Updated: Oct 20
Close Protection Firearms - Pistol Shooting at 100 Meters Plus
I have written this article in response to numerous comments and messages I have received after posting videos on social media platforms from our firearms training courses where our students regularly shoot targets at 100 meters plus and complete a close protection pistol drill that involves shooting at 2 meters, 7 meters and 100 meters. If you view our Instagram, YouTube or TikTok site you can see multiple examples of these drills.
In this article I will discuss distance shooting with a pistol and the applications for close protection. The fact I have to write this article to address this topic shows how many in the armed close protection industry are extremely limited in their understanding of the industry, environments they could work in and the required skill sets.
Personally, I have been involved commercially in the armed security industry since 1994, after leaving the British Army in 1993. I spent 5-years in a British Infantry Battalion (1-WFR), which did provide at least a basic foundation for my future career. In the late 1990’s I started to organize firearms training courses in the Former USSR. I also worked in the firearms and security business the United States for 18 years where I owned licensed security and private investigation agencies that provided armed security and close protection services. While in the US I certified well over 900 people for their Florida Concealed Carry Permits alone and ran a multitude of tactical firearms courses and events. I have also provided tactical firearms training and where legal armed security services in Latin America, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and Africa. So, I understand the firearms, armed security, and close protection industries just a little bit...
Shooting a full size or compact handgun in a common defensive caliber (9mm, .40, .45 etc.) accurately at 100 meters is not difficulty if the shooter knows how to shoot properly. If they have a proper grip, stance/position, sight picture and trigger pull they will hit the target. Unless of course they are poorly trained or handicapped in some way.
The reason most people believe they can’t shoot accurately at 100 meters and beyond is because other people or have told them they can’t, or they have read some bullshit article, or watched some bullshit videos on the internet that have also told them they can’t. It’s a sad fact that these days most people in general are that stupid and brain washed that they believe what they are told without questioning if the sources are reliable and if the information is even accurate.
Glock 17 Shooting at 10 Meters & 100 Meters
Firearms Training Industry
These days the firearms training industry is more geared towards all-inclusive entertainment, recreation, and sports rather than defensive shooting. Defensive shooting is about quickly and efficiently killing others who are trying to kill you, your family or those you are protecting. Its not about scoring points, having fun, and posting tacticool selfies and videos on social media. Dealing with life and death is not a fucking game…
Like most things in society the standards in the firearms training industry have been dumbed down to make things more inclusive for everyone, and standards have been intentional lowered. Such organizations as the National Rifle Association have such low standards for qualifications because their main aim is fundraising, more certificates issued, the more money for them. Law enforcement and security firearms qualifications have been lowered because agencies and companies need bodies to work for them and high standards would eliminate most of their work force.
So, easy to pass qualifications have become the industry standard. Why do more if all it takes is to pass a simple qualification to carry and work with a firearm? Sadly, these simple qualifications are being touted by many as the top standard, usually by firearms instructors with very limited experience and skill sets.
If supposed firearms instructors and experts are telling people that they can not shoot past 30 meters/yards with a pistol the majority of sheep they are training or who listening to their bullshit will believe them and take their words as the gospel truth. To start with it also makes the sheep’s lives easier because they can stay in their comfort zones, pass simple qualifications, and consider themselves to be qualified gun fighters...
My advice to those of you that are serious about carrying firearms for defensive purposes is that you should be training to always surpass your previous limits and results. You should be testing yourself and your weapons to the maximum you safely can with the facilities you have. If you are not failing then you are not progressing. If you have access to 100 meter plus ranges and you are only shooting your handgun at 25 meters, to me that’s the same as if you are driving an Audi R8 on a German autobahn at 25 miles per hour.
Glock 17 Shooting at 100, 200 and 300 Meters. You can hear the hits on the steel targets!
Tactical Applications for Close Protection and Armed Security
It’s another sad fact that the majority of close protection firearms instructors have limited, if any experience working in the armed close protection industry. This is why most of what people are being taught on close protection firearms courses is at best, competition shooting techniques and scenarios.
Competition shooting sports can teach good skills, but most forget that being in a safe controlled shooting range is a lot different than being on the streets or in a hostile environment. There are many firearms instructors who’s only experience of using a firearm is on a shooting range and they have never actually carried firearms for personal defense or worked in any armed capabilities, but they are teaching defensive and tactical courses… Basic rule, always verify the real-world experience of your instructors, and don’t be fooled by a bunch of pretty certificates!
