The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 12, 2006, 09:04 PM   #1
sgjr
Member
 
Join Date: April 24, 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 30
shoot placement, heart, head, lungs???

New to "thefiringline" and see all kinds of posts about different rounds and what is the best choice. Shot placement appears to be the key. I see bowling pin targets, are these intended for head, neck and chest cavity? Do you aim for middle of mass? Recognize the heart, aorta and head are likely good targets. Is that the best choice?
sgjr is offline  
Old August 12, 2006, 09:09 PM   #2
Mark54g
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,265
Most that train on a semi-regular basis recommend going for the shots that are most likely to play out. Trying for the aorta or any other "small" target is lunacy. Most recommend going for COM (center of mass).

When you are in a situation where you need to shoot, you will likely be under a great deal of stress. Stress tends to attack one's ability to control fine motor skills. Make your shots count. Shoot for targets you can likely hit on a moving target.
__________________
CZ 75B Stainless
Beretta PX4 F Series 9mm & U22 Neos 6" black
S&W Shield 9mm
Mark54g is offline  
Old August 12, 2006, 09:30 PM   #3
jhenry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2006
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 1,813
Center of mass

The middle of the torso, or center of mass, is the logical target. It contains vital stuff, is larger, and moves less. The head and other appendages are going to be bobbling all over the place and are hard to hit. You will also be fighting a full adreneline dump and more than likely be in poor light. Your fight or flight response will increase blood flow to the larger muscle groups and you fine motor skills will go to hell.

My advice is to get the best training you can afford, practice INTELLIGENTLY instead of just burning ammo, and avoid gunfights like the bubonic plague.
jhenry is offline  
Old August 12, 2006, 10:10 PM   #4
pickpocket
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 570
Google the B27 Target and that should be what you base your COM shots on.

Shot placement is indeed the key. However, as Mark pointed out above, the debate over precision shots vs. COM shots is rediculous. You're going to have enough to worry about in a real gunfight - whether or not to aim for the aortic artery is NOT going to be one of them.
I heard someone say once that if you have time to debate what kind of shot you're going to take then you have time to get the hell out of that situation in the first place.
__________________
Semper Fi-
David Williams

"Sabah al khair -- ismee Dave, ahnee al Shayṭān"
pickpocket is offline  
Old August 12, 2006, 10:20 PM   #5
Eightball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 31, 2005
Location: On my Computer
Posts: 289
Torso, head--very damaging shots. Another option--aim for the hip. If you go through something "sensitive", they'll notice--and if you have the right ammo, break their hip bone, and they won't be able to stand. Or so I've been told, never had a broken hip bone (never been shot, either).

The best shot is when you don't take any, and live out a long, peaceful life.
__________________
Own (among others): S&W 620
RRA 16" Middy AR15
M1 Garand, July '42
M1 Carbine, Inland '43
Eightball is offline  
Old August 12, 2006, 11:33 PM   #6
pickpocket
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 570
There is no emprical evidence to support the "break-the-hip" theory. At best it is the exact same precision shooting under stress debate as Head vs. COM, and at worst we are convincing people that it is a viable and tested technique.

The pelvic bone is quite thick, after all that area is designed to carry the weight of the entire body; and I would be very surprised if a single pistol round would do enough damage to produce consistent results.

Train with COM hits - there are several threads here that delve into the why's and wherefore's - but it all comes down to the fact that there IS empirical evidence that shows people are quite unlikely to be able to make precision shots under life-threatening stress.
And since COM should be right around the xiphoid process, that means it's about in the exact middle of the torso. You can miss a COM shot and hit an extremity, the head, the hip, etc... but if you miss a head shot / hip shot / arm shot then you're very likely to miss the target completely.
__________________
Semper Fi-
David Williams

"Sabah al khair -- ismee Dave, ahnee al Shayṭān"
pickpocket is offline  
Old August 13, 2006, 07:43 PM   #7
Dwight55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,557
Sgjr, . . . there are a lot of factors which will determine your shot placement. One of which is the weapon you carry. If it is a .357, 9mm, .44, or .45, . . . or similar (or greater)power, . . . then COM shots are where you should start.

There are many definitions of COM, . . . but basically it is intended to be a heart/lung shot right through the middle of the chest cavity, . . . from what ever angle you shoot it.

