Actual self defense stories for distances beyond "personal space"?

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
Okay, some background, so please bear with me...

In another thread we've gotten into a little dispute regarding practicing self defense shooting at distances greater than what you might call "up close and personal". I'm an advocate "against the grain" of most others here (standard for me, ha!) because I don't practice self defense shooting for distances greater than, oh, 40 feet and mostly for 25 feet or less. Most others say that you need to open up your range to maybe 100 yards.

Now this isn't for "fun" or competitive shooting handguns for distance or any other aspects of longer distance shooting. This is ONLY about self defense, and ONLY related to civilian self defense (as with a concealed carry permit), not from the viewpoint of an LEO or military. Okay so far?

These are two schools of thought. I say that if you practice for longer distance, you could get into the habit of then thinking, if confronted by a real life shooting scenario, that you can hit the perp at 80+ yards and so try to do that.

My point is that to shoot in self defense, the operative concept is that you MUST be under immediate threat to legally or morally use lethal force in defense of that threat, and that a guy who's 240-300 feet from you isn't much of a threat. At least that's how I see it.

Others will say (and I understand their point though I may not agree) that if you practice at, say, 100 yards, you'll then be more proficient in shorter range hits. Which is to a great degree true, but for the "real life" distances in which I am pretty well convinced that actual shooting occur (25 feet or less), the techniques of careful aim (required for 100yds) might get in the way, slightly, of a fast point/shoot technique that's better for rapid fire but close targets. That getting 2-3 shots center mass, and quickly, is the better idea.

But anyway... to the purpose of this thread... I've had about a half dozen real life armed confrontations in my life, all of which occurred between me, a total civilian, not a guard, not military, not LEO, not working security at my uncle's farm, but pure-dee civilian facing some personal threat in the form of one (or several) potential assailants.

The greatest distance any of these was about 25-30 feet between us, like half a small paved street (I was on the walkway, they mid-street). One occurred at a stairway, me at the top, the other guy halfway up, stopping. And so on.

In all these 5-6 real life near-shooting instances, the greatest distance was about 25 feet. And I think that my experiences are pretty common for most other incidents, actual self defense shootings (non-LEO, civilian only) occur at arm's length or not much further.

My esteemed G&A buddy has said that in the past, I've talked this same story line and that there were plenty of conflicting stories posted from others where the self defense distances were a lot greater, but that I've "explained away" or ignored them. And maybe I have but I honestly do not remember specifics.

So... If you have PERSONAL self defense stories (shots fired or not) or stories that you know to be true and not just "I heard this once...." type of anecdote, that will provide good, clear accounts of self defense scenarios that involved distances greater than, oh, 30-40 feet, as per the 100 yds that I was told it's advisable to practice for, and these events involved civilians, please post them and I'll take them under advisement. Okay? And thanks in advance!

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
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Replies

  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    This is a true story. It happened to me.

    I once encountered a wasp. I was unarmed. He flew straight at my head and I began a series of self defense moves that could best be described as MCMAP, karate, and hitting myself in the face with my own hands.

    I wasn't stung and the wasp flew off, but the damage done to my head was significant.

    Since then I have refused to leave the house without a can of Raid. And a helmet.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Sam, Never know when you may have to engage a target at longer distances. City dwellers like you may have all close encounters, others who are rural or out in rural areas may be in situations that require longer shots.

    One case I can think of is when two hikers were shot at (one killed?) by a couple teenagers with a 30-30 from a cliff shooting down at them. Now if one had been armed say with a .357/.45 ACP and hit the dirt and returned fire surely long distance practice and knowing the capabilities of your gun/ammo and your shooting abilities would have helped.


    Known distances are standard target practice and what we most commonly shoot, but if you ever get the chance to shoot further do it. Nothing like walking in the outdoors and rolling some pine-cones, busting sticks or dirt clods at various distances. It will tell you a lot about your shootin skills/abilities, the caliber and gun you are using.

    I used to shoot at gallon water/milk jugs @ 100 yards on a range with handguns, although usually off a rest, was able to score 3-4 hits outta a magazine of .45 ACPs and others came real close once I figured out my "Hold-Over". Same with .357 and .44 calibers. I could certainly make an attacker dive for cover if not ruin his day.

