Practice distance for .40 compact gun.

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by terryu1, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel

    Oct 16, 2009
    NE Pennsylvania
    I have a .40 S&W Taurus 24/7 Pro C. It has a 3 1/2 inch barrel length and I recently joined a gun club and trying to get out to practice more often. I took this with me and my Mosin Nagant (which got stuck closed but that was another thread LOL), BUT when I went to shoot the .40 I had a target which I made which was a "human outile figure" type which I blew up to about 75% of real human size. I took the gun and magazine and confidently strode up to the 7 yd marker. Here is where the trouble began.

    My future son in law laughed at me and thought I should be back at least another 3-4 yds. I have this for concealed carry and I feel that by the time I percieve a threat and pull from holdster the bad guy will be no further than 7-8 yds and probably a little closer. I was able to unload three magazines into the mid chest area in two to three shot bursts from a "draw" with only two shots outside the "body" area all afternoon.

    Question, what is the recommended practice distance for me. I feel that certainly at 15-20 yds I will be just wasting ammo with a 3" barrel. Am I wrong?

    Second question, I am looking for a "pocket" gun especially for summer as I often do not have a belt on. Saw a Ruger ACP .380 at local shop for $299 new. Any suggestions for a pocket gun? I am a big guy and need finger room in trigger area also. Thanks.
  2. jbrescue

    jbrescue New Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    N. Ridgeville, Ohio
    Most ranges that I have been to actually have a line at about 7 yds. The theory is exactly what you are thinking. That is the range where you would most likely have a problem and need to defend yourself. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. Get comfortable with what you shoot and know your personal limitations.

  3. Brass Tacks

    Brass Tacks New Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    NW Arkansas
    become proficient at 7-10 yards and closer and then try the longer ranges
  4. FlashBang

    FlashBang Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    7 yds is 21 feet... I've been in 3 shoot outs when I was a LEO and 2 of them were at less then 7 yds.

    You should also practice at 3 yds or less and work on firing accurately from the hip as this would most likely be the situation you may find yourself in. Practice like you will play so you will play like you practiced.
  5. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
    The statistics say that the majority of gun fights happen within 21ft or less. I always taught my concealed classes at that distance but, I practice at all different distances. Its good to know you can hit your target beyond 21ft.
  6. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    Your gun is more accurate than you are likely to ever be. Barrel length has nothing to do with inherent accuracy.
    If you were able to hit what you're aiming at at 25 yards or more, just think what you could do at 7 yards! Don't cheat yourself.
  7. That's my philosophy too...but I understand (and do) practice at closer ranges.
  8. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Just keep doing what you are doing. Like the others have said, most gun fights will occur with in 7yds. When you are able, get some advanced training, it doesn't cost near what you might think, and it will be money well spent! As to the small .380's, there are those here on the forum that carry them as their primary CCW, and don't feel under guned at all. As for my self, I think they make a great BUG, but I feel more comfortable with a larger, more powerfull round.
  9. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel

    Oct 16, 2009
    NE Pennsylvania
    Thanks all, Going to store for more ammo and hopefully back to range this weekend. Hey Bill DeShivs, good to hear from you. I cannot tell you how much I love the flashlight. I have told many people your name and website. People ask me where I got that light. It is impressive little thing.
  10. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    You should likely do most of your practice at distances ranging from 3 to 21 feet. Some practice at 25 to 75 feet will likely prove useful, also. Try to emphasize speed at very close distances and practical accuracy at longer distances. Remember that the only shot that is likely to have any positive effect, in a real fight, is one that makes a solid torso or head hit. No handgun is a magic wand! If you believe otherwise, watch some real shootings videos on "YouTube".

    Contrary to popular belief, effective barrel length for firearms with a 3" or longer tube, pipe, barrel (measured from rear of chamber to muzzle) has relatively little to do with practical accuracy or shoot-ability for a well trained and competent shooter.

    It is true that small, short barrel handguns are more difficult for some inexperienced (incompetent) shooters to control; but such guns are not necessarily inherently inaccurate or difficult to learn to shoot well from a practical self-defense marksmanship (as compared to competition) standpoint.

    While statistical data concerning defensive shootings varies somewhat, about half of all LE shootings happen at under 10 feet. Eighty percent of such shootings happen at under 21 feet. For civilian self-defense shootings, only a very small (single digit) percentage happen at over 21 feet, but one can not absolutely predict that one will not be shot at by a "Gangsta" armed with an AK-47 from a distance of 75 feet. It is good to be able to be able to shoot quickly and accurately at any reasonable distance.

    The USA trained police whole body, real gunfight, hit rate typically ranges from about 18% to 33% with a midpoint of about 25%. LEO's in agencies with good and regular training programs usually perform better than police from agencies that provide little or poor quality training. For most persons, being in any real emergency is quite different from being in any practice situation. Good, realistic training can (and usually will) better enable one to deal with "the real thing".

    As to the question about the Ruger LCP .380 ACP. It is an excellent choice (especially when equipped with a "Crimson Trace" laser) for a pocket pistol that you carry as a back up gun, or when you cannot carry something more reliable, bigger, better, and easier to shoot accurately. One is almost always in my jeans pocket.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
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