View Full Version : Question - "move vs. engage"

April 9, 2006, 11:50 AM
I just read the interesting "Movement" thread - sorry i did not get in on it before it was closed.

Anyway, I remember one of our instructors at the academy downplay movement on initial close-range / CCW encounters due to the "facts" that more rounds in this type of situation miss then hit. His thinking was you had just as much a chance of moving into a round, and instead were better to get your aimed shots on target ASAP and eliminate the threat.

Now SNBs ideas from that thread of moving AND getting hits sounds great, and there were other good points discussed also. My question is does anyone take getting 'hit by a miss' into account? I am talking CCW with typical BG, distances, reaction curve etc. Are the odds just as well you will NOT be hit if you stand your ground initially (which is supposedly YOUR best chance of hitting him)?

April 9, 2006, 12:32 PM
The adversary getting lucky is always a possibility, especiallly with Mr Murphy at the helm. I see movement that has a purpose as reducing that possibility for them to get lucky. The purpose can be to flank the adversary, to get to cover, or to "hide behind your bullets." Each of these, makes the shot of the adversary more and more difficult, reducing the chances more and more that they get lucky.

Let me add that "hiding behind your bullets" is an agressive straight forward attack, that puts lead on an adversary as quickly as possible. This is the very easiest form of movement to get hits on a full run and is excellent when you are ahead in the reactionary curve.The second easiest form or movement to make hits on a run is moving forward on the obliques, then rearward on the obliques. Finally the most difficult is dynamic lateral movement. This last one is virtually the "Holy Grail" of the shooting community.

As the dynamics of the movement increases, so does the difficulty of the shot, and in turn so does the difficulty of the adversary to make the hits. The way I see it when the difficulty increases, the chance to get lucky decreases.

Stand and deliver definitely has it's place, especially for really exceptional guys. The faster and more accurate you are the more possible your option to stand and deliver. You must know your limitations and work within those limitations. If I had Lurpers skill level (top notch IPSC competitor) the arena that I used my stand and deliver skills would be expanded. But my draw times are not as fast, my splits are not as quick, and I am not as accurate as a tier one competitor.

Every man needs to know his limitations, develop a system that works within those limitations, and reduce the possibility for the other guy to get lucky by increasing the difficulty of his response.


April 9, 2006, 12:36 PM
I think that unequivocally the best technique is to dive about 12 feet sideways, simultaneously firing both chrome-plated Desert Eagles to slidelock.

April 9, 2006, 12:48 PM
heh :D

April 10, 2006, 05:14 AM
Shield, You could go on for ever worrying about what if's. Imagine getting into a car accident. Had you just gone 1 or 2 mph faster you would have missed that darned fender bender right. That 1 or 2 mph could have placed you in position for a fatal accident....you never know. Moving might run you right into a gut shot but move you from a head shot, you just never know. I do know a moving target is harder to hit. If you can move and fire and still get hits, statistically your odds of survival are better. The faster you can move while still getting good hits the better the odds. S'N'B's system is worth looking into, especially if you can move well (physically).

April 10, 2006, 10:51 AM
Thanks Guys - info and ideas I was looking for!

At the range the last few times with my new HK I realized I was not as fast AND accurate as I used to be much past 10 yards. I found out when I slowed down just the slightest bit my accuracy/consistency raised ALOT. So I will take all this into consideration AND try to pick up some more "shoot on the move skills".

Thanks again!

April 10, 2006, 11:55 AM
i think the chances of being hit by the stray decrease as you get farther. off the jump, if he's firing, yes, your odds of being hit may not change much. but once you move a few feet so that a near-miss is no longer close, you'd likely reap the benefits. if you're shooting though, you do have a responsibility to those around you, and if you can't deliver fire accurately while doing a movement that drastic it's probably not the best course of action. i know i put better shots on when i'm still and stanced, so unless i was certain of very bad consequences unless i moved, i'd like so say that i would try to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible in the interest of not just my own safety but those in the vicinity.

April 10, 2006, 12:37 PM
Just saw this yesterday as an example of how quickly things unravel once lead starts to fly. In this case, the guy standing still gets missed and the guy that moves gets three in the side and back.

The video is from a hotel lobby where an armed robber enters and threatens with a .45LC. An armed clerk confronts him...robber gets off one round and misses, clerk gets 3 for 3 with a glock (the perp survived and is now in jail)

Turn down your speakers if you want a chance at objectively watching the scene unravel, as the clerk and friends did a bunch of tacky post-production on it.


