“A few days ago I was listening to Michal Bane discussing the Paris terrorist attacks on his podcast and something he said encouraged me to get to the range and do some shooting,” Ed head writes at downrange.tv. “He suggested that each of us should have the skills to shoot our carry pistols at close range, but also be capable of making hits on torso sized targets at upwards to 50 yards. This means, if you aren’t able to do this with your carry pistol, you need to start practicing or reconsider your choice of pistol.” True?

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151 Responses to Question of the Day: Does the Paris Attack Mean It’s Time to Reconsider Your Carry Gun?

  1. Could be true.
    I know I can shoot center mass at 25 yards, but 50 is really, really a stretch for me.
    And I don’t carry either. Can’t carry where I am at presently.

    • Is true.
      And change in pistol may/may not help…
      Back when I was first learning to shoot I only had pistols; all my buddies also had at least one rifle. Of course we exchanged firearms, but as a lark, I accepted their “challenge” of shooting at 50, then 100 yds w my pistol. You will find out very quickly if you have mastered the basics of pistol control. You may be surprised at how quickly you can start printing on target at those distances.

      Remember, practice does not make perfect…
      Perfect practice makes perfect.

    • Where are you that there is 50yds of open ground, no cover and taking a difficult 50yd shot in life or death stressful circumstances is closer than running to cover?

      • This! Also, I usually only practice distances I could reasonably ‘splain to the district attorney.

        And now that I’ve typed that, and was about to type more about “not being under immediate threat at 50 yds…”, I realized we’re talking about spree/jihadi killers with rifles. Ok, I might have to push the target out further for a few magazines.

        • I practice long range shooting with all my pistols , because I love the challenge , but my daily carry , to many chagrin , is my PMR 30 and even though there isn’t the knock down power so many rely on , with the 22 WMR , I can create absolute havoc on a watermelon at 50 yards and with 30 rounds , I’ll hurt your noggin at 100 yards too . I usually carry an extra mag when I go out so 60 rounds will make even a jihadi duck , guaranteed .
          After reading this article , I will now consider my shoulder harnessed single six revolver with the 10 inch bbl. as a back-up . I can stay pretty much on target at 100 yards with this gun and at this distance , in 22 WMR , proper shot placement considered , this gun will drop a WV Buck .

      • Yup!
        I get what thx and Timmy are say’.
        I practice from 3 yds-out to…?
        I believe in expanding off the first premise of EDC:
        Better to have a gun and not need it, than…
        Henceforth (for me): Better to be proficient at a greater distance, than not have any ability to call on if needed.

        Plus, it is soul satisfying to ring steel at distance w a handgun.

    • Carry two.

      Standard military firearms training (if I remember right) always taught us to engage the enemy as far out as you possibly could with whatever you had. If you had time to transition to a TOA weapon that our Uncle gave you to shoot further, do that.

      Standard tactics still apply: 1) WHERE ABLE – Destroy THROUGH the enemy [kill/close/kill]; OR 2) fight to break contact then do #1. Rinse and repeat.

  2. 50 yards huh? I doubt I could EVER justify THAT-unless it really was Islamic moose-lim terrorists. Especially in Cook County,Illinois. Can I just carry an AR?

    • Have you been in a Wal-mart? There was some aisles that you could easily get a 200 yards on.

      IMO people vastly under estimate that distances in their life. Though it is true that something like 90% of self defense shooting at 0-3 yards, but that doesn’t mean you should totally ignore the other 10% (or whatever percentage).

      • It’s about 30 yards from my front porch to the one directly across the street. And you’re lucky if you can find a parking spot within 50 yards of the entry at Walmart. If someone was shooting at you that wouldn’t seem very far at all.

    • I’m thinking that if the Bad Guy(s) are 50+ yards away I have a really good opportunity to find an exit and egress, or at best take a stand there and cover for others leaving by that route before I do. Attracting the attention of a BG with a rifle 50 yards away seems like a very bad idea and I do not plan on going on offense in that situation. Get as many people out as you can, then get out. Only in the direst extreme attempt to shoot the SOB and then probably a controlled mag dump as I leave the building. “A man needs to know his limitations.” And the limitations of his EDC.

    • Two pistols. Berreta 92 9mm with 3 17 rnd mags on your person and in a small day pack a scoped .454 Casull Ruger Super Red Hawk with a 7″ barrel. Easy 100 yard shots. That’s what would really be one shot one kill.

      So you would have up close and personal and long distance taken care of.

      Something to think about.

    • Same in the Safe Act State. 7 yards for legal self defense, as per Article 30 of the penal code on use of deadly force. Exceptions made to be sure if truly an act of terror????? I’ll worry about the details if I survive.

    • Oooh You picked “Things I don’t plan my life around because of their 1 in 80,000,000 chance of happening. That’s our daily double category!

    • That’s right all the people here who complain that a 32 oz pistol is “too heavy” are really going to suddenly start carrying a rifle. /sarc

  3. Could be true. I can shoot very reliably with my carry gun out to 50 yards (if I have plenty of time to sight down my target). 25 yards and in I practice all the time, including movement to cover, disadvantaged shooting positions etc. With all that said, if I’m going to target someone between 25 and 50 yards, I’d prefer to do it with my M-4.

    • Agreed. At 50Y with a pistol I’d rather evade or maneuver.

