View Full Version : Using Your Fire as Cover

matthew temkin
November 30, 2007, 07:44 AM
Fairbairn and Applegate of WW2 special operations fame were firm believers in the following...

1)Fast rate of fire.
In fact Fairbairn wrote that the more his pistol sounds like a submachine gun the better he liked it.

2)Moving into the enemy while rapidly shooting if the range is close and no cover is available..as is so often the case in a surprise handgun assult.

So..what we have is a tactic in which you charge in while yelling, screaming, cursing, and, most vital, shooting...which means that you are using your bullets as cover.
Moreover...Fairbairn also wrote that a man shot in the stomach area will usually clutch his midsection, thereby dropping his weapon..a good reason ( amongst others) to shoot "low."
Of couse, nothing would prevent you from starting "low" and zippering your way up...
Fairbairn also wrote that at the exact impact of your bullet the BG was incapable of pulling his trigger for a second of so ( not sure why, but it is what he observed with the SMP) so the faster you hit him the more time he is not likely to return fire to you.
Which gives light to another saying popular in Special Ops teams...
"Sometimes the BOLDEST action is the safest action."
Of course I do not think that "Hiding", "Cover" or "Surpressive" fire is an accurate term for this, so I am looking for help on what we should call this.
After all, neither Fairbairn or Applegate bothered to give this a name.....
Hmmmm..maybe there is a lesson in that...

November 30, 2007, 08:03 AM
Just my two cents;
You're referring to absolute last ditch efforts here, which might be why they didn't want to attach a name to it and consider it a "legitimate" tactic. Hail Mary comes to mind.
"Sometimes the BOLDEST action is the safest action."
True in many cases. If you want to hide a 50 ton excavator, you don't dig a hole and cover it with leaves, you park it where an excavator should be, like at a construction site.
"Tactics" need to cover not only your thinking, but that of your adversary as well.

Night Watch
November 30, 2007, 09:16 AM
So..what we have is a tactic in which you charge in while yelling, screaming, cursing, and, most vital, shooting...which means that you are using your bullets as cover.

:eek: Don't ya think you're going off the deep end - Maybe just a little bit?

This technique is neither desperate, last ditch, nor illegitimate. (You've, 'split the pie' haven't you?) If you can yell and scream while, still, firing accurately more power to you; I never could; and, I'm positive that William Ewart Fairbairn didn't require such behavior of his officers.

The type of close quarter combat Fairbairn's Shanghai Police did, most often involved moving rapidly through crowded tenements while engaging thoroughly experienced, street-harden, and well-armed criminals. These gangsters had to be fought on their own turf and, often, at moments of their own choosing in what was frequently a, 'fall back ambush' scenario.

There is no, 'clean' way to do this. Anything can happen during a, 'running gun battle'. Sometimes you will be caught in an undefensible position and left completely exposed. I remember reading that Fairbairn's officers were frequently outnumbered and needed to avoid losing momentum and being boxed in, themselves. It was to the officers' advantage to press their attacks and keep moving forward.

By all accounts I've seen, lawlessness was rife in Shanghai; and, Fairbairn was involved in a battle to, 'take back the streets'. He required his officers to cover a lot of ground and to engage frequently - often without regard for the extraordinary risks involved.

Most of what we hear about, today, involves the use of an isosceles stance and rapid fire; however: surprise action, frequent engagement, hard-pressed forward momentum, and close interaction between team members were, also, primary defense tactics of the Shanghai Police.

Yelling, screaming, emptying your weapon, and recklessly exposing yourself to incoming fire have nothing to do with the tactics you're endeavoring to analyze. ;)

November 30, 2007, 10:38 AM
Cover is an obstruction or area that blocks bullets, e.g. cars, large buildings, and ditches. Concealment is something that blocks the shooter's view but not bullets, e.g. bushes, large signs, and smoke.

Your own gunfire is neither of these.

