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Old December 14, 2005, 06:19 PM   #1
U.S.SFC_RET
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AREA TARGET VS POINT TARGET during a CRITICAL MOMENT

Serving 20+ years in the army I have never been trained to take out targets by shooting them in the head. The head is the first part of the body that will move in the first place ie. Flinching motion. Center mass is the name of the game from the diaphram up. A pistol doesn't have the killing power as a rifle, doesn't have the knockdown power as a rifle. Learn to double tap. Remember that if the bad guy is wearing heavy clothing JHPs will not, I repeat will not mushroom in the body and will have a tendency to still go through the torso. Shooting someone in the head is risky business at best with a pistol. More than likely when you shoot the BG with a fast round he probably won't go down this is why the M1911 45 ACP was adopted. Accuracy isn't about shooting targets on the range although that's great stuff targets don't shoot back. Most people have never even heard a shot fired in anger or directed at them by the so called enemy. you must train your mind to fire center mass at the Bad Guy. If you condition your mind to fire a head shot when the SHFT you may indeed lock up during that split second and life saving critical moment. If you think you can pull a pistol and bear it on a BG with a ton of adrenalin flowing through you and shoot him in the head you will get yourself killed.
Many people fancy them selves as firearms instructors who don't have the experience needed "other than the range" I am not one of those people
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Old December 14, 2005, 07:14 PM   #2
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+1

Where abouts in WA? I'm looking for someone to train my wife, interested?
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Old December 14, 2005, 08:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
if the bad guy is wearing heavy clothing JHPs will not, I repeat will not mushroom in the body and will have a tendency to still go through the torso
This is just not the case anymore with a quaility modern round. Otherwise I agree with everthig you said, with two caveats.
1. It does make sense to train for heads shot with LONG arms at close ranges.
2. If using a pistol and your first two rounds to center mass have no effect you MUST put the next one in the head. It would be unwise not to train for this.
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Old December 14, 2005, 08:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Quote:
if the bad guy is wearing heavy clothing JHPs will not, I repeat will not mushroom in the body and will have a tendency to still go through the torso
This is just not the case anymore with a quaility modern round. Otherwise I agree with everthig you said, with two caveats.
Blackwater, are you thinking JHPs or stuff like the EMFJ and others that don't have the traditional hollow point? Seems like i still see lots of expansion failures on JHPs with wetpacks and the like.

Quote:
2. If using a pistol and your first two rounds to center mass have no effect you MUST put the next one in the head. It would be unwise not to train for this.
That seemed like the general consensus after what Mr. Wilson went through in that Tyler, Texas courthouse shooting.
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Old December 14, 2005, 09:19 PM   #5
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then there's this

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/5532009/detail.html

Seemed to work pretty well for this fellow.

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Old December 15, 2005, 12:33 AM   #6
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U.S.SFC_RET, I don't know whether to be impressed or scared. I am not even sure of the point of your post other than to establish yourself as having a military history and what sort of person you are. From the last statement, I get the impression that you are setting up some sort of training program and you want to distinguish yourself from other instructors by denoting you are not like range instructors. Is that right? If not, what is your point by telling us your background and that you are not an inexperienced range instructor?

You note your long service to our country and I am grateful to you for serving, but some of the statements you made seem awfully dubiuos for a person claiming a long military history, combat dynamics, shooting prowess, and an understanding of weapons.

I thought your choice of a thread title was interesting. My learning of area target versus a point target is that area targets are typically beyond the range or capability for a firearm to hit individual point targets or to be able to hit them effectively. Some expand this to include being beyond the shooter's and/or gun's abilities to hit point targets. With that said, while the shooter and platform may be capable of point shooting of targets at a given range, that does not mean the shooter will be shooting specific points or necessarily dealing with aimed fire. Suppression fire works on that concept because suppression fire isn't geared to hitting specific targets, but to simply create enough danger and confusion that the opposition won't be shooting back.

I can't recall having ever seen area targets and point targets being distinguished on an individual human target. The concept seems to work, the difference being area shooting consituting just hitting anywhere on the target versus hitting a specific location on the target.

