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Old January 29, 2013, 02:21 PM   #1
g.willikers
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How well do you know the human anatomy?

Most of our shooting and training is on very flat targets, without much detail.
But, knowing where to shoot, if it were necessary for a successful defense, can make all the difference.
Has anyone made an effort to know where all the essential body parts are, no matter how an opponent might be standing?
There's a large selection of web sites to study the human anatomy in 3D, to help learn.
Just do a web search on the subject; it might save a life.
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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I once made a drawing of the anatomy of a deer to hunting camp. All were "experienced hunters" and yet few knew where the important things were !! No wonder so many "hunters" don't get their deer.
As you don't 'shoot at the deer' you don't 'shoot at the silhouette' or even the round bullseye.Make a mental picture of the vital organs and go for that !
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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I draw an imaginary line from nipple to nipple and shoot for the middle of that line.

"Connect the dots" (the nipples) and hitting the center of that line will likely be a heart shot or at least some very major circulatory piping. Miss slightly left or right and you will likely collapse a lung. Shoot slightly low and you will likely perforate the liver or the stomach which tend to bleed uncontrollably.

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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old January 29, 2013, 03:02 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skadoosh
I draw an imaginary line from nipple to nipple and shoot for the middle of that line....
The problem there, and with all flat target exercises, is that in real life one's target might not be standing straight up and square on. Louis Awerbuck in his classes uses three dimensional targets and will set them up in varying orientations.
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Old January 29, 2013, 03:23 PM   #5
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And that's why as many shots to center mass as possible will have to do most of the time.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old January 29, 2013, 03:26 PM   #6
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In a gunfight, you won't have time to pin point a specific place to make a shot, and even if you do, with limited fine motor control, making that shot will be difficult.

Practice more on hitting COM. From any angle, if you aim and hit COM you will be making good hits.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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"In a gunfight, you won't have time to pin point a specific place to make a shot, and even if you do, with limited fine motor control, making that shot will be difficult.

Practice more on hitting COM. From any angle, if you aim and hit COM you will be making good hits."

========================================

This.
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Old January 29, 2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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The problem there, and with all flat target exercises, is that in real life one's target might not be standing straight up and square on. Louis Awerbuck in his classes uses three dimensional targets and will set them up in varying orientations.
^^^^^ This.
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Old January 30, 2013, 05:01 AM   #9
mete
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COM is no longer seen to be the best target . A triangle , nipple , to nipple ,to base of neck is the best.

Bullet placement is what it's all about !! Somewhere out there is a video of a Cop shooting a BG with almost no reaction ! You can hear him say 'I thought a hit with a 45acp would do better than that ' He had hit him in the gut !
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Old January 30, 2013, 06:25 AM   #10
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I know anatomy well enough to know that a hole through your upper middle is going to be bad news. Two or three holes is even worse.
Most of your important bits are covered by the rib cage, so - taking into account the fact that your groups are probably going to be much larger in a gunfight than they are on the range - between the pecs seems like a pretty effective place to aim.
COM north I guess?

I don't think anyone was actually suggesting it, but aiming for specific organs seems unrealistic. It works for hunting because you generally have time, and don't want to ruin meat, but if you have enough time to set up a perfect insta-kill shot on a human you probably have better options.
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Old January 30, 2013, 09:28 AM   #11
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I think we are putting to much into this. In a stressful situation do you want to take the time to try to figure out, by the way the target is standing, where the gizzard is?

If you do your (defensive) practice ALWAYS shooting center of mass, when you have to shoot, muscle memory is going to force you to shoot center of mass.

If my life is at stake, I don't think I want to take the time to figure out where each part of the innards are.

When I have new shooters shooting targets with scoring rings, I turn the target around so they can't see the rings. I tell them to shoot the center of the target.

Of course target shooting is different, so is the time required to get off the shot.

Army snipers are not taught to head shoot, they are taught to shoot center of mass. (LE snipers are different, but that's another subject).
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Old January 30, 2013, 10:58 PM   #12
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^^^^
Yes, you most likely will not have time to plan you shot in a SD situation, you must rely on your muscle memory from your training, and that memory will be for center mass.

