least two. I think eventually it’ll continue to grow for shooting coaches. I try to get to know all the shooting coaches. You have to root for them. The more teams that have shooting coaches, the more likely it’ll be that it’ll continue to grow.

It is fashionable in some circles to deride developing higher-level fundamental skills. The claim that working on basic, fundamental shooting skills in isolation won’t prepare their use when needed in a particular context. This is the opposite of how effective training actually works. Basketball is a fluid game with players constantly moving and shots taken quickly from varying, unknown-in-advance places and situations.

Practice in context would require scrimmaging with nine other players. Yet, even players good enough to make it to the NBA find dedicated work on specific shooting skills in isolation outside of the applied context is improving their overall results. Because that is how skill development works.

The full article:
https://theringer.com/nba-shooting-coaches-kent-bazemore-kawhi-leonard-8660e9939680

Minimum Defensive Shooting Skills

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Solid advice.

Range standards are denigrated in some circles as being unrealistic, arbitrary, out-of-context evaluations but some sort of minimum is still needed.

It’s true the range environment is artificially easier than elsewhere, but this makes meeting some minimum performance standards easier. Pulling it off on the range is not a guarantee of success should things get more difficult, but a failure when it’s easy does not bode well.

What Do We Expect Of You?
Skills And Drills For Saving Lives
By Ralph Mroz

http://americanhandgunner.com/what-do-we-expect-of-you/

Skills

Having self-defense gun skills means in addition to conscious, slow-fire, deliberate marksmanship, you can run the gun at faster speeds, requiring unconscious operation — while still hitting. Mastering static, slow-fire marksmanship isn’t all that difficult, but shooting fast(er) is hard. This is in no small part because you can’t think your way through the shooting. This kind of unconscious, reasonably speedy fire will be called for in a self-defense situation. I submit you have conscious marksmanship reasonably down pat if you can hit an 8″ or 10″ plate at 25 yards almost all of the time once your gun is zeroed. Which is not to say you shouldn’t try to improve this by adding speed.

With regard to faster shooting, all of the following criteria are subjective, and reasonable people may — indeed, will — differ, and it assumes you’re using a full-sized handgun. You’ll need to make adjustments for smaller guns.

Instructor and teacher Tom Givens has probably had more non-cop students prevail in gunfights than any other US instructor. As I write this the tally is over 60 wins, three forfeits (didn’t have a gun) and zero losses. Tom’s students are almost all ordinary, busy people, not training fanatics.

One of his main standards is drawing from concealment and hitting a 7″ x 9″ target in 1.5 seconds at five yards.

Another is to draw from concealment, take a side-step, and hit the same target with three rounds in three seconds at three yards.

This conforms very closely to what he sees in his students’ actual shootings. Since these are two of the standards the data tells us have a history of preparing people to prevail in actual deadly force confrontations, they are great expectations to start with. Neither will “place” you in even a local club match, but neither are they “gimmies” if you don’t practice.

Control

Another standard I’m fond of is the Higginbotham Controllability Drill. You start from a two-handed low ready and put five rounds into a 5.5″ x 8.5″ target — a standard piece of paper folded in half — in two seconds at five yards. For serious — but beginning shooters — this is a goal. Give yourself more time, but work toward two seconds.

Another standard I think a serious shooter should be able to achieve is to hit a plate at 25 yards from a low ready in 2.5 seconds. Start with any size plate you can hit, but the eventual goal is the A-zone of an IPSC target (6″ x 11″), or the down-zero area of an IDPA target (an 8″ circle or plate). Add the draw into the drill to make it harder, but give yourself another half second or so. The objective here is to be able to hit at a distance and your gun will have to be zeroed for your ammo.

Doesn’t happen in the real world? One of Tom Givens’ students had to engage a guy shooting at him from 22 yards. Read the Ayoob Files in this issue about an 80+ yard shot with a 1911, taking a suspect down. Also, think of the shot you’d need to make in an active shooter situation across a parking lot, down a mall or school corridor, etc.

Nailing these drills won’t get you classified as a great shot, and you will want to improve them as your time allows. But we would consider you as being prepared, practical and prudent in a real-life context. And remember, some practice is much better than no practice.

Metrics vs Mediocrity

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Tom Givens and Rangemaster is a renowned instructor and training facility. Givens has had over 60 students involved in documented fights and his experience is one of the best track records of personal defense students in the United States.

Every student trained by Tom Givens at Rangemaster that was forced into a fight that had a gun available won their fight.

Givens is also a successful competitive shooter and trains his students in a competition-compatible approach. Givens’ advice for being successful in a self defense encounter includes preparing in a manner nearly identical to that taken to do well in a shooting match.

Here are words of wisdom from one the most successful and proven defensive shooting instructors in the United States.
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The Lie Against Competition Shooting

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“Not long ago, I supervised a standoff situation where our officers were placed in positions to engage a dangerous suspect. Several officers were armed with M4s. Bystanders were thickly mixed-in! Range to suspect was between 10 and 30m. Happily, our situation was resolved without our officers having to shoot.

As a precaution, I asked all officers to report, with their red-dot-equipped M4s, to the range the following week. I set-up a situation with parer targets that exactly duplicated the situation with which were confronted a week earlier.

Given generous time, stable, braced firing positions, and stationary targets, not one of our officers was able to deliver required shots, even after several attempts! When asked about sight settings and zeros, most officers were not prepared to answer definitively. Some didn’t even understand the question! An examination of the M4s present revealed that, in most cases, the red dot and the back-up iron sights did not agree. Some were not even close!”

http://www.ammoland.com/modern-sporting-rifle-zeros-or-lack-of/

This episode echoes many similar episodes I’ve experienced in the military as well. It isn’t unusual to find personnel in an instructor capacity (drill sergeants, etc.) just as confused.

