Shooting Range

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by Thomas_1, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. Thomas_1

    Thomas_1 New Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Fenton, Missouri
    This Sunday I’m taking my wife out to the shooting range and have her shoot a couple of different pistols. What would be the best distance to set the targets at? It’s a public range (Jay Henges Shooting Range in High Ridge Missouri) so I think the targets can be set at 25, 50 or 75 yards for pistols. We will be shooting:
    S&W 357, Taurus 38 and Bretta .25
    And yes I know the Bretta .25 is only good at 2 foot distances and no wind!!!

  2. clmanges

    clmanges New Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    NE Ohio
    If she hasn't shot before, start as close as the target holders will let you get, and work out from there.

  3. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    Clmanges is right. Start at 25 ft (not yards), and stay there until she is consistent at that distance. There's nothing more frustrating to a new shooter than shooting poorly, so avoid that by starting with the targets fairly close. Most self-defense incidences usually occur at close range anyway. (I am assuming that, since you posted your question in the Self Defense forum, that your primary purpose for the range visit is for self-defense purposes.)
  4. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    I agree with the above. Close.

    Can you use reactive targets there?
    Like balloons and such?
    That can make it even more fun.
  5. rosierita

    rosierita Active Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    South Carolina
    in all honesty, for a new shooter, in my honest opinion, i think even 25 ft is too far away. i'd try to find an indoor range where you could set the targets even closer than 25 ft. (& start her w/ the .25)
  6. When I start a new shooter with a handgun, Tom, I always keep in mind the 7 yard (21 foot) rule about self-defense shooting. As I'm sure you know, in many jurisdictions that is the rule of thumb used when deciding whether deadly force was justified. A potential assailant within that distance may be considered, assuming other factors are present, to be a legitimate threat to one's safety. I will normally start a new handgun shooter at 10 to 15 feet, no more, and gradually work out to a max of 25 feet using a full silouette target. On formal outdoor ranges, like you intend to use, this may be difficult to arrange. Is there any other place you could go, like a safe area out in the country somewhere? Many indoor ranges allow you to set the target at any range you wish using the target pullies.

    Closer range usually tends to build confidence, and the effectiveness of the hit is more easily seen on a silouette target than a bullseye. I don't know about you, but I've never been attacked by a bullseye. ;)
  7. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
  8. Thomas_1

    Thomas_1 New Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Fenton, Missouri
    Thanks for you comments. The range we went to only had 7, 25, 50 and 100. They only allow their targets also. It was a Missouri Department of Conservation Range so they are pretty strict about rules, which is good and bad.
    I have to admit that I’m not the best trainer for someone. I showed my wife how to hold the gun empty first then loaded it and handed it to her. She took the gun and before even aiming it she pulled the trigger hitting the ground about 3 feet in front of us. After shooting that gun I was unloading it to shoot another and she picked it up to hand it to me, trouble was she was pointing the barrel at me. Luckily it was still unloaded. That’s when I yelled at her, bad move for someone trying to train someone. They have shooting classes at the range, I think I’m going to leave it up to the expert to train her!!!!! It would also be safer for our marriage……
  9. clmanges

    clmanges New Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    NE Ohio
    Yes, get her in a safety class ASAP! And don't feel bad about not being a good trainer yourself. A great many people are fine performers at difficult tasks, but lack the ability (for whatever reason) to teach others or even to explain what they're doing.
  10. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    For future reference, always teach the fundamentals of firearm safety BEFORE allowing a newbie to touch a gun for the first time:
    1) Always treat a firearm as loaded, even if you think it isn't
    2) Finger off the trigger until you have acquired the target
    3) Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction

    I agree with having her in a firearm class. They will be more impartial with her, and she will be less defensive when they instruct her. Make sure the instructor(s) is/are certified. (I've seen some instructors who weren't, and believe me, it does make a difference.) The NRA-sponsored "Basic Pistol" class is a great place to start.
  11. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    7 yds, because that is as short as your range will shoot!
    Pistol, and SoMo, gave you good advice, but, let me amplify.
    I have worked dogs, mostly 'problem' dogs, for forty years; the only difference, IMHO, is that the dogs learn, faster than people.
    You are 'teaching', while my chore is 'unteaching, and reteaching', fundamental behavior.
    Loud noises (Be sure of hearing protection, don't ask), and sudden movement (recoil?), put both species off, so, start with a little gun, always.
    My dogs come quick to learn that I am never without a 'treat', in my pocket, for good behavior, as I have found that positive re-inforcement, of good behavior, simply works.
    While a bit of a hot dog will not much impress your lady friend, a successful shot, followed by a compliment, on the same, will.
    I get dogs to climb ladders, out of their trust, for me, and positive rewards, when they do good; shooting is simple, by comparison!
    Right from the gate, never having fired a shot, she will do something, right, so focus, and add some praise, for that, and constructively apraise, and criticise, those things that were NOT done so well, as a 'learning experience', for you both.
    I am typing this, with a Red Heeler bitch, at my feet, who went through three very kowledgeable owners, a pup that brought $800, at six weeks, but a 'freebie', to me, because all her past owners had decided she was 'incorrigeable', and dumped her, for that reason. My deal with the first owner, was that, if allowed, I would train and work her, gratis, because I saw in her more potential than I have ever before seen, in a pup.
    Agreed, and I worked her, from three months, on stock, with tremendous success, until about 10 months, when she 'got out of control'(?) at home, and I had to outplace her. Twice. Yet, today, she will work off lead, anywhere! She's been 'home', for about six weeks.
    Australian Cattle Dogs are a very unique breed, and, according to most authorities, need space, and generally, 'don't do well with strangers', as they are obsessively protective of their space, and charges,(Human, or stock) to the point of extremely aggressive behavior.
    Yet, she prospers, in an urban environment, and is trustworthy, anywhere. True enough, if you invade my 'space', she will growl, but 'steady, Georgia', and a treat, with a proper introduction, and you are home, free.
    Pardon the digression, but the same principles apply to training people; as a former Special Forces soldier, I can attest that it works for both species.
    Set your initial limits low, and overwhelm with praise, when met, and, slowly, raise the bar. Start with an unintimidating weapon, hopefully, a full sized .22 LR, and move up in caliber, and recoil, as progress permits.
    A 'vest pocket' sized .25 is not exactly the best starter, for my shooters, but, if their hand will accomodate it, one of my .22 Colt conversions, on a 1911 frame, might well be!
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2007
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