Updated: May 13
Pistol as a Primary Weapon
Most pistol training and shooting qualifications tend to take place at distances within 15 to 25 meters, but a pistol can be an effective weapon far beyond those ranges.
A pistol can be a difficult firearm to shoot accurately for someone who is untrained or has been trained wrongly. Due to the short barrel lengths of pistols, it only takes a few millimeters of movement while aiming to cause the shooter to miss their target, especially at a long distance.
Many supposed firearms experts will argue that pistols are not meant to be used passed 25 meters etc. Well, let’s think from a close protection in hostile environments perspective not a tacticool Starbuck’s non-fat, gluten free latte warrior perspective. Let us say, you are in contact and are being pursued by hostiles who are 150 meters away and you are trying to evade with a client... What would make more sense, wait for the hostiles to get within 25 meters before engaging them or engaging them at 150 meters with accurate suppressing fire? By engaging them at with accurate suppressing fire you can slow their advance, giving you more time to escape and hopefully cause casualties.
Suppressing fire is where you put aimed fire towards a target to hopefully hit them or be close enough to slow or stop their advance or to the keep their heads down so you can close with them and kill them or escape… This is a basic military technique that can be used with pistols past 150 meters, but firstly, you need to understand the tactic and be able to shoot your pistol accurately.
One of my carry guns in the U.S. was a .32 Berretta Tomcat, a small pocket gun which was very easy to conceal. Many tacticool experts would argue this gun would be too small for defensive purposes… For me it was fine, as it was small, fast to deploy, had low recoil, was accurate and ideal for putting multiple rounds into a skull of a hostile very quickly and easily. People seem to forget that for many years Israeli intelligence and security operatives carried Beretta Model 71’s which have the caliber of .22 LR which is a smaller caliber than .32 Auto.
The furthest I tested the .32 Berretta Tomcat at was about 60 meters and the gun shot very accurately. The target was a 1-gallon water container which I managed to hit 3 times out of 8, with the rounds I missed with falling within 8 inches of the target. I am happy to blame my shooting and eyesight for the misses. At that range, the .32 Auto FMJ rounds penetrated the plastic water jug. So, I know at 60 meters with that small pocket pistol I could hit a person at 60 meters, and they would be hurting. I have a video online of that test shoot.
Many tacticool experts will argue that pistol calibers are not powerful enough to do damage to someone at say 100 meters. I will say, put your money where your mouth is, and stand at 100 meters and be shot with a 9mm or even a .32 Auto and tell me if it hurts or not…
Too many people these days argue ballistics, technical data, and YouTube tacticool war stories without having any real experience to put things into context. With any weapon that you are going to be using for defensive purposes you must understand it fully and know its capabilities. You need to know its maximum and minimum performance levels and then work with it within those limitations.
Just because other people have never tried or are not capable of using a pistol effectively at distance does not mean you cannot. As with most things these days the standards in the firearms industry have been dumbed down so the masses can walk away with a certificate.
In hostile situations certificates, other people’s opinions, ballistics, technical data are completely worthless, all that matters is if you can drop the opponent before they drop you… To become competent with pistols takes a lot of training and a lot of discipline. Hopefully, you will train your whole life and never have to apply your defensive skills, but if you do need to apply them, then your years of training can be tested and maybe ended in a few seconds…
If you have access to pistols for training and have the space to shoot at distance, then try shooting at 100 meters and beyond. As long as you are applying the basic marksmanship principles you should be hitting or close to your targets within a dozen rounds or so. For more information on our firearms courses and events in Europe go to @ https://www.risks-incorporated.com/firearms-training-europe
Books on Amazon
Shoot First & Shoot Last: The Real World Guide To Pistol Craft
Handgun safety, shooting, concealed carry & tactical applications
Kindle @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CBNGMRB
Paper Back @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980698252