OTOH, . . . if you carry a mouse gun (.380 or lower) you may want to hone up on your shooting and plan for a face/head shot.

Plenty of folks met their demise from a mouse gun to the face, . . . and I really haven't met one yet that I would be willing to put even money on his/her surviving 8 or 10 LRHP .22's from less than 20 feet, . . . focused on the center of their head, . . . regardless of the angle.

Remember, . . . shooting another human in a civilian situation is limited to self defense, . . . so you don't shoot to kill, . . . you shoot to stop the activity the bg is involved in that causes you to fear for your life.

Hope this helps.

May God bless,
Dwight
__________________
www.dwightsgunleather.com
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
Dwight55 is offline  
Old August 13, 2006, 07:53 PM   #8
pickpocket
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 570
Quote:
What about going for the center of whatever they give you? The chest, if they give you a full frontal; something else if that's all the Bad Guy gives you.

Just a thought.
I would assume that's a given. After all, if the only shot you have is the center of his bicep I don't imagine that you would still try to get a torso shot. It just doesn't make sense.

When people discuss COM vs. precision shots, the assumption is that you have the entire target available...which is why they don't make targets with only a forearm on them.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume that their left pinky isn't the only thing exposed.
__________________
Semper Fi-
David Williams

"Sabah al khair -- ismee Dave, ahnee al Shayṭān"
pickpocket is offline  
Old August 13, 2006, 07:58 PM   #9
PythonGuy
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 456
For all the armchair experts, I think Erick answered the question in two sentences perfectly, end of story. The mental gymnastics of all the Deputy Dawgg's on here is for their ego, Erick merely gave you the TRUTH.
PythonGuy is offline  
Old August 13, 2006, 08:35 PM   #10
pickpocket
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 570
If that's the case, can you explain to me why so many LE agencies have recently changed the targets that they use for firearms training? The benefits of training to hit COM have been well documented.

Also, walking into a room and calling everyone armchair experts without looking around isn't the most tactically sound approach.

Erick was trying to make a point, that's all.
__________________
Semper Fi-
David Williams

"Sabah al khair -- ismee Dave, ahnee al Shayṭān"
pickpocket is offline  
Old August 13, 2006, 08:48 PM   #11
PythonGuy
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 456
Yeah, but you can only shoot what you can see and what you have available. The fallacy with target shooting is that it is static, it doesn't move, it doesn't react, it lets you be in control. You think in a real life shooting situation that's the way it goes down? People run and move in unpredictible ways, twisting and turning. Books don't win gunfights, but they make good fodder for forums. One other point, most guys on here bash LEO's as being poor, not well trained shot's, now you are using their training as an example for what is right, which is it? Can't have it both ways boys.....
PythonGuy is offline  
Old August 13, 2006, 09:18 PM   #12
pickpocket
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 570
You're holding me responsible for defending arguments that LE training is poor or not. Actually, I don't have to defend either of those positions.

LE has the benefit of being able to review dashcam videos to see what officers did and did not do during a gunfight. Regardless of whether their training is sufficient or not, the fact cannot be denied that LE has - at the very least - the ability to review statistical data and make decisions based on that data.

If we can agree that the degree of proficiency of a student has as much or more to do with the student's ability and desire to absorb the course material as it does with the quality of the course material itself, then you can see where I'm coming from.

Erick's point was well taken - you aim for the target that is available. However, the mistake he made was assuming that everyone trains the way he does, that everyone is approaching this issue with his level of experience and training - however we all know this isn't the case. The fact that people should aim for whatever target that presents itself is an extremely valid point. However, most people do not train to aim for elbows - and more importantly, SD situations are more likely to lend themselves to full frontal target than aiming for whatever "is available".. if an encounter is statistically going to happen within 7 yards, then I would imagine that a significant amount of one's training should be focused on engaging targets within that 7-10 yards. COM hits seem to make the most sense at that distance.

