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Old August 8, 2007, 11:37 PM   #1
Wildalaska
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Diving to the Right....

As a young law student, I fell under the spell of this retired old cop (forcibly retired with a few others I may add after some gambler whined about payoffs) who was a drunken, rascist, antisemitic foul mouthed mysoginistic gun freak and gunsmith/private investigator..of course he loved his mom and lived with her, had a black hooker as a girlfriend, investigated cases for some black guys for free ("he's an OK N****r", ) and would call me all hours of the day or night for legal advice ("hey you jewboys are smart F****rs") half drunk most of the time.

I just loved this guy, he was a walking Joe Wambaugh (now Michael Connoly) character...good shot too and tougher than nails. You real old guys (older than me ) remember those old time 1950s and 1960s cops, no Miranda warnings, just the stick .

Anyway among the NUMEROUS lectures i received from him about life, law and guns (which lectures usually followed the consumption of a bottle I paid for) such as how to hotwire cars, how to recover drugs from a "hype" who swallowed them ("ya pop him in the gut with your stick until he pukes it up"), why the .45 auto is the best (yep the old WW2 Stories), why I should shoot left handed ("one of them [insert some ethnic other than white German/Irish/French Canadian] might stab ya or shoot ya in the shoulder, then what do you do"] and how to best interrogate suspects (rolled up newspapers applied to side of head) was his famous "dive to the right" lecture.

His theory (which he insisted was backed up by empirical evidence on the street although he sure didn't use the word empirical ) was this...

That if you are facing an armed "scumbag" with a gun in his right hand, holding it either one handed or two handed, your escape move is to dive or drop low right "cuz the *****ers gonna be all hyped and when he pulls that trigger hes gonna jerk it to his right"...o course when sobriety took over it was time to demonstrate replete with jerking the trigger on snubnosed revolvers.

Now of course, every time I jerk a trigger on an handgun I shoot to the right and actually, I find it impossible to shoot low left physiologically as easy since while holding a gun, its hard to flex inward to shoot left (and yes I know about heeling which I think is a flaw of deliberate not fast shooting)...

So, looking back now, I reckon this lecture has sunk in since in times of conflict, I find myself moving right (ooo bad pun)...

I wish old timers like this guy were still around....

Anybody else hear this before or train that way?

Wildwowstayingoutofl&pmakesmerverboseAlaska
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Old August 9, 2007, 02:36 AM   #2
BikerRN
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Yes, I've heard something like this before.

My Brother is retired after thirty years on the Chicago PD. He managed to stay out of jail/prison, but his partner died in prison. Yeah, the "payoffs" and all that junk.

Anyway, back to the original topic; Louis LaMour used the same technique in his books when talking about a gunfight. One of the Sacketts had to step low and right a time or two. From what I know, Mr. LaMour based his stories on reality with only the names changed.

I think this is a valid technique that has been "forgotten" by the teachers of the guns of today. It does bring up the topic of, "Get off the X". Which is basically saying, "Move"! I know that I'm not going to stand there and be a bullet sponge.

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Old August 9, 2007, 05:22 AM   #3
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I sometimes throw shots left when I develop a case of "the claw". It mostly happens when I shoot small pistols with heavy DA triggers. If your hand is big enough and the pistol small enough, and you pull the trigger with a crude caveman crush, shots can go left.
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Old August 9, 2007, 08:13 AM   #4
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Wild,

First, ... Man! You've lead a pretty crazy life! Where did you go to law school? When?

Second, I had actually heard the exact opposite. Anatomically speaking, the muscles in most people's arms are stronger on the inside of the arm than on the outside (biceps stronger than triceps, inside of the elbow stronger than the outside, etc...) My martial arts instructor (former army drill sergeant, former army shooting team) says that, when facing a right handed attacker, you move to your left. If you move to your left, the attacker will have to track to his right. The idea is, he will have to use the weaker muscles in his arm to swing his right arm out to the right, and therefore, he will be unable to track you as quickly or accurately. If you move to your right, the attacker merely has to "hug" his arm toward his body to track your to his left.

Thoughts on this? Perhaps this is all just too academic?

p.s. - All my shots go left. Even when I shoot my 1911. I have some pretty big hands, though.
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Old August 9, 2007, 08:42 AM   #5
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Wild, I can't remember where I saw this -- I'm pretty sure it was on television (maybe COPS) or maybe a movie in the 1980's. Anyway, an older police officer was advising rookies about gunfights. He told them that when they drew their weapon in response to a criminal's drawn weapon (gunfight about to begin), the officer should immediately take one step to the right before firing. I can remember that the older officer said that this action had saved the lives of several officers who were in gunfights, because by stepping to the right, the officers were able to avoid being shot by the criminal and the officer would have an opportunity to return fire before the criminal could adjust the criminal's aim and fire again.