    You just never know what's around the corner and when any and all shooting techniques from improvised positions at different distances might come in handy.

    Ayoob (?) wrote about trying some long shots and how much easier it was to hit with a 3" or 4" revolver compared to a 2". Of course, 5" or 6" is best for a better aiming and the longer sight radius helps our eyes.

    Most likely and hopefully most of us will never have to take any shots to protect our lives and loved ones, but I say be prepared as you can for about anything that may come up.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,596 Senior Member
    2.

    I was 13 at home alone as was the norm. Both parents worked and my father ran his fledgling blacktop company out of the back yard. 3 adult men decided to steal out of the tool truck. At a range of about 60 + yards, they dropped their gas cans and left after I jacked a cartridge into the 32 Sp. If they would have done anything else, like advanced across the yard, I had already made up my mind which one I was aiming at first. Thinking about it, I was younger, maybe 9 or 10.

    I was in college living in a rental when someone decided to hook into a trailer. I came around the barn with a SKS, I guess they decided it wasnt worth it and left. Starting range was 400 yards, closest I got was about 40.

    Because it has never happened to you, doesnt mean it doesnt happen. Why would you choose to hamstring yourself to 20 feet?
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,830 Senior Member
    One of the main reasons to have a firearm is to keep distance between you and the perp. Up close you can be disarmed. From 25 ft you have control.

    IMHO

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    This is a true story. It happened to me.

    I once encountered a wasp. I was unarmed. He flew straight at my head and I began a series of self defense moves that could best be described as MCMAP, karate, and hitting myself in the face with my own hands.

    I wasn't stung and the wasp flew off, but the damage done to my head was significant.

    Since then I have refused to leave the house without a can of Raid. And a helmet.

    :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    This is a true story. It happened to me.

    I once encountered a wasp. I was unarmed. He flew straight at my head and I began a series of self defense moves that could best be described as MCMAP, karate, and hitting myself in the face with my own hands.

    I wasn't stung and the wasp flew off, but the damage done to my head was significant.

    Since then I have refused to leave the house without a can of Raid. And a helmet.

    You broke one of the fundamental rules of self defense....

    Don't go a ninja'n nothing that don't need ninja'n....
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,767 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    This is a true story. It happened to me.

    I once encountered a wasp. I was unarmed. He flew straight at my head and I began a series of self defense moves that could best be described as MCMAP, karate, and hitting myself in the face with my own hands.

    I wasn't stung and the wasp flew off, but the damage done to my head was significant.

    Since then I have refused to leave the house without a can of Raid. And a helmet.

    Here's a tip for you: Swat away from your body...not toward it. You can usually swat them with an open palm without getting stung, knock them down, then stomp (if you aren't bare-footed).
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,767 Senior Member
    Sam,

    Why limit yourself? Longer range practice will only improve your marksmanship ability. The rest, you can practice with mostly dry-firing.
  • agewonagewon Senior Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    I see your point Sam, how since most confrontations happen at a close range, be highly proficient at said ranges. However, like everything else we do in life, you have to have some experience in other areas (or distances), for if no other reason than to do what Big Chief did, figuring out a "hold over".
    I'll admit to knowing nothing about the techniques or tactics of a CCW, but I also know that I'll never be assaulted by a piece of paper at 100 yards, but I shoot at it anyway.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    You know what, I used to embrace every gun rag I could get my hands on absorbing all the advice I could on SD. Some very knowledgeable gun scribes from the "Old School" taught me a lot about firearms and SD.

    These days I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do and take advice with a grain of salt from any source. I may not use the right "Technique", stance , crouch, draw, combo of gun-leather or ammo that the "Experts" say I should , but I'll do something until I can't do anymore.

    Who knows if I'll run if I can, hit the dirt-take cover and return fire, piss on myself, draw and shoot, charge them shooting like a maniac or just up and have another heart attack and drop dead on the spot.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,140 Senior Member
    I recently had someone take a potshot at me from ~350 yards (Long back story, too long to type)

    That particular family is why, even when going dove or crow hunting, I keep a loaded AR in the truck.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • MississippiBoyMississippiBoy Senior Member Posts: 819 Senior Member
    There was one at a trailer park last year, I believe, where a man got into an argument with his neighbors about their dogs crapping in his yard. He got a gun and shot both neighbors and the dogs, then opened fire on a police officer when he showed up, pinning him down behind his squad car. Another neighbor shot the perp from 50-60 yards away with his .357, hit him 4 out of 5 shots, I believe. I read about that incident on here first....I'm going to try to track it down now.

