So, do you have what it takes? Can you keep your rounds on a letter-sized piece of paper at 21 feet and less? If not, don’t feel badly about asking for help.
Why does the National Rifle Association define defensive accuracy as the ability to hit that 8.5×11″ piece of paper at room-length distances? Simple, really. First, blank paper is cheap. More importantly though, hold that piece of paper up to your chest. A hit anywhere on that paper will generally (dramatically) reduce the fighting efficiency of a bad guy. And often the will of an attacker to fight as well.
Of course, if you can’t keep your rounds on target, then you risk those downrange. And if you wound or kill an innocent with an errant round, your goose will be thoroughly cooked, civilly and possibly criminally unless you have a really good attorney and can demonstrate the shooting wasn’t negligent.
While none of us will likely face down a hostage-taker, much less two, this target at about twelve feet makes shooters discern an innocent person from the bad girls. It also adds a little bit of pressure.
After all, it’s kind of embarrassing to shoot the hostage, especially when others are watching. The good news here is that, thanks to some beginner shooters under a little pressure, Mr. Hostage didn’t suffer long.
Now, standing on a square range under calm conditions, hitting that letter-sized target comes fairly easy for some. For others? Well, just go to any indoor (or outdoor) range and watch people shoot. You’ll soon see people struggling to hit a target the size of Sasquatch at room-length distances.
However, just because you can make those hits in calm conditions does not mean you’re ready to start shooting the gun (or knife) out of a bad guy’s hand. That’s Hollywood. But if you can work on your skills until you can reliably make those hits on a moving target while moving yourself (you are moving off the X when you engage, right?), then you’ll shoot far better than most.
Try it while shooting around barricades too. Because if you’re fighting fair with someone trying to kill you, your tactics suck. Add in some time pressure – because bad people can cover 21 feet in less than 1.5 seconds reliably – and if your shooting still doesn’t fall apart, then you really are good to go.
But don’t stop there. Practice shooting from Position 2 or Position 3 of the draw stroke at six or nine feet. Ladies, learn to make hits on that piece of paper from inside your purse. Or gents, if you carry a murse, ditto. Otherwise try it from a jacket pocket.
Let the bad guy get the surprise of his life if this is done correctly. Not sure if you can pull it off? Head on down to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, pick up a few purses and try it at a range some time. Guys, ditto on the windbreaker. Assuming your range will allow that sort of practice.
You’ll soon learn one of the big strong points of discretely-carried small-frame revolvers.
In the end, your (paper) targets will talk to you. And anyone else who knows how to listen to them. Can you keep your hits on that very inexpensive target?
Anyone can do it. Even a teenage girl.