I do not find fault with Erick's statement other than that it seems to point out the obvious. I don't believe anyone here is advocating anything other than aiming at the target that presents itself - however, for that majority of people who are not as proficient as some of the rest of us, my advice is still to practice COM hits because that's where you are most likely to find yourself in an SD situation. Police dashcam videos of police shootings support this.
__________________
Semper Fi-
David Williams

"Sabah al khair -- ismee Dave, ahnee al Shayṭān"
pickpocket is offline  
Old August 13, 2006, 10:37 PM   #13
PythonGuy
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 456
Actually, I'm not holding you responsible for anything! My first post was a general statement, the second one was when I responded to you after you addressed me. We all just offer our opinion on here, some just have more experience and so the value of their response is higher, which was my point with Erick. Happily, this is America so we can all have our opinions, and you know what opinions are like? We all have one. Oh, and statistics may be great for accountants, but when is the last time you heard of an accountant winning a gunfight? And the point I made with my statement about Erick's comment was precisely what you mentioned in your last paragraph, it is that simple, why complicate it? Proficient or not, if you can't see it, if a part of the body isn't available to target, you can't shoot it anyway. COM, head, neck, chest, whatever everyone is saying to shoot, if its not available it's not an option. You can't neatly compartmentalize a shooting scenario in real life, you NEVER know what's going to happen, unless you are really Chris Angel........

Last edited by PythonGuy; August 14, 2006 at 07:41 AM.
PythonGuy is offline  
Old August 13, 2006, 10:57 PM   #14
pickpocket
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 570
I'm going to end the night thinking that we're saying the same thing, just in different ways. I'm not disagreeing that people should aim at whatever target presents itself - I am taking issue with the fact that the notion that one should simply "aim at whatever is there" neatly sidesteps the question of how to practice, which is the question posed by the original poster.

If Erick wants to throw his two cents into the fray with a simple "aim at what's there" then that's fine. But what's missing are some suggestions on how to practice that. Otherwise, like I said - he's simply pointing out the obvious.

You can practice all day long to hit a person's pinky finger, but the likelihood that you're going to be able to do it under extreme stress is highly unlikely. It's not something you train incessantly for - it's something that you do if you have to.

Armchair quarterbacking is not my game - my opinions are based on personal experience.

It seems as if we're splitting hairs over unimportant things, so I'm going to bow out at this point and call it a night.

Stay safe -
__________________
Semper Fi-
David Williams

"Sabah al khair -- ismee Dave, ahnee al Shayṭān"
pickpocket is offline  
Old August 14, 2006, 12:30 AM   #15
shield20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 13, 2005
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
Posts: 1,371
COM if available, center of what you can hit otherwise. Practicing hitting center of what you can see shouldn't be that tough - partially conceal silouette targets behind something.

I think sometimes instincts will take over, as situations present themselves, so pratice hitting what you are aiming at.
shield20 is offline  
Old August 14, 2006, 12:31 AM   #16
38splfan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2004
Location: Ft. Lewis/Tacoma, WA.
Posts: 1,034
New stuff.

Hello to all.
Saw this and just thought I'd add a new note.
When we went through CQM refresher training in Kuwait (for the umpteenth time) we were briefed NOT TO SHOOT CENTER MASS.
We were told instead to shoot at the chest/low shoulders area of the torso, reason cited as too many people shooting low and missing.
The ribcage area/upper chest offers a greater chance of damaging vital organs, and a miss low can still be hit. Also, rounds high can be a hit if you shoot center well enough.

Just thought the new stuff would help. But in the end, shoot well wherever you aim and train,train,train.
__________________
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to others and I expect the same from them." - John Wayne
38splfan is offline  
Old August 14, 2006, 12:40 AM   #17
squirrelsniper
Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2006
Location: Caneyville, KY
Posts: 61
I agree with Erick.

Being under stress and possibly in a poorly lit enviroment, I'd say go for whatever is the largest part of the target. If they're standing and facing you, then of course that's going to be the chest region. Then again, they may be behind a barrier or turned slightly sideways, in which case I'd shoot at whatever was the largest portion and offered the best opportunity for a hit. If someone's trying to harm you, a hit in the foot is better than nothing at all, at least it may cause them to rethink whether or not they want to continue their attack.
squirrelsniper is offline  
Old August 14, 2006, 01:05 AM   #18
Oregongundude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 205
I'll take any hit I can get in a shoot out.