      I can hit a man target at 50Y with my full-size, but I’ve never even thought to try with my CC. Guess next range day I’ll find out 😉

      • Agreed. Using a pistol to announce my presence at 50+ yards to a man with an Assault Rifle is not high on my list of priorities.

      • I agree. However, once I have reached cover, over 50 yards away, I’d probably pitch one or 2 at the shooter, I suspect that would slow him down significantly, possibly convince HIM to seek cover, while I continue to extract myself. It would be nice to hit him, but with my edc I kinda think that would be largely luck.

        • Kinda what I was thinking too, if it looked like he was coming my way I might loose one or two to make him slow up. I’m also thinking if there were 50 yards between us I expect I would be somewhere where there was cover/concealment available.

        • Pretty much the same here. Pop a couple off just to put it out there that he doesn’t have the run of the place, but don’t expect to stop the threat at that distance.

          Beyond that, I’d just try to avoid hitting anyone else or being surprised by his likely partners, who may be much closer to me than 50 yards.

          Now, if I were near my car and happened to be travelling (I carry more firepower when I’m on road trips), then I’d have something more to work with. Even then, it’s still more about just keeping the shooter away and getting out alive, than it is engaging in some all out firefight to the death with suicidal terrorists.

        • Does anyone know what the reaction of the bad guys was in the Texas , cartoonist attempted assault , when someone shot at or back ?
          I can’t think of one instance where an attack of the nature we’re talking about , can you ? I think natural instinct is to take cover , and if the return fire was coming from multiple directions , the result may even be retreat .
          We obviously need more people armed and willing to defend .

        • I believe their reaction was their heads exploding when that 60 year old retired officer took them out at like 40 yards.

    • Why would you draw attention to yourself? If you have the ability and the opportunity to take the shot on a mass murderer you might want to ask yourself how many people would die waiting for the police to arrive because of your cowardice. If you don’t wish to practice long rang shooting then that might absolve you of any moral responsibility, but it also leaves you defenseless in such a situation.

  4. I haven’t listened to the podcast in question, but the idea that I need to be able to shoot 50yds with a self-defense pistol is ridiculous.

    The entire purpose of a self-defense pistol (and carrying such a pistol) is to “shoot and scoot” your way to safety if you needed to; not to engage the enemy with suppression fire or something.

    “Within arms-reach” remains to most likely distance of a potential attack and “under 13 shots” remains the most you will shoot; being able to shoot 50yrds is cool and all, but being able to successfully draw, shoot, and move to cover is cooler.

    As to, “Have I reconsidered my carry gun”? If someone can point to me where I can buy an ASP 9mm (or similar) I would consider carrying something else.

  5. Oddly enough, the Cali terrorist attack has made consider swapping out my carry guns sights, from Big Dots to Straight 8’s, for kind of the same reason.

  6. 50 yards seems pretty unrealistic.

    That said, I just bought a new Glock 19 to replace/augment my pocket-carry Glock 42; I am no longer thinking in terms of defending only myself against one or two guys in a dark alley…

    • Harry,

      I have seen video of one man shooting soda bottles at 100 yards with a snub-nose revolver. And the legend Jerry Miculek has hit a 15 inch balloon at 1000 yards with a revolver.

      • ‘…Jerry Miculek has hit a 15 inch balloon at 1000 yards with a revolver.”

        Apples and oranges.

        We’re just mortals, Miculek is an alien…

      • My son and I tried to hit a target at 100 yards with a Springfield XD 9 mm with a 4″ barrel. We got close, occasionally, but with the same hold and sight picture, shots fell right and left or short and long, fairly randomly.

    • Feel ya there. If these sorts of attacks are going to be a thing, I’m going to switch to a compact, double stack pistol (a la G19 size) in place of my sub-compact, single stack.

    • I’m moving to a doublestack 9mm as well, but I also just sent the slide off to get milled for an RMR… Maybe torso shots at 100 yards…

  7. “… be capable of making hits on torso sized targets at upwards to 50 yards. This means, if you aren’t able to do this with your carry pistol, you need to start practicing or reconsider your choice of pistol.” True?

    I have believed this for over five years and that is why I have carried a full-size handgun for over five years.

    Full-size handguns have a longer sight radius which enables more accurate shots. Full-size handguns also weigh more which dampens shaky hands more than compact pistols … and that enables more accurate shots. Plus, full-size handguns have large magazines which enable more shots in the event that your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, … even 11th or 12th shots are misses. Finally, those larger magazines give you more ammunition if you are facing multiple attackers. To this day, I have never heard anyone say that they wished they had less ammunition when facing an attacker or attackers.

  8. I haven’t done any pistol shooting at 25 yards. Let alone at 50 in many years. I have not had reason to do so. My concerns the last few years has been at 5 to 15 yards or so.
    Might be time to reconsider?

  9. I like to be able to reach out with my carry gun. I can do man size target at 100 yards with my full size auto, and 50 yards with my snubbi. The 50 yards with the snubbi for me is harder than 100 with a full size gun! But, I like knowing I have that range even with my little gun. I think training for close and fast is most important, but in this day and age some training at distance is warranted.

  10. No. If just one person would have returned fire, with just about ANY firearm, many lives would likely have been saved. As it was, at least one of the perpetrators fled without any resistance at all.

  11. This is the dumbest thing I ever heard. If you are 50 yards from a threat, then I think you have enough distance to make a get away. Why fire on a target, with a handgun, 50 yards away and then draw subsequent fire from those with rifles… Both police and terrorists.

