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Old June 17, 2009, 09:21 AM   #26
mp25ds4
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big sometimes doesnt matter I know some huge guys that are P****, just shoot what you can and get away to give the pain time to set in
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Old June 17, 2009, 09:27 AM   #27
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Size doesn't matter, it's all in how you use it.
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Old June 17, 2009, 09:34 AM   #28
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Yes, size matters.

As a general rule of thumb, bigger animals require more powerful rounds, to stop them quickly, than smaller animals require.

A .22LR for a squirrel? Yes.
A .22LR for a Kodiac Brown Bear? Only if you have a deathwish!
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Old June 17, 2009, 11:20 AM   #29
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cloud8a

If all else fails and you have to fire, does the size of the BG matter?

For instance a 300 pound 6'5 bad guy and your CCW .380. (just an example)
Size of your target is but one of the infinite variables that can have an effect on the outcome of a shooting. It should be obvious that the bullet will have to penetrate more tissue to traverse the torso of a 6'5" 300 pound assailant compared to a 5' 5" 130 pound assailant.

Consistent reliable deep penetration is only one thing that should be taken into consideration when choosing the performance of the cartridge and bullet that you will carry and bet your life on. All you will have when you need to defend yourself is what you have chosen. You can't say wait a minute let me get my more powerful gun. You carry what you choose and deal with the performance that it provides.

I have seen the results of a 6'9" 320 pound 22 year old shot 7 times with a .25acp. He was able to run around a parking lot for about 30 seconds as he was being shot trying to run away from his attacker. By the time I rolled onto the scene, he was face down and unresponsive. From witness statements, I arrived on the scene about a minute after the shooting.

This is why I have chosen to carry the 10mm auto 200gr @1250fps. Controllable, fast and accurate in a package I can carry all day concealed with an extra magazine and a flashlight. It may be more than enough for most situations, but it will also more likely be enough for all situations.

On the issue of shot placement, it is critical. However, remember that shot placement is not a two dimensional thing. It is three dimensional. It is not only where the bullet enters the target, but what it destroys on its path through the target that matters more.
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Old June 17, 2009, 11:35 AM   #30
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Significance of 21 feet

Not sure what instructors are teaching that it's hard to justify a shoot outside of 21 feet.

The significance of 21 feet, as taught to me by USMC and USN instructors, is that the average shooter will not be able to draw, aim, and fire before a knife wielding attacker can close 21 feet. IE 21 feet is the MINIMUM distance to begin engaging a threat.
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Old June 17, 2009, 12:04 PM   #31
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The 21 foot "rule" is based on Tueller's work. It showed that an average person can cover 21 feet and inflict a lethal wound via a blade or strike within 1.5 seconds. It was just a test and not a rule, but has inappropriately been put forth as such.

Recently, the actual threat distance has been increasing in recognition that people once reaction time is taken into account, 21 feet is danger close. If someone is holding a knife at 30 feet and yelling that he/she is going to gut you like a fish, you do not have to wait until they cover 7 more feet before drawing your weapon

As for not being able to defend a shot at 22 feet, 23 feet, etc, I'd suggest that anyone who asserted this needs to rethink what they are teaching. To argue that point is to argue that if you are taking fire from 10 yards away (the length of a hallway, a large conference room, a very small store, etc), you would be in trouble if you returned fire. Heaven forbid you take incoming in a parking lot, shopping mall, Wal-Mart, or from a tower at the University of Texas.

This sounds like a case where an instructor heard about the Tueller Drill and decided to play lawyer.

Putting firm limits on how far away from someone before self-defense is justified stopped being realistic when the first ranged weapon was introduced (i.e. when Og discovered he could throw a rock).
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Old June 17, 2009, 12:23 PM   #32
easyG
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Significance of 21 feet
Not sure what instructors are teaching that it's hard to justify a shoot outside of 21 feet.

The significance of 21 feet, as taught to me by USMC and USN instructors, is that the average shooter will not be able to draw, aim, and fire before a knife wielding attacker can close 21 feet. IE 21 feet is the MINIMUM distance to begin engaging a threat.
Point taken.
But you cannot disregard the fact that deployed military personnel have different rules of engagement than U.S. civilians on the street.

Let's say that you're on a public street and you see a guy about 30 feet away from you, who happens to be carrying a baseball bat, and he's walking your direction, closing the distance at a steady pace.
No threats whatsoever have been made toward you, but he is walking toward you.

