The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 31, 2005, 08:24 PM   #1
Charlie Golf
Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2004
Posts: 34
2 to the Body, 1 to the Head OR 3 shots to Center Mass?

I have been trained both ways -- 2+1 and 3 to CM (actually shoot until the threat is stopped).

But if the intention is to stop the threat, do you think a jury would view the use of a head shot in a defensive shoot as "excessive force?" It seems to me that the intention of a head shot is to inflict a fatal injury (not that COM doesn't have that potential as well).

I'm just curious if most people would view it as "malicious." And of course, I realize I'm asking the wrong crowd too...

I realize that the adrenaline of an actual shoot makes the largest target the best target but I'm wondering how most people train for the day they hope never comes to pass.
Charlie Golf is offline  
Old May 31, 2005, 08:31 PM   #2
S.E.R.T.SGT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 1, 2005
Posts: 236
Charlie Golf:
If you were taught this from a specific department (not sure if this is what you mean by "trained"), and you're following SOP you shouldn't have any problems. This is how we are trained as well, and I have not heard of any "issues" related to following this procedure as it relates to departmental policy. (That is 2 CM, 1 Head)
__________________
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lighting they
Do not go gently into that good night.

Dylan Thomas


S.E.R.T.SGT
S.E.R.T.SGT is offline  
Old May 31, 2005, 08:34 PM   #3
Eghad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 28, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,231
If you have pulled a handgun out and are shooting it you are already using deadly force....doesnt get any more lethal than that.

The object would be to keep shooting till he stops. If he had a waepon and you were afraid for your life most folks wouldnt see anything wrong with that.

now if you unload another magazine into him after he is down you could be in trouble.

If you got a head shot I wouldnt attribute it to any kind of marksmanship skill, just say you were aiming center mass and the shots went where they did

most qualifications dont give a score they just say pass or fail....so it doesnt give anyone a chance to second guess you on marksmanship skills.
__________________
Have a nice day at the range

NRA Life Member
Eghad is offline  
Old May 31, 2005, 08:35 PM   #4
Eghad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 28, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,231
What SERT said is also true if it is department policy.....you usually get into trouble by not following policy or orders.
__________________
Have a nice day at the range

NRA Life Member
Eghad is offline  
Old May 31, 2005, 09:02 PM   #5
Capt. Charlie
Staff
 
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,446
Quote:
If you were taught this from a specific department (not sure if this is what you mean by "trained"), and you're following SOP you shouldn't have any problems.
+1

We are also trained that way. Used to be the odds of encountering someone with a vest were slim. Today, there's quite a few floating around out there, and along with following policy, the prosecutor will take that into account.
__________________
TFL Members are ambassadors to the world for firearm owners. What kind of ambassador does your post make you?

I train in earnest, to do the things that I pray in earnest, I'll never have to do.

--Capt. Charlie
Capt. Charlie is offline  
Old May 31, 2005, 09:25 PM   #6
Glenn E. Meyer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 20,066
This thread is a copy of one on THR or some other forum- maybe here? The idea of a head shot and the mythology of shooting to stop vs. lethal force was thoroughly discussed. I'm too lazy to find that thread.

The gist is that someone who thinks that a headshot is excessive force as compared to shooting to stop has completely misunderstood the tactical and legal doctrines that are applicable.

Someone else can search for my sparkling analysis.

PS: I lied. I found my thread. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...ting+stop+head

It relates to the Tyler shooting discussion on THR where the same question as this thread was posted.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc. - Aux Armes, Citoyens
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old May 31, 2005, 11:03 PM   #7
Doug.38PR
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 18, 2005
Posts: 3,298
I wouldn't think a head shot would be first thing you would go for anyway even if courts didn't view it as "excessive force." After all, 1) the head is a much smaller target, 2) it moves. Both of these cases make it harder and less likely to hit. So unless I've shot the bad guy several times and found that he is wearing body armor or is pumped up on some drug that makes him unstoppable (but that sounds like something out of a movie than real life) I will stick with shooting his center mass.
Doug.38PR is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 12:16 AM   #8
Lawyer Daggit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Posts: 1,181
I agree with the other posts- if you are complying with standard operating procedures you are doing the right thing.
Lawyer Daggit is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 03:39 AM   #9
LAK
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 14, 2002
Posts: 2,251
Quote:
But if the intention is to stop the threat, do you think a jury would view the use of a head shot in a defensive shoot as "excessive force?"
They might; but under proper instruction and guidance in a courtroom they certainly should not - as any shooting is de facto deadly force which by nature can reasonably be expected to cause death or serious bodily harm.