    The only reason this would be remotely approaching sensible is if you wanted to somehow stop a massacre. And in that case, the mere presence of rounds near target may be enough for those types of people to detonate their C4 Brooks Brothers.

    • Considering that they were specifically talking about the Paris attacks, yes this wouldn’t be for your typical self defense shooting.

      But shooting at 50 yards isn’t hard if your fundamentals are solid.

    • LJM,

      “The only reason this would be remotely approaching sensible is if you wanted to somehow stop a massacre. And in that case, the mere presence of rounds near target may be enough for those types of people to detonate their C4 Brooks Brothers.”

      This is exactly the reason that is under discussion. In such a dire scenario, you have almost nothing to loose and everything to gain. Furthermore, almost all run-of-the-mill spree killers immediately kill themselves or surrender when armed defenders appear. And if terrorists proceed to detonate their suicide vests when you start shooting, that is also a good outcome.

      Note: a terrorist detonating a suicide vest and harming bystanders within the blast radius is only a good outcome in the sense of minimizing total casualties — as in reducing the number of victims that they shoot before detonating their suicide vest.

        • I am fully capable of getting a head shot at 50 yards with my
          SR 9c . I have the extended grip and mag so I also have 17 try’s . If they will hold still and in all the commotion and noise they would create , I have a sneaky feeling they might .

  12. 50 yard shooting isn’t hard, as long as your gun can handle it (which most can), it comes down to trigger control and sight alignment.

    Heck I’ve done the greater than 60% with a Ruger LCP (after much practice at this particular trick), it is a gimmick but it is certainly possible and this one is stock original post-recall gun.

    • The problem is that shooting at 50 yd can humble the ego. At first.

      And egos and ‘gun guys’ are some funny business.

      All those dudes that ONLY practice 3-7 on a static range under zero stress or time pressure and get the warm fuzzies about how good they are get to stroke their own ego non-stop.

      I don’t care who you are or how you train, but at the of the day, if you are not pushing your comfort zone, it’s not training. Pushing yourself means missing til you get it right. Once you get that one right, move to the next challenge.

      And, I 100% disagree with those that claim it’s not “needed.” Shooting at 50 yd is one example of something that DOES help at 3-7 “bad breath” distances, because it

      (a) builds fundamentals
      (b) builds confidence (the good kind)
      (c) trigger time is trigger time, and it’s ALL good

      “I was just too good a shooter for that gunfight” said no one after a real world conflict. Ever.

      • “… said no one after a real world conflict. Ever.”

        That was excellent. I am still laughing as I type this!

      • A friend of mine thought I was weird practicing 75 yard shooting before a recent major match.

        I get to the match, and what do I have, 40 yard mini-poppers. I shot the stage last, and watched more than one shooter literally empty magazines at those poppers and still leave some standing. I go up, and shoot the poppers one for one at a respectable pace. I went up there knowing what I could do, and I just executed it.

      • Your first line bears a lot of repeating and consideration. There’s a reason why I practice shooting targets at ranges longer than I expect to shoot in a defensive scenario- because it’s hard, because it helps me practice fundamentals, and because the only way to improve is to challenge yourself. But, a lot of people just want to shoot pretty groups off a bench at 7 yards or whatever, because then they can feel good about themselves.

        As to 50 yard pistol shots, the US Army told Grandpa (or maybe great grandpa) that the 1911A1 had ah effective range of 50 yards- and people trained and got hits at that distance. Now, today, everyone tells me the 1911 is an obsolete, inaccurate, unreliable piece of shit, and yet they think 50 yards is too far for their wonderpistols. Simple truth is, as far as I can tell, they’d rather feel good than get better.

        In all seriousness, if you want to see excellent pistol marksmanship, go shoot some bullseye. But, hey, it’s not practical, and I can’t blaze through 8 inch plates at 5 yards or what have you,

        • “Can’t blaze through 8″ plates at 5 yards of what have you.”

          This is a problem too, you can’t be dismissive of speed. Both are important, in fact some of the fastest shooters can only make accurate shots. Sure they might not win a bullseye competition but they can easily hit targets at 50+ yards. Rob Leatham for example made the President’s 100 at Camp Perry one year, granted it was described as being not very high on the list, but he still accomplished something that few shooters have accomplished.

          But either way I like to describe to new shooters that every target has an acceptable sight picture that is based on the size of the area of the target you want to hit, and the distance. The acceptable sight picture of a 18×24″ plate at 7 yards is just seeing the slide on the plate. While the acceptable sight picture of an 8″ plate at 50 yards is much more extreme. And it takes experience shooting to determine what those sight pictures are.

        • Trying to use 5″ index cards at 25 yards with a blue sticker in hte middle. It’s humbling but man, I’m a better shot for it

  13. I’ve put all 6 rounds out of a S&W revolver (.45 colt) into 10″ at 100 yards. It isn’t difficult. It requires a good trigger and a semi-supported position (kneel and prop your elbows on your knee or something).

    You need to compensate for range by bringing your front blade up a bit, but if you do practice, you will get the hang of it.

    One advantage I could see of taking long shots with a handgun in a terrorist situation is this: Third worlders aren’t known for their marksmanship skills. If you engage at longer distances, you’re equalizing your lack of a long gun with your superior IQ and training.

