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View Full Version : headshots in sd situation (failure to stop drill)


alberich
March 11, 2009, 03:08 AM
Do you think it's realistic to go for headshosts in selfdefence situations, namely if you failed to stop an attacker with two center of mass shots? Any practical experience?

freakintoguns
March 11, 2009, 03:12 AM
id assume that if 2 COM shots didnt stop a assilant, he is either high, or wearign some type of body armor and headshots would be justifed to end the attack

alberich
March 11, 2009, 03:20 AM
No, I agree that a headshot is the most effective, I'm asking if you believe you can hit the head with a handgun when under attack (like the bad guy running at you, head rocking from side to side, a fraction of a second to shoot). I've been shooting only rocking IDPA targets, thank God never a living being, but I believe that I can hit a head only if
1. the target don't move, like I'm trying to put down somebody who is endangering somebody else (the target is not aware of my presence)
2. "touch range" situation, like he just pulled a knife and I got my pocket gun and fired it in his face

p99guy
March 11, 2009, 03:27 AM
if center mass hits arent having any effect due to what appears to be body armor, and they arent close enough to assure a hit on a ducking/weaving head....rapidly shoot up the lower torso(groin) there are major arteries and nerve bundles that run through that region..and folks dont motivate very well with a shattered pelvis....easier to hit than the head/rarely has armor. main thing is dont be stingy with lead till the threat is stopped

Double Naught Spy
March 11, 2009, 06:52 AM
I believe that I can hit a head only if
1. the target don't move, like I'm trying to put down somebody who is endangering somebody else (the target is not aware of my presence)

Unfortunately, heads tend to move quite a bit. For that reason, I practice shooting head-sized moving targets. There is two benefits. First, it helps with hitting a head-sized target, but also helps with making better COM shots on torso-sized moving targets.

Sparks2112
March 11, 2009, 08:44 AM
Depends on the back stop really. Head shot, in public, among crowd? No, I don' think I'd try.

Guy rushing me in some lonely parking lot somewhere. That'd be my first choice.

+1 on pelvic girdle as a target. Having shattered my femur very near the ball of the hip in the past, I can say from personal experience it is EXCRUCIATING. If you're using something that's going to break bones I don't see too many people remaining mobile after a hit like that, and hey, once they're not mobile any more that head shot becomes a lot easier if it's still needed.

freakshow10mm
March 11, 2009, 09:44 AM
If you can't hit your headshots in training you won't hit them when you need to.

I recommend two places to shoot for: upper chest or head. Other areas of the body should be targeted if there is a weapon retention issue. A pelvic shot is the last place I'd shoot.

alberich
March 11, 2009, 03:18 PM
If you can't hit your headshots in training you won't hit them when you need to.

Well, I think there is a huge misunderstanding. What I want to say is that hitting a head of a figurine target, standing as still as targets usualy stand, is not much a problem. But in reality this will never happen. Just imagine a person running, the head is bouncing from side to side. Now imagine somebody who is running to you or shooting at you and trying to throw off your aim. And if you drill the 2xCOM + 1xhead sequence, chances are that you will try to do that by instinct no matter what's situation, and you will miss the headshot, losing precious time and endangering bystanders.

If you miss the head, the bullet will travel pretty far away. If you hit the lower part of the body, the bullet will likely hit the ground soon enough if it passes through.

But that's all just a theory and my target shooting extrapolation. I just wanted to ask somebody who have combat experience or at least knows what happens during real shootouts, if the headshot attempts really work, or not (as I believe). Well I can imagine trying to "climb up" with my point of aim on the assailant's body and maybe even trying a headshot from the contact situation, hoping to disorient him or blind him with the muzzle blast even if I miss, but I can't imagine going for the head of a moving target at some higher distance.

I practice shooting head-sized moving targets.