April 10, 2006, 12:53 PM
The video is a good illustration of why accuracy matters. That guy would be facing prison time if he hit either the mother or the child. As it is, you may have noticed how everyone was moving. The shooter moves to shoot, bad guy makes for the door, the girl runs to the phone, the mother with baby scoot to one side.

In a shooting, I expect you and everyone around you will be moving, without even thinking about it. It would take a lot of discipline to stand still while getting shot at, you will instinctually at least flinch. You may as well learn to shoot and move.

Close engagements are the ones where cops die statistically. Usually the 10 feet or less, because speed and surprise win, not accuracy. In that situation firing rapidly and aggressively may be your only option. For example:

In Washington D.C. there was an off duty cop who was robbed at gun point in an apartment complex of his friend. A gun fight ensued at point blank range, the cop was struck 3 times with a .38 special, the bad guy was shot 5 times with a 9mm. The suspect died instantly, the cop died about 20 minutes later on a friends front porch. Given that the cop had his gun holstered, it is likely that he fired 5 very rapid shots in the time span that the bad guy fired 3 before being killed.

Hiding behind bullets may kill the suspect, but may not save your life. Situational awareness cannot always be 100%, but it can improve your odds.

BTW, for those caliber debaters....I don't think a .45 or a .357 magnum would have dropped the attacker any faster being that he died almost immediately.

April 10, 2006, 01:06 PM
Crazy video! I am not sure if the above poster meant that if the child or mother was hit...the Clerk would be facing prison time or the Perp, but I think that if either of them would have shot an innocent, there would be some serious consequences. The Clerk was firing pretty stinking close to that baby, good thing the mother moved!

April 10, 2006, 01:50 PM
Topthis - The clerk has followed up on a few threads here and there and indicated that the mother actually sent him a long letter thanking him for protecting her and her child. He and another individual both stated that the angle of the shot makes it look worse than it is, but i'm not convinced on that...as one of the folks in putfile stated, the funny thing is that the baby never did cry.

I bet if the perp had backed out of the lobby and continued to fire, he would have left without any ventilation...the turn and burn approach just didn't work out so well for him...(if you watch closely, he's hugging the ground the whole way out...)

That and you have to admit that the clerk was a heck of a shot.

April 10, 2006, 02:12 PM
Did not listen to the audio but watched the video....The clerk is a STUPID, STUPID NOOB. Two reasons A) shooting a fleeing BG in the back B) The kid was way to close to the field of fire while shooting the fleeing BG in the back. If the Mom/kid did not move out quick enough the kid would have got hit. The BG got what he deserved, but guy was fleeing and not a threat therefore the clerks last 2 round (I'll chalk up the first few rounds to the excitement of the moment) were totally unjustified. The clerk and his friend is also idiots for putting this on the internet, makes for nice evidence in a civil case against the clerk (either the BG's or the Mom and Kid). I would be more impressed and proud of the clerk if he if he stop shooting when the BG started running.

April 10, 2006, 03:23 PM
Two reasons A) shooting a fleeing BG in the back
I went over this a bit myself. I've come to the conclusion that he had to shoot while he had a target... The guy was running, but was he running away or running for cover? If you were the bad guy, would you keep running, or take two steps outside the smoked class and pick the clerk(s) off? Are you willing to bet your life that he wouldn't?

B) The kid was way to close to the field of fire while shooting the fleeing BG in the back.
I agree with you there. I think he may have been thinking about the mom & child initially, because he was stepping towards the perp when he drew, but the shot reeled him back and that's where he dug in. I'd have to admit i would be under some massive tunnel vision at that point...

With all the focus on the guy, i think the female clerk did an excellent job handling the situation... She got right on the phone, and scooted the mom and kid behind the counter. I would have felt better if she got down herself, but they may have seen the guy out on the sidewalk.

The clerk and his friend is also idiots for putting this on the internet
Agreed 100%.

I'm pretty new to this, and honestly after seeing the video i have to say my interest in printing small groups on paper sillouhettes is somewhat diminished in favor of finding a way to mimic the incredible dynamics of that situation. The training disparity in the video is frightfully obvious and, 1-2 judgement calls aside, i'd like to have the odds bent that heavily in my favor.

To try to get back on the topic of move vs. engage, I think in this case if the perp had stood his ground they would both be dead or seriously wounded. I also think if the perp had hit the clerk with the first shot they would still both be dead or wounded (it took the clerk ~2/3 of a second to get all three shots off). I do think if the perp would have continued to fire while going for the door, he would have had a much better chance of getting out unscathed...