    • I thought the same thing. That distance does not come under our usual understanding of legitimate self defense use of deadly force, but in a mass shooting situation, against a long gun, taking the long accurate shot from cover is certainly something to consider. And if they’re armored, I’ll take the lower extremity shot if they’re standing still at least to cut down their mobility

    • Dyseptic Gunsmith,

      “One advantage I could see of taking long shots with a handgun in a terrorist situation is this: Third worlders aren’t known for their marksmanship skills. If you engage at longer distances, you’re equalizing your lack of a long gun with your superior IQ and training.”

      This is a seriously compelling consideration. Couple this with the potential to move into a better position (either closer or farther) and you might actually have the upper hand. In other words smarts, skills, and tactics are far more important than firepower when it comes to combat. Seems like this may have been a decisive factor in some past battle — something to do with 300 guys stopping over 10,000 Persians …

      • Someone should make an app for CCHs that would allow us to coordinate strategies ahead of events that we will be attending with other CCHs so we can be better prepared to cover and flank given areas of the venue we are attending at the same time .
        I would be thrilled to know where other CCHs were in relation to my position in a given environment . I’m pretty OCD and while everyone else was watching the show I would be planning our attack on our four corners .

    • I’m going to guess that was single action. My .460 is pretty accurate shooting single action as well, and the long sight radius definitely helps. Too bad CCW with that gun is basically impossible.

      I’ve hit a running deer at about 50 yards with 3 of 5 shots with a .454 Casull. I think I’ll spend more time shooting distance with CCW guns. If you can be accurate, distance is your friend.

      • Yes, yes, of course single action.

        If I’ve got a super-crispy-cool trigger and I’ve got time to choose my shot, well then I’m going to flaunt my super-crispy-cool trigger.

  14. not for me. my gun can shoot that small at 50 yards. i cant, but im working on it. so, what it means for me is ‘more practice’.

  15. Don’t think the Grand Jury would side with you….self defense at that distance…as long as Loretta Lynch is around.

    Sheeple need to know their place.

  16. That’s why I carry a GP100. Even with a 3″ barrel a 50 yard torso shot is easy. Give me a rest and I can get 60% at 100 yards.

    • I believe that. Until I was about 50, with a 4″ .357 I could drop to prone and keep 6 within about 4″ at 100 yards (shooting single action), every time. I did not practice that in mud, but if the shooting were real that would be no problem. But nearing 70 now, with an LC9, I’m not counting on it. Still, if you fire a couple shots from secure cover, and miss, what’s the worst that can happen? The killer charges you, firing all the way as he closes that distance? Cool. I’ll be waiting when he gets it down to 20 yards and is empty.

      • I’ve only shot a few times from a bench at 100 but 4 out of 6 on a 12″ target is pretty easy. I figure if I need a long shot I’ll be looking for a car hood or table to shoot off of. 3 or 4 hits out of 6 should be doable if you can keep the jitters down. On the other hand, in DA – I was excited the other day when I drew and put one in the 8 ring on a mini silhouette at 15 yards. Past that range I’m going SA.

    • Yeppers. In my experience, not an expert, the .357 is the go to gun for the long shots. And still have a package that you can reasonably carry all day in an urban environment.

      I still mourn the model 19.

      • And if Double Tap and Nosler aren’t completely full of BS those rounds hit pretty damn hard at 100 yards. Punched the info (even estimated the fps just a bit low) into Hornady’s ballistics calculator and it says 416lb/ft at 100 yards. Have to hold 6.8″ high. That’s as good as a 9mm +p from a 4″ barrel at point blank. From a 3″ revolver.

  17. So let’s see here… according to most CCW people, you need to be able to engage in quick target recognition of shoot/no shoot for friendlies vs. threats. Ok. You also need to be knowledgeable about the law so you can further stay within the realm of legal (unlike home depot woman). Ok. You also need to be able to manage you adrenaline so you don’t pull your shots. Ok. You also need to get some night shooting experience, because many encounters happen at night/twilight. Ok. You also need to be able to do handgun retention AND have unarmed hand-to-hand skills. Ok. You also need to practice shooting from concealment. Ok. You also need to practice shooting with the opposite hand in case your primary is disabled. Ok. You also need to practice clearing malfunctions so you don’t freak out if this happens to you in a real fight. Ok. Do the same for you non-dominant hand. Ok. You also need to choose a gun you carry, shoot well, and plan a wardrobe around. Ok.

    Now we need to practice shooting out to 50 yards with a pistol?

    How much time are we supposed to have for this? How much $$ and ammo are we supposed to expend for this? I mean, not only are CCW holders on average better shooters and better behaved than cops, but now we’re supposed to replicate the entire police curriculum having to do with force on force and be better at it as well?

    It would be nice to be that good, sure. If you have fun doing it, great. But if most CCW holders never fire a shot in anger, what percentage of use of force incidents require 50 yard shots?? I mean, you’re better off getting your teeth cleaned more often to keep oral cancer away, because that’s likely to have a greater effect on life expectancy than being able to shoot 50 yards with a carry handgun.

    Great clickbait, and an interesting question. But if we’re required to be able to make 50 yard shots with a carry handgun, then we seriously need to reevaluate how society is set up. At that point, if this was reasonable at all, there would be community lockers with ARs in there. I mean, liability-wise, how hard would it be for a lawyer to argue that shooting 50 yards at a bad guy and missing and injuring a good guy was unnecessary and overly risky? If you can Miculek/Hickok45 great. But these kind of articles are no help to newbies or people who will not practice that much. Honestly, I’ll take a room full of people willing to carry and are accurate within 20 feet over two guys who practice enough to be good 50 yard shots with mouseguns.