Rob Pincus
November 30, 2007, 11:07 AM
I get a lot of the mil guys that preach "violence of action" when they explain why they think charging at the bad guy is a good idea... after I point out that they really aren't significantly "scarier" when they add forward motion to the actual shooting, lights, flashbangs, etc AND add the fact that motion towards the target while shooting affects their ability to shoot rapidly and accurately AND when they see on scenario runs that it quite often puts them crossing open doors and blowing off danger areas; they re-think the concept.

I agree that bold action is often good action.... take the initiative or take it back as fast as you can. Lateral movement relative to the threat during presentation, then planting and putting as many rounds as fast as possible into the target's high center chest until he stops being threat is pretty bold.


November 30, 2007, 01:11 PM
"Shock and awe" revisited this theory...

November 30, 2007, 01:24 PM
L'audace, l'audace...Toujours l'audace! :D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v234/THR-Thumper/th_Picture048.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v234/THR-Thumper/?action=view&current=Picture048.flv)

Rob, I know you know it's possible (and not really that hard) to achieve a fairly high level of accuracy while moving laterally...why plant?

Rob Pincus
November 30, 2007, 01:49 PM
"fairly high level of accuracy" and "as many shots into the high center chest as possible in the least amount of the time until the threat stops" are two different things.

First, lets accept that you can't be as fast and as accurate while moving as you can while planted. If we don't agree on that, its a whole 'nuther thing.

I ask students this question: "how many rounds come out of a pistol/AK47 in one half second?"

The answer is "more than none".... we want "none" to come out at us or those we are trying to protect. The faster we stop the threat, the faster "none" come out. If it is 1/3, 1/4, 1/2 second faster to plant, I'm all for it. The fact is that the rate at which most people move when they are "shooting and moving" isn't going to make them safer to the same level that it is going to affect their ability to stop the threat.

I do teach lateral movement during presentation, but I teach to stop and shoot as soon as you can.


November 30, 2007, 01:57 PM
First, lets accept that you can't be as fast and as accurate while moving as you can while planted. If we don't agree on that, its a whole 'nuther thing.

I absolutely agree, and I agree with your premise that, for the average shooter, the benefits of stationary shooting outweigh the benefits of lateral movement (after that initial off-line step).

I also know, however, that you teach some students that can make those same accurate hits while moving. If a guy can consistently hit high thoracic while moving, why not get the best of both worlds? Granted, all this is on the range and not under fire, but don't we have a tendency to continue movement under fire anyway?

November 30, 2007, 02:07 PM
I believe there is a name for the tactic described in the OP... it's called a "suicidal charge".

Glenn E. Meyer
November 30, 2007, 02:08 PM
I read somewhere (sigh) and had this discussion with a friend who was an ASLET trainer that someone (sigh) found that people were hit going to cover as that took time and they were not firing effectively as they moved. Cover could be a ways away and it might just be concealment anyway. Do you want to have to be thinking about what is and what isn't as rounds are coming at you. Thus, he was an advocate of a move and then plant and shoot as compared to a more lengthy run to something.

November 30, 2007, 02:19 PM
I believe there is a name for the tactic described in the OP... it's called a "suicidal charge".

Nah, just multitasking. Shoot, Move, Communicate...all at once. ;)

Rob Pincus
November 30, 2007, 02:37 PM
Thumper, I can only say it so many ways "good enough" is NOT.... no matter how good you can get while moving, the laws of physics and bio-mechanics dictate that you can be better while stationary.

"Easy" and "best" are often two different things. We see the gamers shooting & moving all the time and at the top of the heap, the world class shooters make it look incredibly easy, but don't think that they couldn't shoot better if they were stationary.

Lastly, I don't know the context or accuracy of the quote in your sig line.. but you apparently liked it, and it doesn't say "If you're shooting, you should be moving because it will make you safer overall"... ;)


Jim March
November 30, 2007, 02:37 PM
If we're talking as CCW holders, we should NOT be charging into the face of danger to "root out evil" the way Fairbairn's people were.

