I'm mainly using my handgun for self defense. I began by shooting at spot targets to find the best load for my gun and to work on my shooting form. Now I've begun to shoot at the "thug" photocopy type targets that have the vital zones marked lightly on the target. I've been thinking of switching only to these types of targets because I figure they're a better training aid for self defense shooting than spot targets. Should I do this or still shoot at spots occasionally to make sure I still can shoot tight groups? I figured that as long as I could keep my shots center mass that would be good enough, but I've noticed that at closer ranges that I can use an improper shooting form and still keep my shots where they need to be, but at long range I might not be as lucky.
Right now I've been starting my practice by shooting a few rounds slow fire at 20yds. Then I stwitch to shooting at 20yds but draw my gun, shoot two rounds fast, re holster the gun, then repeat. I also move up really close to the target, then draw the gun, fire one round, then proced to back away from target at a fast pace while firing a shot about every second until I get about 10-12yds away. I've been doing pretty good at these drills grouping wise( I still get the occasional flyer), but have noticed that I have to work on shot placement. When shooting center mass I have a tendancy to shoot low and put all my rounds right under lung area so I have to train myself to shoot a little higher. even though it's probably not a good defensive shot, I practice taking head shots and do pretty good too.
Is there anything else I could do to get more out of my practice sessions? I'm almost always by myself so there is only so much I can do in regards to trying to having to make a shot on command when you don't know when the shoot signal is comming.
Photorealistic targets can be useful so you get used to shooting at a human form. Just don't use the ones that have the scoring zone down low in the lower chest/upper gut area. Your target zone should be upper chest, nipples to adams apple.
That being said, you don't have to shoot exclusively on human shaped targets. A draw at 10 yards is the same on a 6" circle as it would be on a human upper chest. A draw from the holster, controlled pairs, transitions between targets, etc., can all be practiced on spot targets as well as realistic targets.
Lord knows dots on copy paper are cheaper than photo targets.
For self defense shooting, I don't see the point in having a orange point of aim on a target. Most of my targets are IDPA
, which get pasted with masking tape, or paper plates (without any kind of point of aim) although I will use certain targets if I am shooting a drill like the F.A.S.T
I like the idea of taking human shaped targets (like Idpa), and putting some old shirts/hats on them to add some Realism.