Quote:
p.s. - All my shots go left. Even when I shoot my 1911. I have some pretty big hands, though.
Lots of my shots go left, too, Samuri. I'm thinking about getting the hogue wrap-around grips for the 1911 (I've heard that those are bigger grips). The only other option I've been able to find are STI grips (thick grips), but I don't particularly like the way those look. It would be easier if I just cut off the tip of my trigger finger to shorten her up....
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Old August 9, 2007, 09:01 AM   #6
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There's a saying in the Marine Corps about people who lose control, freak out, start yelling, start spontaneously fighting, or just emotionally break down.


We say "Man, I came home at 4 a.m., and my wife went High and to the Right".

If you ever hear that in military circles (only place I've ever heard it) its referring to the diagnosis that rifle and pistol instructors or coaches will give to get you to understand WHY your groups are landing in various places on the target.

If your groups are landing high and to the right, the culprit is trigger control, which means you are not SQUEEZING the trigger gently, allowing it to surprise you when the weapon fires. You are jerking the trigger, and the "play" in the pulling of the trigger before the firing pin is released is forcing your rounds "high and to the right".

(Of course, groups of rounds hitting in other locations, i.e., low left, far right, etc., each have their rationale, and everything in the preceding is the OPPOSITE with Assault weapons/rifles if you are wearing a Gas Mask. A good coach/instructor knows WHY those rounds hit where they do. Marine rifle instructors are among the best in the world, and such knowledge is the cumulative repository of thousands of snipers and rifleman).

Those of you (right handed shooters) hitting low and left should concentrate on:

*Breath control- squeeze during the natural respiratory pause

*Anticipating the shot


Not that you asked...

but anyways


Good yarn. Some real truth to it, in a nostalgic kind of way.
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Old August 9, 2007, 09:05 AM   #7
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Samurai, I would think that moving to your left would be more natural to a right handed attacker. In essence, you are moving toward their power hand. Think of a boxing match, as you move to your left, the opponent/enemy is moving toward his right and you are actually getting closer to the "danger zone". Wilds theory makes sense to me.
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Old August 9, 2007, 09:07 AM   #8
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Maybe I'm an old man too (it certainly feels like it when I wake up in the morning.) As I remember hearing or reading this too. I have no idea as to the source of this supposed knowledge but it's quite clear in my mind " drop down and to the right most people miss up and too the right."

Dang spotty memory why won't you give me all the information I want? Perhaps something to do with those years of s, d, and rock & roll? Which was always has too much of two and never enough of one!

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Old August 12, 2007, 02:57 PM   #9
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ha...

...I think that was TJ Hooker...
Seriously, I heard the same thing from my cop-cousin, who heard it from some partner guy named Malcolm...I think...it was long-ago and far away...
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Old August 12, 2007, 06:05 PM   #10
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there is actually some truth buried there...

a person invariably wields a weapon with their strong-side hand... so, with 80% of the population being right handed, you move away from their strong side...

NOW, against a person wielding a weapon in their left hand, you'd want to move left, now, wouldn't you?
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Old August 12, 2007, 08:39 PM   #11
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Of course if the person is right handed and has an anticipatory flinch, then diving to your right will mean meeting up with his flinched shot that will be to his low and left. So, what you need to know is whether the person is going to yank high and right or flinch low and left.

Quote:
Samurai, I would think that moving to your left would be more natural to a right handed attacker.
Yes, but if you are a right handed person, the the most natural first step for you will not be to your left as the tendency is for the right foot to move first with the left foot planted. If the left foot is planted at the start of the stride, the move to the left is more difficult than to the right.
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Old August 13, 2007, 01:13 AM   #12
BreacherUp!
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Left, right....

Just move! Action more often beats reaction.
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Old August 13, 2007, 07:46 AM   #13
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If you are moving because somebody is shooting at you, that is reaction. If action usually beats reaction, then you probably just got beat.

I have yet to figure out form the gun gurus why they start counting the action/reaction sequence from the point in time when the good guy begins action which invariably is in response to the activity of a bad guy and hence would have to be a reaction to a bad guy action, but they call it action instead. The same for OODA loops.