One of the more recent US instructors (Clint, wasn't it?) talked about moving SIDEWAYS while firing, as the goblin was most likely to pump rounds into the point where first contact was made.

It turns out the Weaver hold is very well suited to this. In both directions if need be.

Hard Ball
November 30, 2007, 02:45 PM
"USMC Rules of Combat #23: Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

THEy "BORROWED THIS FROM THE TEXAS RANGERS WHOSE VERSION WAS "Always be polite and professional, But have a plan and be readu to kill everyone you meet."

Hard Ball
November 30, 2007, 02:47 PM
Sorry cap locks stuck.

November 30, 2007, 02:53 PM
If we're talking as CCW holders, we should NOT be charging into the face of danger to "root out evil" the way Fairbairn's people were.

Agreed. While there may be instances were this may be the better or only option in a confrontation, I would prefer that any witnesses who may testify later say that I appeared to be in a defensive posture rather then say I appeared to be "charging" aggressively at my target in an offensive posture...as if I was instigating the confrontation.

PS Hardball: great signature line either way, huh?

November 30, 2007, 02:53 PM
Lastly, I don't know the context or accuracy of the quote in your sig line.. but you apparently liked it, and it doesn't say "If you're shooting, you should be moving because it will make you safer overall"...

Heheh, no...I've had that sigline for years...didn't think it might someday have bearing on an actual discussion.

I pretty much agree with you, especially that stationary is preferential accuracy-wise to moving, but a dynamic target isn't a bullsye with a clearly defined stop button. I guess it's a cost/benefit deal; is the accuracy trade off worth being harder to hit?

Perhaps a side step, then bangbangbang is a good compromise...or maybe it's situational?

Rob Pincus
November 30, 2007, 03:42 PM
Absolutely... I almost went there in the last post, but didn't... should've known we'd get here.

I teach the concept of "Lateral movement" at the point of recognition of a threat. "we can't shoot bullets out of our eyes, but our eyes most often initiate the response". When we see a threat, even if we are in the ready position, there is a time delay to being able to shoot effectively. In CFS, I teach to use that time for the lateral shift "off the x" the person chose that spot to try to kill you, so that spot is BAD. As Jim noted in his reference to Mr. Smith's teachings.... Get off that spot, shift at least one body width laterally during presentation, plant & shoot.

There is an article about lateral movement in the VTC Online Newsletter archives.


November 30, 2007, 05:08 PM
Perhaps a side step, then bangbangbang is a good compromise...or maybe it's situational?

I'd say it has to be situational. Side stepping is great unless you're on stairs, or in a tight hallway, or other tight quarters.

Rob Pincus
November 30, 2007, 05:12 PM
In training, we look for consistency & efficiency, so we train for lateral movement all the time, with the expectation that situational awareness will keep you from sidestepping off a cliff, if you happen to be in that extreme situation.


The Canuck
November 30, 2007, 10:32 PM
The method described by the OP was taught to us for countering ambushes. You end up rapidly closing with a bunch of prone guys, you force the enemy machinegunner to either fire into his own troops or go silent and your survivors will be behind the ambush and standing up while the ambushers have to try and reposition to get you, they are static, you are mobile and have grenades.

Fairburn & Applegate know that of which they speak. Especially since they were instructors for commando unit operations.

Is this a good idea for a CCW situation? Depends upon the situation. You also have to be a lot more... energetic when doing this kind of thing and you sure as hell want to be sure to move in an erratic pattern while moving and firing as fast as you can (yes to both).

Dr. Olie Yarkshire
November 30, 2007, 10:54 PM
A fine techneque!

When I served with the Royal Grenadiers my hide was spared from the foul hands of the Thuggis men of battle by a quick rush into their ranks. When left without nary a horse to shield you, go forth, and loudly, into them.

