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Old November 30, 2007, 07:44 AM   #1
matthew temkin
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Using Your Fire as Cover

Fairbairn and Applegate of WW2 special operations fame were firm believers in the following...

1)Fast rate of fire.
In fact Fairbairn wrote that the more his pistol sounds like a submachine gun the better he liked it.

2)Moving into the enemy while rapidly shooting if the range is close and no cover is available..as is so often the case in a surprise handgun assult.

So..what we have is a tactic in which you charge in while yelling, screaming, cursing, and, most vital, shooting...which means that you are using your bullets as cover.
Moreover...Fairbairn also wrote that a man shot in the stomach area will usually clutch his midsection, thereby dropping his weapon..a good reason ( amongst others) to shoot "low."
Of couse, nothing would prevent you from starting "low" and zippering your way up...
Fairbairn also wrote that at the exact impact of your bullet the BG was incapable of pulling his trigger for a second of so ( not sure why, but it is what he observed with the SMP) so the faster you hit him the more time he is not likely to return fire to you.
Which gives light to another saying popular in Special Ops teams...
"Sometimes the BOLDEST action is the safest action."
Of course I do not think that "Hiding", "Cover" or "Surpressive" fire is an accurate term for this, so I am looking for help on what we should call this.
After all, neither Fairbairn or Applegate bothered to give this a name.....
Hmmmm..maybe there is a lesson in that...
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Old November 30, 2007, 08:03 AM   #2
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Just my two cents;
You're referring to absolute last ditch efforts here, which might be why they didn't want to attach a name to it and consider it a "legitimate" tactic. Hail Mary comes to mind.
Quote:
"Sometimes the BOLDEST action is the safest action."
True in many cases. If you want to hide a 50 ton excavator, you don't dig a hole and cover it with leaves, you park it where an excavator should be, like at a construction site.
"Tactics" need to cover not only your thinking, but that of your adversary as well.
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Old November 30, 2007, 09:16 AM   #3
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So..what we have is a tactic in which you charge in while yelling, screaming, cursing, and, most vital, shooting...which means that you are using your bullets as cover.
Don't ya think you're going off the deep end - Maybe just a little bit?

This technique is neither desperate, last ditch, nor illegitimate. (You've, 'split the pie' haven't you?) If you can yell and scream while, still, firing accurately more power to you; I never could; and, I'm positive that William Ewart Fairbairn didn't require such behavior of his officers.

The type of close quarter combat Fairbairn's Shanghai Police did, most often involved moving rapidly through crowded tenements while engaging thoroughly experienced, street-harden, and well-armed criminals. These gangsters had to be fought on their own turf and, often, at moments of their own choosing in what was frequently a, 'fall back ambush' scenario.

There is no, 'clean' way to do this. Anything can happen during a, 'running gun battle'. Sometimes you will be caught in an undefensible position and left completely exposed. I remember reading that Fairbairn's officers were frequently outnumbered and needed to avoid losing momentum and being boxed in, themselves. It was to the officers' advantage to press their attacks and keep moving forward.

By all accounts I've seen, lawlessness was rife in Shanghai; and, Fairbairn was involved in a battle to, 'take back the streets'. He required his officers to cover a lot of ground and to engage frequently - often without regard for the extraordinary risks involved.

Most of what we hear about, today, involves the use of an isosceles stance and rapid fire; however: surprise action, frequent engagement, hard-pressed forward momentum, and close interaction between team members were, also, primary defense tactics of the Shanghai Police.

Yelling, screaming, emptying your weapon, and recklessly exposing yourself to incoming fire have nothing to do with the tactics you're endeavoring to analyze.
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Old November 30, 2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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Cover is an obstruction or area that blocks bullets, e.g. cars, large buildings, and ditches. Concealment is something that blocks the shooter's view but not bullets, e.g. bushes, large signs, and smoke.

Your own gunfire is neither of these.
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Old November 30, 2007, 11:07 AM   #5
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I get a lot of the mil guys that preach "violence of action" when they explain why they think charging at the bad guy is a good idea... after I point out that they really aren't significantly "scarier" when they add forward motion to the actual shooting, lights, flashbangs, etc AND add the fact that motion towards the target while shooting affects their ability to shoot rapidly and accurately AND when they see on scenario runs that it quite often puts them crossing open doors and blowing off danger areas; they re-think the concept.

I agree that bold action is often good action.... take the initiative or take it back as fast as you can. Lateral movement relative to the threat during presentation, then planting and putting as many rounds as fast as possible into the target's high center chest until he stops being threat is pretty bold.

