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Old January 1, 2010, 09:54 PM   #1
JohnH1963
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Does everyone shoot center mass?

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe....in/index.html

I was reading this article where the Danish police shot this man in the hand and leg when he failed to put down his weapons. I thought it was interesting to see how other police forces handle these situations. I think if this was the United States then this man would have had quite a few .40 or .45 caliber rounds in his chest.

I posted an article previously where it stated that from draw to fire the least distance required to put two rounds on target was 7 meters. Putting one in the hand and one in the leg would require some skill. What if you missed or the rounds did not have the desired effect after hitting?
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:02 PM   #2
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Center mass until target is no longer a threat. If BG is lucky, the worst he'll have is a sucking chest wound and he'll probably live. I WOULD NOT be aiming for extremities. If I deviated from chest shots at all it would be abdominal/groin shots. If I ever end up in a SD shooting, I honestly hope the guy lives (honestly), but I will be putting rounds where they have the greatest chance of stopping a fight. Center Mass.
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:05 PM   #3
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:07 PM   #4
Sefner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH1963
I was reading this article where the Danish police shot this man in the hand and leg when he failed to put down his weapons. I thought it was interesting to see how other police forces handle these situations. I think if this was the United States then this man would have had quite a few .40 or .45 caliber rounds in his chest.
Probably. I can think of two reasons. The first is because if the shooter decides to pull the trigger he must prove that he feared for his life. Not shooting center mass is a huge hole in this argument because center mass is the most effective means to that end (not even taking into account ending the victim's life because that's not the goal, the goal is ending the threat). Shooting the victim in the hand means that he did not pose that threat. The second reasons is like the first, but takes on a different corner of the threat triangle. Shooting the person in an extremity is much much harder than shooting them in the chest (due to size, extremities move more during combat... speaking of being able to hit an extremity, one could argue if you can pull off that shot that the person isn't much of a threat, but it's a thin argument). This means that the shot(s) must be aimed and planned better. This takes time, which implies that the shooter HAD the time, which raises the question of immediate threat. If you have enough time to think (hey I could just shoot this guy in the hand) and even then enough time to aim for that shot then the person might not have been a threat immediate enough to use lethal force. These two arguments rest on a singular and important assumption: anytime you shoot someone, you have to asssume you might kill them.

tl;dr: Center mass is most effective way to stop a threat, you risk killing the person anytime you pull the trigger and was the threat immediate enough?

It is very very situational though, as always.
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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CCW instructor talked about the pelvis shot as a good way to stop someone quickly; if you are in a position to make such a shot that is.

Taking out the integrity of the pelvis is going to make it mighty hard to walk or run

Reason he talked about this shot is because even with an exploded heart, there can still be enough adrenaline and oxygen in the brain and muscles to make it to you and cut your abdomen wide open. The medulla oblongata is supposedly the only SURE sure thing to shut it down. The pelvic shot is touted as a runner-up. At least in the classes I took.
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:28 PM   #6
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Center mass of the available target. If the only part of the the target available to shoot is the head, then you shoot center mass of what you see.

Quote:
I was reading this article where the Danish police shot this man in the hand and leg when he failed to put down his weapons. I think if this was the United States then this man would have had quite a few .40 or .45 caliber rounds in his chest.
It depends on the situation. It appears police believed the man wasn't an immediate threat (maybe the officers were behind good cover/obstacles and had him well contained), which gave them the opportunity to apply the manner of force described.
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:34 PM   #7
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Our American PD's need to hire some of those Danish pistol instructors.

(...and I'm with Shawn about the "Center of Available Mass". I want the biggest margin of error I can get, generally.)
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:43 PM   #8
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If I have a frontal shot available, I'd rather go a tad higher, aiming for the lower sternum rather than right below it.

The difference isn't much - 4" or so most cases.

The reason is, I use high-energy loads, 357 "full house and then some" 125gr, up close to 800ft/lbs energy. I don't think that's enough for hydrostatic shock, but it might be enough to shatter bone and send pieces out along secondary wound channels.

Otherwise such "extra" energy over a normal round is wasted. My gun is on the big side, it can deal with the extra recoil, so I might as well try and make use of the extra horsepower on tap.
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:53 PM   #9
JohnH1963
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The article states that this man's life was threatened multiple times in the past and there were attempts on his life. They installed special security systems and took different measures to harden where he lives.

So lets say you are the responding officer to the house alarm. You know this man has been threatened in the past by terrorists and extremists. You get to the scene and there comes this man charging at you with an axe in one hand and a knife in the other. He does not stop despite shouted commands.

It takes about 2 seconds for the man to cover 7 meters running. So are you going to shoot the man in the leg? It doesnt make sense.
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim March
If I have a frontal shot available, I'd rather go a tad higher, aiming for the lower sternum rather than right below it.
Oh, jeebus, Jim, I don't mean "the exact geometrical center of mass, taking in weight distribution, from his crown to his big toe."

The A-zone. Down zero. Between the nipples.
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Old January 1, 2010, 11:05 PM   #11
Jim March
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Do the Boondock Saints shoot in the middle of Mass?











































Being good Catholic boys and all?




























































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Old January 1, 2010, 11:39 PM   #12
Frank Ettin
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I may have missed it, but I didn't see anywhere it said that the police intended to shoot him in the leg and hand. It may have just worked out that way.
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Old January 1, 2010, 11:48 PM   #13
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If you are justified in drawing your weapon, you are justified in killing. This is in presumption that you are in fear of imminent loss of your life or of severe bodily injury. If you can stop the suspect without killing - so much the better. Shooting to wound leaves the BG possibly capable of continuing his attack. I'm not saying shoot to kill - but there's a big difference in shooting to stop and shooting to wound.
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Old January 2, 2010, 12:41 AM   #14
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What I got out of that article was less "Danish cops shoot for the extremities" more "Danish cops aren't better shots than American police."
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Old January 2, 2010, 01:27 AM   #15
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I don't see anything in the article stating that they specifically targeted the man's extremities.