November 30, 2007, 11:17 PM
Charging into the teeth of 2 or more BG's is something I'd expect of Mel Gibson in a Lethal Weapon movie.

See threat. Evaluate threat. Threat real. Threat Dangerous.
Draw gun. Fire gun. Move sideways. Stop. Fire gun Until no threat.

In the rare instance where one has no real retreat and escape routes are limited, charging them like a wild-eyed shooting maniac may break their ranks enough for you to get past them to a better location.

Of course, if that happens, they'll be hampered in their ability to maintain solid footing, what with all that yellow and brown matter left behind. :D

As for me, I just hope I can float like a butterfly and sting like a 230-grain +P JHP.

Jim March
November 30, 2007, 11:21 PM
This is Weaver-specific, but...

OK. Assume you're right handed, so you're "bladed" a bit with your left side forward. This is a natural stance to go to the Weaver from. We'll also assume a strong-side holster of some sort, you're at condition orange but it's not yet time to draw against that...well let's say "agitated gangbanger type".

Oooops, he's pulled up his sweatshirt and you see a gun at his waistband. NOW it's time to draw.

One option:

Take your left (leading) leg and bring it hard right, across your body while taking a "long step" to the right. Your right leg bends and you drop to that knee, right foot hasn't moved but of course it's now on it's toe.

While that's happening you draw and you're twisting your upper body radically left into a Weaver-ish hold. Your left knee is pointing to your right almost 90 degrees from the direction your gun barrel points.

You've got what I've been privately calling a "Kenpo Weaver" because I've seen this type of crossed-up thing used as a punch taught in a Kenpo class.

It feels really "tight" across the upper body and it's an incredibly stable shooting platform. It's also dropped you some and put you about 1.5 body widths off-line. Almost as cool: since your right thigh has stayed vertical through all this, you don't have anything impeding your draw. All other off-line movement jiggles your holster all over the place, including bending it which impedes the draw.

It has some downsides. Once locked into this position, swinging your gun barrel right is easy but left means rolling onto your back and shooting past your knees...which actually isn't the worst possible idea but it seriously limits mobility. Or, to move from the "Kenpo Weaver" without rolling onto your back first really needs a forward roll...hope you know how to do that...I "can", kinda :).


Another question: what does an Isosceles-type shooter do to move laterally?

One option: bring the off-side foot (we'll say left here) back and right, so you "blade" right-forward and shoot one handed "Olympic style" while backing up?

December 1, 2007, 12:52 AM
Take your left (leading) leg and bring it hard right, across your body while taking a "long step" to the right. Your right leg bends and you drop to that knee, right foot hasn't moved but of course it's now on it's toe.

Thanks, Jim. Now both my back and my knee hurt! :D
Maybe I'm doing it wrong but it just felt awkward as heck to me.

What I think you're getting at is that you are (essentially) using the left leg to turn your body to the right, then pick up "normal" gait from there, dropping to a knee (ouch) if needed.

Another question: what does an Isosceles-type shooter do to move laterally?

Though some instructors don't recommend it, I use a side-step "shuffle". Move the right foot first and as you move to that foot, the left foot moves to where the R-foot was or just beyond. It's not as fast but it takes me out of line of the shooter. The main issue here is if your right foot snags (curb, tree root, etc.) you can go down.

This works better for me because I can keep better aim as I move versus trying to twist my upper body.

December 1, 2007, 11:12 AM
firing while moving is a valid technique, but there are limitations, mostly dictated by safety and friendly fire considerations
It isn't cover, that was well stated by a previous poster. This technique would actually be suppressive fire.

Rob Pincus
December 1, 2007, 11:23 AM
Canuck... that's the point. adapting military Small Unit Tactics to personal self defense rarely works.

J. March,

Most people, regardless of training, revert to isosceles under stress, we know this from empirical evidence (dash cams, etc), and as you've alluded to, it is harder to move laterally while shooting in that position... another reason that I don't advocate shooting & moving.