    Here's one link to a short news article about it. I've read a longer, more detailed one, but this gives you the idea.
    http://www.khou.com/news/Armed-good-Samaritan-praised-for-shooting-suspect-in-trailer-park-standoff-165655456.html

    Aha! Here it is. Distance was 56 yards.
    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/08/daniel-zimmerman/one-year-later-vic-stacy-and-the-peach-house-shootout/
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    Statistically speaking, what are the chances of getting into a long range encounter? Pretty slim right.

    Statistically speaking, what are the chances of getting in any encounter? Still realistically slim right?

    Why even practice at all then?

    Because I want to live. Because I want my family to live. Same reason I choose to carry at all, I choose to practice for every situation I can. Not that anything will happen exactly that way, but it is better than having a sheep mentality.
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • MississippiBoyMississippiBoy Senior Member Posts: 819 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Others will say (and I understand their point though I may not agree) that if you practice at, say, 100 yards, you'll then be more proficient in shorter range hits. Which is to a great degree true, but for the "real life" distances in which I am pretty well convinced that actual shooting occur (25 feet or less), the techniques of careful aim (required for 100yds) might get in the way, slightly, of a fast point/shoot technique that's better for rapid fire but close targets. That getting 2-3 shots center mass, and quickly, is the better idea.

    I'm sorry, but I reject your hypothesis that just because a person practices shooting at long distance, their short distance shooting will suffer. Yes, if ALL this person does is shoot longer range targets, then they won't be as proficient at up close and personal space shooting. But as long as they practice both, they'll be capable of both.
    Your theory is the same as saying that because you sing operas or arias, you won't be as good at singing in another style, say 70's type rock like Chicago or Steely Dan. As long as you practice both, you're going to be good at both. But your operatic singing will most likely help you sing anything else.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    I recently had someone take a potshot at me from ~350 yards (Long back story, too long to type)

    That particular family is why, even when going dove or crow hunting, I keep a loaded AR in the truck.

    Well, I gotta ask..how close did it impact from you? I reckon that family won't be invited to your next BBQ!
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    I will say that 25 feet is danger close. Wasps can cover that distance in a twinkling.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,140 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Well, I gotta ask..how close did it impact from you? I reckon that family won't be invited to your next BBQ!
    Not very, he had what appeared to be a shotgun.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • agewonagewon Senior Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    Here's a question for you guys that CC; how much ammo do you have with you? Would this be a major consideration for engaging beyond reasonable distances?
  • agewonagewon Senior Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    You monster.

    I carry one mag, the one that's in the pistol.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,855 Senior Member
    There was one at a trailer park last year, I believe, where a man got into an argument with his neighbors about their dogs crapping in his yard. He got a gun and shot both neighbors and the dogs, then opened fire on a police officer when he showed up, pinning him down behind his squad car. Another neighbor shot the perp from 50-60 yards away with his .357, hit him 4 out of 5 shots, I believe. I read about that incident on here first....I'm going to try to track it down now.

    Here's one link to a short news article about it. I've read a longer, more detailed one, but this gives you the idea.
    http://www.khou.com/news/Armed-good-Samaritan-praised-for-shooting-suspect-in-trailer-park-standoff-165655456.html

    Aha! Here it is. Distance was 56 yards.
    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/08/daniel-zimmerman/one-year-later-vic-stacy-and-the-peach-house-shootout/

    That's the one I was going to talk about as well. Plus, the citizens that returned fire at Charles Whitman as he was shooting from the UT tower back in the 60s... Granted, they were shooting back with deer rifles because they had them in the truck, and there was no CHL in TX back at that time.

    Is it likely to be fired upon from a distance? No. But it CAN and HAS happened. If you don't know how to go long with your carry gun, you should try it. What can it hurt to be prepared? Nothing.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,855 Senior Member
    agewon wrote: »
    Here's a question for you guys that CC; how much ammo do you have with you? Would this be a major consideration for engaging beyond reasonable distances?