    • “we seriously need to reevaluate how society is set up. …

      I mean, liability-wise, how hard would it be for a lawyer to argue”

      Well, you kind of answer your own question there, don’t you?

      Structuring “society” around liability and what lawyers can argue in court is part of a lot of modern problems.

      • + a freaking godzillion.

        No guns allowed here, because we can’t deal with the (potential) liability. Afraid to defend ourselves because of the inevitable lawsuit. On and on and on, and it benefits no one but the lawyers and the shitbirds, but in many cases I repeat myself.

  18. The practice thing, yes, it did make me more aware of how little I actually practice. And it also reminded me that I need to be carrying a spare mag (which I should have been doing anyway, but was just too lazy).

    As far as my carry gun goes, it’s not going to be replaced anytime soon. Being on the poorer end of the gun-owner spectrum, I can’t afford another handgun. And besides, even if I could, I’d probably just get another copy of the one I already have: the all-purpose Springfield XDm 3.8 compact in 9mm.

    It’s more accurate than I am and has had only one single malfunction in the 3 years I’ve owned it. Plus, with a compact mag and a full-size spare, I’ve got 33 rounds of 9mm hollowpoint goodness at my disposal.

    Could I do minute-of-bad-guy at 50 yards? If the target didn’t move while I settled my sights and focused on technique, sure. Under stress on a moving bad guy? Probably not. But even with terrorism in the picture, I have a hard time seeing any reason why I’d be trying to do that with a pistol. Defending my immediate surroundings after getting under cover, yes. 50-yard shots on armed baddies? Not bloody likely. That’s what rifles are for.

    • ‘Holding the reins of two horses with one hand, Austin Police Sgt. Adam Johnson raised his service pistol and fired a bullseye into the target some 312 feet away.’

      Only in Texas.

      • fired a bullseye into the target some 312 feet away

        Only in Texas? Not really, but then on the other hand, I don’t think Rhode Island is big enough for both the shooter and that target to be in it at the same time. Delaware is skinny enough, hence long enough in the other direction, that, well, maybe.

    • Search Youtube for “Bob Munden 200 yard” and see what comes up.

      You (yes, you) can do these things. It just takes practice. The best shooters become good because they practice, practice, practice, and they become athletes – their muscle memory starts to take over. They quit having to think and second-guess themselves, and things “just happen” the way they want them to. It happens not only in shooting, but in most any other physical sport. eg, In martial arts, once you’ve done enough blocks and parries of incoming punches, you could be (as I was) in a bar in lovely Southern California (cough), have someone toss a sucker punch at you and just swat it away literally without thinking about it. Same deal in shooting. Jerry Micheluk isn’t from outer space, and he’s not inhumanly fast, he’s from Earth and he’s human. Jerry has just practiced enough to where he’s “just doing it,” from the first six out of a wheelgun through the reload and laying the next six down.

      Same deal in shooting at long distances, or shooting shotguns at birds with seemingly impossible presentations.

      • DG, you know your stuff. Clearly.

        How much do you think it would take to get that accurate on a S&W shield 9mm or a Glock 27? Without expert instruction? Decent shot out to 10 yards at this point, but as with many things, (You too can be a theoretical physics researcher if you just spend enough time studying!) I wonder about the amount of investment necessary/tradeoff/opportunity costs.

        Miculek is amazing, but I’d go broke trying to keep up with half of how much he shoots every year not having sponsors and all that.

        • Find an outdoor range where you have 15, 25, 50 and 100 yard points.

          I can’t tell you how long it will take you to become good. That’s entirely up to you. I can tell you that, for me, it is more difficult if I have a revolver I can’t cock into SA mode, or a semi-auto where I can’t get a really nice trigger pull. It is possible once you learn how to stack a trigger, tho.

          OK, I think I have an idea for a first piece I’m going to write for TTAG. It’s a book review, and an obscure book it is, translated from Russian of all things.

          But it goes to the heart of being able to put rounds on target…

        • Young Grasshopper, you are more than you have become.

          It IS all about the basics. Slow down, practice. Practice faster as you become more proficient.
          My first attempt at 100 yds was w my G27. First shot not even on the paper. My friend looked at me and said, “you know what to do…” Next three walked right up to the hand drawn single cross mark.
          I felt like i just nailed a 5 iron 200yds 15 from the pin (only done that a couple times).
          That great feeling made me want to practice even more.
          You CAN do this. Dont’ talk yourself out of it…

        • DG: don’t toy with us about that article!!
          Not before Christmas.
          Plus, now you’re on record. Lol
          Give us what we want…what we need.
          Pretty please?!

  19. A single defender opening fire at 50 yards, with a handgun, under stress, against an active shooter with a rifle, is most likely not going to connect. However, he will now have the active shooter’s full attention, and will probably get shot because of the rifle’s superior accuracy at that range. If the defender gets himself shot before he stops the attacker, he hasn’t accomplished anything useful.

    Here’s what I plan to do. If the active shooter is at 50 yards, and I’m not actively taking incoming fire, I’m going to “close to engage” if possible, waiting to open fire until I’m as close as possible, and then putting as many rounds on target as I can, as quickly as I can. Otherwise I’m going to withdraw or stay under cover and wait for an opportunity. If there are other defenders returning fire or maneuvering against the active shooter, I will open fire to interrupt the active shooter’s OODA loop and degrade his ability to return fire. YMMV.

    • “Here’s what I plan to do.”