The serious bodily harm is a mere possibility of chance in the case of a shooting - not an expectation.

If you are justified in using deadly force, you can simply shoot someone in the head first time around. And if you can do it, it makes perfect sense. On the otherhand, if you shoot someone and claim in court to be justified in using deadly force, but say you aimed to "wound" your attacker only, or otherwise avoid striking their vital tissue or organs - you are setting yourself up for a fall. Because if you were not prepared to kill your assailant, that implies that you did not believe - or might not have believed - that you were in imminent deadly peril.

Best to make sure you are justified in using deadly force before you use it at all. If you are, shoot in such a way as to best preserve your own life under the circumstances.

Clint Smith wrote an article about this subject in a recent rag where he examined the prospects of this, and the COM repetition. It seems that once the first strikes are made COM, if there are no immediate results repeating this might not be the wisest route. IMO the Mozambique drill makes good sense in most circumstances.
LAK is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 05:41 AM   #10
wasteland
Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2005
Posts: 20
Are you addressing handguns only, or does this include double and triple taps using rifles and shotguns. What is it?

Last edited by wasteland; June 1, 2005 at 08:44 AM.
wasteland is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 06:00 AM   #11
Mannlicher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 8, 2001
Location: North Central Florida & Miami
Posts: 3,101
no, no
Thats 4 to the body and TWO to the head. Darn, lets get it right.
__________________
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.".........Ronald Reagan
Mannlicher is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 06:08 AM   #12
Sum1_Special
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 21, 2005
Posts: 243
i realize you have training but if it were me i'd go for 3 shots to the chest. a bullet to the head is a surefire way to send a guy to hell, i know i'm showing my weakness but thats how it is. i would much rather see this guy clean his life up after he knows what its like to get bubba to f%^k him in the ass... when i was young i remember breaking into stores late at night and and occasionally mugging people, and i know i didnt want to die with my karma. but i digress...
Sum1_Special is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 07:13 AM   #13
shield20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 13, 2005
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
Posts: 1,371
One of the problems with continuious body shots (i.e. more then 2) is that supposedly after the 1st couple hits, the nerve/pain center in a person shuts down so he will not feel any further hits. Considering that there is a good chance even a lethal strike (other then CNS) will take a min. of 15 secs. or so to stop an attacker, if he is still coming at you it is better to turn him off NOW, with a head shot.
shield20 is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 01:10 PM   #14
S.E.R.T.SGT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 1, 2005
Posts: 236
Sum1_Special:

Are you serious...
__________________
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lighting they
Do not go gently into that good night.

Dylan Thomas


S.E.R.T.SGT
S.E.R.T.SGT is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 01:14 PM   #15
Duxman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 1,294
From theoretical reading only - the only reason I would attempt a head shot is if the person gets so close - I know I would not miss - 13 feet or less.

I train to shoot COM until target goes down. IF target gets closer than 13 feet and is still coming towards me - then a head shot is thrown in there for good measure.

Most of the SF folks that I speak to, are trained to fire COM until target goes down. That can be 2 rounds, or 20.
Duxman is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 01:14 PM   #16
racinstylez
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2005
Posts: 240
if you take a head shot, the intention is to kill. If you take COM shots then the intention is to stop the treat with an injury, but not trying to kill, but all it takes is one good shot to the body to kill also. I think if you are trying to stop a threat and your intention is not to kill them, then you would go for COM shots. I would agree the same if I was asked to sit on a jury.
racinstylez is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 01:17 PM   #17
Duxman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 1,294
R -

I disagree with your assesment. COM shots are meant to kill. Not to injure. Unless you are trying to hit the target in the shoulder, legs, arms and accidentally hit the COM.

