The Facts About Handgun Training for Self Defense


In the 1940’s, ‘50’s, and even through the ‘60’s, police officers averaged “hit-rates” of around 65% in actual shootouts with armed suspects. Today, the hit-rates are in the 10-15% range. Why? Two reasons.

First, Police Departments went from 6-shot revolvers to high-capacity semi-auto pistols. As a result, many officers wrongly concluded that a “fist full of lead” was a substitute for skill. Even today, the majority of officers go to the shooting range to practice only once or twice a year!

Second, Police trainers changed their training from “point-shooting” to methods more appropriate for competitive target shooting, because they (wrongly) concluded that such methods would translate to self-defense situations.

It was a recipe for disaster, and many police officers might still be alive if the training community had paid more attention to people like the late Rex Applegate, founder of the O.S.S. and world renowned expert in combat handgun training, who told a convention of Police trainers in 1998:

In case you are not aware of it, the ratio of hits to shots fired in police gun fights is a miserable 15%, and the majority of those shots were fired at distances of less than 15 feet! This is a disgrace. Self defense training should be based in reality, and that means point shooting.”

Point shooting (whether one-handed or two handed) is the employment of the handgun in close quarters combat without the use of sights.  It is the only battle proven method of self defense that works under actual high stress combat situations.”

Remember, you’ll only get one chance to do it right…


John E. Caile

SDI Training