      No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.
      — Helmuth von Moltke

      and,

      “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
      –Mike Tyson

        • Depends on how married to your plan you are. That’s the point.

          Better to train to respond and be flexible…train that OODA loop rather than think any specific A will apply. Doing the OOD steps fast and under stress are where most of us need work.

  20. I changed my primary CCW from a S&W M&P 40c to a M&P40 pro5″ about a year ago. With it I can get consistent 3″ groups at 50yards, and I can ring steel at 100, I hit center mass 15for 15 on a steel torso silhouette. With witnesses.

  21. If you need to take a shot 50 yards away, the only situation you would need to do that is in a terror attack or a mass shooting. Those things don’t happen often… at least not yet, maybe Obama will change that in his final year.

    Having a carry gun that makes taking a 50 yard shot as easy as possible is nice, but it’s not necessary. The purpose of concealed carry is to protect your life, not be a hero.

  22. I can hit a 12″ gong at 60 yards 70% of the time with my SR9c. I wish Ruger made a long slide, short handle version of the SR series.

  23. S&W Bodyguard .380, good to 25 yards. Glock 17, I’m hitting milk jug sized targets at 100yds. I keep my Tavor in the truck for those “special” situations.

  24. Most pd qual at 25 yd, used to be 50. If you can group 4 inches at 25, you should do 8 in at 50 should be enough to pin down a shooter at the least

  25. I have a tough time imagining a scenario where I’m 50 yards out and I need to make a DEFENSIVE shot.

    50 yards is a long way and I have a tough time seeing a place and time where that shot is needed.

  26. My Five Seven handloads move an average of 1845fps and the pistol is zeroed at 25 & 100yds. Top of the arc is about .88″ high at 67.5 yds. At 50yds it is averages 1698fps.This is one of the areas where this gun shines. I am not an adequate shot for 50yds though.

  27. The 50 yard shot in a self defense scenario is almost as rare as hen’s teeth.

    But I’m not going to tell anyone not to carry a decent self defense handgun and to practice with it as much as is possible.

  28. No, I haven’t changed my mind. 50 yards is almost certainly a case of a spree killer and/or a terrorist, not a regular seld-defence scenario. 50 yards in a highly urban setting is a scenario where cover/concealment is almost certainly a possibility and I’m all too aware of my own abilities. If I try to hit moving AR-wielding targets who might be wearing body armor at 50 years with my .single-stack 380, I’m too likely to gain nothing – but lose the element of surprise.

    Yes, I do own bigger guns. But the gun I carry is about as big as I can carry while keeping it reasonably concealed. I guess I’ll have to depend on my luck if things get too bad.

  29. Not planning to make any changes to my carry. I alternate between a compact and a full size CZ-75 (and shoot the other one for practice; unless I am doing holster drills, I have my defensive gun on me even while I am shooting crappy ball ammo). I seem to be equally (in)accurate with both, at least under low stress conditions.

    What I might do that is different is some 25 yard practice at the indoor range (I suspect the elevation will be better, both guns tend to shoot high and I suspect are sighted in at greater distance).

  30. Doesn’t sound to me like a reason to reconsider a choice of carry gun so much as a reminder to practice with what I have and be comfortable with my limitations. Could I hit at 50yds? Sure, under ideal conditions like slow-fire square range practice. Am I going to take that shot in a crowded, chaotic environment where I’m likely to be outnumbered and outgunned? I’m thinking probably not; I’ma gonna OODA with what I have.

  31. The being able to acurattly shoot a pistol at 50 yards is a debatable point.

    Time to reconsider?

    Of course it is. One of the things preached by POTG and LEOs is to be situationally aware. Being situational aware should include both what is happening right now ( IE walking to your car parked in a dark alley) as well as knowing what is happening in your part of the world and thinking about the situations you might face and determining if you have the skills needed to address the situations. My family has had several conversations because of the terror attacks and discussed what our plan A would be, and even contingencies for when Plan A fails.

    Would I engage at 50 yards with my carry pistol. No I would evade and escape and take as any people as I could with me. Given my current skill level with a pistol I think rifle wins at 50 yards.

    If I see the attacker(s) closing in on another person would I try to distract with some suppressing fire. Yeah I probably would fire a few shots and move to different cover , hoping the distraction would buy some time and save a few more lives.

    Would I join a group of POTG forming a perimeter to try to prevent the attackers from fleeing so the LEOs arrive with more firepower? Yes I would.

    I think the better quesiton is given world events, have you considered what you would do in these situations.

  32. 50 yards with a G19 and 60 year-old eyes does not sound likely. But with cover, an improvised rest I and the help of my spare mag, I may be able to keep the bad guy ducking until the cops show up.

    • This. Aim small miss small enough to keep his head down, or chip off a few bits could be the difference between some lives saved.

  33. I often shoot at 50 yards with a 9mm but I have found the best bullet is the 125 grain. It has more penetration than the 115 grain does. Since many terrorists use bullet proof vests the 9mm or .223 are pretty much useless against them and head shots are exceedingly difficult even at ranges of only a few feet. The advantage lies with the terrorist even if you are armed.

    • Just because the media reports the gunmen as wearing body armor does not mean they actually were. The clueless assume that any tactical vest or load bearing vest is body armor.