December 1, 2007, 11:27 AM
I still agree with you, Rob, that a side step while drawing, then shoot, is a great compromise for most shooters.

Just as an exercise in theory, do you believe you (personally) can make good upper body hits while moving laterally?

If so, isn't this the best of both worlds?

matthew temkin
December 1, 2007, 11:52 AM
Rob..neither Fairbairn not Sykes were talking about the military use of a pistol when first teaching this method of shooting.
This advice was for police and armed civilian use of handguns.
Others here are also dead wrong about the accuracy of this technique--especially when used in conjunction with point/target/combat/focused shooting.
I have students making rapid fire COM/head shots while rapidly closing in within a few minutes of training.
And I stress the use of one hand shooting--which makes lateral movement a lot smoother and natural.
Not to mention making the same excellent hits possible while moving in any and all directions.
It is also the method of choice of the Israeli's when distance/cover is not an option.
It is also the method of choice that I learned from Phil Singleton (of S.A.S fame) for CQB and that my friends learned from Eric Haney ( Delta Force) and Mel Perry ( also of S.A.S.)

December 1, 2007, 08:27 PM
Movement Inside of the Fight Continuum

"The fight will be what the fight will be." There is a definite fight continuum and inside the fight continuum there are a number of other continuums. There is of course, 7677's sight continuum there is a reaction continuum, and a movement continuum. There are even lesser continuums including grip, trigger, etc. but let's concentrate on the main three.

React as you need to react, move as you need to move, and see what you need to see within the context of the specifics of the fight. This is very straight forward and simple, yet each of these are intertwined. Each works in conjunction with the other and each has an effect on the other. The dynamics of the fight will be dictated by your position in the reactionary curve, the proximity of the threat, and the urgency of the situation. How you deal with the specifics of the fight will depend on your mindset, experience, training and skill level.

When it comes to training and skill level, I believe that we should strive to be as well rounded and versatile as possible. To understand the fight continuum and to cover as many bases as possible within that continuum, there needs to be a priority set on "the most likely situations." But training should not stop there. In regards to the movement continuum, I have broken the skill sets into four categories.

Stand and Deliver

Controlled Movement

Dynamic Movement

"Get the heck out of dodge" Movement

Stand and deliver is the entry level skill set. This is where you nail down your fundamentals. You should have stand and deliver skills down cold to truly excel in the skill sets that follow. Many very good men have come home after very tough nights with stand and deliver skills.... a few of them right here on this forum. One should not discount this skill set when it is used within the correct context of the fight.

Controlled movement is an intermediate skill set and would include the groucho (duck walk,) the side step (crab walk,) and "just walk." Controlled movement has it place also. When the urgency is lower and the proximity/distance requires more precision (sighted fire.)

Dynamic movement is the "high priority" movement that I referred to earlier. This is where you will most likely find yourself. Dynamic movement excels when you are behind in the reactionary curve, the proximity is close, and the urgency is high. This movement can range from "faster than a walk," to a jog, to a stride, to a run, and finally to a sprint. This type of movement really works well within the reaction continuum and the sight continuum. The use of threat focused skills takes this skill set well beyond what has been considered "possible" in the recent past. One handed skills are a "must" with dynamic movement.

“Get the heck out of Dodge” movement is simply sprinting to cover without engaging until you are behind cover. This has its place, especially in the military. Its use by a civilian defender is becoming less and less necessary due to the huge advancements in dynamic movement shooting over the past year. If cover is a couple of yards away.....by all means get to it! But do not die trying to get to something that is just too far away.

One should be well rounded. Prioritize your training to the "most likely situation." Work the other areas of the fight continuum, so that if you find yourself in a specific circumstance you will be comfortable there. Stay within the safety level of your skill level, but strive to improve each time out. Find, explore, and push your limitations within the fight continuum.

