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Old July 29, 2017, 01:42 PM   #1
rjinga
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Try to Hit the Bad Guys, not the Hostage

I’ve been spending a lot of time shooting my rifle recently. However, my pistol (Sig P229 with XS Big Dot sights) finally got a little love yesterday.

I started at 3 – 4 yds. The red silhouette (hostage) on the target is 12.25” wide by 16” tall; the black silhouettes (bad guys) are only 2.25” wide on either side. I consider it a 2/3-size target. I was standing and shooting off-hand, with a two-handed grip. It took me three shots each before I finally hit the bad guys. And yeah, I hit the hostage once, and grazed him with a second shot, before hitting the bad guy on the right.


On my second attempt, I got the bad guy on the left with my first shot. However, I still hit the hostage twice before finally hitting the bad guy on the right. On my third attempt, I got both bad guys with one shot each.


Next, I moved the target out to about 7 -8 yds. It took me three shots to hit the bad guy on the left, but I got the bad guy on the left with only one shot.


And then, I moved the target out to 15 yds. This time I was actually aiming at the red silhouette.
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Old July 29, 2017, 02:06 PM   #2
Model12Win
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Very cool. To be even more realistic, attach a balloon to the target and try to pretend the balloon is the bad guy... without shooting the stationary hostage head.

It's an eye opener, for sure.
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Old July 29, 2017, 05:28 PM   #3
g.willikers
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There was a hostage situation in NY city that ended badly because the responding police officer got in this same situation.
He shot the hostage.
Can't imagine how he must have felt.
There's lots of things to practice that most gun owners don't try.
Instead of just doing the same things, usually the ones we're good at, we all should do stuff like this.
For a little more challenge, add cover to pop out from and then save the hostage.
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Old July 29, 2017, 05:59 PM   #4
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Rjinga,
If I'm a hostage I will fake a heart attack and fall to the ground - then you can shoot the bad guy.
I've shot those targets before and under some circumstances they can be very challenging.
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Old July 30, 2017, 09:01 AM   #5
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In a real life situation I would not take that shot like in those targets. I consider myself a fairly good shot with a pistol, but hitting the good guy is very possible. Though I am tempted to buy a few of those targets and try it out. Do they make targets like that in actual size?
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Old July 30, 2017, 10:23 AM   #6
Glenn E. Meyer
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Interesting exercise and a good one. Shooting IDPA matches, you face the hostage shot all the time.

Even more interesting is shotgun usage with hostages. This is for folks who blithely state - Home Defense, 12 gauge, Nuf' Said.

Patterning your gun and trying to skim a bad guy off the hostage takes some effort and under real stress would be 'fun'.

I won't even mention the Judge.
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Old July 30, 2017, 10:31 AM   #7
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i keep telling the "no-shoots" at IDPA matches to get out of the way. sometimes they listen, sometimes they get shot in the head. i tell them i'm sorry, tape them up, and we try it again.

yes, being able to put your shot exactly where you want it to go is an excellent skill to practice.

actual hostage situation you will likely have more than 2 seconds to make a shot, as you'll be talking with him/her. or he'll just shoot you and the hostage, take your gun and your car, and become someone else's problem in 10 minutes.
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Old July 30, 2017, 10:45 AM   #8
Glenn E. Meyer
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There are techniques to take the hostage shot if close up. I'll suggest folks take a good course to try them. It isn't easy and might go bad. I prefer to let quality instructors present them rather than moi.

On shotgun usage - this is fun. You do peel off the bad gun with the shot pattern and the wad hits the hostage right in the face. They do go through the cardboard, so it might be an ouch for the hostage.

PS - just googled and saw some pretty bad injuries from the wad.
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Old July 30, 2017, 11:02 AM   #9
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That's a tighter hostage target than the IDPA.


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Old July 30, 2017, 11:11 AM   #10
Glenn E. Meyer
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Well, then I hope the Hostage SO gives the bad guy a FTDR!

IDPA is a game. But shooting the hostage is not unknown. Sometimes we see someone at speed just hose the hostage COM. Not that I would do that.

Even skilled shooters slip. In a more realistic training venue with full sized photographic targets in a shoot house, my partner did a run and came out saying: Glenn, I killed my son!
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Old July 30, 2017, 11:37 AM   #11
Mal H
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This thread isn't about semi-auto handguns, it's more about training - moving to Tactics and Training.
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Old July 30, 2017, 11:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Well, then I hope the Hostage SO gives the bad guy a FTDR!
I was just pointing out a fact about target sizes.