  34. Timely article for sure. Times change. The increasing frequency of active shooters and the recent goat fekker Paris deal make that clear. The need for possible longer range shots to end a situation more pertinent now. Also potential for multiple assailants lean me away from my Wilson Stealth (7+1) to my Glock 19 at 15+1. I have on order an RMR/red dot slide coming for the Glock. The red dot makes 50 yr shots plausible from average shooters with a little practice. My 62 yo eyes need all the help they can get.

    • My DeltaPoint helps a lot with getting a quick sight picture, which I couldn’t with irons, but it doesn’t do much about my Don Knotts with DTs hands.

    • “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client saw the gunman closing on a defenseless family of four with his gun raised. Rather than let them die, he opened fire at long range, scored a hit, and dropped the gunman.”

      It’s defense of self *or others.*

    • “Your honor, there I was, 50+ yards away from a guy with what looked like an AK-47 who was shouting ‘Allah Akbar!’ Not seeing a mosque in close proximity, I had a reasonable fear that he was going to kill some people, possibly including me…”

  35. So, here are some things I think, which are worth perhaps as much as you paid for ’em.
    1) 50 yard shots aren’t going to be a common thing ever in self defense- but, in a mass shooting situation, you’re going to be arguing defense of others, honestly. (And if they guy has a rifle, well, there’s case law on that, so you’re covered.
    2) Everyone worries about mass shooters with rifles. Fair. But a lot of these guys use pistols. I’d be happy to bet more of them use pistols than rifles, in fact. So, on an even field, be better than them.
    3) Even if the asshole-in-question has a rifle, he’ll probably be making a snap or barely sighted shot from an unsupporting standing position at you. If you’re not an idiot, and you’re using some form of cover or concealment, I don’t think he’s a good enough marksman to hit you- I’d rather take a good shot than watch people die.
    4) Hell, as long as we’re talking about rare stuff- everyone seems to be assuming it’s you against the gunman. What if there are two CCWs there? Or three? Being able to just miss close might give other people a chance to maneuver. Suppressive fire is a real thing.
    5) But, I’m on a tight budget, you say. Hey, I know how that goes, since I’m on one too. But, here’s the thing- push your target back when you practice. Let’s be honest, if you can hit the -0 circle at 25 yards, you can do it at 5, too. The longer range will tell you a lot more about what you’re doing wrong than any close-up work anyway- it’s its own form of economy.

    • The bug eyed theater shooter started with a cheep AR semi , which jammed before the first mag emptied and then resorted to pistols . I recon he didn’t practice clearing a jam or FTF and just gave up , he had additional magazines .
      This is according to my memory of the reporting , could be wrong .
      I do think this is a definite situation where an armed citizen or two could have saved lives . He was apparently a fully silhouetted attacker in a darkened venue . Just right for a 25-35 yard pick .

  36. A fire extinguisher is to fire fighting as a concealed carry weapon is to gun fighting. A fire extinguisher does not make you a fireman. It does not make you a replacement for a well trained professional with the appropriate equipment. A concealed carry weapon does not make you a Special Operator Operating Operationally. It is not a force multiplier. A fire extinguisher and a concealed carry weapon are both designed to save your life and keep you safe. They are designed to handle potentially serious problems before they get out of hand. So for the life of me I don’t understand why so many people who conceal carry entertain this notion that they are going to lead a solo armed assault. To be honest when confronted with superior numbers and weapons the best thing to do is become invisible. Willfully making contact with a group of active shooters armed with rifles would be reckless and stupid. It makes about much sense as someone running towards a structure fire with their 5 pound ABC dry propellant fire extinguisher.

    • +1.

      A lone CCW holder is protecting him/herself, 95% of the time, in the “1 v 1” scenario- you, against the car-jacker, ATM robber, or potential active shooter that is a singleton loose screw – like a Jared Loughner.

      No one with a lick of common-sense is going to EXPECT to survive long in a scenario of “1 v many” trained nutjobs, for long. Might as well throw that fire extinguisher at ’em as a distraction, as expect to John Wayne win it, gun-wise.

      Still, if its slowing the bad guys down as my family runs away behind me, cuz I am the only one stopping them, then you can count on me throwing the boolits, then the fire extinguisher, then the mall furniture, then my fists at the jihadi’s, until my kids get away…

  37. 25 yards – fully doable for any person shooting bullseye with standard or even compact handgun (9 mm Luger). It is also realistic approach for any terrorist-type shooting. If you are within 25 yards – it is much too close to be near a guy with any gun: you can get also “pray and spray” bullet so training for 25 yards is reasonable. If you are reasonably good at this distance, it is likely that you will hit full human size target at 50 yards as well (no headshots though). In any case such event is not likely to appear so training for 50 yards more often than e.g. once a year just to know you gun seems to be reasonable.

    Collegue of mine is the firearms instructor proud to fire at good level from every gun he can find (starting from snubbies and ending with HMG – he is infantry vet btw). He is able to shoot with the snubby at 50 yards at the standard human size target with very good score but he is much better than average shooter.

  38. FWIW: The general practice for setting up a safe zone for security is to put a wall/fence 50yards from the structure/ people. The thought is that under 50 yrds is pretty easy to hit some one with a pistol , shotgun or Molotov cocktail. What is expected that untrain people can do with a little bit of time.

  39. Actually,
    It made me reconsider the number of rounds I carry.
    Adding an extra magazine or two to my everyday carry.

    Though if Florida allows CCW to open carry, I’ll reconsider my firearm.