I understand that they never taught you head shots in the Army. The military makes a lot of decisions based on lowest common denominator understanding. That means that they don't teach a lot of things, but they are fairly sure that everything they teach is fully understood. Just because the army does something does not mean it is something done right, even if they do it for a long period of time. A classic example is boot camp. Boot camp has a history of inadequately preparing soldiers for war and when arriving in theatre, new soldiers have to be retrained.

You said the head is always the first thing to move. That simply is not true.

I am surprised by your extensive work with JHP ammo in the Army. Interesting. Or is that something you did outside of the military and you mentioned the history of your service to give credibility to your statements? There is nothing wrong with presenting credentials so as to let people know that you are familiar with the topic, but the JHP insight doesn't fit with the Army.

You seem a bit confused about the concept of center mass, also noted as center mass above the diaphragm. Center mass is located along the midline of the body right at about the diaphram and depending on the person's build, slightly higher or lower. In the front, the diaphragm is located at the xiphoid process and then follows the 6th ribs back around to the spine. It separates the thorax from the abdomen.

If you shoot and hit center mass in the front, you will likely be hitting the diaphragm. I am not sure what you mean by center mass above the diaphram. Are you talking about center mass of the body, but just immediately above the diaphragm or do you mean center mass of the chest?

The difference is shooting center mass versus center chest is that shooting center mass gives the shooter the greatest amount of area to compensate for a shot not well aimed. In shooting center mass, much of what is below the diaphramg are non-critical organs or less critical organs. Shooting center of chest is a smaller target area, but inpacts on the chest are more likely to hit critical organs or blood vessels.

You note that pistols do not have the knockdown power of a rifle. What knockdown power? Given the laws of physics, if a round strikes a person with enough power to knock down that person, then the shooter too will be knocked down in the opposite direction. People who are shot often do fall to the ground, but that is not a result of the power of the ammo striking the person and knocking them to the ground. They may fall as a result of some instinctual behavior, a learned behavior, or because the incoming round has incapacited them.

Do you hunt? If so, have you ever seen a deer knocked down when it was struck, say from a 12 ga. 1 oz slug at 50 yards? The deer may collapse, but isn't knocked down.

Quote:
More than likely when you shoot the BG with a fast round he probably won't go down this is why the M1911 45 ACP was adopted.
Just what fast round was the 1911 .45 adopted to replace?

Whether you shoot a bad guy with a fast round or with a .45acp round from a 1911, there is a good chance the person won't go down. It isn't as if the .45acp is an amazingly superior round over other pistol calibers.

Your M1911 and .45 acp history is wrong. The M1911 in .45 acp was not adopted because fast rounds probably won't drop the opposition. Keep in mind that the reasons for the caliber are not the same reasons for the platform.

The military had found that in fighting in the Philippines, their trusty .38 revolvers had trouble stopping the attacking Moros. So the military wanted a larger and more powerful round. Did the .45 acp replace a fast velocity round? Not hardly. At about 763 fps, the .38 was NOT fast. In fact, it is slower than the .45 acp.

What about the 1911? The 1911 was not adopted for its caliber and the 1911 had nothing to do with stopping attackers. The military accepted several brands and models of gun for testing and in the end, the 1911 was the most reliable. Had the 1911 not won, it could have been that US troops would be carrying Lugers chambered in what we call .45 acp (and maybe it would have then been called the .45 ALP.

Quote:
you must train your mind to fire center mass at the Bad Guy. If you condition your mind to fire a head shot when the SHFT you may indeed lock up during that split second and life saving critical moment. If you think you can pull a pistol and bear it on a BG with a ton of adrenalin flowing through you and shoot him in the head you will get yourself killed.
Quote:

Really? What is your justification that you may lock up if you are conditioned to make head shots versus not locking up if conditioned to make COM shots? How do the differences in target locations predispose you to lock up or not?

I would be a lot more inclined to believe that if you do not or cannot condition your mind to fire a head shot when the SHTF, if you try a head shot under those circumstance then you may lock up. Properly conditioned/trained folks tend to revert to their training when under stress. A person conditioned to making head shots will likely attempt head shots under stress as that was his training.
If you think you can pull a pistol and bear it on a BG with a ton of adrenalin flowing through you and shoot him in the head you will get yourself killed.
Okay, this statement is just too amazing to believe it was stated. How is shooting the bad guy in the head with my pistol going to get me killed? You say this in such a definitive manner that you have got to have some reason for stating it, by whatever that reasoning is was not conveyed in your text. I have a lot more confidence that if I shoot my attacker in the head with a handgun that he is more likely to be stopped than if I shoot him center mass.