He might be a guy who just came from a ball game.
He might be a guy who just bought a baseball bat for his kid.
Or he might be a guy who plans to crush your skull once he gets closer.

But until he makes a threatening remark or demonstrates obviously threatening behavior....
You don't have any LEGAL right to demand that he stop or change directions or drop the bat.
You don't have any LEGAL right to prevent him from walking right up to you.
You don't have any LEGAL right to even make him respond to any remarks you might make.

And you will have a very hard time explaining to a jury that you shot a guy simply because he was walking your direction, on a public street, while carrying a baseball bat.

IN OTHER WORDS.....

In the U.S.A. it is virtually impossible to prevent a street thug from closing the distance toward you unless he is stupid enough to threaten you at a distance.
And that is extremely rare.
Street thugs and muggers rely upon surprise and the ability to get close to their victims and they're usually smart enough to not tip their hand until the last second.

There's nothing wrong with practicing distance shooting.
But you should also practice shooting at arm's length distance, because THAT'S where you most likely to be attacked and have a justified defense.

Last edited by easyG; June 17, 2009 at 12:28 PM.
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Old June 17, 2009, 12:47 PM   #33
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Big guys are easier to hit -

But I think the question comes down to something else - we had an incident here were the "man of the house" confronted an intruder who broke in the front door - he saw the intruder was "just a teen-aged kid" and didn't shoot him. The intruder, however, had no such concern about shooting the armed man of the house - who had failed to protect his wife and two children.

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Old June 17, 2009, 12:48 PM   #34
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Someone somewhere has walked away/survived after being shot with everykind of handgun round on the market including shotgun rounds. Many of these BG's lived and were able to cause great injury to the person doing the shooting. There is much more to think about than just the caliber of the weapon you choose. Shot placement, tactics, reloads, shoot and move, your ability to put multiple shots onto a moving target under stress.
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Old June 17, 2009, 02:32 PM   #35
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Reply to EasyG

Or you could say that a threat identified inside of 21 feet is probably going to injure you while you employ your defensive tactics. I agree that training for close-in encounters is a good idea, but this has less to do with ROE than the fact that sometimes the BG will surprise us.

This is kind of like martial arts instructors saying that if you fight a guy who has a knife, expect to get cut. You have to mentally prepare for that probability.
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Old June 17, 2009, 03:03 PM   #36
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A couple of years ago, we had an incident where a guy (turned out to be a known serial repist - well over 200# - who had left one of his victims to die in the past) tried to break in the back door of a little old lady who wouldn't have weighed 100# fully dressed. She had a 38 special revolver she had instruction for defensive use and how to shoot it.

He ignored her shouting and did break in the door. She emptied her revolver at him - hitting him five of the six she fired. He retreated and got in his car to escape but, blood loss took its toll and he passed out and ran into some parked cars - drawing the attention of th cops and identified him at the hospital as being a "wanted" type and arrested him and broiught him to justice.

Meanwhile, this little old lady did the best thing she could - reflecting her good instruction - she first reloaded her revolver and then dialed 911 !!

The outcome was she was named "Citizen of the Year" - and - also convinced my wife she could use a gun for her personal defense !!!

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Old June 17, 2009, 03:45 PM   #37
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I am no expert so I look at it from the perspective of logic, sort of like a "thought experiment" as Newton would have performed since there was no way to create a friction-free environment and what not.

Yes the size of the BG matters. The way to determine if a given variable "matters" is thinking about whether the outcome will be different assuming all other factors remain perfectly constant. So in this case, assume we're talking about the same exact ammo, fired at the same distance, with exactly the same shot placement, etc and the only variable is the size of the BG, it's only logical to think the outcome will be different if a BG weighs 300 pounds rather than 130.

However, as others have pointed out and I will try to summarize, this variable alone is too wide in its implications, and there are too many possibilities to ever be perfectly prepared for, when you take into account ALL of the possible variables, it becomes clear that this is an equation for which no one solution satisfies all of the criteria. There's nothing out there that will be the best choice for all situations, there's only something that will be the best choice for you in most situations.
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Old June 17, 2009, 10:16 PM   #38
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No.

"If all else fails..." means the intent and threat is deadly, present and impending.

I'm not going to not shoot because I think shooting him may make him angrier. He's already decided he's going to kill or hurt me as much as he likes. If he's big and my gun won't stop him, I'm going to die on my feet.

