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Old May 7, 2005, 11:43 AM   #1
Para Bellum
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Don't get cover (?)

I was trained to move to cover, draw and return/open fire simulaneusly.
Now I had quite some training with IPSC Shooters who compete on the internatinonal level. They had a good argument: Moving to cover takes too much time. And they make a point. Drawing and two alhpa-hits on each of 4 (four!) targets in 3 Seconds.
I tried to get cover at the IPSC range in the same time. No way. Think about it.
I still need 1,5 seconds for my first alpha-hit and 3,5 seconds for two alpha-hits on each of three targets. Still: If I'd move, I couldn't do that. If I stand, draw and shoot, even I could change a situation rapidly.
What do you think?
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Old May 7, 2005, 12:58 PM   #2
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We train that you draw and shoot as you move to cover, but your first move is step out of the line of attack. Then you draw and shoot, and as soon as you get to cover you take your shot b/c you don't want to settle in to your cover to find that the bad guy has moved and is now ready to shoot you.
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Old May 7, 2005, 02:47 PM   #3
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Para Bellum, have any of those cardboard IPSC targets ever shot back at you? Or, heaven forbid, fired at you before you knew they were there?

Okay, didn't intend to be overly sarcastic there, just (hopefully) getting your attention right off the bat. I too was once an IPSC shooter who wondered the same thing. A few dozen sessions of paintball, followed some years later with uber-kool Force-on Force training (Airsoft) convinced me that cover is a very good thing to head for asap.
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Old May 7, 2005, 03:22 PM   #4
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I'm with Brian. When loud noises combine with the zing! of passing bullets, my first priority is to find cover. If cover is lacking, concealment will have to do. Second priority is to defend against assault while finding a way to get my butt outta the shooting gallery. That may involve returning fire until the threat ceases or a strategic advance to the rear.
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Old May 7, 2005, 03:46 PM   #5
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Yes and no. You're right as far as you analyzed the situation.

What you left out was that while you're hauling donkey to cover you're going to be a very hard target to hit. If you stand there and draw, you're basically a stationary target and much easier to hit.

So even though you may be able to draw and return fire faster than you can make it to cover, your chances of getting shot are worse, IMO, if you stand and return fire rather than start hustling for cover.

The best of both worlds is to move fast to cover while returning fire. Unfortunately, most people can't hit squat with a handgun if they're not standing still and maintaining a good stance. Practice, practice.
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Old May 7, 2005, 04:40 PM   #6
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Do not confuse the IPSC game with real life.
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Old May 7, 2005, 07:14 PM   #7
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First, consider how many top-level IPSC shooters you will face on the street if, God forbid, you should ever have to draw your weapon. I would say you have a better chance of winning the lottery and being struck by lightning in the same hour.

Also, good points have been made about the way things go when bullets are being launched from both directions instead of just one. Another good point that IPSC is a game, it is not fighting. It's easy to hit a stationary target (even a moving one) when you know it will not be shooting back, when you know where it is or where it will come from, and when you have either walked the stage over or watched other people shoot it.

pointfiveoh made a good point - draw and shoot as you move to cover. In short, get out of the way while making the other guy's life difficult.

IPSC shooters are skilled, no doubt about it. They are excellent at what they do. But, so are the people who throw knives at the circus, and I wouldn't ask them on how to defend my life with a knife.
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Old May 7, 2005, 07:14 PM   #8
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Thankfully, I have never been involved in a civilian gunfight, but I have experience in small unit to individual combat engagements. COVER is critical. I was taught, and I believe, that immediately taking advantage of the best cover available is vital. Please remember, if you are surprised your adversary already has a major advantage. By using cover, you help neutralize that advantage.
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Old May 7, 2005, 09:02 PM   #9
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Para Bellum, consider this. Chances are that in real life where you need to shoot, you will be starting at a disadvantage. This means that the bad guy(s) started things and you are reacting to the danger presented by the situation. Sure, moving to cover can take time, but drawing and firing offers almost zero protection from incoming rounds. Your drawn gun shields what miniscule amount of your person? Sure, we all want to believe that we will draw and fire so fast that we will be able to land incapacitating rounds on target(s) before any of the bad guys could have a chance to hurt us even though they already have their weapons out and aimed at us, right? Don't count on it happening.

Even if your gun does end up as a shield, chances are it won't work after it has defected an incoming round.

So, you move. Moving makes you a harder target to hit. You draw on the move, thereby accomplishing two tasks at the same time (becoming harder to hit and getting your gun out to return fire).

pointfiveoh mentioned moving off the line of attack. Unfortunately, many folks teach this concept and it stops right there. As he mentioned, you need to continue to cover.