Quote:
Accuracy isn't about shooting targets on the range although that's great stuff targets don't shoot back.
Accuracy exists outside of the shooting context and does not care if you are on the range, on the battlefield, defending yourself against an attacker or committing murder.

In following with the comment about accuracy, most targets on most gun ranges don't shoot back. That is true. However, it seems to be illegal to use armed live human targets to shoot with real ammo.

Quote:
Many people fancy them selves as firearms instructors who don't have the experience needed "other than the range" I am not one of those people
Here I believe you have confused the differences between a firearms instructor and a combat/fight/defense/tactics instructor. While a combat/fight/defense/tactics instructor may also be a firearms instructor, not all firearms instructors are combat/fight/defense/tactics instructors.
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Old December 15, 2005, 12:51 AM   #7
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Double Naught

As usual a very well stated and factual analysis of the original post. But why are you attacking the poster and his credentials? Sure he said some things that were a bit off but you make it sound like he is making up be in the army! I see no cause for that at this time.

Welcome to TFL, SFC, as you become more used to posting here you will see what should be avoided. If you state an opinion as a fact, expect to be flamed. If you mis-state a fact, expect to be flamed.
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Old December 15, 2005, 01:17 AM   #8
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Double Naught Spy - Good analysis of the technical aspects of U.S.SFC_RET's post. However, you could lighten up on the personal aspect.

Quote:
Welcome to TFL, SFC, as you become more used to posting here you will see what should be avoided. If you state an opinion as a fact, expect to be flamed. If you mis-state a fact, expect to be flamed.
+1. I'm afraid that there is somewhat of a sharp learning curve here at TFL.
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Old December 15, 2005, 01:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
you must train your mind to fire center mass at the Bad Guy.
He does have a point there. Alot of vets I know/have met from WWII say most of the time your aiming for the center mass (most say the waist) and not trying to shoot smaller parts of the body. Reason being is that in a battle you care more about hitting the target before he can shoot you then to be worried about where the actual shot was placed.

Shooting a round at the stomic/chest is easyer to do in battle feild conditions when your brain might not be even "working" right because your under stress. You might get 3 inch (or something) on paper in a shooting range at 50 yards but you may not be able to hit a watermelon at 10 yards under stress.

Quote:
Okay, this statement is just too amazing to believe it was stated. How is shooting the bad guy in the head with my pistol going to get me killed?
I dont know if this is exactly what he is trying to say but looking for a specific target on a BG will make you lose time that can be really critial to your survival. The reason being is shooting for the BG's chest/stomic which is much larger then there head means you dont need such persis aim on the target to get a good shot. Meaning your shaving off moments of time that can be the difference between the BG pulling the trigger and hitting your and you stoping him before he gets the chance.

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Old December 15, 2005, 07:24 AM   #10
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What is a point target / area target?

I thought the terms were coined to explain a weapons effective range. For example, the M16A3 would have a point target range of xxx meters, and an area range of xxxx meters. As if the weapon is guaranteed to be mechanically accurate enough to engage a small target out to only so far, after that the shot can only be guaranteed to fall in an area. Wierd title for a post about whether to shoot in the head or not.
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Old December 15, 2005, 07:58 AM   #11
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Doublenaughtspy With a rifle Center mass is everything waist up. And My opinion a Pistol should hit (vitals) the heart, Lung tissue, Liver Blood vessels arould the heart. Shoulders, head and neck region should you get lucky and miss upwards.
I might be wrong on this one. But I was led to believe that the M1911 was developed and tested or just handed out during the Philippine insurrection. The natives would tie rags around their extremeties in case they were wounded so along came the M1911 45ACP with a little more knock down power.
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Old December 15, 2005, 08:13 AM   #12
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"knock down power" is a myth
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Old December 15, 2005, 08:36 AM   #13
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Since the Phillippine action happened around 1899-1910 I don't think the M1911 played a big role at all. Colt Single Action Army revolvers in .45 Colt were actually reissued in mass.
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Old December 15, 2005, 08:40 AM   #14
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Double Naught Spy .... +1 , but you could have waited until his 2nd or 3rd post before you completely dissected him, lol.

