The gun range that I frequent is an indoor facility with 25 yard lanes, which I’ve found to be a sufficient distance for the combination of the pistols with which I practice and the marksmanship that I strive to improve while practicing with said handguns. I’ve practiced a bit with long guns at that distance, primarily due to the fact that I can’t be arsed to go to a proper outdoor range with multiple football fields' lengths of real estate.
Scale It Down to Scale It Out
For a multitude of reasons the Appleseed Project folks make use of scaled down targets at 25 yards to simulate a variety of longer distances, and taking a page from that playbook I went about seeing how successfully I can engage a human-sized target at 100 yards. In this case, that involved printing out the “virtual Redcoat at 100 yards” from the Appleseed gallery and plunking it down at the far end of the range.
Can you spot the red dot? At this distance the front sight post of a standard pistol iron sights would completely obscure the target, which makes things quite a bit of a guessing game as to where exactly the point of impact would be when your point of aim is so topsy-turvy. With a 2 MOA red dot optic there’s definitely less guestimation involved.
Here’s 5 shots using a standing unsupported, isometric two-hand grip, with each shot taken from a low-ready starting position.
Only two shots landed on the target, with the remaining three at least poking holes on the 8-1/2" x 11" paper. The smaller hole on the lower-left was from the shooter in the next booth whose closer-in, angled shots eventually ended up on my target sheet.
Here’s 5 more shots using the same technique as the previous iteration.
A 50% improvement over the previous course of fire.
With the last 5 rounds of the day, I switched to a crouching, two-handed stance, resting on my rather lumpy range bag.
A 100% improvement from the first course! It should go without saying, I guess, as one is using a firing rest, although it’s probably not as stable as a sandbag rest.
I did notice that with the more “precise” target picture with a red dot, I was being a lot more fussy about putting that dot on the right place which sometimes distracted from the (arguably more important) trigger press.
Can You Do It If You Really Gotta Do It?
You could argue for hours, if not days, over the practicality, feasibility, and even the legality and ethics of a “hypothetical defensive gun use at 100 yards,” but the intent of this range exercise was to determine in a limited fashion how successful I could manage that target at that distance. One might be inclined to say “don’t use a handgun to do a carbine’s job,” but if that’s all you happen to have, then that’s with what you have to make do.