Can you describe how to do it? Do you use rocking targets or something like that?

buzz_knox
March 11, 2009, 03:48 PM
One of the many excellent aspects of training with Louis Awerbuck is the mover he uses (consisting of manequins with multiple "bystanders" and one bad guy, all of which are in constant motion). Either individually or in pairs, you have to work to shoot past the "bystanders" and hit the bad guy in the head. After a couple of days of shooting on curved targets (to show how the body profile changes depending on how you and the target are positioned), it's not that bad.

oldkim
March 11, 2009, 03:48 PM
Head shot - in a high stress situation? Not good nor purdent.

Center mass is taught for a reason. I would say it's hard enough to make it center mass when you are under stress let alone to aim at the head.

Sounds like you shot IDPA and you know how hard it is already to hit a head shot on an stationary IDPA target. The "rocking target" units (basically a moving target) makes this shoot exponetially harder.

I say to any regular joe out there thinking they can hit a head shot on a moving target at 7-10 yards is fooling themselves. Granted 7-10 yards (21-30 feet) after running 100 yards, doing 20 pushups and under 2 seconds after being blindfolded to hide the target from you. Take the blindfold off and then shoot under 2 seconds on a moving rocker target.

Or from an IDPA scenario - shooter is facing uprange (not downrange) and the target is released as they turn around.

I'm okay and I'll be very honest that's not an easy shot at all.

Brian Pfleuger
March 11, 2009, 04:09 PM
I'll play the odds again on this one. Just me no one else has to.

Odds of needing my gun: small
Odds of needing to shoot: smaller
Odds of needing more than one shot: very small
Odds of needing more than 2: vanishingly small
Odds of needing "2 to the chest, 1 to the head": ridiculously small as to be beyond imagination to the point that I don't care about it


YMMV, IMO, IMHO... yadda yadda yadda

armsmaster270
March 11, 2009, 05:23 PM
In the past I have been able to make 1 shot killing COM hit on a charging target while moving, from the hip with no problem.

MTS840
March 11, 2009, 05:39 PM
Do you think it's realistic to go for headshosts in selfdefence situations, namely if you failed to stop an attacker with two center of mass shots? Any practical experience?

That's what we are trained to do.

In my opinion, you should expect a 'failure to stop' from any service caliber handgun. If there is no reaction after aiming for center mass, I would aim for the head.

EricReynolds
March 11, 2009, 08:08 PM
My friend and neighbor Peetzakilla is right here but to answer the question, Sparks 2112 is pretty much on the money here. It's not "should I go for a head shot?" but "what is the possible collateral damage?" I'm a trained marksman with a rifle or pistol and just playing the odds, a head shot is much likely to draw a miss than shooting for center mass. If 2 shots to the chest are ineffective, I'll unload the remainder of the clip in the direction of a man's noggin. 1 hit will definitely be effective. I would be much less likely to do this in a scenario such as a crowded area for obvious reasons.

doh_312
March 11, 2009, 10:27 PM
I like to think I'll plunk two to the chest, two to the groin, and if he is still moving, trigger trigger trigger from groin up to head til I'm out of amo. Then I'll reload and repeat. Of course fancy foot work is required, just trying to put distance between me and BG.

Whiteboy67
March 11, 2009, 10:46 PM
If I'm a defense situation I'm doing what my administration of justice teacher does, empty a whole mag on them without a second thought. He told me when he was a on the force, a rookie partner of his got shot by a .44 magnum or something because they only fired two shots in his chest and as he was going down, he was able to fire the gun and hit his partner. Just stop the threat as soon as possible imo.

guntotin_fool
March 11, 2009, 11:55 PM
The head is a VERY small active target, trying hitting it when moving is going to be tough, to see how hard it is, hang a small salad sized paper plate on a string and get it swinging a bit, then shoot at it. if outdoors, hang a cantaloupe on a string and get it bouncing like the guy is running.