As for LE snipers vs Army snipers, Army just wants them dead, LE needs instant paralysis seeing that typically their target would have a direct hostage
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Old January 30, 2013, 11:03 PM   #13
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As for LE snipers vs Army snipers, Army just wants them dead, LE needs instant paralysis seeing that typically their target would have a direct hostage
Not only that, COM yields a larger target. Current sniper engagements for military snipers are regularly out past 700 yards. A shot to the body is much more likely to hit than a shot aimed at the head.

LE snipers average shot distance is under 50 yards. At that range, most environmental conditions will not effect a POI. If a military sniper has a combatant in his sights inside of 100 yards, he won't hesitate to take a head shot.
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Old February 6, 2013, 12:12 AM   #14
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Defensive shooting

In response to the Honorable Mr. Willikers' query: Yes, I have studied the subject. No, I'm not a medical student or practitioner; I'm a 28 year lawman interested in defensive shooting and the efficiency of such shooting.

I have a couple books on anatomy and a full color, large (larger than the typical book, anyway) set of anatomical drawings. I have looked and read on the subject a lot.

Best place to shoot is the UPPER center of the torso, on a three dimensional perspective. Lower center torso tends to be less vital components; painful, but not (reliably) incapacitating.

Historically, there have been some officer involved shootings - one with the criminal attacker being the driver of an automobile and the officer standing by the driver's window, in classic 'car stop' position - where the officer reverted to his range training and shot at the front of the attacker's shirt. The officer survived and prevailed in the encounter, but the attacker's wounds were all 'slashing' wounds across the front of the chest. Not really 'stopping' wounds.

Instead of shooting DIRECTLY at the attacker, he shot at where the "X" ring would have been. From the front.

As a defensive shooter, one must change one's approach in some regards. The three dimensional concept is critical, as is ignoring the posture of the attacker.

AND, I want to address a limiting thought expressed in this thread.

"In a defense encounter, one cannot aim at specific targets on the body."

I submit one cannot do much of anything one does not accept as possible. In other words, convincing one's self of one's inability does not increase ability.

Instead, I encourage all to practice shooting - even at two dimensional targets, but with differing postures - to the point where one can reliable hit various targets to a boring degree. Yes, I agree training isn't the same as actual self-defense, but the higher one's [honest] ability, the less one is inclined to panic.

Convincing one's self all one can do is to fire wildly and hope for the best is not conducive to success.

Again, upper center torso area. Practice a lot.
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Old February 6, 2013, 01:03 AM   #15
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I know that the spine is directly behind the sternum...

I know that just left or right of center at mid chest is gonna be pretty much a stopper with a 20 gauge slug or buckshot at close range....

My wife only seems to know that the way to a man's heart is between his 2nd and 3rd rib.... I can cook my own food if i don't like it...

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Old February 6, 2013, 02:43 AM   #16
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Iwas taught you shoot for the "Golden Triangle", upper torso, if you will- nipple to nipple to the point of the chin. Any slight deviation will still result in a lethal shot.
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Old February 6, 2013, 09:20 AM   #17
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It is interesting to see, even in a thread this short, how many anatomy assumptions and shot placement assumption are made based on direct align front facing opponent positioning.

It is awfully hard to make a good nipple-nipple-chin golden triangle shot when the person shooting at you is in a traditional FBI target firing stance and if you do hit it, it will be a glancing shot.

The more the person rotates from facing you directly, the more the nipple-nipple-chin triangle shot becomes less viable and the more it becomes a periphery shot because placement on that triangle results in poorer and poorer trajectory for the round to pass through the vitals. Shot placement generally should not be to a point or region outside of the body but to a point or volume inside of the body. If you use external landmarks to locate internal landmarks, then you must consider the orientation of the body in your assessments and adjust accordingly. Hitting the vitals inside of the body includes placement, trajectory, and penetration.

I keep going back to this guy. He was shot in lots of places and from lots of directions, but what folks would have expected to happen didn't happen. Relevant here is that he was shot from several different directions, in part, because he was not always directly facing those shooting at him whilst he was still posing a threat.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ht=fbi+autopsy
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Old February 6, 2013, 12:32 PM   #18
Carne Frio
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I worked in health care (radiology) for 30 years and
had a very good knowledge of human anatomy. I
can visualize internal organs and structures at almost
any angle or projection due to years as a CT and MRI
tech.

