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Old May 27, 2012, 08:05 AM   #1
mrt949
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Shot placement for small caliber pistols

22LR, 32 ACP ,380.
Was at a lgs the other day .One of the regulars asked where would you shoot someone with a small caliber.I said I WOULD SHOOT HIM IN THE GROIN AREA A lot of damage can be done in main vein area & femor area..
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:07 AM   #2
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I would think you would do more damage, if you shot the bad guy between the eyes.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Same place you shoot them with anything else.

Don't confuse lethal with stopping. The reason so many people die from small calibers is not because they are so deadly, it is because they see it as a minor injury and go home to slowly bleed to death or die of toxemia days later.

I went to the Dallas, Tx officer survival course in the 80's and at that time the 25 auto had killed more Dallas cops than any other caliber. It was the most common gun on the street at the time, a Raven or RG 25 auto.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:49 AM   #4
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You don't let the size or energy discourage you .Shot placement is everything .Weather it's high or low on the target a hit is a hit.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:57 AM   #5
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If you are shooting a cap gun or a cannon, Center of Mass between the nipples is your target.
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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If you are shooting a cap gun or a cannon, Center of Mass between the nipples is your target.
Agreed, a head shot is a small moving hard to hit target. A mouse gun bullet in the right spot can stop you right now but the heart isn't that big of a target either so a lot of shots in the lungs to weaken and stop the boogerman is the best bet. Big gun or little, you don't stop shooting till the threat ceases being a threat. If you go for a groin shot aim higher than you think the groin is because that is a small area too and the lower abdomen is a painful place to get hit. Besides your gangsta rapper punk idiot makes it hard to judge where his groin is with their ridiculous low rider trousers. Anyplace below the navel is good but not an instant stopper like a solar plexus or heart shot would be.
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:17 PM   #7
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When discussing sub-calibers at Gunsite, Jeff Cooper said "Aim for the eyes and shoot early and often".

I think he was talking to us about 9mm's though...


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Old May 27, 2012, 08:28 PM   #8
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10Ringmagic
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I would think you would do more damage, if you shot the bad guy between the eyes
Quote:
Willie Sutton
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When discussing sub-calibers at Gunsite, Jeff Cooper said "Aim for the eyes and shoot early and often".

I think he was talking to us about 9mm's though...
I was kind of on the right track!
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:35 PM   #9
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As a person who has suffered a major pelvic crush injury and helped assist in my rescue, in my opinion, a shot to the pelvis may, at best, immobilize an assailant and eventually allow him to bleed out. In the meantime he could be causing you a lot of grief if he has a weapon that will allow him to reach out and touch you. Veins and arteries are darn small targets compared to larger organs.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:14 PM   #10
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I have no hard data to go on, but my guess would be that with a .380 you would do as well by shooting center of mass as you would any other target, but you probably are going to have to put more rounds on target than with a heavier centerfire caliber. With a .22 or .25, I would not be confident in getting a prompt stop with chest shots. My thought would be to shoot at the face so that the shots would be something to slow and distract the assailant and maybe get a psychological stop even if you didn't get a hit that made a physiological stop.

I am willing to be educated if someone has some data that would cause me to adjust my thinking, though.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:53 PM   #11
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The shootings I have seen with 380's, they did the same as 38 specials and 9mm's loaded fmj.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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Placement counts, but . .

Clearly, good shot placement is #1, regardless of caliber, but nobody really wants to be shot, even with a .22.

A while back a friend of my wife's was walking to her car in a covered parking lot at the mall one evening when she realized she was being followed.

She had a Berretta Jetfire .22 in her jacket pocket which she pulled and turned to face him when he was about 10 yes away, aiming at his chest. He laughed at her & 'her pop-gun' until she dropped her aim to his crotch. Suddenly he had to be 'somewhere else' . . . Go figure.

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Old May 28, 2012, 07:37 AM   #13
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OK--you have reason to believe that you are (1) facing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, and that (2) you have no choice but to employ deadly force to defend your self. That means that you have concluded that one or more violent criminal actors have the ability and the opportunity to harm you right now and that you are in jeopardy.

Most probably, you have someone close to you moving fast, and you have very little time not only to decide but to stop the assailant(s) before you are injured, and no realistic ability to optimize your "shot placement"'.

Think about it: do you really think that it would be even remotely possible for you to decide whether to shoot that attacker in the face or the groin or between the eyes if the situation really justified deadly force?

Don't rely upon a pelvic shot with a lower powered weapon; your objective is to stop, not kill, so even if you could be assured hitting the heart, that won't necessarily save you. You are going to have to hit wherever you can, very quickly, and most probably, repeatedly.

That's true with a .32 and with a .357 SIG. It's just that you have a better chance with the latter.

Yep--you can only shoot for what is commonly described as center mass, as fast as you can.
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Old May 28, 2012, 09:24 AM   #14
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Pelvic shots have a low stopping percentage. As mentioned already the veins and blood vessels in that area are small, hard to hit, and somewhat well protected by the pelvic girdle.....God was genius in designing us One my Trainers has witnessed people take shots to the groin with high power rifles and not stop.

I would aim COM with a mouse gun just like I would with a larger caliber. As I kid I witnessed a guy get shot COM with a .22lr pistol and he dropped like a sack of potatoes. Just goes to show a hole in the heart will kill you regardless to whether that hole is 22cal or 45 cal......shot placement is everything!

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Old May 28, 2012, 10:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Posted by Wahoo95: As I kid I witnessed a guy get shot COM with a .22lr pistol and he dropped like a sack of potatoes.
Wahoo, it is possible but unlikely that the man dropped immediately due to the physiological effects of the bullet. Barring an effective hit to the brain or the upper spinal cord) it is highly unlikely that a single bullet will incapacitate a person immediately. It is possible that the psychological impact (the reaction to the realization that one has been shot) will cause the person to go down. But it would not be wise to count on it.