In more than one class I have had, I had instuctors have me take one side step, draw and fire. In a carbine class, I had an instructor tell us (while we advanced toward targets) to take one step to the side to get off the line of attack, stopping, while bringing the sights up on target and firing a single shot. This was argued to get us out of the line of attack and the stopping gave us a stable shooting platform. It was reasoned that the sidestep would upset the bad guy(s)' OODA loop so much that we would get off the first shot.

A step to the side isn't going to mess up anyone's OODA loop with the possible exception of a person charging you with a knife or charging you with their car and you move out of the way at the very last moment. You have to make the change after the attacker can no longer alter direction.

When it comes to stepping off the line of attack just one step, the OODA loops isn't upset at all and nothing more is required than a slight adjustment to the gun's sighting for the attacker to shoot you.

Once you move off the line of attack, you don't stop there unless you are behind cover.

As for notions such as OODA loops, don't even bother. The bad guys can point pull and pray without a well defined OODA loop and they may get lucky and hit you, especially if you are standing still. They don't have the concerns of hitting bystanders that you will have, so they can fire freely.
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Old May 7, 2005, 09:14 PM   #10
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Bullets move a whole lot faster than paint. Cover can be reached before it ever gets to you, while the lead has been fired and already hit.

I know nothing of what is being discussed, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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Old May 7, 2005, 10:09 PM   #11
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Pistol bullets move around 800mph, paintballs around 200mph. That may SEEM like a big difference, but the difference in time of travel from 25 feet is about 0.06 seconds. If you're ALREADY running flat out, you might be able to cover 2 feet in that interval. If you didn't get there before the bullet did, you almost certainly won't make it before the paint gets there--the paint shooter will just have to lead you a bit more.
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Old May 7, 2005, 11:36 PM   #12
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Something interesting in the original "IPSC" position.
Quote:
The(y) had a good argument: Moving to cover takes too much time. And the(y) make a point. Drawing and two alhpa-hits on each of 4 (four!) targets in 3 Seconds.
Sure, but if one of those targets draws and fires back and gets one hit, the whole game's over... Better to move, make the returning fire more difficult and dangerous, and get somewhere safer from flying lead!

Besides, only a fool goes toe to toe with a foe that outnumbers him four (or three or two or even with same odds!) to one - note even the redcoats of colonial times would not do that and they were considered the very BEST at that type of gunfighting!
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Old May 8, 2005, 02:04 AM   #13
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Neo didn't seem to have a problem engaging multiple foes in the Matrix.
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Old May 8, 2005, 05:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Do not confuse the IPSC game with real life.
mhm, I never saw it that way

I also was taught to move to cover while returning fire (see above), but:
WHAT COVER?! Let's face it: If you have to draw you will be suprised and cornered or at least close to the threat. And no glass, car body, wood door or diner-table etc will give you cover from a 9x19mm or a .357 Mag. And a moving man at short distances is very easy to hit. So, in many situations I'd still think: why waste time actually downgrading my chances?

Of course it depends a lot on the details of the very situation. But I think that response speed is more important than getting out of the way because the way can be bent as quickly as you can try to get out of it...
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Old May 8, 2005, 07:38 AM   #15
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Recalling my small unit tactics training (U.S. Army Infantry, mid '70's), what you do is fire and maneuver -- simultaneously. You maneuver to a more advantageous position, one that provides some sort of cover, while at the same time you lay down covering/return fire. Erratic movement to cover gives you the advantage of being a much harder target to hit. Note -- if possible, you need to be non-predictable in that movement to keep the adversary(s) from predicting your movement and leading you. It is really important to fire while moving, especially if you are alone. The point there is that your return fire forces the adversary(s) to likewise react to your fire, taking away their initiative. This return fire makes their fire that much less effective, breaking their concentration and forcing them to shoot while moving which is just as difficult for them as it is for you -- it tilts the odds back to something like your favor, or at least less tilted against you. If you are not alone, it is better for one to shoot while the other moves, especially if the one shooting has already attained cover. It draws attention away from the one moving and makes for more accurate fire, being done from a more stationary and prepared position.

All of this goes right out the window if A> you are hit and imobilized in the initial engagement or B> you have a severely limited ammo supply, like just having a 5 shot snubby. In the first case, you'll have to fight it out right where you are, if you aren't already completely incapacitated or dead -- a distinct possibility given that the adversary(s) has started with the initiative. In the second case, you may have to conserve your ammo until you reach cover, unless you have a ready reload available. It might be that your return fire consists of only 1 or 2 shots, reserving the final 3 for when you reach cover, or are covering your final withdrawl.
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Old May 8, 2005, 07:55 AM   #16
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"WHAT COVER?! Let's face it: If you have to draw you will be suprised and cornered or at least close to the threat. And no glass, car body, wood door or diner-table etc will give you cover from a 9x19mm or a .357 Mag."