-RJP
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Old November 30, 2007, 01:11 PM   #6
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"Shock and awe" revisited this theory...
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Old November 30, 2007, 01:24 PM   #7
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L'audace, l'audace...Toujours l'audace!



Rob, I know you know it's possible (and not really that hard) to achieve a fairly high level of accuracy while moving laterally...why plant?
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Old November 30, 2007, 01:49 PM   #8
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"fairly high level of accuracy" and "as many shots into the high center chest as possible in the least amount of the time until the threat stops" are two different things.

First, lets accept that you can't be as fast and as accurate while moving as you can while planted. If we don't agree on that, its a whole 'nuther thing.

I ask students this question: "how many rounds come out of a pistol/AK47 in one half second?"

The answer is "more than none".... we want "none" to come out at us or those we are trying to protect. The faster we stop the threat, the faster "none" come out. If it is 1/3, 1/4, 1/2 second faster to plant, I'm all for it. The fact is that the rate at which most people move when they are "shooting and moving" isn't going to make them safer to the same level that it is going to affect their ability to stop the threat.

I do teach lateral movement during presentation, but I teach to stop and shoot as soon as you can.

-RJP
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Old November 30, 2007, 01:57 PM   #9
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First, lets accept that you can't be as fast and as accurate while moving as you can while planted. If we don't agree on that, its a whole 'nuther thing.
I absolutely agree, and I agree with your premise that, for the average shooter, the benefits of stationary shooting outweigh the benefits of lateral movement (after that initial off-line step).

I also know, however, that you teach some students that can make those same accurate hits while moving. If a guy can consistently hit high thoracic while moving, why not get the best of both worlds? Granted, all this is on the range and not under fire, but don't we have a tendency to continue movement under fire anyway?
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:07 PM   #10
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I believe there is a name for the tactic described in the OP... it's called a "suicidal charge".
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:08 PM   #11
Glenn E. Meyer
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I read somewhere (sigh) and had this discussion with a friend who was an ASLET trainer that someone (sigh) found that people were hit going to cover as that took time and they were not firing effectively as they moved. Cover could be a ways away and it might just be concealment anyway. Do you want to have to be thinking about what is and what isn't as rounds are coming at you. Thus, he was an advocate of a move and then plant and shoot as compared to a more lengthy run to something.
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:19 PM   #12
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I believe there is a name for the tactic described in the OP... it's called a "suicidal charge".
Nah, just multitasking. Shoot, Move, Communicate...all at once.
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:37 PM   #13
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Thumper, I can only say it so many ways "good enough" is NOT.... no matter how good you can get while moving, the laws of physics and bio-mechanics dictate that you can be better while stationary.

"Easy" and "best" are often two different things. We see the gamers shooting & moving all the time and at the top of the heap, the world class shooters make it look incredibly easy, but don't think that they couldn't shoot better if they were stationary.

Lastly, I don't know the context or accuracy of the quote in your sig line.. but you apparently liked it, and it doesn't say "If you're shooting, you should be moving because it will make you safer overall"...


-RJP
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:37 PM   #14
Jim March
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If we're talking as CCW holders, we should NOT be charging into the face of danger to "root out evil" the way Fairbairn's people were.

One of the more recent US instructors (Clint, wasn't it?) talked about moving SIDEWAYS while firing, as the goblin was most likely to pump rounds into the point where first contact was made.

It turns out the Weaver hold is very well suited to this. In both directions if need be.
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:45 PM   #15
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"USMC Rules of Combat #23: Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

THEy "BORROWED THIS FROM THE TEXAS RANGERS WHOSE VERSION WAS "Always be polite and professional, But have a plan and be readu to kill everyone you meet."
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:47 PM   #16
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Sorry cap locks stuck.
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:53 PM   #17
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If we're talking as CCW holders, we should NOT be charging into the face of danger to "root out evil" the way Fairbairn's people were.
Agreed. While there may be instances were this may be the better or only option in a confrontation, I would prefer that any witnesses who may testify later say that I appeared to be in a defensive posture rather then say I appeared to be "charging" aggressively at my target in an offensive posture...as if I was instigating the confrontation.

PS Hardball: great signature line either way, huh?
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Old November 30, 2007, 02:53 PM   #18
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Lastly, I don't know the context or accuracy of the quote in your sig line.. but you apparently liked it, and it doesn't say "If you're shooting, you should be moving because it will make you safer overall"...
Heheh, no...I've had that sigline for years...didn't think it might someday have bearing on an actual discussion.

I pretty much agree with you, especially that stationary is preferential accuracy-wise to moving, but a dynamic target isn't a bullsye with a clearly defined stop button. I guess it's a cost/benefit deal; is the accuracy trade off worth being harder to hit?