December 1, 2007, 09:11 PM
As an instructor that specalizes in point shooting and dynamic movement I have sought out and trained with some of the best guys in the nation. Last month, I trained with Matt Temkin for the second time. Matt and I have batted this topic around on a number of occasions, with him on one side and me on the other. As I progress....as I teach more and more students....I am slowly beginning to see things Matt's way. The biggest factor in this change of heart comes down to the "type" of student that seeks out my courses. I tend to get the most motivated and highly skilled students. They are also extremely aggressive and very serious individuals.

One thing that these "top" students have made very clear to me is that "they are who they are." They were born a certain way and for them to not act as their instincts tell them would be next to impossible. These guys are born hunters/meateaters.....their mindset is that of "rightous indignation."

These guys and some of the guys that were in Matts course last month were the inspiration for my last "Who Are You?" article.

Not only does it matter "Who are you" but "what is your skill level." The guys that Matt, 7677, Gabe, and I train have the skill level to make solid hits with dynamic movement (not controlled movement) out to seven yards while moving dynamically to every direction on the clock.

This may be a relatively new skill set but it is an accurate, reliable, effective and efficient skill set. The "Dynamic Movement Draw Stroke" allows for hits on target area at the same time as a stationary draw stroke. It all comes down to the knowledge and the skill level.

Of course, nobody is saying that "dynamic movement" hits are "as accurate" as stationary hits. But, no one is making that claim threat focused hits are as accurate as sighted fire hits either. What we have here is an excellent balance of speed (of the shots and of the movement) and accuracy.

This is not suppressive fire, this is fast and accurate shooting with dynamic movement. All it takes is knowledge, training, skill level, and most of all......an open mind.

December 1, 2007, 10:01 PM
Sorry for the repost guys, but this is pertinient to the conversation. Training with Matt for the second time, along with a few of my repeat students, and the conversations at the dinners is what inspired this article.

Who are you?

Over the last seven years there has been some major advancement in the art when it comes to the world of the gun. This is predominantly due to the realization that “one size does not fit all” and that the “situation” is the dictating factor when it comes down to choosing a tactic or technique to deal with a life threatening encounter. It is plain to see that the facts are that the situation dictates the strategy, the strategy dictates the tactics, and the tactics dictate the techniques. The technique based training of the past locked us into a “one size fits all” mentality that simply does not stand up under open minded scrutiny and much less inside of force on force.

As we look at the situation, one of the key components of this situation comes down to “who are you?” As we look at this question we immediately think of the most obvious aspects of it. We think about age, physical ability, size, and training. Of course, these are very important aspects of your personal situation. One aspect, that is less obvious, but none the less important, is your mindset. The question needs to be ask “who are you” in regards to the mental aspect of the fight. What has your past experiences and performances been in physical altercations? Are you aggressive or passive by nature? Did you immediately take the fight to the opponent or hesitate due to denial. Did you only go on the defensive?

These are all very important questions. But the reality is that many people have never had to answer these questions. For those of us that are not as lucky, we have a basic idea of who we are. For really unlucky people and the professionals, there is enough experience to know exactly who they are.

The reason that this question is so important is so that you can prioritize your training to take in account exactly who you are. If you know yourself to be very aggressive, you can train aggressive action as a known priority. This will not only fit your situation very well but it will also further entrench this natural desire to take the fight to the adversary. By ingraining this deeper and deeper, you will recognize the situation, for what it is, earlier and respond quicker. It is my belief that this is what we see in some of the old timers that have prevailed numerous times with stand and deliver skills or while advancing aggressively. Gunfighters such as Fairbairn, Sykes, Bryce, Jordon, and Askins were born hunters/meat eaters that knew exactly who they were and trained with this knowledge to the point that they were “in the fight” before the Average Joe would even know that a fight was eminent. This ability to recognize the fight early and respond to it with decisive aggressive action leaves options of tactics and techniques open that simply are not available to the Average Joe.