April 10, 2006, 03:38 PM
I now watched the entire video and listen to the audio and I changed my mind. This guy and his friend are SUPER IDIOT NOOBS. If I only watched part of the video that showed the actually incident I might have given the guy a break, giving the shots at a fleeing BG as being part of the heat of the moment, but this entire video production with the music and the words and pics at the end are just bad....real bad. The incident occured in 8/2005 still plenty of time for a civil case (depends upon the state anywhere from 2 to 6 years) against the hotel and this guy. This stupid video would totally ruin any defense for the hotel and the clerk. It makes civilian CW permit holder look like gun totting idiots looking to gun down someone.

April 10, 2006, 04:58 PM
I don't think we know who released the video. Could have been this guy, but then again maybe not.

It makes civilian CW permit holder look like gun totting idiots looking to gun down someone.

In his defense, they WERE getting robbed at gunpoint. Either way, it's easy to sit here and quarterback it - at the end of the day all the right people are alive.

April 10, 2006, 05:16 PM
That video has been discussed before.

Original thread over at gunsnetwork:

Glock talk:

I would have done the same thing if I was in that situation. cept I wouldn't have made the video and posted it to the web. Yes the perp was retreating but he still had his gun so he was still a threat to me.

In the end it was ruled a justified shooting. That does not keep the perp or his family from suing in civil court and that video sure won't help.

April 10, 2006, 07:34 PM
good shoot/bad shoot aside, that was some redneck s* and it reflects horribly on the CC community. all we needed was a confederate flag behind him in the glamor shot at the end and jesse jackson would have this on repeat.

April 11, 2006, 01:09 AM
The fact that the guy decided to pull the trigger with a little one in such close proximity is a topic for another thread... The fact that the guy decided to shoot a fleeing person is also a topic for another thread. The fact that the guy decided to let this video become a repulsive bit of self promotion doesn't even warrant a thread...(other than an apology to the rest of humanity)

At the risk of being redundant, my point to linking the video was to provide a visible demonstration that, as others have already pointed out, there isn't a clear answer to move vs. engage...and that how you move is just as important as whether you move.

BTW, my summary of the situation was inaccurate. Read the threads linked by isa268, esp the first one, for specific details (for example, it appears the perp did not fire his weapon)

April 11, 2006, 09:57 AM
Pickpocket. Shooting a fleeing BG in the back is a gray area that is debatable. If a jury watched the clerk's video "production" vs the regular video security video tape do you think they would come back with the same verdict? If this kid was my son I would support him, but after seeing the video he would get a smack to the back of the head. The video shows he is a typical Rambo type and not a responsible gun owner. I still wonder if the kid was not moved out of the way quick enough if he would have shot thru her.

You know what I'm not sure what this video has to do with Moving vs. Engaging, other that when a Rambo type is shooting, move out of the way fast or the bullet will have your name on it too.

April 11, 2006, 02:41 PM
You're right, but the problem is that nobody knows how they're going to react until they're in that position. There's no way we can sit here and debate about what a jury would and would not decide - especially since we're only seeing a small - not to mention somewhat dramatized - portion of the whole.

Someone mentioned before that the shooter actually posted on TFL and stated that the angle was much more forgiving than the video makes it seem...and I'll admit that my first reaction upon seeing the video was that he was an idiot for risking that child's life. Ok, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

We don't know who edited that video, all we know is our reaction to having seen it. The list of people who would have had access to that footage is greater than one person, so I think unless we have proof to the contrary it's unfair to assume that HE edited and published it to the internet. It's possible that he's that stupid, but let's hope not, right?

RE: Shooting the fleeing BG. This is a "what-if" paradise :rolleyes: but like I said before, none of us knows what was going through that kid's mind, but I can promise you that none of it was calculated. Protection of life and limb - and once you decide to use deadly force to stop the threat you're committed. To argue that the BG was or was not a threat after getting hit is pure conjecture.

I don't agree with the video, but I also don't know who made it - so that's a non-issue. Should he have shot the guy? I'm inclined to say yes - how many of us would sit here and rip the guy to shreds if he had waited until the mother or the kid got shot before acting?

I suggest we let this one go - we're getting bogged down in the nit-picky details and they've already closed one Movement vs. Engagement thread and this one is starting down a whole new path.

April 17, 2006, 10:36 AM
A gun in hand will get you shot by me fleeing or not (during the commission of a violent crime). If they have Sweat'n'bullets training or luck on their side I am still at risk as long as we are in the same line of sight.

