View Full Version : Altenative Targets...
August 18, 2008, 06:53 PM
Something to think about....Just to give a little background on myself, I served 5 yrs in the United States Navy as an E.O.D. tech/unconventional warfare specialist from 91-96, completing three combat tours in the Persian Gulf. Since 96 I have been employed by a police department, in a city with a population of about a half million. One of the things I have learned is that people do not always react the way we would like them to when struck by a bullet.
We are all taught that a center mass shot is the most effective and easiest place to hit in most situations, and most of us are familiar with the old mantra of "two to the chest, one to the head". While I will not dispute the effectiveness of a head shot if center mass shots fail to stop an assailant, there is another option that should be considered based on the circumstances of the encounter..."Two to the chest, two to the hips".
Making a head shot in a real world situation is much more difficult than doing the same thing on the range. The head is a very mobile target, that presents a relatively small area in which a shot can be placed that will cause a disruption to the CNS (Central Nervous System). This combined with the stress induced by a lethal situation can result in less than stellar performance.
The hip shot, on the other hand, presents a larger target area, that has some real advantages over other parts of the body. The hips tell us how an opponent is moving quicker than any other part of the body, just ask any boxer or wrestler. The femoral artery traverses the hip bone on both sides of the groin area to the front of the body. The hip bone provides the structure that supports the rest of the body. All of these add up to a very effective target area. In my experience, an assailant shot in the hips with a duty sidearm, almost always falls to the ground immediately, as the structure supporting them has just been broken. While instant incapacitation is less likely than with a CNS shot, the femoral artery is often damaged, causing massive bleeding and often death. I have not yet seen the instance in which a shot placed solidly to the hip did not stop the fight instantly.
I am not recommending that this tactic is superior to any other, just that it is an option that should be practiced. There are times when it truly is the best solution to a complex problem. Next time you go to the range, practice the drill...two to the chest, two to the hips.
August 18, 2008, 07:34 PM
Good stuff... I'm also an LEO, and we have started doing a lot "hip shooting" in our training over the last couple of years. At the very least the fight is nearly instantaneously de-mobilized.
August 18, 2008, 07:36 PM
Good info. Thanks
August 18, 2008, 07:47 PM
Glad to see that other departments are utilizing this tool. Hip shooting was first taught to me by an old Chief that I worked with in the Navy and I have been a proponent of it ever since. Unfortunately, the department I work for has not included this in their standard training, although there is support for it amongst instructors. As is typical, we have to overcome the politics of the situation.
Be safe out there and always remember the first rule of duty...Go home to your wife and kids at the end of your shift!!
August 18, 2008, 09:40 PM
In days of yore, I was taught 2 to the hips, follow up the centerline until I hear "click" rather than bang. The old LEO teaching this said this stopped the threat and ensured that he couldn't chase you any further. I now teach this same thing to my own students.
August 18, 2008, 11:05 PM
We even get all crazy and do lot's of combat courses and SIM's/ FOF training as opposed to static line shooting!
August 19, 2008, 11:46 AM
I think one round to the, um, "second brain" will stop anyone. Probably a .177 pellet would work.:D
August 19, 2008, 01:30 PM
i too have be taught both the 'mozambique' as well as seeing the hips as a valid target.
as an RN, i've seen guys come in walking and talking with holes in places where you'd think they would have either gone down or died.
im thinking a 45 sized hole in your hip will def put a limp in your style.
August 19, 2008, 01:55 PM
As an RN, your knowledge of human physiology is far superior to mine. Please feel free to correct me at any time regarding such things. There is enough rumor and speculation already when it comes to such topics, so your input will always be welcome in my camp.
Double Naught Spy
August 19, 2008, 03:07 PM
almost always falls to the ground immediately, as the structure supporting them has just been broken.
Care to explain to us exactly what has broken and why that has resulted in the person going to the ground?
The problem is, most people don't know where to actually aim to cause a pelvic collapse that results in a locomotor collapse. Sure, a lot of people shot there will go to the ground. The same is true for a lot of people shot in the gut or chest.
At the top of the page is a view of a gunshot pelvis xray. The majority of what you see in the image that is bone is comprised of the iliac blades and sacrum. Not shown as it would be below the image is where the femur articulates with the pelvis, where the femoral head fits into the acetabulum (pelvic socket for the femur).