Supposed tactical training drills where the shooters or students are doing nothing but standing static and doing weapons reloads or transitioning from rifle to pistol etc. might be fun and look cool, especially if the shooters are dressed up in tactical helmets and plate carriers but are in reality completely stupid unless being taught at a novice or introductory level. Training is about building up good habits, instinctive reactions, and muscle memory… A very basic tactical rule is that you do not stand fucking static in the fucking open and change magazines, you move to fucking cover! Serious training is about building good habits from the start.
Such drills being promoted as high-speed tacticool shit are nothing more than entertainment…
I have heard too many people say that if you must shoot past 50 meters then you should use a carbine. Well, sure, if you have one and can legally carry it then why not… The trouble is in most places they are only available to military or police personnel to use while on duty. Even in most U.S. states carbines are not approved to be carried for private armed security or close protection duties. So, your primary firearm will be a pistol and you should be able to shoot it accurately at close, medium, and long distances.
Now, if you’re serious about working in the armed close protection or security business you should understand a little bit about tactics and how to apply accurate suppressing fire, I talk about this in my article on “Pistol as a Primary Weapon”. A lot of what I am covering briefly here is covered in detail in my three books on close protection that are available on Amazon and listed at the bottom of this article.
Close Protection Scenarios
It’s a fact that most armed incidents that happen with handguns take place at close quarters, usually at ranges well under 7 meters. For most armed civilians and police being able to shoot accurately within 7 to 10 meters is all they will ever need to train for. But there are circumstances where they may need to be able to shoot accurately at longer distances. One recent example is where an armed citizen, Eli Dicken, engaged and stopped an active shooter at a range of 40 yards and hit with 8 of the 10 rounds that he fired.
If you are working in the armed close protection industry you should be training to a standard that is beyond the required standard for armed security guards and cops. You are being hired to protect people lives in potentially hostile situations, and not just to dress up, look cool and hang out with VIP’s!
Here I am listing some scenarios where it would possibly be applicable for close protection personnel to be able to shoot at 100 meters or more with a pistol. The fact I am having to write this in response to many questions says a lot about the standards of those in the industry and what they are being taught on supposed close protection courses by supposed close protection instructors. Please note these are quick examples to make you think, in reality there are that many variables to situations that it would be impossible to cover them all in a short article if at all!
Close Protection Pistol Drill (CPPD)
Conferences & Events
I have been in many conference rooms and event venues that are more than 100 meters in length. Now, for example, your client is on stage giving a speech and a known stalker or active shooter enters the conference room and starts shooing at your client from a distance of 100 meters, what will you do? Your reaction will depend on several variables. 1. Are you working alone? 2. What’s the distance is between you and your client?
Tactics if you’re working alone vary from if you’re working with others. Most people who have gone through basic close protection training will say their reaction should be to get to and move the client to safety, which if doable is a perfect reaction. Trouble is the world is not perfect. What if the client can not move, is injured, panicking, old, disabled, over weight etc. etc.
If you are working by yourself, it can be quicker and safer for both you and your client to take out the threat quickly and efficiently rather than trying to evacuate the client. This applies to all distances. While focusing on evacuating the client you are venerable. SOP’s can be the clients are briefed to move to safety as you deal with the threat. If you are working with another person, then one person can move the client as the other engages the threat. For more on professional distance etc. read my article “Body-Cover & Professional Distance”.
So, in this scenario within a large conference room you could have to engage a threat at distance. I will talk about the issue of shooting bystanders at the end of this section.
Many wealthy people live in large houses with large gardens and grounds. In a perfect world a carbine would be idea for estate security but as I stated earlier due to legal restrictions private security personnel are usually restricted to pistols and shotguns. Would it make sense for a Close Protection and Residential Security Team team working with a client who spends time on a large property to be able to accurately shoot a pistol to 100 meters and more, of course it would! In such scenarios of targeted home invasions or kidnapping attempts we cannot predict the distances of confrontations and must be able to deal with all situations at all applicable distances.