I would take any hit I can get in the self defense shooting, or life threating shoot out with a bad guy. I will try to hit the middle of the target, or human Torso if possible. However, I would take a leg shot, or shoulder shot if it was available to me. My main goal is to the hit the spine, heart, lungs, Head, or rib cage if I needed to fire upon someone threating my life. However, I'll take what I can get if those shots weren't available to me in a shoot out. Stomach, liver, and kidney shots would work in an effort to create intense pain, or death in a the Bad guy as well. Sometimes you might have to take what shot is available. I would agree to try to hit the biggest target available to you, COM is what everyone is trained to hit, but sometimes it might not be available to you.

Oregongundude is offline  
Old August 14, 2006, 01:31 AM   #19
garryc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2005
Posts: 2,314
Quote:
Recognize the heart, aorta and head are likely good targets. Is that the best choice?
I'd say you are thinking like a target shooter. COM is the way to go. Put it this way, if a guy is behind a baracade he is not a threat unless he's pointing a gun at you. In that case you need to use his baracade to your advantage by moving fast and drawing at the same time. His ability to move and track you is diminished. Lets say he's over the hood of a car, then he can't sweep down. Or behind a wall, move into the obsticle. (Besides the fact that any rounds you put into a hard wall near him will pepper him with bullet spawl and pieces of that wall) Being able to shoot is not the end all in a SD situation, preventing getting shot is.
garryc is offline  
Old August 14, 2006, 07:50 AM   #20
PythonGuy
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 456
Actually, for us non-LEO types who will 99.9% never have to use our gun's in self-defense, try going to a paintball shooting place and see just how "easy" it is to hit a live target. Its fun, good exercise, and a very humbling experience, especially for the older guys, 35 plus, going against 18 to 25 year olds. I am sure that will be an eye opening experience for many of us. Sure it's not real life shootout's, but its closer then you think, and puts thing's in a whole new perspective. See what the target is actually offering you to shoot at, I know I tend to aim for the middle of the biggest area I can see. If you wait for the perfect shot, you get shot.

And pickpocket, I think we are saying the same things, it was just late at night and we both were tired. Stay safe and have fun shooting, that's what its all about....
PythonGuy is offline  
Old August 14, 2006, 10:22 AM   #21
Crazi
Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2005
Location: Va
Posts: 27
Gotta agree with Python on this one. Paintball puts you in that adrenaline dump mode when you hear that whistle and you have EVERYONE scrambling for cover. Then when you are behind a barrier and hear paint hitting the barrier in rapid bursts...

Shooting at a moving target is not easy... But on the flipside, the distances involved in paintball normally means that your moving target is far enough away that if you were in an actual gun fight, you should be getting farther away from the BG.
__________________
"...copper wrapped lead exiting from a length of cylindrical steel extremely hastily in the direction of a zombie or boogey man..."
Crazi is offline  
Old August 14, 2006, 01:06 PM   #22
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,341
Quote:
I heard someone say once that if you have time to debate what kind of shot you're going to take then you have time to get the hell out of that situation in the first place.
...in a body bag. If your brain functions so slowly that in the time it takes you to make up your mind about where to place a shot that your body could physically remove you from that situation, then you have some significant mental issues. I believe the condition, as comically called in the tv show "Night Court" referred to it was Tortoise nervosis (slow nerves).

Another way of considering the point is that if your shoot training is such that you can only shoot at a singular location while under stress, then your training has failed you, especially if in a crisis that location isn't available for you to shoot. Why? Because according to the theory quoted above, in the time it takes you to debate where you shot will be placed after you have slowly realized the place you trained for is no longer available, then you would have had time to remove yourself from the situation, right? ...or the bad guy killed you because of your inability to perform.
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old August 15, 2006, 05:37 AM   #23
Para Bellum
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2005
Location: right there
Posts: 1,847
Mozambique Drill

Hitting the pelvis is hard and takes time. Try it. Sill the fastest:

Mozambique Drill
( see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozambique_Drill )

Quote:
The Mozambique Drill was added to the modern technique of gunfighting by Jeff Cooper based on the experience of one of his students, Mike Rouseau, while on duty in Mozambique. Rouseau was later killed in action in the Rhodesian War.