If you hit it, well then you can feel comfy resorting to it in a SD shoot, otherwise, COM and despite what people say about them wearing a vest, people wearing a vest and getting shot with a proper sized handgun generally are really HURTING from the experience. A retired SS agent I know was shot while wearing one and he said, he preferred taking a 95 mile fast ball to the sternum vs getting the shot. He was shot with a large caliber revolver, I think a .44 spec. He was down and groggy for a good ten minutes after the shot.

freakshow10mm
March 12, 2009, 12:15 AM
Well, I think there is a huge misunderstanding. What I want to say is that hitting a head of a figurine target, standing as still as targets usualy stand, is not much a problem. But in reality this will never happen. Just imagine a person running, the head is bouncing from side to side. Now imagine somebody who is running to you or shooting at you and trying to throw off your aim. And if you drill the 2xCOM + 1xhead sequence, chances are that you will try to do that by instinct no matter what's situation, and you will miss the headshot, losing precious time and endangering bystanders
What I'm getting at is that if you are in a gunfight, you will default to your training and your skills. If you suck at shooting in training, chances are you will suck at shooting in a gunfight. If you can't hit a variety of shots in a training environment you probably won't be able to hit them if you are actually shooting at someone who is trying to kill you.

If you miss the head, the bullet will travel pretty far away. If you hit the lower part of the body, the bullet will likely hit the ground soon enough if it passes through.
Agreed.

But that's all just a theory and my target shooting extrapolation. I just wanted to ask somebody who have combat experience or at least knows what happens during real shootouts, if the headshot attempts really work, or not (as I believe). Well I can imagine trying to "climb up" with my point of aim on the assailant's body and maybe even trying a headshot from the contact situation, hoping to disorient him or blind him with the muzzle blast even if I miss, but I can't imagine going for the head of a moving target at some higher distance.
I have been in a gunfight before. It isn't fun.

If you shoot someone in the head, they will most likely die. The big issue here isn't if the headshots are effective it's can you hit your target (headshot)? Depending on my weapon I'm using (H&K P7 makes me look good) I can make moving headshots (me stationary, target laterally moving) out to about 8-9 yards fairly consistently.

alberich
March 12, 2009, 02:39 AM
What I'm getting at is that if you are in a gunfight, you will default to your training and your skills. If you suck at shooting in training, chances are you will suck at shooting in a gunfight. If you can't hit a variety of shots in a training environment you probably won't be able to hit them if you are actually shooting at someone who is trying to kill you.

Indeed. But I still fail to get your meaning, what you wrote is obvious and I agree. What I'm trying to say is that I believe that a drill like two rounds to COM, wait 2 seconds, one hit to head at a perfectly still target seems to be counterproductive.
Since my training sessions with fullsize pistol typically look like "place the target at some 15 meters then empty the magazine into it, aiming at COM, as fast as possible while maintaining the following accuracy criterion - all rounds in the figure (ie. no misses and no danger to bystanders) and 90% hits in the alpha zone" I tend to fully agree with Whiteboy67, guntotin_fool and others COM shooters. My drills concerning head are:
1. one carefully aimed shot for head or small target (like the "sniper" shot at a terrorist in terrorist - hostage scenario) at medium distance
2. draw and face shot with my pocket snubbie at some 2 - 3 meters as fast as possible (knife armed drugged mugger closeup scenario). This one is aimed again for the center of the head, ie. nose - eyes area.
Note that all the headshots are the first rounds fired, every other shots would follow the COM scenario as described above. I just like to believe that 13 .45ACP hits to the alpha zone shall stop even a vest wearing guy.:)

EDIT: Oh and I can reload, too. Got another 15 rnd mag and planning to get at least one more. :)

gage092879
March 12, 2009, 06:39 AM
for real world, go com, then pelvic to take the wheels out of the bad guy then go to the head which it's movement will be reduced due to the pelvic shots. one thing to maybe think about and i say maybe because in real world, it might happen too fast, etc. might be a good idea to try to shoot to one of the sides of the groin and get hips. i know for a fact that you can shoot through the groin and not hit pelvic bone. hard to miss the bone, but murph is a bitch sometimes. but, that is dealing with green tip 5.56 and such. hell, it will zip through at close distance on someone anyway. again, my 2 cents and it's what we teach.

