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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering where the best place to shoot one the body was in a self defense situation, and if anyone had differing opinions on the subject.

What do you think?
 

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You shoot to the middle of visible mass according to the last class I took. The idea is to have the biggest leeway in hitting if your hold is not perfect.
 

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Ditto ......
I was always taught to fire at center of mass....and as long as your red dot or your sights are still on target, make it a double tap as they say. After all, your main objective is to stop the assailant.......right?

SK
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Double tap as in shooting twice in succession I'm assuming...

Has anyone else been told that this is the most effective way when stopping an assailant?

Any other tips for self defense gun usage? Book recommendations? Video recommendations? I really should take a class on this some time.
 

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bajaraider said:
Center mass.
I have also heard (although not sure of the seriousness...) When in doubt, empty the mag.
and Don't stop shooting until the threat stops.
Not a wise move to empty an entire mag if it carries six or 17 according to my CCW class. You want to stop the BG, but going overboard will not look good to the police or in a civil case. Shoot only enough to stop the threat....

Anyway, that's my take on it... yours may vary.
 

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Look at the hit statistics of 'highly trained' people involved in gunfights and realize why you're aiming center of mass.

Armchair quarterbacks on the forums constantly discuss how, if necessary, they'll put a certain number of shots in various small targets on a perpetrator since that's what they can do on the range.

I believe a more accurate method of seeing how accurate the majority can be in a gunfight would be to down a Big Gulp filled with strong black coffee, jog a helf mile, then sprint 400 yards, THEN try to hit the target 15 feet in front of you. This might get you closer to the adrenaline dump and typical bodily reactions (e.g. severe reduction in fine motor skills) which many experience in a gunfight.

(Note: This goes out to all the bleeding hearts who believe the police should have 'shot him in the leg' or 'shot the gun out of his hand' as seen in movies...the only gun shot out of someone's hand I've seen in a real life situation was from a trained sniper from a distance).

As mentioned, aim center of mass, shoot to stop, and don't stop shooting until the threat has stopped.
 

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Police shoot as long as the criminal is moving which indicates they are still dangerous if still moving. If the policeperson empties their 15 round magazine, so be it. Just support your local police.
 

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These are my views, some of which are backed up by research. I am a bit strident, because I consider this such an important topic. My life and your life are important to me.
_________________________________________________
Unless you are experience in shooting people, there are practical limitations to your physical and mental abilities. In spite of your skills at target practice with a good stance, a good grip and good trigger discipline you will fall far short of your practice abilities. Force on force training may give you the additional training you need, but it is not the same as shooting someone for the first time. Some say hunting may give you some of that ability, but I am not a hunter so I could not rely on that experience.

If you are in a SD situation, the likelihood is that you will have both eyes open, be focused on the BG not on the front sight, be shooting one handed and will empty the magazine. Any expectation of being able to place your shots will obviate the very reason you decided to carry, i.e. protection of yourself and loved ones. The BG will have you at a disadvantage and you will die. There is no such thing as fairness in a gun fight. Your sole responsibility to yourself and your loved ones is to stop the threat and preserve your life by whatever means. Fairness never enters the equation.

Bottom line... The minimum risk to you and yours is COM. Thinking you can accomplish anything else is delusional.
 

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You never carry a gun for any reason other than self defense. If you pull out your weapon in anticipation of trouble when you have no expectation of death or immenent bodily harm, you will probably be charged with brandishing a firearm and will probably lose your right to carry a firearm in your state.

If you get in a situation where you must pull the trigger, always aim for the center of mass. Your adreniline (sp?) will be pumping to the max, your hands will shake and you will get tunnel vision. You will be lucky if you hit anything or anyone you intend to hit.

Trying to make an occular shot (much less two) and shooting to "wing" the bad guy is something best saved for television.

You NEVER shoot to kill and you NEVER empty the magazine. You always shoot until the threat is neutralized.

If you pull the trigger, you will probably be subject to an investigation by the district attorney where the shooting occurred to see if you should be charged with a crime. Watch your newspaper to see if your district attorney makes any statements about his stance on self defense shooting. If he (or she) is against owning weapons for self defense, get ready for a long costly trial. I've heard all the crap about being found guilty by twelve instead of being carried by six but be prepared to spend most of everything you own to defend yourself.