The Mozambique Drill considers the deficiency of the pistol round in stopping an adversary. Statistics show that reactions in gunfights are extremely irregular -- one must be prepared for the worst. Many times it is the case that after absorbing the trauma of the first shots, the enemy will disregard further ballistic insult. It has been pointed out that simply "more shots" are not the answer. The Mozambique Drill instructs the shooter to place a double-tap in the center of mass, followed by a carefully aimed headshot.

Contrary to popular belief, the immediate aim of defensive shooting is to incapacitate a target so as to render that person unable to attack. Unlike what is commonly seen on television and in movies, gunshot wounds rarely kill instantly. The incapacitation caused by gunshots is the result of neurocirculatory shock. The trauma resulting from impact and wound channel after two shots to a target's center of mass will produce a reflexive nervous system collapse in about 96% of cases. In the other 4%, either an adrenaline rush or the effect of stimulant drugs will override this reflex, and further shots will not produce this instantly-incapacitating shock. Because of this, the third shot should be aimed to destroy the brain, ensuring that the target's nervous system will shut down and leave the target unable to attack. This third shot is most effective when placed between a target's eyes as a higher shot is more likely to deflect off of hard bone and a lower shot is unlikely to produce the nervous system damage required to instantly stop an attacker.

Also known as the 'failure to stop drill' or '2+1 drill'. As part of the U.S. National Guard Combat Pistol and other military combat pistol competitions, the Mozambique Drill is called Body Armor Defeat, and is frequently a discriminator between the average shooter and the gifted shooter, especially when it is timed.
__________________
Si vis pacem - para bellum
If you want peace - prepare for war
Para Bellum is offline  
Old August 15, 2006, 10:49 AM   #24
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 2,866
While center of mass provides the "largest" target and is scored the highest in the B27 targets, think about what actually lies beneath the 10 ring.

My best guess would place the 10 ring just below the sternum. That means that there is a good chance of hitting the diaphragm, the stomach, and the liver. While I'm sure it would still hurt like hell and cause potentially fatal wounds, none of those shots would be an instant stop unless the bullet also went through the spinal chord.

There have been multiple threads that call for shooting the upper part of the torso, meaning from the chest up. This gives you a much better chance of hitting the heart, lungs, and major arteries and veins going to the heart. There is always the chance of hitting the spinal chord as well. An upper chest wound has a much greater chance of stopping a fight since the circulatory and repiratory organs are there.

Of course you take the shot you are presented with, but if I had to trade shots with someone, I would sure as heck want mine to count more than theirs.
__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Old August 15, 2006, 11:34 AM   #25
pickpocket
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 570
Double Naught:
You and I are basically on the same page. What I meant was that if you have to sit there and wonder which shot to take because the guy is hiding (i.e. NOT advancing or threatening) then your situation may have changed slightly with respect to protection under your State use-of-force statutes.
I did not mean to imply that your body can move faster than your brain, and the "getting out of there" part meant that if you have time to debate shot placement with yourself in a situation then there's a high probability that you also had an opportunity to avoid the situation in the first place - BEFORE the fight started. Sorry for the confusion.

Stephen:
There is only one way to guarantee an "instant stop" - so for the majority of people it's going to be an unattainable (at least by intention) shot under stress with a defensive weapon. Rather than try to explain why the B27 works fairly well for target training, I'll ask you to try an exercise:

Engage a B27 target from 7 yards under physical stress, rapid fire. Get your heart rate up, sweat, try to recreate the adrenaline dump if you can. I say rapid fire because that's how you're going to pull the trigger when your life is in danger....no slow, easy shots. Aim for the X - when you're done, I highly doubt you will have placed many shots in the 10-ring...but you'll cover enough of the rest of the silhouette to stop/neutralize the threat.

I can't sit here and debate the merits of placing COM at the center of the chest or at the sternum - to me that's a pointless debate. However, I've learned from experience that I'm less likely to nail a target dead on under stress and that I'm more likely to plant rounds within 6-10 inches all around where I thought I was aiming.
That's the reason I say the B27 has its advantages.

I'm not LE, but I do speak from years of personal experience. Others with just as much experience will have different thoughts/ideas/opinions - so in the end all opinions are worth exactly what you paid for them.
__________________
Semper Fi-
David Williams

"Sabah al khair -- ismee Dave, ahnee al Shayṭān"
pickpocket is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13183 seconds with 7 queries