cheers
c

freakshow10mm
March 12, 2009, 09:46 AM
What I'm trying to say is that I believe that a drill like two rounds to COM, wait 2 seconds, one hit to head at a perfectly still target seems to be counterproductive.
I think it is too. If I have enough time to count to two full seconds during a gunfight you aren't shooting fast enough and you aren't moving to cover. The way I train and the way it should be done, IMO, is a controlled pair to the COM and an immediate headshot as soon as the sights are on target for the head.

When you are in a gunfight you should be shooting or moving to cover or both. There should hardly be a lull in shooting from your weapon, save for reloading if needed, so long as your target is exposed.

The problem with a lot of training is that it is static. You stand still here and shoot at a still target at 15y. Not a lot of training is dynamic. Both the shooter and target should be moving. Airsoft/force on force is one of the most enlightening forms of training. It changes a lot of people's minds that used to think you only need the one mag in the gun or a revolver should be good enough. 4 on 1 with the single "victim" having 5 shots turns opinions very quickly.

Gage, if you have enough time to cherry pick where your shots are going, you have enough time to create distance from the threat, move to cover, or simply eliminate it.

gage092879
March 12, 2009, 10:04 AM
i agree to a point. if you can, always create distance, use cover, etc. like i said, if you can try to go to one side of the other. chances are, you might not have that time. there are a million situations that add too many variables in this question. bottom line, if you ask me, go com, pelvic, and then head if you have to. so far, that has worked for many of my students and for some of the guys that work with me.

cheers,
c

buzz_knox
March 12, 2009, 10:11 AM
for real world, go com, then pelvic to take the wheels out of the bad guy then go to the head which it's movement will be reduced due to the pelvic shots.

Unfortunately, pelvic shots are overrated. You have to shatter the bone in order to make them effective, and the bone is fairly spongy and resilient. Many handgun rounds will not cause incapacitating fractures. And even if the bone is fractured, most first responders (including our own LawDog) can tell you of people who are ambulatory on a fractured (in his grandmother's case, I believe it was a fractured and displaced) pelvis.

Can we also clarify "center mass"? Are we talking center mass of the chest (what the term originally meant) or center mass of the target (the incorrect usage that unfortunately carries over into B27s, IDPA targets, etc)?

gage092879
March 12, 2009, 10:28 AM
if whole target is in view, center mass is in the chest, armpit level. if they are behind cover and something is sticking out, you go center mass of what it exposed.

Hamour
March 12, 2009, 10:38 AM
The only head shot in a home defensive situation I have any personal experience with was not a stopper. My boss used a 4" S&W Mod 28 HWY Patrol and Remington .357 158gr HPT to shoot an attacking burglar in the mouth at 8 steps or so. Took out the lower jaw, teeth and bullet were loged in the sheet rock behind the burglar. Second shot was in the mans right hip as he fled down the hall way. took out his hip joint and he collapsed there. Quick police and ambulance response saved the mans life. The 158 gr hpt destroyed the hip joint which the State of Texas had to replace.

My boss shot low in both shots, he had never shot at close range and was using the classic 6 oclock hold. At the range we determined at close range the bullets impact is where the bulk of the sights are, not on top of the front blade.

In this particular incident both bullets exited the man but did not have the energy to penetrate the sheet rock in his house. Majot bones were impacted with each shot.