With that said, movement is good. It isn't so much that action beats reaction as much as it is harder for folks to hit moving targets.
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Old August 13, 2007, 07:59 AM   #14
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Thanks to the huge number of Law Enforcement Officers patrolling the streets of America, there are thousands of cases of attacks and reactions that we can study, over decades of experience.

Most of those cases end with the LEO surviving and stopping the attackers. It is reaction to an attacker that has allowed them to survive.

Action is good, reaction is good. To make a statement and then run with it in an absolute fashion is wrong (IMHO). The key is to train your reflexes so you can respond to a threat in such a way as to increase your survivability.

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Old August 13, 2007, 09:03 AM   #15
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I did an informal test of the right/left movement several years ago. I had 4 shooters....2 righties and 2 lefties...and the targets were full-color, full-sized "Crocodile Dundee" cardboard cut-outs (Dundee was holding a can of Foster's beer. I got them from a liquor store). The shooting was done at 3', 7' and 15' distances, with a good dirt berm for backing. The shooting was done with single rounds and strings of 2-, 4- and 6-rounds of rapid fire.

After the 4 of us (I was one of the righties) were done, we had fired almost 300 rounds. The 4 "Dundee's" looked like Swiss Cheese with patches over the holes!

While it was a try at simulating the need for left or right movement, what it actually proved was that a stationary/fixed target would end up with holes USUALLY at center-of-mass, especially when only 1-round was fired, and the twist of the barrel AND the muzzle climb would cause the rounds to "stray" upward and to the left when fired rapidly....and that was for BOTH the righties and lefties! From the results, I "deductively" reasoned that both dropping down and diving to the LEFT would be the best.

Coupling that informal test with what was taught in the military, plus my ACTUAL dropping down/diving to the LEFT several times during ambushes in combat (1967-1968) I have it in my mind that diving LEFT is, in fact, the only way to go. By the way, I wasn't the recipient of a Purple Heart....and I spent 13 months in combat!

For you doubters, it's time to TRY it, post YOUR results! Oh, and let me add that a good buddy of mine was "zippered" by 3-rounds of 7.62x39, from an AK-47. It took place on the third day of his second 13-month tour in Nam. Fortunately, none of the rounds hit any vital organs, but he was hospitalized and in rehab for almost 10 months. When I ran into him state-side, he said that he had jumped to the RIGHT when the incoming rounds started! The scars from his "zippering" show that the rounds lifted and moved to the LEFT.

By the way, "WildAlaska", I loved the description of your retired LEO friend! When I was 17, I had a LEO almost EXACTLY like that stop me and give me a ticket! Seven years later, I was a rookie LEO, and that SAME officer was my PARTNER! It didn't take long for me to find out that, under that "crusty", "grizzly", very opinionated and often obnoxious verbalization exterior was one of the NICEST, most dedicated, hard working and "serious-when-necessary" souls that I have ever met! He claimed to hate "n---ers" (rhymes with "vigors), but that didn't stop him from giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to an alcoholic black man that had a heart attack! He could have ordered ME to do that, but I ended up doing the chest pumping. Oh, and when that drunk regained consciousness, he "M/F'ed" the both of us as we helped to load him into the ambulance! My partner just responded with, "You're entirely welcome!"
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Old August 13, 2007, 09:24 AM   #16
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Think FAST!!! Which Way to Go???

Assume that the vast majority of your potential opponents will be right handed. If they jerk a shot, which they'll USUALLY do, it'll go to THEIR left. I'm convinced it's best to move 2-3 QUICK steps to YOUR left and then fire from a MOMENTARILY stationary stance. At distances of 5-21 feet, you MIGHT also just seem to DISAPPEAR from view because you're stepping outside his "tunnel of vision".

When you're so close that you can almost reach out and touch each other, circle the other guy so that he's turning AWAY from the center of his body rather than across it because it's more difficult to track a target (YOU) one-handed moving away from the body rather than across it. Again, all that works out to moving LEFT against a righty and RIGHT against a lefty.
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Old August 13, 2007, 10:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
If you are moving because somebody is shooting at you, that is reaction. If action usually beats reaction, then you probably just got beat.
That's right, to a point. If you were that far into LaLa land that you were able to let someone draw and fire on you without noticing it nor moving, then Mental Condition Black has a whole new meaning. The whole point is that you do not wait for the shot. Either way, shot or not, your immediate movements while drawing and engaing now puts action on your side. Very much like moving off the "X" in an ambush. As you pointed out, it is a constant swing of actions and reactions. It starts when the encounter started, it ends when the encounter ends.
I agree with Joe Black. One thing that nearly all of those decades of experience will show, the LEOs did something. Whether it was shoot, take cover, or the Jackie Chan roll. Some just got plain ole' lucky. But the whole point of this discussion is to not rely on luck, right?
But, really why do we talk about this stuff. Who really pays attention on these forums?
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Old August 13, 2007, 11:35 AM   #18
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I read this thread last week and decided to put a few of my students through the paces with a knife attack.