Quote:
A home alarm alerted police to the scene at 10 p.m., and they were attacked by the man, he said.

The officers shot the man in the right leg and left hand. He was hospitalized, but was not seriously injured,
All I get out of this is that when they fired, the man was struck in the leg and in the hand.
Considering the low "hit percentage" police officers here (in the US) have, I kinda doubt it's any different there. I would speculate that they fired more and that those were the only places he was struck.
Without info on the number of officers shooting, the number of rounds fired, or the intent of the officers, there's nothing to support the assertion that they deliberately shot to wound.

---

As far as where you ideally want to place your shots, shoot them in the head (ocular/nasal cavity) or the high center chest (adjusting as necessary based on the angle). Shots to other targets should be incidental, not deliberately sought out. In other words, the only time I would shoot the extremities, the pelvic region, etc. is if those are the only targets available.
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Old January 2, 2010, 01:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
I may have missed it, but I didn't see anywhere it said that the police intended to shoot him in the leg and hand. It may have just worked out that way.
And, yet, the thread was started on the assumption that the police shot to wound in keeping with department policy, rather than underdeveloped marksmanship skills typical of European LE.

For example, John Farnum points out, based on contacts in the UK, that any officers who show an interest in firearms, and want to excell, are looked down on by their supervisors AND fellow officers.

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Old January 2, 2010, 02:08 AM   #17
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If you look at a silhouette of a person the thigh area is only slightly smaller than the COM. It will have a higher survival rate than a COM hit, helpfull if you need info.
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Old January 2, 2010, 02:22 AM   #18
RobAB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonick808
CCW instructor talked about the pelvis shot as a good way to stop someone quickly; if you are in a position to make such a shot that is.

Taking out the integrity of the pelvis is going to make it mighty hard to walk or run

Reason he talked about this shot is because even with an exploded heart, there can still be enough adrenaline and oxygen in the brain and muscles to make it to you and cut your abdomen wide open. The medulla oblongata is supposedly the only SURE sure thing to shut it down. The pelvic shot is touted as a runner-up. At least in the classes I took.
This seems odd to me; shots to the pelvis might prevent movement (and I've seen other arguments that the bone is dense enough there that it's actually quite hard to break, but that's neither here nor there and I don't claim to be an expert on the subject) but it doesn't seem to me this is a good overall idea. It seems to overlook the possibility the bad guy has a projectile weapon, assumes you can hit and damage specific bones, and ignores that destroying the integrity of the chest probably inhibits that swinging, too, and that the chest has important destroyable organs than the pelvis.

Might have better utility in the "attacker has body armor" scenario, though having body armor but attacking with a knife seems to be a bit of an edge case.
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Old January 2, 2010, 08:05 AM   #19
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I'm quite sure that they were aiming for center of mass of whatever they were seeing at the time. Lucky Somali ba5tard.
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Old January 2, 2010, 08:12 AM   #20
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All of our training and qualifying is center mass and head shots.

I've never been trained or told to shoot at extremeties, but I've read of weapons and/or hands and arms holding them being unintentionally hit due to the shooters focus on the weapon vs the attacker.
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Old January 2, 2010, 08:47 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampghost
If you look at a silhouette of a person the thigh area is only slightly smaller than the COM. It will have a higher survival rate than a COM hit, helpfull<sic> if you need info.
If you are concerned about the person surviving, you need to not be shooting guns at them. The femoral artery is located in the target area you suggested, for instance, and will cause a person to bleed out like a fire hose.
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Old January 2, 2010, 08:50 AM   #22
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center mass. Easier to make a SD case in court.
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Old January 2, 2010, 09:46 AM   #23
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Poor trigger control on the part of the Danish police. They need more range time with their duty weapons.
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Old January 2, 2010, 10:52 AM   #24
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There was an incident in my area 2 years ago, A man in a trailer park on the other side of the town had a knife and was threatening his wife. The responding officers were 2 town cops from different towns and a state trooper.
They shot at the man 24 times and hit him once in the leg at about 25 yards away after he refused to put the knife down and verbally threatened them and made lunging movements.

The police were never asked by the reporter if they intended to just drop him with a leg wound or not. My opinion is even with a leg wound they have no way of knowing if he may also have a concealed handgun or another knife. I know their training is center mass and have to wonder if all 3 were that shaken up to miss that many times. Its surely not unheard of for 30+ rounds to be fired in even closer situations with all missing the intended target.

I am an advocate that if gets to the point you need to shoot, you are in grave danger and are shooting to defend your or others lives. A situation like that dictates totally incapacitate the threat. As far as a pelvic shot that just drops someone, their trigger finger will still work. This may be fine for a knife but once again does the perp have other weapons unknown to you?
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Old January 2, 2010, 11:01 AM   #25
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A couple of years back, . . . there was a bg that did something that got the local SWAT team's attention. I don't remember the details, . . . but he was threatening suicide, . . . and had a snubbie .38 if I remember correctly.

ANYWAY, . . . sniper got the go ahead to take out the weapon if the opportunity presented itself. IT DID ! And , . . . yeah, . . . he shot the snubby right out of his hand. Bg had relaxed and pointed his gun hand down away from him, . . . BOOM, . . . situation over.

Only one I ever heard of. But then again, . . . I only have two ears, . . . can't hear every thing that happens.

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