Yes this guy was an idiot for making the video.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 17, 2006, 11:14 AM
Shooting at a fleeing armed subject is a tough one to call and there is no yes or no answer.

If the BG is fleeing, one might argue to let him go as that removes the threat from you.

Shooting him does not guarantee an instant stop (except on the Internet). Having been shot and not disabled the BG, rather than fleeing may stay in the fight and kill you or a bystander.

As a heuristic, I would state that if the BG is going full blast out the door - wave bye - bye. If his or her movements towards the door indicate that you are still engaged, that's different.

If he is going out the front door, the back door looks appealing to me.

Certainly, don't chase him. Folks have done that and been prosecuted.

April 18, 2006, 12:54 AM
Nice work to the glock owner.

video again isnt the brightest idea but its here, and i watch/enjoyed it.

3/3 isnt too shabby especially given that your heart is ready to explode at that point.

April 18, 2006, 05:53 AM
As a heuristic, I would state that if the BG is going full blast out the door - wave bye - bye. If his or her movements toward the door indicate that you are still engaged, that's different

How do you determine the bad guys intent (armed with a gun no less)? How can us regular folks tell the bad guys intent in microseconds? The motel clerk had only enough time to fire three shots, hardly enough time (for me anyway) to figure out the robbers intent. What indicators would cause you to believe that the bad guy wouldn't turn and fire? What guarantees that the bad guy will adhere to those indicators? While I will not pursue, my rule of thumb is if armed with a gun and having threatened me with it as in a robbery/assault, I will fire until he is gone from sight just like the clerk did. I wouldn't have stepped in front of the counter like he did rather duck down behind it while covering the front door and calling police.

Shooting him does not guarantee an instant stop (except on the Internet). Having been shot and not disabled the BG, rather than fleeing may stay in the fight and kill you or a bystander.

I believe the chances are greater that he will turn and fire or reengage if I stop shooting than they are for me getting shot after wounding the bad guy causing him to return fire IMO.

April 18, 2006, 09:36 AM
Back to the orignal question.

move towards cover, it's a lot harder to hit a moveing target.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 18, 2006, 10:43 AM
You determine his actions by using your brain and eyes together. I think I can see if someone is running away from me. I grant you that it is a hard skill to pick up just shooting at paper targets.

If one cannot determine if someone has his back to you and running out the door - well, not much can be done about that.

How about this - you maintain the sight picture on the center of the back and if you see the person turn - you shoot him.

I will opine again that if the bad guy is clearly leaving - let him go. You do what you want.

April 18, 2006, 11:51 AM
I'll try to get back on topic...God I hate stupid ninja rambos

I guess it's a range and threat ID issue. Close range and you know your threat you engage. Further range or it is unclear exactly where the shooter is you should move or take cover. Most CCW owners in a close up robbery situtation are better of engaging hoping they got the element of surprise on their side. Moving first would throw up a red flag to the BG, and your draw would be more noticed. I would engage first and move second.

April 18, 2006, 12:58 PM
It seems like this one has plenty of differing opinions. Suffice it to say, there's never going to be a perfect answer to this one, in ANY scenario, really. It's a true compromise.

I guess I'd have to echo the statement above, that I'd try to retain the element of surprise close up and engage THEN move, or at least draw then move while engaging. But far away, I'd size it up, and if escape or hiding and waiting it out is a valid possibility, then that'd be the way I'd go.

April 18, 2006, 04:15 PM

You determine his actions by using your brain and eyes together. I think I can see if someone is running away from me. I grant you that it is a hard skill to pick up just shooting at paper targets.

If one cannot determine if someone has his back to you and running out the door - well, not much can be done about that.

My point Glenn was that at any point in the confrontation the bad guy can turn and fire. Your suggestion is to surrender the edge in the conflict against an adversary who at any moment can turn and fire, bringing the possibility of death to you. I have to respectfully disagree. One thing is a bad guy armed with a weapon other than a gun. The gun changes everything IMO. I cannot risk a retreating shot or any other snap shot which with Murphy's law would hit me in the only unprotected vital area on my body. Further I cannot risk not firing and allowing the bad guy to regain confidence and reengage.

BTW, I don't only shoot still paper targets. I shoot still and moving paper targets of varying shapes, sizes, etc.. Steel of all shapes and sizes including movers. Probably the best of all, balloons, filled with helium they move erratically. I try to do all I can to practice other than at a still paper target.