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Old November 8, 2018, 08:01 PM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 8,462
Little Appreciated Aspects of Shot Placement

I came across a case today where a guy had been robbed/murdered about ten years ago. The killer shot him three times with a .40S&W as the guy sat in his car. The guy instinctively raised his left hand to shield his head and tried to turn away as best be could sitting in the seat. The three shots hit him in the left armpit in a group tight enough it could be covered with just the meat of your palm.

Even though all the shots were fired immediately after the other, each shot had an almost completely different trajectory through the victim. One shot exited straight across on the other side of the right armpit. One shot exited the left breast above the sternum and then reentered on the right breast. One shot travelled almost the length of his torso and exited the hip on the opposite side.

In a different robbery case, the victim fought back and center punched his attacker right in the -0 zone. However, do to the angle as his attacker turned away, the shot penetrated the attacker’s shirt without ever touching the attacker’s skin. The second shot did find its target though.

Shooting on 2D targets, it can be difficult to appreciate how small movements of the target can dramatically change shot trajectories even though you are hitting the surface of the target exactly where you aimed. I think this is one aspect of shooting where hunters have a better appreciation of the problem.

Just one more thing to keep in mind when training for self-defense encounters. This link has some good graphics demonstrating the problem.
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