You know a demographic in the gun world that intimately understands this and doesn’t have this problem? High Power competitors. Smallbore competitors. Pretty much any competitor in any rifle shooting discipline requiring a degree of precision will have a handle on this. It’s the reason such events were created in the first place.

I use this episode specifically because it comes by way of John Farnam, a “name” instructor of the Modern Technique camp that has poo-pooed competitive shooting in the past.

We’re sometimes warned about the “dangers” of competition, even though there is not a single documented incident where competition shooting experience ever caused a problem.

Competitive shooters possess a commodity concerning firearms skill that is rare among public-sector personnel: GAS. It’s a guarantee that a competitive shooter, someone making an effort to obtain improved scores and achieving that result, really does Give A Shit about their skill because they’re motivated to spend free time and money doing it. Hell, they do it for fun!

I worked ranges for over 30,000 deploying military personnel from 2003-2009. My peers were involved in range activity for nearly every service personnel deploying through the Department of Defense during that time. There was not a single problem or concern caused by someone arriving having prior competition experience. Not one.

Personnel having competitive experience are routinely better performers and more knowledgeable than their peers lacking such experience. They had the same tactical/military/police training as everyone else in the unit but performed better by having a heightened capability developed via competitive experience. The same is true concerning physical fitness and those pursuing other sports. Amazingly enough, competitive runners have better run times during unit fitness tests and competitive lifters are notably stronger.

This improved capability happens when one genuinely Gives A Shit and does something beyond required, minimum qualifications and standards. In contrast, every person requiring remedial training was someone lacking competition shooting experience.

Published regulation backs this up. There are many references in military and police policy describing competition shooting as beneficial. There is not a single published regulation, order, doctrine, or policy in any military or police organization suggesting competition shooting is bad or harmful with personnel recommended or ordered to avoid it. None. Not one. Plenty of examples advocating its use as beneficial, but not one saying otherwise.

Tactical Training Is Silly

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How often in a real fight are any of the popularly-espoused, school-taught tactics employed? Review various fights caught on video and note how often the solution was (or ideally would have been) to present a firearm and land quick hits with the only additional necessary tactic being a little bob and weave.

Some examples:

From a vehicle:

At a store:

IPSC shooter working security:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/ipsc-shooter-wins-fight/

At another store:

https://gfycat.com/SillyEnormousIntermediateegret

http://www.speroforum.com/a/LRELBDEMBV42/79760-Video-armed-robbers-choose-wrong-gunshop-with-devastating-results

Police officer:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/new-russian-army-pistol/

In front of an elevator:
https://video-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t42.1790-2/15278144_560280984162570_7771793311236358144_n.mp4?efg=eyJ2ZW5jb2RlX3RhZyI6InN2ZV9zZCJ9&oh=ca052e5e24918831f8f88b001535a94b&oe=583B2071

While not common, shootings do happen to good people sometimes. When they do, those people often have zero formal tactical instruction from popular classes.

The successful ones respond simply: Draw and land hits as quickly as possible, usually with little else needed. You’d be hard pressed to find a video of a successful defensive shooting where the defender used any of the techniques popularly taught at various schools.

Many of the most feared gunfighters of the 20th century used tactics and techniques that would be considered passé today. A surprisingly large number of them were involved in competition emphasizing static slow fire (Bullseye, PPC, etc.) that doesn’t test the timed movement, gun handling, and rapid-fire shooting on multiple targets found in practical competition. But they fought successfully many times. If they were still in service and in their prime, they’d probably fight quite well today as well.

Cops same as Novice Shooters

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[T]he research shows that officers on average are only marginally better than lesser-trained shooters in terms of getting rounds on target

Despite being a low percentage occurrence, a high stakes event such as a fight warrants developing sufficient skill and is the reason police and military expend resources attempting to build this. Success rates are sometimes lacking. Hit rates and percentages are bandied about. Some suggest curriculum changes, increases or decreases to standard square range exercises, changes of doctrinal shooting positions, and the increased or decreased emphasis of sighted fire.

Here is the terrible truth almost everyone fails to address. Any change in doctrine, curriculum, or funding is doomed to failed improvements until a progressive skill standard is enforced. It doesn’t matter if the number of required qualifications are quadrupled if participants are continually held to the same, elementary, basic, easy, low standards merely sufficient to graduate academy/recruit/basic training. And training isn’t “advanced” unless it includes an actual, measured skill assessment students are held to, one that increases in difficulty over time. The number of training hours or successful qualification results are meaningless until faced with scored tests that are more challenging over time.

Studies of this nature continue to find police and military personnel are only slightly more skilled than those never having fired a gun before. This is because most police and military personnel are in fact only slightly more skilled than those never having fired a gun before.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/firearm-training-naive-shooter-law-enforcement-hit-probability/

Based on the personnel chosen for “expert”, “intermediate”, and “naive” groups in this study, every one of them are actually at a novice level. There’s no difference in results because there is no real difference in skill between them.

The skill difference between a completely untrained shooter, marginally-qualified personnel, and personnel capable of “expert” or near “perfect” qualification scores is marginal. They’re all still novices, though some of them are slightly worse than the others. It’s like the difference in mathematics knowledge between a second-grade child scoring a 70 or 90 on an elementary arithmetic quiz. It’s the reason there is no connection found between combat and qualification range results.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/the-connection-between-combat-and-range-results/

More:

Study: Newbies Better Able to Kill Assailants With Head Shot Than Cops

 

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