If he's a little wimpy guy, he's still presenting - intending - an impending, deadly and present threat.
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Old June 17, 2009, 11:58 PM   #39
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...however, many instructors who will tell you that you will be damn hard-pressed to prove that you felt that your life was threatened by someone over roughly 21 feet away...
It depends heavily on the circumstances. For example, there are a couple of places in my house that offer an unobstructed view to other portions of the house that are up to 10 yards (well over 21 feet) away--but it wouldn't be difficult at all to demonstrate that a person who illegally entered my house was a threat even though he was over 21 feet from me at the time I fired on him.

Although, in general, it's going to be harder to justify a self-defense shooting the farther away the attacker is, that's completely different than saying it's illegal to shoot someone who's more than 20 some odd feet away regardless of the circumstances. I'm not aware of any self-defense law anywhere in the U.S. that puts a limit on the allowable distance for a justifiable shooting.
Quote:
I'm not going to not shoot because I think shooting him may make him angrier. He's already decided he's going to kill or hurt me as much as he likes. If he's big and my gun won't stop him, I'm going to die on my feet.
From a more practical standpoint, you may end up fighting hand-to-hand with the attacker. It certainly won't hurt your chances to have poked a number of small holes in the attacker before you have to mix it up with him. It could easily make the difference between winning and losing--living and dying.
Quote:
Yes the size of the BG matters.
EVERYTHING matters.

The question isn't "Does it matter?", the question is: "Does it matter enough to worry about?" Assuming that the handgun/ammo combination provides sufficient penetration, then the size of the attacker is not something that matters enough to worry about. Other factors such as: pain tolerance, attitude/determination, physical fitness, presence of mind-altering substances, and YES, shot placement, all matter more than the size of the attacker.

Here's a helpful hint to remember when trying to analyze a situation. If you find that you have to create artificial situations/made up scenarios and must eliminate/ignore a lot of other real-world factors in order to demonstrate that a particular factor is important then that's a HUGE clue that particular factor probably isn't that important.
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:37 AM   #40
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As a fairly big guy myself, I do think it likely I can soak up more damage than most and keep going, at least for a bit. I'm 6'4" and a tad over 300lbs mind you.

But I'll tell you what will make a bigger difference.

Let's say two identical twin brothers get shot at different times with the same caliber and type of bullet in the same place. But in one, it's an accidental shooting of some sort and the guy doesn't believe MORE incoming fire is on the way. In other words, he's not "in a fight for his life".

The other guy shot IS shot in the middle of an ongoing life-or-death fight...or he's getting chased by a bear or whatever.

I guarandamntee you the guy fighting for his life is far less likely to even NOTICE getting shot, let alone get secondary effects like nausea. The difference in relative effect of each round (near term anyhow) will be enormous, "order of magnitude" different.

People in mid-fight can and often will shrug off massive, gory and disgusting damage and keep on coming. Blood spurting, mortally wounded, "limb dangling from a single tendon" level stuff. The Miami '86 FBI shootout was a prime example.

Sorry if I'm grossing anybody out but y'all need to be mentally prepared for that...whether it's YOU wounded or an assailant.
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Old June 18, 2009, 02:01 AM   #41
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The question isn't "Does it matter?", the question is: "Does it matter enough to worry about?"
There you have it







Quote:
But until he makes a threatening remark or demonstrates obviously threatening behavior....

You don't have any LEGAL right to prevent him from walking right up to you.
Of course you do. You have no LEGAL obligation to converse with anyone. You can move away from anyone, say "Stay away from me," etc. Someone with a baseball bat, following a person who has made known their wish not to be followed, probably isn't shootable, but he's headed in that direction
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Old June 18, 2009, 02:04 AM   #42
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Oh My God I have never read about the Miami 86 shoot out! I just read about it on wiki. Sorry I am young and am just blown away at the moment. The O.K. Corral? What is that. Somebody start a thread on this or direct me were to read about it on TFL.

again sorry continue with the big BG thing.
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Old June 18, 2009, 02:48 AM   #44
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thank you Johnska.
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Old June 18, 2009, 03:46 AM   #45
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It depends heavily on the circumstances. For example, there are a couple of places in my house
Castle Doctrine. I don't have to prove crap if someone has forced their way into my home. It's a totally different ballgame. Inside a home is a totally different animal than out on the street.


Quote:
that offer an unobstructed view to other portions of the house that are up to 10 yards (well over 21 feet) away
I guess it is a matter of perception, but a mere 9feet does not constitute "well over" 21feet. That's just me. Again, it is in your home. I was referring to SD in general. I should have specified that I was not referring to HD scenarios.