Shoot at those body parts are no longer considered COM shots. How does shooting someone in the heart / spine / internal chest cavity considered "just to injure".
Duxman is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 01:32 PM   #18
S.E.R.T.SGT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 1, 2005
Posts: 236
Actually from a Law Enforcement aspect ALL shots are meant to STOP THE THREAT, you are not trying to kill, maim, or injure anyone. Simply trying to stop the threat, based on the fact that you are in fear for your or another's life and/or grave bodily injury. Furthermore you are doing what you have been trained to do whether that be 3 CoM or 2 & 1. Stick with what you have been trained to do and you will be ok.
__________________
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lighting they
Do not go gently into that good night.

Dylan Thomas


S.E.R.T.SGT
S.E.R.T.SGT is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 01:35 PM   #19
buzz_knox
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 1999
Location: Knoxville, in the Free State of Tennesse
Posts: 4,190
Quote:
if you take a head shot, the intention is to kill. If you take COM shots then the intention is to stop the treat with an injury, but not trying to kill, but all it takes is one good shot to the body to kill also. I think if you are trying to stop a threat and your intention is not to kill them, then you would go for COM shots. I would agree the same if I was asked to sit on a jury.
Then you'd be wrong on the jury, as well as on the board. A shot to COM with any projectile means a potential to hit lungs, heart, aorta, spine, liver, etc. Combine that with the knowledge that once a round gets in the body, it may be deflected and travel in any direction, and a shot to COM means the potential to sever the brachial artery, or even travel into the brain stem.

Simply put, anything that will stop the threat has the potential to kill said person. Use of a firearm is deadly force, notwithstanding where the bullet impacts.
buzz_knox is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 01:39 PM   #20
racinstylez
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2005
Posts: 240
ok,...so I am wrong....

"then just shot him in the head!" - BG from the Blankman...
racinstylez is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 04:24 PM   #21
payne
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 26, 2005
Location: SE US
Posts: 519
I personally, probably would fire CoM till they droped. That's unless ive put 4,5, or more there and their still coming. Then the head shot will follow. Course, if I hit the head it'll probably be an accident. In a situation im actually shooting someone i doubt i could hit the head.
__________________
If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. - Sun Tzu
payne is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 05:01 PM   #22
BreacherUp!
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2005
Posts: 566
so many ways..

My team trains to shoot the head on all entries. However, only during movements (I.E. moving to your spot) do we shoot to COM, but then it's back to the head if required once in position. It comes down to the amount of training that you have and how comfortable you are with head shots. There are times when I just don't feel right and go for the rythm drill (6 shots in 3 secs) when using my pistol. Again, based on my judgement at that time. My bottom line, if you train to it, and can do it, go for it. If an SOP is established, stick with that (which in my case, there is - head shots).
__________________
Life's tough. But it's tougher when you're stupid.
BreacherUp! is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 05:10 PM   #23
wayneinFL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2004
Posts: 1,935
I'm thinking an uninformed jury could see a head shot as malicious or "shooting to kill". But once you get an expert in there to explain that you were shooting to stop, whether it was COM or not, you wouldn't have a problem.

Sum1_Special, if you're that concerned about killing someone, you shouldn't be shooting at him. Personally, if someone is trying to kill me, I'm less concerned about their well-being than mine.
wayneinFL is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 05:53 PM   #24
buzz_knox
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 1999
Location: Knoxville, in the Free State of Tennesse
Posts: 4,190
I'm not worried about uninformed juries. Either I or the trainers whom I've studied under can educate them. I'm worried about the ones who've formed an opinion without the facts, and will maintain that opinion despite the facts.
buzz_knox is offline  
Old June 1, 2005, 06:11 PM   #25
dasmi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 18, 2005
Posts: 882
I am more comfortable with my ability to hit COM, or at least in the torso area, than I am the head, so that is where I will aim.
__________________
If we look at the black record of mass murder, exploitation, and tyranny levied on society by governments over the ages, we need not be loath to abandon the Leviathan State and ... try freedom.
--Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty
dasmi is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10438 seconds with 10 queries