Assume a right handed atacker with a knife, either slashing or thrusting at you from a few feet away:



In each and every case it was far easier to move to your left, to the attackers weapon side to avoid being sliced and diced.

In almost every case if you move to your right ( the attacker's left if they are holding the knife in their right hand ) you are still in their range and they can still slice or stab you.

I talked to the students that held the knives and they commented that they found it much easier to slash or stab to a moving target to their left than to their right.

It appears that there is some merit to moving to the weak ( outside ) side of an attacker's thrust.

I would gander that a similar effect applies to firearms. To what extent, I am not sure.

Time to get out a few super soakers and try again with my students...
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Old August 13, 2007, 05:30 PM   #19
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Just another thought on this that I haven't seen mentioned yet...

I remember hearing/reading that there's a tendancy to focus on the opponent's weapon and that as a result a LOT of shots end up on that side of the target mass. If true, wouldn't that mean (for us righties) that moving to the left will tend to move one away from the likely impact area, while stepping right would move COM towards it?
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Old August 13, 2007, 05:45 PM   #20
Michael Anthony
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I shoot low and to my left when I am not concentrating on my shots. In fact that has been the case with many other novice or intermediate shooters that I have watched.

Mike Jones you are correct when it comes to knives and also if you notice the safest gun/knife/anything disarm techniques involve putting yourself on the outside. Much easier to aim or attack towards the inside then the outside. This is another thread I believe though, as I don't think we are talking about very close ranges.

In a medium range encounter I think any movement is better than no movement. It's purely my speculation, but stressed shooters probably shoot all over and it would be impossible to collect enough data to ensure you were gaining an advantage (statistically) by diving in a specific manner. They calculated it in Equilibrium, I'd like to have that data.

My vote is just to move towards the closest thing that will provide cover, or in lieu of cover move back and to your strong side at a diagonal. This allows more comfortable movement while drawing and aiming, you don't have to twist or skip as much. Also if you take a hit, it is further from the muscles you use to draw and fire (ideally).

Some favor lateral movement, on a line perpendicular to the one between you and your opponent. This is better than straight forward or back, but I believe not as suitable for moving and firing as diagonal movement.

Distance also favors the well-trained, and you know all of us TFLers are crack-shots, even stressed or wounded.
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Old August 13, 2007, 07:06 PM   #21
Double Naught Spy
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From reading the posts, insights, tests, etc., the bottom line seems first to be that movement is good. The second thing is that direction depends on various parameters when dealing with a sole attacker situation and no doubt will involve more parameters as the number of attackers is increased.

Of course, all these thoughts assume that we have free lateral motion in any direction with little discussion of cover, blockage of direction of travel, bystanders, etc.
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Old August 14, 2007, 06:15 PM   #22
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I wouldn't dive right or left, but immediately drop to my knees, assume the fetal position, while throwing out my phony wallet, and blubber for mercy!
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Old August 14, 2007, 06:32 PM   #23
Gary L. Griffiths
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FWIW, I train law enforcement agencies in judgmental shooting, using an IES Range MILO simulator. In quick-reaction firing, most misses occur to the strong side of the on-screen "aggressor." Right handers tend to shoot to the right of the target, left handers to the left. So yes, there's validity to that tactic.

Also FWIW, I teach to move towards an upraised blunt-force or edged weapon, (assuming no time to draw and fire) because it disrupts the attack and makes it more difficult for the assailant to get in a powerful blow.
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Old August 14, 2007, 06:51 PM   #24
Wildalaska
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Quote:
I wouldn't dive right or left, but immediately drop to my knees, assume the fetal position, while throwing out my phony wallet, and blubber for mercy!
Thats not a tactic for facing off an armed criminal, thats me when SWMBO is in discipline mood: "Why you not behave correctly smelly old man, say sorry from heart!!!"

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Old August 14, 2007, 10:24 PM   #25
redblair
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WildandshesafirmbeleiverincorporalpunishmentAlaska

You write that like it's a bad thing!

B
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