Quote:
Although, in general, it's going to be harder to justify a self-defense shooting the farther away the attacker is, that's completely different than saying it's illegal to shoot someone who's more than 20 some odd feet away regardless of the circumstances.
I don't know if it's legality or practicality that brings this on. It was taught in my commission course. Part of it is all about intent. Like somebody said with the baseball bat analogy, I can't guess your intent until you close on me.


Quote:
I'm not aware of any self-defense law anywhere in the U.S. that puts a limit on the allowable distance for a justifiable shooting.
Nor am I. Then again, Texas is the only one that makes any difference to me. I need to see if I can find my instructor's phone number and see where he got that information.
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Old June 18, 2009, 08:33 AM   #46
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Of course you do. You have no LEGAL obligation to converse with anyone. You can move away from anyone, say "Stay away from me," etc. Someone with a baseball bat, following a person who has made known their wish not to be followed, probably isn't shootable, but he's headed in that direction.
Correct, you have no legal obligation to converse with anyone.
But just because you say "stay away from me" on a PUBLIC STREET, that does not mean that anyone must obey you request.
Yeah, I could legally follow you down every public street in the USA, begging you for a dollar, while carrying a baseball bat all the while, and you could shout "stay away" and "stop following me" until you were blue in the face, but it wouldn't matter.
It's perfectly legal.
And you can't legally shoot someone for following you down a public street.

Private property is a horse of a different color!
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Old June 18, 2009, 09:51 AM   #47
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Kudos to Mello2u for giving a good answer to the original post. I think that's a fair assessment.

I'll add that a 6'5" 300-some pound assailant will have more body mass to penetrate just due to his sheer size. But it is also the content of that body mass that can make a big difference in performance.

If that big man is Fat Albert with rolls of jell-o like fat around his middle and torso, it will react differently than if the guy is training to be a 320-lb tackle in the NFL. Muscle tissue is denser with less liquid per cm³.

A coroner tells me that he sees the damage JHP ammo does and that on fat/obese people, they tend to open earlier because the hydrostatic forces from the soft liquid-like fat tissue - like shooting into water. That and the fat layer is usually over their smaller muscle tissues. He says abdominal shots on fat people are generally recovered at or in front of the midline of the body's depth. Bullets in thinner people tend to stop towards the rear parts of the body.

One should keep in mind that the sternum (breastbone) rarely has much to cover it -- muscle or fat -- in your average person. So those COM shots on even a big guy should work just as well as on a skinny one.

Study a little anatomy and you should see that the top 2-3 inches of the sternum is almost an ideal spot to hit as there are half a dozen critical structures just behind it.
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Old June 18, 2009, 11:18 AM   #48
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I think Jeff Cooper had it right when he said that when you are faced with defending yourself - you have two potential problems

1. Saving your life

2. Possible legal reprecussions

If you don't solve #1, you won't have to worry about #2 -

Sound reasonable to me -

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Old June 19, 2009, 01:20 AM   #49
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Castle Doctrine. I don't have to prove crap if someone has forced their way into my home.
That's exactly my point. If they're in the house in TX it doesn't matter how far they are away, justification is not going to be a problem. That's just one example of a situation where distance almost certainly will not be a factor in determining whether the shooting was justified.
Quote:
I was referring to SD in general. I should have specified that I was not referring to HD scenarios.
Even for SD in general, there is no legal distance limit. There isn't even a distance at which it will suddenly become harder to justify an SD shooting unless the attacker is armed only with a contact weapon.

The circumstances of the situation will determine whether the shooting is justified. Distance may or may not be a factor. The Arroyo shooting at the Tyler courthouse, is one example of a situation where distance wouldn't even be considered as a factor at all.
Quote:
Like somebody said with the baseball bat analogy, I can't guess your intent until you close on me.
It's not always necessary to guess intent. Sometimes it's very obvious. The Colorado church shooting that took place a few years back is a good example of a situation in which "guessing" was totally unnecessary. The Killeen Luby's shooting is another.
Quote:
I need to see if I can find my instructor's phone number and see where he got that information.
It's not "information", it's just made up nonsense. He may not have made it up himself, but someone did.
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Old June 20, 2009, 06:08 AM   #50
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21 feet and closing

The two COM and one to the head would be easyer as the agressor is advancing wouldn't it? Agressor keeps advaceing target gets bigger.
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