Rifleman 173
March 12, 2009, 10:41 AM
Unless you practice head shots an awful lot, trying to make a head shot won't be easy. You need to drill and drill until you can do head shots in your sleep. Even then, the head is an awfully small thing to hit with a bullet, especially when it is bobbing around and moving. The best way to do head shots is from close range ambush and with your first round. Sort of like what John Wilkes Booth did with President Lincoln. Booth got close, almost point blank range, and his first shot went right into the President's head from behind. Booth had surprise from an ambush type of shot working for him with the first bullet well placed into the head at close range. The same sort of thing was depicted in the movie Enemies at the Gate. Sure, Enemies was a movie but you get the idea of getting close and using a head shot like when the Russian sniper killed the German sniper, Major Koenig. Same concept.

buzz_knox
March 12, 2009, 11:40 AM
if whole target is in view, center mass is in the chest, armpit level. if they are behind cover and something is sticking out, you go center mass of what it exposed.

That's the proper meaning of the phrase. Unfortunately, it's not what most people think of nor train for. They tend to shoot for the center of the mass of the target, and put rounds into diaphragm/upper abdomen area of the target where there isn't much of anything beyond the descending aorta and spine to "work" with. The good stuff is up higher.

jjohnson
March 12, 2009, 12:04 PM
If you can get in a good head shot in a SD situation, good for you. It might do everything you hope. Remember Self Defense means you're already fairly sure that your life is in mortal danger - and it's likely to be a surprise.

In actual shooting confrontations - when you and somebody else - are shooting at one another - lots of things go wrong, partly because you're probably both churning adrenaline and neither of you are standing still. Lots of shots go wild and many people tend to shoot pretty high when they're under stress. If you can even connect a shot or two Center Of Mass while all the excitement is going on, you're better than most of us. Heck, if you're that good, maybe you should be like the Lone Ranger or the Phantom and just shoot the weapon out of the bad guy's hands. The rest of us are going to be working on COM.

armsmaster270
March 12, 2009, 11:28 PM
6 oclock hold is for shooting targets. A SD weapon should be sighted to point of aim in a SD situation you shouldn't have to worry about where you should aim to hit such in such a place you should hit where you aim. I know that from 1-25 yards If I do my part the bullet will impact within 1.5 inches of point of aim. At 100yards if I aim at the neck I will get a COM hit. I know that I can make a COM hit at close range with the gun sideways with the triggerguard digging into my hip because it was drilled into me and I still practice it and have used it in an actual shooting. In the shooting muscle memory took over and it worked.
I have seen a few head shots in my time and some live because they were shot straight in the mouth. If the slug does not hit the spine its normally a wounding shot and as Hamor related not a stopping shot. To stop going through the mouth you have to do it at an upward angle to get the brain if ther perp is leaning into you with a knife you have to be a little high to get the heart and lung,

onthejon55
March 13, 2009, 10:27 AM
Odds of needing my gun: small
Odds of needing to shoot: smaller
Odds of needing more than one shot: very small
Odds of needing more than 2: vanishingly small
Odds of needing "2 to the chest, 1 to the head": ridiculously small as to be beyond imagination to the point that I don't care about it


Then why bother carrying a gun or even talk about it?

Personally I know what i would do in any SD situation. Put as many bullets in the BGs COM as I can as fast as i can. Headshots are going to be way to hard to make if hes moving at all.

bds32
March 13, 2009, 02:21 PM
Is it realistic?

Yes, especially at close quarter range. Most gunfights happen within several feet. You put some rounds in the high center and if he is still fighting, put some in the head. By the way, the head maybe the only target you have.

OldMarksman
March 13, 2009, 04:58 PM
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
Odds of needing my gun: small
Odds of needing to shoot: smaller
Odds of needing more than one shot: very small
Odds of needing more than 2: vanishingly small
Odds of needing "2 to the chest, 1 to the head": ridiculously small as to be beyond imagination to the point that I don't care about it
Then why bother carrying a gun or even talk about it?

Simply because of the other dimension of risk analysis:

Consequences if one is unable to defend oneself: Extremely severe.