The innominate of the pelvis is comprised of three bones, the ilium, ischium, and pubis. You have an innominate on each side. The largest is the ilium. It is what you feel on your, or as your hip. It is so large as it helps support the contents of the abdomen as a hard support. It can be penetrated or even fairly sections broken off without causing a mechanical incapacitation of the locomotor activities - not disrupting the ability of the femur to mechanically be able to function with the pelvis, and without the pelvic circle being broken and allowing the pelvis to 'collapse.'
I like this xray as it shows that the bullet passed through a section of pelvis, the iliac blade and did so in an area not directly locomotor.
I believe if you check with the National Museum of Health and Medicine, you can be provided with some images of battle damaged pelvic and femoral bones and see that indeed they can be struck without causing a locomotor cessation.
The bottom line is that rumors of broken or collapsed pelvii are greatly exaggerated. People may go down when shot, but not for the reasons believed.
August 19, 2008, 03:36 PM
Double Naught Spy,
First off, thanks for your input. As I stated in my previous post, others certainly have a better understanding of human physiology than i do. While it may appear that I have claimed a fact without proof, this was not intended. I was speaking from personal experience and probably should have stated it differently than what I did. The claim of breaking the pelvis and causing collapse was based on observations at the scene, not on x-rays or exams made after the fact, so I may have been out of line.
My original post was not intended, nor do I believe, worded, to imply that a hip shot is the ultimate solution to stopping an aggressor. It was simply presented as a tool that is available and should be considered based on the circumstances of the event.
The first link that you provided in your response did not work for me. Would you check the link and correct it if there is a problem? Otherwise, can you provide another way to find the website? I am always interested in data or information that may bear on a subject. Particularly when I may have put my foot in my mouth.
August 19, 2008, 11:55 PM
may I suggest a round of bowling pins, small target and if off-center the pin drops and spins whereas solid centered hit is straight off the table.
Double Naught Spy
August 20, 2008, 06:02 AM
The claim of breaking the pelvis and causing collapse was based on observations at the scene, not on x-rays or exams made after the fact, so I may have been out of line.
Thank you. This is a critical point. I have heard this myth several times at gun schools and repeated online several time and it is usually based on a lack of knowledge. People assume that a lower abdomen hit where the person falls has somehow broken and/or collapsed the pelvis, but make no such structural failure claims when folks hit in the gut, chest, or arms who go down. In other words, they assume a physiological/mechanical stop when that just may not be the case.
I may have may a bad assumption that the information you were trying to convey pertained to handguns over long guns since most self defense shootings are handgun-based. Sorry. With rifles, the notion of breaking or shattering the pelvis is a more realistic possibility, but still, you have to hit the right thing to get an actual locomotor stop. You can break a big piece of the ilium and still not collapse the girdle - the girdle being the structural ring formed by the innominates and the sacrum.
Similar lore from Wyatt Earp has it that a gut shot will put a "man on the ground" and take the fight out of him. It sounds good, but doesn't work as good as claimed.
Something else to consider is that most folks think of the "hips" as being the wide point down there about where your front pockets are where you feel bone right below the skin. Those "hips" are the top and side of the pelvic girdle. The vast majority of the "hips" are located from there and DOWN and to the bottom of the groin (pubis bones), but also down along the side to include the femoral head, neck and greater trochanter.
Anatomical understanding is a funny thing. Folks will tell you that your heart is on the left side of your chest (where you place your hand over your left breast during the Pledge, http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images1.comstock.com/Imagewarehouse/BX/SITECS/NLWMCompingVersions/158251-158500/bxp158405.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.comstock.com/web/search/loupe.asp%3FImage%3Dbxp158405.jpg%26Type%3DBX&h=359&w=324&sz=30&hl=en&start=47&um=1&tbnid=xE11pXm5bKSl5M:&tbnh=121&tbnw=109&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpledge%2Bhand%2Bover%2Bheart%26start%3D36%26ndsp%3D18%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DN), but it is much more centrally located under the sternum. During the Pledge, many folks are just putting their hand over the top of their left lung, LOL. Folks think that a head shot is necessarily the same thing as a CNS shot when the CNS aspect only makes up about 50-60% of the head's volume. Many folks think that men have one less rib than women because God took a rib from Adam to make Eve.