You may also know yourself as someone that can shift gears to aggressive action, but only after a slight hesitation. This is where many moderately trained civilians would find themselves. This knowledge can help you prioritize your training to something that gets you off of the line of attack, at a subconscious level, to give yourself some time for the conscious mind to catch up and go on the offense. This is where getting off of the X really shines. The forward oblique’s and parallel tracking works very well for this type of mindset. Visualization while training can improve this hesitation. You need to tap into that inner animal, the one that simply works off of indignation. Visualization of protection of my wife and kids brings me closer to the decisive aggressive action that some of the top gunfighters in history have used to prevail. Reality is that my wife and kids do not even have to be present for this mindset to be enacted. Any attack on me is an attack on my wife and kids.

You may also know yourself as someone that will only act defensively, someone that will simply not go on the offense. While I do not agree with this type of mindset, as an instructor I have to understand that this may be the makeup of some of my students. Skills such as rearward movement or fighting to cover can be taught as their priority tactic. As I give them those skills, I do my best to convey to them the importance of a winning mindset and the option of more aggressive tactics and techniques.

As I said earlier, many people have not had to answer the question of who they really are. For these people it is important to train yourself to be as well rounded as possible. It is also important to work on ingraining a winning mindset. Force of force courses can help you begin to determine who you are. Visualization while training is a very important aspect in cultivating this aggressive winning mindset.

When we look back on the old timers that were so successful in there numerous gunfights, one thing is perfectly clear. They had the mindset to not only win, but to aggressively destroy the threat. They did not shoot to stop. They did not shoot to defend. They shot to effectively obliterate the threat. This is what made the tactics and techniques that they chose to use, as effective as they were.

They knew exactly who they were. They trained and fought with this absolute knowledge.

So the question bears repeating, “Who are you?”

December 1, 2007, 10:16 PM
Charging the guns as it where was always a move taught to me to break a fight or protect some one who was in your control or care.

Can't say I agree with all the postings , but agree they have some merit,, but I'll stick with what I was taught


December 2, 2007, 02:14 AM
Running FOF scenarios has shown me that while rapidly advancing may win the day getting off line wins more of them. YMMV.

grey sky
December 2, 2007, 02:50 AM
Sykes, Fairbairn and others are speeking of scenarios were there is not going to be a trial after the fact. The act of pressing the attack may be viewed from a jury box, described by a lawer (who was not there) as over agresive. Getting off the line and seeking cover may be the best advice for the average joe.
Another point is the "profesional" gun fighters being able to identify a fight early ,worked "back in the day". Not so good now with litigation to consider? Draw too early, who is the agresor?
"If you were in fear of attack why did you advance"? The what ifs are never ending.
That said FOF practice is a good idea if you can find it or do it your self.
It is a concern that worying about legal consequences may cause one to pause too long.

matthew temkin
December 2, 2007, 08:24 AM
Sad to say that getting off the line and seeking cover are rarely an option in the typical gunfight.
I also have been taught to shoot while moving in at an angle and that is another option in tight quarters.
After working in the courts for 28 years I have yet to see a case where the type of weapon or the tactic became an issue.
In the real world--as opposed to the gun rags--what matters is wheither or not the shooting was justified

Long Path
December 3, 2007, 01:13 PM
In the real world--as opposed to the gun rags--what matters is wheither or not the shooting was justified

Excellent point.

It is true that how you went about the shooting can influence peoples' perceptions of whether the shooting was justified, but on the whole, the question should be: Is this shooting justified? Can I avoid shooting, without harm to innocents or myself?

December 3, 2007, 02:43 PM
Also true about the real world is that while the shooting involing the intended target may be ruled justified the one(s) resulting from the errant rounds may not. Something to think about when evaluating "acceptable rates of accuracy."

matthew temkin
December 4, 2007, 07:19 AM
Sine the police have a lousy hit rate I would like to hear your suggestions as what to do when up close and personal.