Does anyone really believe that the likelihood that he as a civilian will need to fire weapon in self defense is greater than remote?

I don't. But that doesn't mean I won't carry.

Consider the odds of a house fire; of needing catastrophic health insurance coverage; of being hit head on in traffic; and so on. The odds are very small.

We mitigate these risks because the consequences are so great.

Back to the original question, I should think that the risks associated with attempting head shots (miss, and lose, or miss and hit the wrong person) are too great to accept. I doubt that under most circumstances in which deadly force would be justified for a civilian one would have the time to try anyway.

Peace officers have a different set of scenarios to consider, and they may have to use weapons in circumstances in which a civilian would not be justified.

SquidWarrior
March 13, 2009, 05:16 PM
Its reasonable to expect most self defense situations to unfold within touch range, with that said, headshots are are likely only if involved in an actual upclose and personal fight(ie, VC attempts to disarm you), at which point, you do what you have to do to survive. If you are brought up on charges, rest assured that the prosecuter will use the headshot argument against you, but at least you will be alive to defend yourself against the charges. like a previous poster mentioned, if clean shots to the center mass dont stop the attacker, the VC is most likely high and unable to feel pain; I know it sounds crass, but in that situation, there is little alternative to putting a round between the ears at point blank range.

Brian Pfleuger
March 13, 2009, 05:55 PM
Then why bother carrying a gun or even talk about it?

Simply because of the other dimension of risk analysis:

Consequences if one is unable to defend oneself: Extremely severe.


Oh brother. :rolleyes: I think I made it clear in my original post. This is MY opinion, my life. No one elses. You wanna prepare for this, go right ahead. See, here's what I said:

I'll play the odds again on this one. Just me no one else has to... YMMV, IMO, IMHO... yadda yadda yadda


We ALL draw the line somewhere. We cannot prepare for 100% of situations 100% of the time. Make your choice on what to prepare for and live with it. Don't tell me I'm underprepared because I don't do what you do. I'm not telling you that you're over prepared because you do more than I do.

or... we can get into the "Your better have 2 guns because...", "Oh no, you need 2 and a bug...", "Nope, 2 and a bug and 3 extra mags and a knife and pepper spray and a kevlar vest and an armored car..."

The question was "Do you think it's realistic to prepare for headshots...?"

My answer: I don't. Do what you want.

alberich
March 13, 2009, 06:07 PM
Let's discuss extreme CQ situation a bit, then.
From my point of view:
1. I did not say I'd never go for a headshot. But the headshot would be always the very first and surprise shot. And indeed at the touch range. But not as a rule.
2. every shot fired under the situation that the enemy knows that I have a gun and am shooting would go for COM exclusively.
3. depending on the time available (a very little time in any case, no doubt) I'd go for a surprise face shot OR a hip COM (well most likely a belly than COM) shot since the latter is way faster and the gun would not appear in enemy's sight.
4. talking CQ in general, my first goal would be to protect myself from the immediate attack, likely with bare hands, then run away to get more room AND simultaneously pull the gun. I believe that many armed people tend to think "through" they gun, they just see everything from the "gun in the hand" point of view. But this may lead to bad decisions. It's already proven several times that if you are ambushed by a knife (or any other melee weapon) wielding criminal, the worst thing you can do is to stand on the spot and reach for your gun. Because you will be dead before you draw. According to practical experiments you need at least 10 meters of distance to be able to pull your gun when an enemy runs at you. And this number is good only if you know that the guy will attack, you are ready and his start is the "timer beep" for you.
So I guess that first of all you have to do something with the attack, then you can attempt to draw.

The only realistic situation for CQ draw I can imagine is this: BG is standing in front of you, knife ready, and asks you to fork over the dough. And you, hands in pockets, either already have your pocket snubnose in hand, (since you were already holding the gun in your pocket) or you would fool him and pretend you reach into the pocket to give him the cash.