Even if the criminal aspect goes your way, be prepared for the scum with a 14 page rap sheet to suddenly become a choirboy by the time of the civil trial and you will have shot this 24 year old child while he was on his way to make rosaries for the nuns in India.

If a shooting occurs, never tell the 911 operator you shot someone. Simply say there has been a shooting. When you are confronted by the law you will have a tendancy to try to justify what you did and you will talk too much. DO NOT MAKE A STATEMENT TO THE POLICE UNTIL YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY. If they insist tell them you are so unnerved and too upset to make a statement. You may even have chest pains and request a trip to the hospital. Try to find a sympathetic attorney before the need arises. Call him and tell him what has happened no matter the time. D
 

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The criminal justice system has a history of making the first person to call 911 the victim. Be the 1st One To Call! Sandy is correct, never tell the 911 operator that you've killed someone. In a calm voice explain that you've had to defend yourself from deadly force with a handgun. Tell the operator your exact location and what your wearing. Inform the operator that the handgun has been secured. Also, make sure the evidence (shell casings) have not been disturbed. Make sure witnesses stay until the police arrive. Your going to have to tell the police something. Freely give them personal information (name, address) you know what I mean. When it comes to the actual situation, in a calm and professional manner kindly explain to them that you will gladly talk to them after you talk with your attorney. Expect to be arrested and your handgun taken as evidence.
 

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Sandy said:
NEVER empty the magazine.
In my opinion, this is beyond expectations for anyone not in continuous training.

Most people, even LEOs cannot tell you how many rounds they fired. Point being, the SD incident is usually not a very controllable event. Stopping the threat, not counting the rounds will occupy your entire consciousness.

Suggest material on dealing with police after an SD incident.
The "Never Talk to the Police" Lectures: http://elsiepeaforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=378.0
 

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Agreed, in a stress situation it would be hard to count shots and hard to be rational even. Thats why we have training to fall back on. It helps us figure out what to do under stress. In my opinion the first two shots you make should be as close to center mass as you can get and if he is still coming at you move up to the head shot and keep shooting until he stops.
 

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RedPepper2 said:
Police shoot as long as the criminal is moving which indicates they are still dangerous if still moving. If the policeperson empties their 15 round magazine, so be it. Just support your local police.

Absolutely incorrect. The rules for use of force for LEO's is first, governed by their state, then municipality, then department. Generally though, the laws for use of deadly force for LEO's is very close to the laws governing the average citizen's use of deadly force with few exceptions (example: many states do not allow protection of property, no matter what it is; there are exceptions for LE. LEO's can act in offensive manor; Joe Snuffy cannot). Usually they are required to stop engaging the threat once it is no longer a threat; this does not mean dead, nor "not moving". IF the LEO were to fire a controlled pair, the man were still standing, but he dropped his weapon... and the officer then decided to dump the rest of his 12rd mag into him, he would be facing murder charges.

This comes from working in a specialized and limited civilian law enforcement capacity through the military when I'm stateside. Just don't want you to think I'm taking a random guess.
 

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HowardCohodas said:
These are my views, some of which are backed up by research. I am a bit strident, because I consider this such an important topic. My life and your life are important to me.
_________________________________________________
Unless you are experience in shooting people, there are practical limitations to your physical and mental abilities. In spite of your skills at target practice with a good stance, a good grip and good trigger discipline you will fall far short of your practice abilities. Force on force training may give you the additional training you need, but it is not the same as shooting someone for the first time. Some say hunting may give you some of that ability, but I am not a hunter so I could not rely on that experience.
I firmly believe the human mind can differentiate between "training" and a live situation, no matter how real you try to make the training (meaning, no training will be able to simulate the real thing; the mind will never react in training the way it will in a real situation). This is why muscle memory is so important; most force on force training is geared more toward muscle memory and reaction without actually considering what you're doing. But to get to this point takes something in the neighborhood of 5000 repetitions before a single motion or action becomes truly instinctive where you can do it without thought. Training with any other goals in mind will be less beneficial. Not to say practicing good form, sight alignment and various other tasks while simply punching holes in paper is useless... Oh, but to help while doing that... try shooting at silhouettes only; helps a little for your mind to not lock on to the fact that you're shooting at a human instead of paper should the need arise.

Anyway, hunting is nothing like a life and death exchange of gunfire and I don't believe it in any way prepares you. To me that's like saying a house painter can paint world class art on fine canvas... sure, he uses a brush, sure he uses paint, sure his goal is to add color to something... but the two are about as different as you can get.