    Depends on the gun and what I can conceal. with the 1911, I carry 2 spare mags. With the CZ-75, two spare... Glock, usually 1, Kahr 9mm, 3.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,235 Senior Member
    agewon wrote: »
    Here's a question for you guys that CC; how much ammo do you have with you? Would this be a major consideration for engaging beyond reasonable distances?

    When I carry the 1911, I carry three spares; with the G26 I carry the standard one in the pistol, and three G17 magazines as spares(they fit just fine, but extend below the bottom of the grip a bit).
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I've seen enough of our forum members ring a 2-foot steel gong 200 yards away at the SE shoot with some pretty short-barreled handguns that I wouldn't want ANY of them shooting at me! My one and only moderate-range encounter happened with my antagonist at 50 yards or so, and I was holding a scoped .30-06 capable of 300+ yard offhand accuracy. The guy making the threats decided not to press the issue- - - -glad he had an attack of common sense!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,959 Senior Member
    How many of these recent "mass" shootings could have been ended early by someone with a CCW? Most all of the recent situations in the schools, theaters, and malls could have been ended from a distance and from behind cover. A much better plan than approaching an assailant armed with a carbine/shotgun/rifle and duking it out at arms length.

    A shot from across the theater, down the hall, or across the food court would have been a wise idea.

    If you don't think those justify shooting the assailant because he wasn't shooting at YOU...........you're a lost cause, Sam.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,959 Senior Member
    Your 5-6 little tizzies you're so proud of have narrowed your mind a little. Nobody will EVER convince me a handgun can't be used beyond 100 yards. When it's all ya got...........you use it. And it works.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    I'm sure that one day, sooner or later, some guy will beat all the odds - on the same day, the Publisher's Clearinghouse Prize Patrol will pull up to his house, out comes the pretty girls with the balloons and the check, the reporter with the microphone, and the camera guy. Later that day he wins the Powerball lottery for half a billion dollars. That evening, he gets struck by lightning, and while in the hospital he's abducted by aliens and examined on a UFO. It could happen, but not very likely.

    I look at CCW SD the same way. Anything's possible, from an encounter with a blind, wheelchair bound assailant, to being trapped a la "Die Hard" by a gang of ruthless thugs. It could happen, but not very likely. I consider self-defense range to be well under fifty feet, home defense maybe out to a hundred feet. And I consider those ranges an absolutely worst-case scenario. When I practice with my CCW gun, the target is usually at the 7 yard line. The 5/5/5 drill is no problem.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,959 Senior Member
    When we stay in our comfort zone, we look like gods!!!! Step out, and reality bites.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    The greatest distance any of these was about 25-30 feet between us, like half a small paved street (I was on the walkway, they mid-street). One occurred at a stairway, me at the top, the other guy halfway up, stopping. And so on.

    In all these 5-6 real life near-shooting instances, the greatest distance was about 25 feet. And I think that my experiences are pretty common for most other incidents, actual self defense shootings (non-LEO, civilian only) occur at arm's length or not much further.


    My esteemed G&A buddy has said that in the past, I've talked this same story line and that there were plenty of conflicting stories posted from others where the self defense distances were a lot greater, but that I've "explained away" or ignored them. And maybe I have but I honestly do not remember specifics.


    I said in the other thread that I wasn't posting anymore extended range stories and I won't, but I will comment on the other part. Basing your practice or training solely on what has happened to you in the past is close minded, at best.

    The one incident that I've been involved in that had the possibility of turning out badly, I was wearing nothing but my underwear, I was holding a 12 gauge M1 Super 90, and the two bad guys were standing about ten feet away. Now granted, given the infinite nature of the universe that situation could occur exactly the same tomorrow, but to strip down to my boxer briefs and run a shotgun at powder burn distance every time I go to the range would just make me a moron.
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    agewon wrote: »
    Here's a question for you guys that CC; how much ammo do you have with you?

    Sixteen rounds in the gun and a spare seventeen round mag on my off side makes for thirty-three. During the winter when I'm wearing a coat I'll stick another seventeen rounder in a coat pocket. Eight rounds in the "nasal inhaler" in my back pocket with no spares for it.

    agewon wrote: »
    Would this be a major consideration for engaging beyond reasonable distances?

    No.
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