OldMarksman
March 13, 2009, 06:41 PM
Quote:
Then why bother carrying a gun or even talk about it?
Quote:
Simply because of the other dimension of risk analysis:

Consequences if one is unable to defend oneself: Extremely severe.

Oh brother. I think I made it clear in my original post. This is MY opinion, my life. No one elses. You wanna prepare for this, go right ahead. See, here's what I said:

Quote:
I'll play the odds again on this one. Just me no one else has to... YMMV, IMO, IMHO... yadda yadda yadda

Actually, I thought you did carry, Peetzakilla. The question was "why bother carrying a gun" if the likelihood of needing to use it is small. I gave my answer. You can choose to accept the risk and not carry.

Don't tell me I'm underprepared because I don't do what you do. I'm not telling you that you're over prepared because you do more than I do.


I don't, I won't and I know that you do not.

The question was "Do you think it's realistic to prepare for headshots...?"

My answer: I don't. Do what you want.

I agree, and I thought I made that clear.

Brian Pfleuger
March 13, 2009, 07:38 PM
Actually, I thought you did carry, Peetzakilla. The question was "why bother carrying a gun" if the likelihood of needing to use it is small.


I do, because the likelihood is high enough and the preparation is easy enough that I feel it is worth it. That's essentially where I draw the line.

ElectricHellfire
March 13, 2009, 09:10 PM
The head would not be my first target unless I was absolutely sure I'd score an instant kill. The skull is especially thick in the front and any type of oblique hit is like to veer off around the skull under the skin or exit without entering the brain. That is barring a shot to the eye socket where the bone is thinner.

Better is to shoot for COM and or the area just above the heart between the collarbones. The great vessels are there including the aortic arch and major veins supplying the right atrium of the heart. A hit here will lead to a great deal of blood loss in a minimal amount of time. The blood supply to the brain comes off the aortic arch. Disruption of that leads to anoxia and death fairly quickly. Kill the brain, stop the threat.

Nnobby45
March 13, 2009, 09:46 PM
The best way to do head shots is from close range ambush and with your first round. Sort of like what John Wilkes Booth did with President Lincoln. Booth got close, almost point blank range, and his first shot went right into the President's head from behind..........

Good Grief!:rolleyes:

What does a political assassination murder of a helpless victim have to do with legitimate SD when your adversary might actually be fighting back and not offering you the back of their head as a target?:cool: Help, Moderator!!

Sometimes I wonder if we aren't playing "can you spot the troll".

GuyMontag
March 13, 2009, 10:04 PM
I'll admit I haven't read all responses...

You shoot until the threat is no longer a threat. If a headshot will end the threat, you take the headshot. I will say though that if a threat is still running at you, aim center of mass and touch off two rounds.

Shoot two rounds.
Assess the threat.
If still a threat, shoot two rounds.
Assess.
If still a threat, shoot two rounds.

That's what I was taught in my class.

[EDIT]
I forgot to mention...
You DON'T shoot to kill.
You shoot to stop the threat.

Nnobby45
March 13, 2009, 10:44 PM
Shoot two rounds.
Assess the threat.
If still a threat, shoot two rounds.
Assess.
If still a threat, shoot two rounds.

That's what I was taught in my class.



There was a time, indeed when that was taught--I suspect by LE agencies run by bureaucrats instead of legitimate tacticians. No offense. Many officers and citizens learned that tactic.

The shoot, assesss, and get yourself shot because you should have still been shooting instead of assessing, has long since been replaced with : Keep shooting until the threat doesn't exist--then stop shooting.

GuyMontag
March 13, 2009, 11:29 PM
No offense taken at all. I'm an eternal student.