True. There is precious little cover with those barriers. But there is concealment, and that is almost as good. It still tilts the odds in your favor, and is sure better than nothing, even it all it is doing is preventing the BG's bullets from expanding. If the BG's can't see you, they can't aim which reduces their probability of getting effective hits. Even if there is no cover available at all, one can still hit the ground and try to make oneself as difficult a target as possible. There's no point in being an easy target.

"And a moving man at short distances is very easy to hit. So, in many situations I'd still think: why waste time actually downgrading my chances?"

A moving man is not all that easy to hit, even at close range. A moving man is always going to be a harder target than a stationary man. While it is true that it downgrades your chances of getting a good hit on your first shot, it also downgrades your chances of being hit effectively, and IMHO that makes the movement worthwhile. IMHO if, and only if, you feel that you have the initiative and have gotten the drop on the guy should you just stand and shoot -- and you had better be right for your own safety's sake, and I'm not even going to get into the legal ramifications of that. You'd better be certain that you can shut down the threat before you receive return fire yourself, since you have committed yourself to be a stationary target.
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Old May 8, 2005, 10:56 AM   #17
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so ... it depends

the answer seems to be (as I being an attorney am pretty used to): it depends.
In my personal expectation of a defense scenario there won't be time or opportunity for cover or movement. But, if either of the two will be there, I'll be glad to use it.
Still, I think that an unskilled attacker needs more time to aim with his gun than a well trained shooter needs to both pull and hit at short distances (<15m/yds).

Have a nice sunday afternoon!
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Old May 8, 2005, 11:31 AM   #18
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Move.
Move sideways and further away from the threat.
Real encounters are not a game with points and a requirement to score hits.
The only requirement is to not get killed. And not absorbing lead is a good step to avoiding getting killed.
If you can fire while moving as quickly as possible, all the better.
The BGs are not typically well trained in shooting, let alone hitting a target traversing a field of aim.
Handguns are pretty lousy weapons when all is said and done. The chief advantage is to project force at a distance.
As a well trained person distance is your friend. Use it.
While a LEO has a need to capture a BG, a civilian does not. There is no reason under nearly any real world circumstance were moving away from the threat is not possible and part of the best option.
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Old May 8, 2005, 01:33 PM   #19
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If someone is firing on you first, and your in the open, then they must have gotten the drop on you to some extent.

They are likely stationary, likely giving them a good opportunity to draw a bead on an exposed target (you).

You best chance in this case seems obvious to me. If you're not hit with the first shot, get your self to some cover or concealment. He has all the advantages. My first objective is to not get myself shot. You'll have to pull your weapon, aquire a target, try to place a shot, while the BG already has you in his sights.
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Old May 9, 2005, 10:43 AM   #20
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My military training always insisted that the smaller the target, . . . the harder it is to hit. Cover makes that happen, . . . concealment makes that happen, . . . but what do you do out in the open? (I know, . . . don't go out in the open ). I was always taught, . . . and subscribe to a simple tactic: drop. On your stomach, flat, . . . you are one hard target to hit.

Today, . . . faced with being attacked in the open, . . . if cover is over 10 feet away, . . . I can be on my stomach, pistol in hand, returning fire, before most folks can cover that 10 feet distance.

Yes, . . . true, . . . absolutely, . . . I am out in the open, . . . but I can roll to cover when it is safer to do so, . . . and I have a wonderfully solid platform for shooting, . . . also I may have dropped off the radar screen of my attacker, . . .

Just food for thought.

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Old May 9, 2005, 12:09 PM   #21
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Just out of curiosity, how many of you guys get to practice moving and shooting, whether it's laterally or rushing the bad guys. The second is probably only applicable in tactical situations, but as cwp holders we should be able to move and shoot. I think that most trained pistol shooters, firing on an erratically moving target only get hits about 10-20% of the time. Compound that with an erratically moving target that is going to cover and returning fire... seems like the way to go. I'm just worried that some folks just don't get enough practice moving and shooting because of restrictive range rules. I practice the tactics because I am involved in that kind of work. All cwp owners should be able to punch out 2 or 3 com shots on the move, especially on a stationary target.

A handy way to practice is this... have your target in front of you, probably near you ( most hand gun deaths in sc came around 5 feet), have a buddy call gun/go/move/etc. and do this. 1st step off line of attack, 2nd step draw, 3rd step shoot, then continue moving (each step is actually moving not just steps in a list, typically lateral movement is ideal). When you have hit the target do not drop your weapon, scan the target area and move in prepared to make another shot. This trains you to not drop your guard b/c most shootings (59% according to our state) will happen with multiple attackers. Try and get your draw and shoot down to 1-1 1/2 steps and be accurate.