Quote:
IDPA is a game. But shooting the hostage is not unknown.
Never said it was unknown.
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Old July 30, 2017, 12:07 PM   #13
Glenn E. Meyer
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That's ok, it was good point. No problem.
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Old July 30, 2017, 12:22 PM   #14
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I do get your point though. I've done a shoothouse where they threw in a hostage target for good measure. I took the shot and hit the bad guy in the head, but the POI was straying towards the hostage. In that situation even more of the bad guy was visible than what the OP was shooting at here. We actually had one guy in the shoothouse refuse to take the shot because he wasn't confident he could make it. He wasn't really "wrong".

I do think the OP is smart to practice this at different distances. There are distances at which I would take that shot, and some at which I wouldn't. Knowing that is important. Hopefully in a real situation you might be able to advance or flank to a position where you can take that shot, or maybe not.

Another factor though would be stress. I can hit IDPA head plates at 25 yds fairly confidently on a square range. I've done force on force where I and the guy shooting at me missed each other from 5 yds. We were moving and in an adrenaline dump, but excuses or not it happened.
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Old July 30, 2017, 01:05 PM   #15
Don Fischer
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You take a shot like one of those and you endanger the hostage. Keep your gun put away till you have a clear shot! I wouldn't even practice that. Problem being if I get pretty good at it I might at some point try it, still put's the hostage in danger!
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Old July 30, 2017, 01:40 PM   #16
Glenn E. Meyer
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There is no correct right or wrong answer. You have to compare the risk to the hostage from the bad guy as compared to the risk to the shot.

You can only practice the skill and hope you have the wisdom to make the right decision.

I could come up with scenarios why you should shoot and one's where you shouldn't. There are no absolutes.
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Old July 30, 2017, 02:21 PM   #17
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I could never get the hang of XS Big Dot sights, I know some people swear by them, and I have a feeling I could have gotten used to them had I given them more of a chance, but they just did not do it for me.
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Old July 30, 2017, 04:41 PM   #18
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I saw a guy on a tactical team send a round though the eyeball of the "hostage" target from about 10ft. He was trying to go faster than his skills allowed.
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Old July 30, 2017, 05:10 PM   #19
rjinga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal H View Post
This thread isn't about semi-auto handguns, it's more about training - moving to Tactics and Training.
Thanks. I thought about putting it there in the first place, but I wasn't sure.
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Old July 30, 2017, 05:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike38 View Post
.... Do they make targets like that in actual size?
I don't know. I'd rather have full-size targets too. I was adding something inexpensive to qualify for free shipping on Amazon.
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Old July 30, 2017, 05:33 PM   #21
rjinga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer View Post
Well, then I hope the Hostage SO gives the bad guy a FTDR!
SO? FTDR?
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Old July 30, 2017, 06:06 PM   #22
rjinga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
I wouldn't even practice that. Problem being if I get pretty good at it I might at some point try it, still put's the hostage in danger!
To each his own. I would only try a shot like that in real-life if I thought it was the last option before the hostage's immediate death at the hands of the bad guys anyway. I don't think I'd be thinking "Well, I've been pretty successful with this shot at the range; I think I'll give it a try."
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Old August 1, 2017, 06:55 AM   #23
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I've shot these sorts of targets both recreationally and semi-competitively. Usually I do pretty well--"usually" meaning I haven't accumulated THAT many dead hostages.

To further clarify, I do "pretty well" vs. a sheet of paper that remains entirely stationary in between my missed shots, does not attempt to escape, does not return fire and does not put the hostage in any further harm. Oh, and isn't pointing a gun at the hostage that's likely to fire if I do manage to hit the bad guy.

I've long wondered whether real-life "hit the bad guy, not the hostage" shots are best left for Hollywood. Even for an expert marksman with iron nerves, a target like this gives you about an inch worth of tolerance. If the hostage or the bad guy so much as turns his head, a hit becomes a miss, or a miss becomes a hit to the wrong guy.

In a real kidnapping I'd probably just have to fall back on my sword and throwing stars
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Old August 1, 2017, 10:10 AM   #24
g.willikers
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"A man has to know his limitations."
Want to have confidence with this kind of stuff?
Practice - a lot.
A whole lot.
And use miniature targets, half size or smaller from normally expected distances.
Until you know for sure you can't miss.
Otherwise, forgettaboutit.
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Old August 1, 2017, 05:21 PM   #25
Glenn E. Meyer
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Going nowhere. If you think you never can do it and want to let your loved one be taken away or killed in front of you, you can sell the script of your grief to Hollywood and appear on Oprah to cry.

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