U.S.SFC_RET ... is it not wise to "aim for" or "try to hit" the vitals no matter what the weapon being used is? Whether it is a rifle or a pistol a soft tissue injury is simply a soft tissue injury. On your comment about never having been trained to take out a target by shooting them in the head... I don't know about the Army, but there is some training devoted to that in the Navy and Marines (mostly with SpecOps).

Now, that being said, welcome to TFL. Remember, we welcome all your thoughts; However, like Blackwater said, expect to be flamed. There are a lot of strong opinions here and just as many willing to let you know theirs.

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Old December 15, 2005, 12:09 PM   #15
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U.S.SFC_RET, center mass does not change location based on the weapon used. Either it is center mass or it isn't.

Quote:
But I was led to believe that the M1911 was developed and tested or just handed out during the Philippine insurrection. The natives would tie rags around their extremeties in case they were wounded so along came the M1911 45ACP with a little more knock down power.
You were led to believe this by the Army where you taught firearms your entire career as an NonCommissioned Officer? -as per your posting on THR.

You also noted on THR that your MOS was 63H40 a Direct Support Mechanic and that you weren't Infantry or Special Forces. You went on to say that some people in the "Combat Service Support do Excel in weapons even if were are not combat," but that you still had to train for war.

So here I am really confused. You point out that targets on the range don't shoot back and that most people have never even heard a shot fired in anger or directed at them by the so-called enemy. You went on to say that ,
Quote:
Many people fancy them selves as firearms instructors who don't have the experience needed "other than the range" I am not one of those people
So does this all mean that you have not been in combat and that you were, in fact, a range instructor where the targets don't shoot back? From what you described, it doesn't sound like you have the experience needed either, other than range training.
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Old December 15, 2005, 12:43 PM   #16
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How many forum posters does it take to change a light bulb?




1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been
changed

14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the
light bulb could have been changed differently

7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs

27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light
bulbs

53 to flame the spell checkers

41 to correct spelling/grammar flames

6 to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb" ... another

6 to condemn those 6 as anal-retentive

2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is
"lamp"

15 know-it-alls who claim *they* were in the industry, and that "light
bulb" is perfectly correct

156 to email the participant's ISPs complaining that they are in
violation of their "acceptable use policy"

109 to post that this forum is not about light bulbs and to please
take this discussion to a lightbulb forum

203 to demand that cross posting to hardware forum, off-topic forum,
and lightbulb forum about changing light bulbs be stopped

111 to defend the posting to this forum saying that we all use light
bulbs and therefore the posts *are* relevant to this forum

306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where
to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for
this technique and what brands are faulty

27 to post URL's where one can see examples of different light bulbs

14 to post that the URL's were posted incorrectly and then post the
corrected URL's

3 to post about links they found from the URL's that are relevant to
this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group

33 to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including
all headers and signatures, and add "Me too"

12 to post to the group that they will no longer post because they
cannot handle the light bulb controversy

19 to quote the "Me too's" to say "Me three"

4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ

44 to ask what is a "FAQ"

4 to say "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"

143 to say "do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions
about light bulbs"

1 forum lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now and
start it all over again.

1 to state that a light bulb does not emit light, it sucks dark. After it is full, it stays dark.
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Old December 15, 2005, 12:59 PM   #17
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LOL Very good!
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Old December 15, 2005, 01:17 PM   #18
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Weeg .... I wouldn't be surprised if those weren't accurate numbers...lmao. It would be more hilarious if it weren't so true.
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Old December 15, 2005, 05:16 PM   #19
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Heh hh eheheh...
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Old December 15, 2005, 05:54 PM   #20
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Did you know that the military developed firearms to shoor around corners? You know it Stranger that fiction but it is the truth. By the way I could be wrong with the M1911 thing I will eat that crow. Doublenaughtspy. you gonna contest the shooting around corners too?
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2. Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
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Old December 15, 2005, 06:44 PM   #21
Weeg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFC
Did you know that the military developed firearms to shoor around corners?
I remember reading about that one time...They had a clamp on for the M3 Grease gun


.