XpatBubba
March 14, 2009, 12:01 AM
Uhhh. Yea. If I am shooting at you, it is time for you to go. If BG dont go down from 2 in the chest, I am taking head shots. Goodnight.
I would only shoot to kill. Shooting to maim is wrong.
If my life or the life of loves ones is at stake and a trigger pull fixes that particular problem, head shot it is. Center mass shot should be the default option, as long as you bring enough gun.

alberich
March 15, 2009, 05:07 PM
What does a political assassination murder of a helpless victim have to do with legitimate SD when your adversary might actually be fighting back and not offering you the back of their head as a target?

Well just imagine a terrorist with a hostage, terrorist with a bomb screaming "I will blow you infidels", terrorist opening fire at victims and you standing out of his/her sight with a gun.
Check this interesting article, for example:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob81.html

Old Wanderer
March 15, 2009, 08:57 PM
I have been vacillating about replying to this article.

1. What I do know from 1st had experience is head shots (properly placed) do end the fight instantly.

2. Usually when things erupt, you do not expect them too, and have little time to prepare your plan.

In 1974 I was working in Colombia as a body guard/pilot for a person in the government. It was noon time and I had stopped at a small restaurant on the outskirts of Bogotá . I was most likely the 1st American to ever have eaten there. Half way through my lunch a man stepped into the door way, scanned the room, lock eyes with me, and started to pull a revolver from his waist band. All my alarms went off, and I started to roll out of my chair to the left and reaching for the Colt 38 Super I carried (38 and 45 are banned as they are "military" weapons). 3 shots were fired at me, the last striking the edge of my shoe sole. I fired one round while on my back without any way to sight, just trying to make the guy duck. The round hit at the side of the nose, and just below the eye. When I finished my roll, and was on my belly ready to engage him, he was just hitting the floor...

Now I trained, and fired several hundred rounds a month, competed in IPSC, it had never occurred to me to do any training from sitting at a table..and certainly not rolling on a floor, with splinters flying up from shots being directed at me. If I had to repeat the same shot...it would never happen..but sometimes you just have to have luck on your side.

I still think about the incident, and wonder who was the gunman? I still do not have a clew..

What would I do different...

A. I would not stay around and wait for the police to arrive...I got beat on for 10 hours by them for what happened even though there was 12 witness. This is something that is never discussed on these boards, but every one seems to want to wait for LEO to arrive and sanctify the situation....Maybe some other options should be considered??

B. Could I have just stood up and drawn my weapon that was in IWB holster under my shirt and jacket? Maybe, but then I had my legs under a table, so I could have tripped on the chair sliding it back, and would have made myself a larger target. (IMO I would have been shot). Once I could return fire there was no doubt I would have taken the gunman down, but it might have been mutual. Simply not enough time to transition from just eating a meal, to drawing a weapon, and keeping alive.

C. Most single body shots do not stop a fight. I had a friend that was shot front to back just above the hip bone, and his adrenalin level was so high he did not realize it until everything was over, and somebody asked about the blood.

D. Head shots....it is so time dependent, I would only try it if myself was unknown to the target, and I was currently really in practice (which I am not at this time in my life), and I had a full size gun, or was 3' away.

Nnobby45
March 15, 2009, 09:38 PM
Well just imagine a terrorist with a hostage, terrorist with a bomb screaming "I will blow you infidels", terrorist opening fire at victims and you standing out of his/her sight with a gun.


Maybe that would have been the correct scenario to state in the first place, instead of one that would amount to unjustifiable homicide in most any court in the world. :rolleyes:

And, if that scenario had been used, then you wouldn't have to be telling us what he meant in place of what he said. :cool:

alberich
March 16, 2009, 05:56 AM
And, if that scenario had been used, then you wouldn't have to be telling us what he meant in place of what he said.

I'm not telling what he wanted to say, or whatever, I'm just explaining that there are non-murder situations when you can shoot at unsuspecting target from behind.

Erik
March 16, 2009, 04:29 PM
Heads shots are a viable secondary or tertiary alternative to COM.

The ability to efficiently score head shots is certainly not a detriment, and typically correlate's with one's abilty to efficiently score COM shots.