The first link that you provided in your response did not work for me.
August 20, 2008, 09:23 AM
Double Naught Spy,
Thanks for fixing the link. Unfortunately, the x-ray photos shown are so unfamiliar to me that it is difficult to interpret what I am seeing. Rest assured though, your comments and the information you have provided has caused me to start doing some research in an effort to broaden my knowledge. While reading your posts, I found myself looking at a diagram of the human skeleton, just to try to understand what you were saying. Big, fancy words tend to confuse us common folks.LOL
While I am unlikely to change my opinion that the pelvic area is a viable target in some situations, a greater depth of knowledge is always an advantage. Sometimes things work and we are not sure why they work. This can easily be the case with regards to a situation as dynamic as a gun fight. There are a lot of factors that come into play when we are talking about bullet performance in a defensive scenario.
You were correct that the information presented was in reference to handgun use, although I have seen this target point used with rifles as well, and just as you indicated, the damage done is often worse as a result of the power of a rifle as compared to a handgun. Regardless of the instrument used, shot placement is just as key as it is with any other target area. Once again, I am not implying that the hip shot is superior to other common target areas, only that from personal experience, it has shown itself to be effective. Even if I lack the vocabulary to define why.
As I stated in an earlier post, anyone who has a greater technical knowledge that is willing to share it in a civil manner will always be welcome in my camp.
August 20, 2008, 11:05 AM
just a short note...I think the basic issue is that the chaotic nature of a gunshot wound with all the variables will be different EVERY time. Guy one with a shot to the pelvis is going to react differently from guy 2 based on everything from anatomy to ballistics.
I believe the idea behind using the hip/pelvis as a target it the mechanical effect of a broken pelvis/femur. Similar to a head shot as a CNS stop, and the COM as generally speaking a exsanguination ( bleed out ) stop..the pelvis is often seen as a mechanical stop. You cant keep coming at me if your femoral head is no longer in the acetabulum...read as leg bone no longer connected to hip bone! hehehe
August 20, 2008, 11:08 AM
It has been a logical choice for many years.
August 20, 2008, 11:34 AM
While this is ancedotal:
The vietnam ranger I grew up with told me they were trained that a .45 to the hip would stop a drugged up VC better than a COM shot.
Once I asked him did it work? He quietly said "it caused forward motion to cease....." I didn't ask anymore.
Double Naught Spy
August 20, 2008, 12:37 PM
You were correct that the information presented was in reference to handgun use, although I have seen this target point used with rifles as well, and just as you indicated, the damage done is often worse as a result of the power of a rifle as compared to a handgun. Regardless of the instrument used, shot placement is just as key as it is with any other target area. Once again, I am not implying that the hip shot is superior to other common target areas, only that from personal experience, it has shown itself to be effective.
Wyatt Earp said gut shots were effective. Every school out there teaches you that COM shots are effective and in particular (and often confused with), COC shots.
Shot placement is key. How do you know where to shoot to produce a physiological stop on the pelvis? Would "you" actually know where to shoot to hit bone versus soft tissue?
Interestingly enough, a lot of soldiers who are injured in battle are shot in the rump in what effectively amount to as being hip region shots, but end up with non-bony damage. The same holds up top of the thigh shots that may be in the hip region, but that don't actually involve the hip.
In other words, what you are talking about likely is not hip shots per se, but low abdomen/upper leg or 'hip region' shots. Here, vocabulary is actually important since the apparent purpose of your thread is to be instructional.
I believe the idea behind using the hip/pelvis as a target it the mechanical effect of a broken pelvis/femur. Similar to a head shot as a CNS stop, and the COM as generally speaking a exsanguination ( bleed out ) stop..the pelvis is often seen as a mechanical stop. You cant keep coming at me if your femoral head is no longer in the acetabulum...read as leg bone no longer connected to hip bone!
Sure, break the femoral neck or luxate the femoral head from the acetabulum and you will get a mechanical stop. The problem is, however, that virtually nobody knows where to aim in order to make this happen. It is a three dimensional small region buried under a good bit of soft tissue without any readily apparent external landmarks at which to aim. So that is an extremely precise shot to make and that is NOT the shot people are taking about when they talk about the hip being a large target as in the OP.
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