For more on the subject, study this.

Quote:
Just goes to show a hole in the heart will kill you regardless to whether that hole is 22cal or 45 cal......shot placement is everything!
While a "hole in the heart" is likely to cause the person to expire, that would be of little tactical benefit should the attacker kill or slash the defender first. The time required for the brain and muscles to exhaust the oxygen already pumped is too long to count on a heart shot for an immediate stop.

And once again, the objective is not to kill.
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Old May 28, 2012, 10:49 AM   #16
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In training I was taught mozambique drill then if those hit, and failed to stop, to put 2 in the groin. I believe this in such an order to be successful but, one straight to the groin in a small caliber first shot if you were being followed or you were in danger, especially if the assailant had a knife, imagine if he or she got away ditched the knife, and you told the cops you tried to shoot him/her in the groin... Talk about your possible law suit. Sorry I agree, major arteries would be good but I would say this would be one of my last resorts as in they are not walking away from the situation.
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Old May 28, 2012, 11:02 AM   #17
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Mike, I am glad your friend noticed the danger signs and reacted appropriately in a timely manner. There is an old saying, "friends do not let friends carry mouse guns" sure they are cut, but anything less than 9mm/38 special is a mouse gun.

I was working as an inner city cop when I learned that staring down the barrel of a 357 magnum does not impress some people. What I did learn is that by lowering my aim to the groin helped some people through the decision making process faster and with a much safer outcome. Not that I was going to shoot there, but they did not know that.

As with any other form of self defense you must be very alert to your surroundings. If the first clue you are under attack is the BG charging you then you failed to pick up on numerous danger cues. The woman that Mike mentioned picked up on the danger cues and listened to them and in all likelihood it saved herself a lot of grief and pain.

If suddenly thrust into a violent encounter most people will react exactly as they have trained and/or practiced. In a purely reactive fight, more than likely you will not be aiming, you will be looking at the threat and shooting at the threat, that is why in real gunfights so many cops and robbers are shot in the hands/arms and guns get shot.
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Old May 28, 2012, 11:08 AM   #18
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Posted by themalicious0ne: ...but, one straight to the groin in a small caliber first shot if you were being followed or you were in danger, ...
I have no idea how one would attempt to justify shooting someone while being followed.

Quote:
...especially if the assailant had a knife, imagine if he or she got away ditched the knife, and you told the cops you tried to shoot him/her in the groin... Talk about your possible law suit.
I would be a lot more concerned about criminal charges.

The risk of having tried to shoot someone in a particular place on the body lies in the fact that one's having had time to do so could prove a strong indication that the danger had not really been imminent.

Aiming for the groin does have one real advantage. Should an assailant stop before you shoot, he may continue to constitute a serious danger. If you have your gun on him, it is critical for you to be able to watch his hands. The best way to ensure that may well be to aim low.
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Old May 28, 2012, 11:38 AM   #19
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Two center mass...the rest at the head if the first two have not stopped the attack. Assuming the attack means the perp is getting closer to you (otherwise it's not much of an attack) the heads shots should get progressively easier.

PRACTICE it! Two to the body, rest to the head...Just a mozambique that doesn't stop with the first shot to the head...which is how the mozambique should be anyway. Engage until the threat is eliminated.
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Old May 28, 2012, 11:52 AM   #20
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"A while back a friend of my wife's was walking to her car in a covered parking lot at the mall one evening when she realized she was being followed."

Was just quoting what Mike had said before of his female friend.
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Old May 28, 2012, 12:05 PM   #21
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COM - decreasing hit probability to increase damage potential is not logical when externally controlled variables have increased the margin of error in shot placement. Maximizing use of the area of effect of the shot (aim point plus margin of error), by choosing the larger vital target gives the best chance of successful defense. Anything else is gambling on whether you will hit a precise target… actually everything is a gamble, but mitigation of risk is the most successful strategy when gambling.
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Old May 28, 2012, 05:56 PM   #22
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I said I WOULD SHOOT HIM IN THE GROIN AREA
Trouble with small calibers is usually they come in small sizes that are hard to shoot. Be it because of small grips, or sights (if any), or sight radius, or combination of the three.

As a result precise shot placement can be much harder than with a larger caliber gun.

Now when someone is trying to crack your scull with a St. Louis slugger or ventilate you with any variety of knife or gun, I'd say a groin shot would kill but not stop. And stopping is what SD is all about. I do not want to swap pain with the bad guy nor end up in the hospital cause the guy keep a 'shooten.

If my .22/.32/,380 was the size of say a Sig 232 then I'd go for the eye socket IF I AM VERY SKILLED. If not, COM. If the pistol was the size of a TCP, then COM is the only real choice.

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Old May 28, 2012, 10:00 PM   #23
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I'm not saying it was smart or tactically sound, but it worked out. There is a place for luck in the world. My wife's friend is a small woman, maybe 5'4", 105 lbs., but lived in NYC before moving to NOVA,so she is pretty street-smart/aware. She is not a trained shooter, probably fired the gun some after she bought it, but certainly not practiced. She drives her Marine son crazy . . .

My guess is that like most scumbags, he was lazy and moved on to easier prey, and she was simply very lucky.
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Old May 29, 2012, 10:08 AM   #24
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As fast as I can pull the trigger in the chest until the threat is no longer a threat.
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Old May 31, 2012, 12:26 PM   #25
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Don't confuse lethal with stopping. The reason so many people die from small calibers is not because they are so deadly, it is because they see it as a minor injury and go home to slowly bleed to death or die of toxemia days later.
Ya, I hear all the time where someone is shot in the chest with a .22lr and goes home to sleep it off.

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