If you're in semi-rural or rural environments being able to reach out with your firearms is essential, if you only have a pistol, then you better be able to shoot past 25 meters with it. Simple scenario, your vehicle gets a flat tire in a rural area, and you draw the attention of unfriendly locals. Do you put warning or suppressive shots on them at distance or pick your nose and wait for them to get within the distance you did your security guard firearms qualification at before engaging them. Suppressing fire can be used to deter hostiles from chasing you or at least slow them down as you try to escape.
Every Close Protection course should at least discuss and usually practice vehicle ambush drills and the transfer drill. On armed courses the students are meant to engage the hostiles while the client is evacuated. In such scenarios the ambushers could be over 100 meters away, so again if you are armed with a pistol will you sit there and pick your nose or put suppressing fire on the bad guys? Common fucking sense really, right?
Firstly, in my opinion, no one is fucking innocent, that’s just a fact of life… One question being asked is what if you shoot an innocent bystander? If you look at how many bystanders are shot in police involved shooting in the US, you will see it’s a common element of defensive shooting. You as a professional must train effectively, understand your capabilities, your weapons capabilities and do everything possible to avoid any unnecessary casualties. But!
Now I hear a lot of Hollywood bullshit about protectors saying they would die for their client, but no one talks about if they would kill innocent people for their client? Lets go back the scenario of the conference room where the active shooter is firing at your client from behind the cover of innocent people, what are you going to do? Are you going to shoot the innocent people to clear the way so you can get kill shots on the active shooter? This might cost the lives of several innocent people, but you could save your clients life and the lives of many more others… What would you do? What would I do, well that depends on how much I am being paid…
For more considerations for working armed read my article “Working Armed Internationally”.
Close Protection Pistol Drill (CPPD)
The Close Protection Pistol Drill (CPPD)
I put together the Close Protection Pistol Drill (CPPD) as a test for students completing our tactical and combat pistol courses. The drill consists of 5X rounds on a standard qualification target at 2 Meters, 5X rounds at 7 Meters, 5X rounds at 100 Meters. I am a great believer in the term “Double Tap and Die”, so we put 5 rounds into the targets.
I should not have to explain the first 2 phases, these are basic shooting skills. To effectively rapid fire you need to have a good grip on your pistol and smooth trigger control. Now, the part people seem to have trouble believing capable are the shots at 100 meters. In the videos on this page we are shooing on your standard upper body steel plate targets at 100 meters and beyond.
If you follow the below instructions and have a proper position (supported behind cover if required), grip, trigger pull and point of aim you will hit your target.
1. Identify target
3. Get a proper sight picture
4. Aim off
5. Take up the slack on the trigger
6. Get the final sight picture
7. Squeeze the trigger
When practicing ensure the range your using has a sufficient backstop, and you rounds will not go over it. Start shooting from a bench rest at your usual maximum range (30 Meters) at say a paper plate target and increase the range as your accuracy increases. It should not take long for you to be able to consistently hit or be within 12 inches of a standard silhouette qualification target at 100 meters, which is sufficient.
When shooting at 100 meters plus the bullets your firing will drop, and you will need to aim above your intended point on impact on the target. This is called aiming off. Different calibers, weights of bullets and brands have different drop rates. Below is a generic table I put together that can be used as a guide for bullet drop at 100 meters. You will need to learn how your pistols shoot with your carry ammunition as results can very due to the makes and models of guns and the ammo being used.
Hopefully this article has addressed some of the questions about the relevance of being able to shoot at distance with a handgun for close protection. If you are working armed in the close protection business you must understand the only person you can rely on is yourself, especially if the shit hits the fan. You need to be able to react instinctively to hostile situations and not be limited by rules made for incompetent sheep. The terrorists and criminals have no safety or operational boundaries, and to counter them neither can you!
Close Protection Books on Amazon!
Close Protection: Luxury & Hostile Environments
This book is relevant for bodyguards, investigators & those working in hostile environments.
Kindle @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CNSKXJF
Paper Back @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980900388
The Close Protection Business
Realities & Wisdom from the World of Bodyguards & Private Investigators
This book contains advice, guidance and opinions based on over 30-years international experience in the close protection, private investigation and firearms world.
Kindle @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B6SYZQ86
Paper Back @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B6L813QJ
Close Protection & Firearms
The Application of Firearms in Close Protection & Armed Security
In this book I dispel some of the myths and highlight the realities of working in the armed close protection and security industries.
Kindle @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B19S3HPQ
Paper Back @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1HXV5XK