Last edited by Weeg; December 16, 2005 at 05:48 AM.
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Old December 15, 2005, 07:00 PM   #22
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Lighten up guys ,two to the body and one to the head .
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Old December 15, 2005, 08:13 PM   #23
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Guys, some of you are right. I could lighten up. Then again, maybe some take the posted life or death advice a little more seriously. Some of you have and took a more critical look as the bizarre claims made.

I would not expect a new poster to immediately start posting on such matters with such definitive authority and experience, criticising those instructors without such critical experience, and then simply getting so much of the information wrong. Key terminology was in error, knowledge of physics was in error, claimed to have knowledge of a topic that simply didn't fit with being in the Army for 20+ years and that information on hollowpoint performance was not accurate, his biology was wrong, wrong military history, wrong 1911 history, and his ability to prognosticate what will happen to you if you shoot an attacker in the head was amazing. I am still working out how it is that I will be killed by an attacker that I have just shot in the head, but the guy said it would get me killed.

So the guy is giving suggestions on how one should handle themself in life or death shooting situations, establishing his credibility based on being in the military for 20+ years and being a firearms instructor with the needed experience to teach firearms. I have had some instructors that have twisted a fact, reversed numbers, etc. when speaking to a class, but not in their written material. I have done the same thing. However, this guy condensed a whole bunch of errors into a very short bit of text while telling all of us how it is in combat shooting as he obviously has a long career in that world.

If that many errors are going to be made, something is obviously wrong. I don't know what it is, but the guy is giving advice on life and death shooting tactics and that scares me. It scares me because somebody will read the post, take it to heart, and be misinformed.

U.S.SFC_RET, am I going to contest the military built a gun to shoot around corners? No, but you were so vague that there is nothing to contest. When you say "the" military designed a gun to shoot around corners, which military do you mean, how is the shot cornering, and when are you talking about it happening? What is interesting is that you mention it and as a military man firearms instructor, you seem to have conveniently left off any critical information such as a model number, caliber, rate of fire, or how it fires around corners. So of course I cannot contest your claim and I can't for the primary reason is that such devices have been around for at least 60 years.

The first one I know about was created by the Germans in WWII. I don't know that it was the first one developed, just the first I know about. Basically, it was the bent barrel Krummerlauf attachment on the MP44 assault rifle and a mirror system for sighting. It had limited field application because of the permanent bend to one direction or the other, but tankers liked it for providing cover fire when needing to exit a disabled tank. By pivoting the gun, they could sweep the outside of the tank before exiting the hatch. The mirror sighting was not typical of models provided to tanks.

A couple of years ago, the Israelis started trying to market their around corner shooting attachment system that included a curved barrel and camera with the barrel being able to be rotated around to use in different directions. The gun was marketed to the US Military and to a number of US police departments through Corner Shot out of Florida. I don't know that any adopted it or not.

By the way, here is a link to the Corner Shot system put together by our Jewish friends...
http://www.strategypage.com/gallery/articles/corner.asp

I know the US military has been toying with a variety of video system sighting designs which had applications to hit targets around the corner from the shooter, but the gun remained and straight line shooting gun such as a video adapted M16. Basically, the soldier panned the gun around a corner, using the camera on the gun to spot targets, depressing the trigger as necessary when a target was in the sights. The problem was that the hands were still very much exposed. It is better than popping your head out, but isn't true corner shooting.

There are also tests with range determined grenades that can be programmed to shoot beyond a particular point before exploding, such as X feet beyond a berm or X feet beyond the exterior wall of a structure when shooting through a window, thereby allowing the explosion to hit targets that otherwise would be protected.

Have you looked up the 1911 information yet? Please let me help you. You can find a lot of nifty information here... http://www.m1911.org/

How did you want your crow? Actually, crow isn't too bad so long as it is cleaned properly and cooked properly.
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Old December 15, 2005, 09:28 PM   #24
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If DNS hadn't have already said it I would have. Double Naught, you saved me a lot of typing.
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The pen is mightier than the sword - unless you are facing a man armed with a sword, then the pen is pretty much useless. 45 Fu
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Old December 15, 2005, 10:40 PM   #25
k9lwt
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Join Date: June 13, 2005
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U.S.SFC,

Can you clarify this?

"Many people fancy them selves as firearms instructors who don't have the experience needed "other than the range" I am not one of those people"
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