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Old March 13, 2008, 04:06 AM   #90
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Join Date: September 15, 2004
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 644
lateral movement

From John Farnam

John Farnam of Defense Training International teaches lateral movement as a suggested component of the drawstroke.

"Lateral movement is done at the same time that the draw is executed. That is, both actions are performed simultaneously. We routinely do this now with pistols, rifles, and shotguns. The shooter pauses only long enough to fire several times (at least two and not more than four rounds) and then moves again. Movement is hopefully in the direction of cover, but movement, by itself, greatly enhances survivability.

I am not too dogmatic in regard to the particular direction of the lateral move, although one could argue for an automatic left movement, since most right-handed adversaries will miss low and left. I have students move in both directions, since obstacles may prevent movement in one direction or another."

From Skip Gochenour of the American Tactical Shooting Association, the group that hosts the National Tactical Invitational: (

"We have demonstrated in repeated studies that, even at six feet and less, a quick side step will cause the bad guy's first shot to miss about 75% of the time. There is also a time interval of almost a second until his next shot. The attacker must discover what happened and reorient himself.

Immediate side movement is much more likely to save your life than is a lightning draw without lateral movement. The most that a lightning fast draw gives you is a tie. Each of you shoots the other at about the same time.

Lateral movement gives you time: time for you to deliver accurate fire and time for your pistol rounds to take effect. In the meantime, the probability that you are shot is substantially reduced."
From a post by John Farnam 11-14-2000

Cover and movement. This from a friend who is a training officer in a large PD. This department had just completed exhaustive Simunitions/Force-on-Force drills.

"When a threat presents itself suddenly, such as when a suspect unexpectedly produces a weapon from concealment, turning and running to cover usually produces poor results, particularly when an officer is in the open. The officer is customarily shot as he runs and is unable to effectively return fire, even when he finally gets his sidearm drawn.

A far more effective strategy, but one that requires a great deal of training and personal courage, is aggressive, lateral movement combined with a simultaneous draw of the sidearm. The officer lurches laterally, getting off the line of force, as his sidearm is being drawn. As soon as the pistol is at eye level, the officer stops suddenly and immediately fires a number of rounds in rapid succession from a stationary position. He then immediately moves laterally again and repeats the maneuver.

This aggressive, lateral movement, combined with an aggressive burst of fire from a stationary position is the one tactic that the guys playing the role of felons found most difficult to deal with. They indicated that they would stalk the officer and make a plan to shoot him, usually waiting until he was in the open and far from cover.

When they produced their weapon, the officer suddenly moved laterally, and their first shot invariably went where the officer had been an instant before. By the time they pointed their weapon at the officer in his new position, they were so savagely pummeled with Simunitions that they could not fire accurately or, in many cases, at all.

We now teach our guys that, when they are in the open, aggressive movement, combined with aggressive, accurate gunfire, is their best ally"
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!
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