December 4, 2007, 10:00 AM
Marine Corps infantry doctrine calls for 'assaulting the ambush'. The only possible chance for survival in an ambush is to attack the ambushers. This has been shown to disrupt the ambush and break the attack.

However, outside a combat zone this may not be the best course of action. I can see where moving toward an attacker and firing rapidly in the direction of the attacker may not be the best course of action in a shopping mall during the Christmas shopping season.

I have long held tactics must be fluid and adaptable to the current situation. While I was a Border 'Troll in a rather desolate area of Southern California, I could do things I cannot do now working inside at Los Angeles International Airport.

Mr. Matthew Temkin asks the very valid question:Since the police have a lousy hit rate I would like to hear your suggestions as what to do when up close and personal.The only possible answer is "Shoot quickly and don't miss."

Police have a lousy hit rate (and that is correct) for two reasons.

Reason number one is departments look at training as a budget item. Firearm qualification and training are done in a fashion to get most of the troops 'qualified' for lawsuit purposes while spending as little money as possible. That's just a fact of life for taxpayer funded organizations. Troops at the range are not on the job.

Reason number two is most law enforcement people are not shooters and look at firearms as a required evil at best. Most lawmen (women) will never fire their weapons except at the range and most simply don't take lethal self-defense seriously. (The lawmen who attend this forum are the exception, I should think.)

No hobbyist falls into reason number two; most work seriously at overcoming reason number one. The fact is, non-police firearms owners have a much better over all 'score' for shooting villains - and the proper villain - than police in general.

My own theory of gunfighting is this: Stay alert for coming problems. Anticipate what can happen and from where an attack may come. Be competent with one's equipment.

December 4, 2007, 10:36 AM
Archie answered that one about as well as I could. The support offered by LEO administrators and the skill level among LEOs varies considerably, to say the least. I've found that also true of military, contractor, security force, etc personnel. The best are very good. The average, not so much.

You're offering up some of history's "very good," by the way. But that doesn't mean what worked for them will work for everyone, or that if operating today, given the available pool of resources, that that their tactics and advice would remain the same.

On miss rates:

Having a ___% miss rate is unacceptable.
Training to allow for it, more so.

December 4, 2007, 02:39 PM
Obviously not all, perhaps most, military techniques are completely inappropriate for civilian use.

I assume Archie was talking about reacting to a near ambush. Maybe the marines do it differently, but we drop, seek immediate cover, throw a grenade, fire a couple rounds to suppress while we wait for it to go off, then assault.

For a far ambush we seek cover and lay down supporting fire for the element not in contact while they manuever on the enemy.

Neither of these is a viable option for a civilian who has been ambushed in a built up area.

December 9, 2007, 01:18 AM
Each case is different. I would love a guy to come at me shooting rather than standing still and taking better aim. I loved the Iraqi's spray and pray. Marines just took a bead and plunked them. An AK47 is a great weapon but that was not a good tactic. I saw a Marine in a trench that ran his weapon dry pull his Kbar and run at a guy who while holding an AK turned tail to run another Marine made sure he did not get far. I would never want to take on a guy with a gun when i only had a knife but at that precise second that was his best option.

Marty Hayes
December 10, 2007, 12:36 PM
A good practitioner should be able to draw while moving and get two A-zone hits also while moving laterally, creating several feet in distance between you and the adversary, all in under two seconds.

We teach that in any ballistic encounter, there are at least two targets, you and the BG. We want the student to be the toughest target to hit, and that is the moving target.

December 10, 2007, 09:34 PM
Yes the Marines taught us to attack the ambush but not to be stupid. Cover fire move, cover fire move. attack but do it right!

December 11, 2007, 11:10 AM
L'audace, l'audace...Toujours l'audace! That was many years ago. Now the Surrender Monkeys say "J'abandonne,j'abandonne... Toujours j'abandonne"

Hope that's right. :)