I doubt that knowledge would be very useful when trying
to defend myself with a firearm. Aiming at the center
of what is presented to you seems to be the best.
You will be angered/frightened and making a pin point
shot at a target that's trying to hurt you will likely not
be possible.
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Old February 6, 2013, 02:03 PM   #19
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It is awfully hard to make a good nipple-nipple-chin golden triangle shot when the person shooting at you is in a traditional FBI target firing stance and if you do hit it, it will be a glancing shot.
Either I didn't explain it well or you are thinking two-dimensionally. You always shoot for the center of the body, that "golden triangle" is just for explaining it to people, but it is more like a "golden cone". You are actually aiming for the aortic trunk, carotid arteries, jugular veins, trachea, and spine areas. That is all within about a 4"X6" cylinder right under the Adams apple. If the person is standing bladed towards you, you are still aiming to the same point 3-dimensionally, I would aim for the point of the shoulder or base of the neck and have the same effective zone within my sights. In actual practice, I generally aim at the upper lip. If I miss 2" in any direction I am still going to cause havoc with the person's general well-being.
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:33 PM   #20
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Either I didn't explain it well or you are thinking two-dimensionally. You always shoot for the center of the body, that "golden triangle" is just for explaining it to people, but it is more like a "golden cone".
There seemed to be a pattern of two dimensional proclamations. When folks reference nipple-nipple-chin or nipple-nipple-base of the neck and use the word "triangle" then the description is most definitely about hitting the front of the body in an two dimensional area. Interestingly, mete even noted...

Quote:
COM is no longer seen to be the best target . A triangle , nipple , to nipple ,to base of neck is the best.
Of course this sounds great on a 100% forward facing fully upright target that is stationary and directly in front of you which isn't always the case and part of the reason why COM shots are preferred, though some prefer center of chest or torso or the center of the largest amount of mass exposed in a dynamic self defense situation which yields the greatest likelihood of landing shots on target.

"COM" is nice because "center" is applicable in 3 dimensions and the targets you are trying to reach are in fact inside of the body.

Sadly, folks under stress will do what they are taught and if they are taught to try to shoot for the region between the nipples and chin or nipples and neck, they will likely do that regardless of the orientation of the person they are attempting to defend against.

Odd Job had a great series of graphics depicting how even a shot entering directly over the heart and perfectly between the nipples can miss the heart if the person being shot is oriented at an angle. Odd Job was making the point nicely that external and 2-D landmark locations for hitting are often very insufficient descriptors for telling people how to strike the critical anatomy needing to be hit. Unfortunately, his imagery was removed...
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...art+trajectory

So yes, if a person trying to harm you is bladed toward you and you wish to defend yourself by shooting them, then aiming between the nipples and chin/neck may not be a good idea at all as the proclaimed landmarks are no longer viable or as viable external landmarks for attempting to hit the critical vital organs intended.
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:18 PM   #21
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Sadly, folks under stress will do what they are taught and if they are taught to try to shoot for the region between the nipples and chin or nipples and neck, they will likely do that regardless of the orientation of the person they are attempting to defend against.
I think this is a bit of a stretch...I believe even the inexperienced will generally shot for COM regardless of the bad guy's position and orientation. Upon what are you basing this assumption?
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.

Last edited by Skadoosh; February 6, 2013 at 05:23 PM.
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Old February 6, 2013, 07:46 PM   #22
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Scorch has it dead on, pun intended.
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Old February 6, 2013, 08:18 PM   #23
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I was trained to shoot the center of mass. once you understand the term "center of mass" it desn't matter how the threat is positioned, center of mass is still the same.

Hunting is a different story, I want to make a clean quick kill without ruining meat.
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Old February 6, 2013, 08:50 PM   #24
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And that's why as many shots to center mass as possible will have to do most of the time.
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Only if you understand that the center is on the inside of the mass---not the outside of the target. That's the point. Impact point should intersect the INSIDE center of the target.

Flat targets don't provide that option. To simulate it, you have to shoot to the side of the target if the target isn't directly facing you.
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Old February 6, 2013, 08:53 PM   #25
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Sadly, folks under stress will do what they are taught and if they are taught to try to shoot for the region between the nipples and chin or nipples and neck, they will likely do that regardless of the orientation of the person they are attempting to defend against.
True, in an emergency, you fall back to your highest level of training. But even with someone bladed towards you in the classic FBI combat shooting pose, their body orientation is generally quartering, not truly perpendicular to you standing like a bullseye shooter. Point being any shot that traverses the region outlined by the "golden triangle" will likely inflict lethal damage.
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