One last point, when you reach cover shoot immediately, you do not want to be flanked while you're hiding out. You want to make the bad guy run for cover and give yourself a chance to escape.
whew that was a long post...
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Old May 9, 2005, 12:26 PM   #22
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Movement is the key to E&E

Very good info on the previous posts.

Lets keep in mind the primary objective: To stay alive.

Its not putting two neat holes in the A section of a cardboard target.

So to answer your question - It Depends.

Situational awareness is the key to survival in any of these "what if" scenarios. So if you are walking around an area look around, asses potential threats and potential cover if necessary.

This does not mean you walk from pillar to wall in everyday life, and not look at the pretty girls who pass by, but know your surroundings.

When the stuff hits the fan, and it is not initiated by you - get out of the area of engagement quickly - IF you can.

If in a scenario where the BG is zeroing in on you, and there is no cover - drop prone and return fire from the ground - most post-firefight analysis reveals that people fire high. So if you are on the ground, you have a better than above average chance of not getting hit.

Last note: Most objects DO NOT STOP or DEFLECT rounds. So standing behind that cube wall may stop the BG from visually sighting you but there is a good chance his rounds will zip right through it and hit you anyway. Lets face it, most civilian office furniture, and objects in the real world are not built to withstand 9mm, .45 rounds zipping through them.
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Old May 9, 2005, 12:41 PM   #23
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Yeah don't forget the very very big difference between concealment and cover, you're looking for cover (read stops or significantly slows bullets). Concealment is next best because most people will not shoot at what they can't see, contrary to hollywood where they will expend five full mags in an ak to shoot you out of the air vents you'll be hiding in. Know the difference and try to see where cover is available as you walk around, don't get paranoid by any means, just know what's around you.
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Old May 9, 2005, 01:27 PM   #24
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"Just out of curiosity, how many of you guys get to practice moving and shooting, whether it's laterally or rushing the bad guys."

Quite honestly, I haven't had the opportunity to do that since I got out of the Army in '78. Come to think of it, I got out in the spring of '78, I don't think we did any live fire exercises that year (thank you, Jima Carter ), it would have been in '77. I've gotta make due with what I learned way back when, along with just practice firing at the range I shoot at now. Not optimal training at all, but the best I can do under the situation I'm currently in.

"I think that most trained pistol shooters, firing on an erratically moving target only get hits about 10-20% of the time."

In a real combat situation, it is even worse than that. Depending on your point of view, that is -- if you are the shooter or the shootee. I'd say that in an ongoing, real firefight, you can expect less than 10% hits, even if you know what you are doing. An awful lot of rounds get expended in intimidation/covering fire -- just to reverse initiative, force the adversary to cover/concealment, etc.

"I'm just worried that some folks just don't get enough practice moving and shooting because of restrictive range rules."

Roger that. Not that there's anything wrong with shooting at your average ordinary range, but that alone won't give you the skills necessary to survive a firefight.

"All cwp owners should be able to punch out 2 or 3 com shots on the move, especially on a stationary target."

While it would be nice to have that sort of skill level, it isn't really that necessary. What is necessary is having the skill to move and survive until you can get to cover/concealment where you can either return fire effectively or otherwise plan and execute your withdrawl. While it is to your advantage to be able to shoot on the move, it really isn't that necessary that you actually make hits during that movement. Timely shots in the general direction (now, keep in mind that I'm assuming no bystanders, foreground or background) serve just as well -- they interrupt the attacker(s), forcing them to also move which disrupts their aim. Any hits while moving is just a bonus, in other words. It is the movement itself, along with the presence of your return fire (hits or not), that is keeping you alive until you get to cover/concealment.


"I was always taught, . . . and subscribe to a simple tactic: drop. On your stomach, flat, . . . you are one hard target to hit."

Yep -- you got it. That's what we were taught. Don't even think about it -- DROP! Dive, even! ROLL! SHOOT BACK! Don't be predictable! DO be a hard target! Get to cover/concealment. Actually, I'd start rolling to cover even before it is "safer" to do so. The movement involved in rolling makes you a harder target than just being stationary on the ground. Roll -- shoot. Roll -- shoot. Keep moving. Work your way there.
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Old May 10, 2005, 03:15 PM   #25
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Speed kills

Quote:
Just out of curiosity, how many of you guys get to practice moving and shooting, whether it's laterally or rushing the bad guys.
I do. But I would hardly ever drop. Dropping takes at least two seconds before you can pull, aim and shoot. So it's 4 seconds until the first hit. Readjusting takes the bad guy much less time, I assume.

If I keep upright, it's 1,5 seconds until my first bullet hits (a-zone). In 95% of the situations I can imagine, I'd go for speed. Speed kills
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