Perhaps a side step, then bangbangbang is a good compromise...or maybe it's situational?
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Old November 30, 2007, 03:42 PM   #19
Rob Pincus
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Absolutely... I almost went there in the last post, but didn't... should've known we'd get here.

I teach the concept of "Lateral movement" at the point of recognition of a threat. "we can't shoot bullets out of our eyes, but our eyes most often initiate the response". When we see a threat, even if we are in the ready position, there is a time delay to being able to shoot effectively. In CFS, I teach to use that time for the lateral shift "off the x" the person chose that spot to try to kill you, so that spot is BAD. As Jim noted in his reference to Mr. Smith's teachings.... Get off that spot, shift at least one body width laterally during presentation, plant & shoot.

There is an article about lateral movement in the VTC Online Newsletter archives.

-RJP
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Old November 30, 2007, 05:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Perhaps a side step, then bangbangbang is a good compromise...or maybe it's situational?
I'd say it has to be situational. Side stepping is great unless you're on stairs, or in a tight hallway, or other tight quarters.
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Old November 30, 2007, 05:12 PM   #21
Rob Pincus
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In training, we look for consistency & efficiency, so we train for lateral movement all the time, with the expectation that situational awareness will keep you from sidestepping off a cliff, if you happen to be in that extreme situation.

-RJP
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Old November 30, 2007, 10:32 PM   #22
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The method described by the OP was taught to us for countering ambushes. You end up rapidly closing with a bunch of prone guys, you force the enemy machinegunner to either fire into his own troops or go silent and your survivors will be behind the ambush and standing up while the ambushers have to try and reposition to get you, they are static, you are mobile and have grenades.

Fairburn & Applegate know that of which they speak. Especially since they were instructors for commando unit operations.

Is this a good idea for a CCW situation? Depends upon the situation. You also have to be a lot more... energetic when doing this kind of thing and you sure as hell want to be sure to move in an erratic pattern while moving and firing as fast as you can (yes to both).
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Old November 30, 2007, 10:54 PM   #23
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A fine techneque!

When I served with the Royal Grenadiers my hide was spared from the foul hands of the Thuggis men of battle by a quick rush into their ranks. When left without nary a horse to shield you, go forth, and loudly, into them.
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Old November 30, 2007, 11:17 PM   #24
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Charging into the teeth of 2 or more BG's is something I'd expect of Mel Gibson in a Lethal Weapon movie.

See threat. Evaluate threat. Threat real. Threat Dangerous.
Draw gun. Fire gun. Move sideways. Stop. Fire gun Until no threat.

In the rare instance where one has no real retreat and escape routes are limited, charging them like a wild-eyed shooting maniac may break their ranks enough for you to get past them to a better location.

Of course, if that happens, they'll be hampered in their ability to maintain solid footing, what with all that yellow and brown matter left behind.

As for me, I just hope I can float like a butterfly and sting like a 230-grain +P JHP.
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Old November 30, 2007, 11:21 PM   #25
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This is Weaver-specific, but...

OK. Assume you're right handed, so you're "bladed" a bit with your left side forward. This is a natural stance to go to the Weaver from. We'll also assume a strong-side holster of some sort, you're at condition orange but it's not yet time to draw against that...well let's say "agitated gangbanger type".

Oooops, he's pulled up his sweatshirt and you see a gun at his waistband. NOW it's time to draw.

One option:

Take your left (leading) leg and bring it hard right, across your body while taking a "long step" to the right. Your right leg bends and you drop to that knee, right foot hasn't moved but of course it's now on it's toe.

While that's happening you draw and you're twisting your upper body radically left into a Weaver-ish hold. Your left knee is pointing to your right almost 90 degrees from the direction your gun barrel points.

You've got what I've been privately calling a "Kenpo Weaver" because I've seen this type of crossed-up thing used as a punch taught in a Kenpo class.

It feels really "tight" across the upper body and it's an incredibly stable shooting platform. It's also dropped you some and put you about 1.5 body widths off-line. Almost as cool: since your right thigh has stayed vertical through all this, you don't have anything impeding your draw. All other off-line movement jiggles your holster all over the place, including bending it which impedes the draw.

It has some downsides. Once locked into this position, swinging your gun barrel right is easy but left means rolling onto your back and shooting past your knees...which actually isn't the worst possible idea but it seriously limits mobility. Or, to move from the "Kenpo Weaver" without rolling onto your back first really needs a forward roll...hope you know how to do that...I "can", kinda .

---

Another question: what does an Isosceles-type shooter do to move laterally?

One option: bring the off-side foot (we'll say left here) back and right, so you "blade" right-forward and shoot one handed "Olympic style" while backing up?
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