  40. Assuming this is a terrorist attack at 50 yards and no way to exit, there may not be too much to lose. You might be able to break up the attack and may be able to cause the muzzie to detonate and get the 72 virgin sows. Of course, you might get shot anyway.

  41. It isn’t as hard as most people think, I can ring a steel IPSC target 50% of the magazine at 100 yards with a full sized 1911, off hand, no practice, and I’m no great shooter. Prone or rested, it’s easier. Bane’s point in the podcast is that if you shoot a terrorist center of mass at 20 feet and they are wearing a suicide vest, you are inside the blast radius. Even if you are outside the blast radius, you just set it off and possibly killed a bunch of innocents. So, go for head shots as far away as you can.

    For those who only care for themselves, what if the terrorist is between you and the exit? Or if they are aiming at someone you care for and you are more than 7 yards away?

    The point is to learn the limitations of your weapon(s) and your personal limitations and either work within them or improve them.

  42. Really, this isn’t a new concept.

    I remember taking a course in the mid-90’s that had a steel torso at 100 yards because it replicated what one handgunner had to face when they accidentally came across an illegal pot field and a miffed owners with a rifle, all supposedly based on a true story. YMMV, but that was then and we are talking about halving that distance now. Of course, I was strong and had good eyes back then, strong like young Elvis, and such things were much easier. Now, they say red dots make long shots easier – I’m still on the fence about them, but certainly an option.

    Of course, all this makes me want to plunk down the $$$ on a Wilson Combat and relegate my G19, never mind my J-frame, to the safe. Yes, this brings up the 1911 vs the Universe arguments (and I’ve owned way more than my fair share of 1911’s and understand the platform well) which gets us nowhere.

    Carry the biggest gun you can in any given situation. But, wait! Didn’t Cooper say something similar back in the 1970’s, and Fitz and Jordan and others long before him?

  43. I practice 100 yard pistol shot regularly. If I have to use my gun I want to be able to use my better training to my advantage and that favors range.

  44. When I practice, I can hit center mass on a torso-sized target pretty consistently at 50 yards stationary or moving. Under the stress of a real-life situation, my first choice will always be to evade and evacuate. I’m only going for that 50-yard shot if I have no other choice.

    But I carry a CZ-82. Doubt I could do half that with a smaller pistol. In any event, taking on an AK or AR platform rifle with my pistol…don’t care for those odds.

  45. It’s a fair question. The news has had me thinking that while my M&P Shield is probably fine for defending myself at my car in the parking lot at the mall, I probably need my full size M&P in the mall if it gets hit by terrorists while I am there. Although in that case, I’d really rather have my AR.

  46. Nope. I carry the same as I always have. My thoughts:
    1. If I really thought that would happen, I would stay home. If I couldn’t stay home, I would carry a long gun everywhere. We can do that in our state.
    2. There is no handgun that puts me equal with an AK, much less two AKs.
    3. I have about as much chance of that happening as being hit by lightning. I carry to protect against common criminals and to exercise my 2A rights as much as I can. I will train for the most likely attack, which I perceive to be a robbery-ambush.
    4. At 50 yards, I am escaping and evading, not engaging. If one of those guys can hit me in a sudden, dead sprint at 90 degrees to their line of sight, then I’m done, but I bet they can’t.
    5. If I have to take cover, I will and make them come to me, get in my range and fire before they know I’m armed.
    Not a perfect strategy, but there is no perfect strategy.

    • If I may put words in the mouths of other people, I’ve listened to the podcasts.

      Ed Head may well carry the title of Bad Ass, but I don’ think MB would shoulder that title willingly. (Ed may or may not, but probably deservers it.)

      What MB is putting out there is simply an extension of what may be required under the current socio-religious climate we find ourselves in. He puts out a test, nothing more, nothing less. Can you do it? Yes doesn’t make a Bad Ass, no simply means more practice and the possibility of a different carry gun.

  47. I am limited by my vision.
    I used to be able to drive tacks at 25 yards.
    Not now.
    My motto has been that a handgun is just a tool to get to a real gun.
    I always keep a rifle nearby.
    I heard that the FBI and other Law Enforcements have changed their Course of Fire to only shoot at distances of the length of a car, because that how far most shootings occur.

    So if I absolutely have to shoot at a target at 50+ yards, I will try to use Cover and Concealment to work my way closer.
    But today I would rather use a rifle with a real scope.

  48. Paris, no. San Bernadino on the other hand…

    Our company Christmas party was in a ballroom that was easily 60 yards across. Limited exits. I could certainly see a situation there where a 50 yard shot was not only justifiable, but prudent.

  49. this man is an idiot. we all know that even at close range, under duress, we will most likely forget all our “training” and just fire until its empty. now this guys wants us to take shots that take even longer and are harder to pull off with a weapon that is already unsuitable for the task? pistols are not all purpose weapons, if they were, THERE WOULD BE NO RIFLES. and, again ,as we all know your pistol is just to last you long enough to get a rifle. i get what he is saying but most of us can’t even pull off a shot like this at a competition where we have AMPLE to time to set up and relatively low stress, compared to a firefight where he wants me to stand still and sight in a gun at a person shooting at me?? what an idiot.

  50. Well, it told me the 9+1 capacity of my M57 may not cut it if I have just one magazine, and in general, I should be practicing more — shooting at least one 50 round box of ammo a week instead of a month.

  51. So now Ed Head agrees with what I have been saying for years. I am speechless. Thanks Robert for bringing the need for every man to be a counter terrorist to the forefront of people’s minds.

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