HowardCohodas said:
If you are in a SD situation, the likelihood is that you will have both eyes open, be focused on the BG not on the front sight, be shooting one handed and will empty the magazine. Any expectation of being able to place your shots will obviate the very reason you decided to carry, i.e. protection of yourself and loved ones. The BG will have you at a disadvantage and you will die. There is no such thing as fairness in a gun fight. Your sole responsibility to yourself and your loved ones is to stop the threat and preserve your life by whatever means. Fairness never enters the equation.

Bottom line... The minimum risk to you and yours is COM. Thinking you can accomplish anything else is delusional.
Very well put!


Totally unrelated, but this whole elsiepesforum thing is growing on me; I really like a lot of the regulars on here... smart people. And by the way, a lot of times when I respond, I'm adding input for everyone else to view. It's obvious you already know some things I say
 

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Sandy said:
You never carry a gun for any reason other than self defense. If you pull out your weapon in anticipation of trouble when you have no expectation of death or imminent bodily harm, you will probably be charged with brandishing a firearm and will probably lose your right to carry a firearm in your state.

If you get in a situation where you must pull the trigger, always aim for the center of mass. Your adrenaline (sp?) will be pumping to the max, your hands will shake and you will get tunnel vision. You will be lucky if you hit anything or anyone you intend to hit.

Trying to make an ocular shot (much less two) and shooting to "wing" the bad guy is something best saved for television.

You NEVER shoot to kill and you NEVER empty the magazine. You always shoot until the threat is neutralized.

If you pull the trigger, you will probably be subject to an investigation by the district attorney where the shooting occurred to see if you should be charged with a crime. Watch your newspaper to see if your district attorney makes any statements about his stance on self defense shooting. If he (or she) is against owning weapons for self defense, get ready for a long costly trial. I've heard all the crap about being found guilty by twelve instead of being carried by six but be prepared to spend most of everything you own to defend yourself.

Even if the criminal aspect goes your way, be prepared for the scum with a 14 page rap sheet to suddenly become a choirboy by the time of the civil trial and you will have shot this 24 year old child while he was on his way to make rosaries for the nuns in India.

If a shooting occurs, never tell the 911 operator you shot someone. Simply say there has been a shooting. When you are confronted by the law you will have a tendency to try to justify what you did and you will talk too much. DO NOT MAKE A STATEMENT TO THE POLICE UNTIL YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY. If they insist tell them you are so unnerved and too upset to make a statement. You may even have chest pains and request a trip to the hospital. Try to find a sympathetic attorney before the need arises. Call him and tell him what has happened no matter the time. D
Such good info... it doesn't hurt to get an attorney on retainer if you have the extra cash.

Remember, most jurisdictions define the intentional discharge of a firearm in the course of an altercation as deadly force; no such thing as warning shots, maiming shots...
 

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freetoe said:
Agreed, in a stress situation it would be hard to count shots and hard to be rational even. Thats why we have training to fall back on. It helps us figure out what to do under stress. In my opinion the first two shots you make should be as close to center mass as you can get and if he is still coming at you move up to the head shot and keep shooting until he stops.
The likelihood, while in an engagement of making a clean, incapacitating head shot on a moving target with a small caliber pistol at any range shy of arm length is slim to none for better than 99% of the populus. Advocating such practices is really unrealistic. The area of the head which will provide instant incapacitating effect is really no bigger than your fist; it's the cerebral cortex, or brain stem. There have been a great number of people survive being shot in the head (to include brain), and many have retained a good deal of normal function. But, giving the scenario the benefit of the doubt, we'll count any shot from the brain stem up as a likely show stopper. So you're talking about around the nose area north... call it an 8" target. Now compare if you will, your 8" (50.24sq in), moving (and not simply directly at you, but side to side, up and down with the motion of the body) target to a torso (center mass) of the average man... easily 14"x24" (336sq in). Taking these approximations, you're looking at a target 85% smaller than the torso.

And one of the biggest things to consider; lets say you fire 7 rounds... one hits (this is highly optimistic btw)... you have 6 rounds traveling to an unknown destination. Now, lets make this so much worse for you... the one that hit your target; didn't incapacitate him. You just wasted 6 rounds; given your hit percentage, you'd have likely gotten 5-6 rounds in him were you aiming center-mass. People have been known to fight on after taking 5+ rounds to the chest, but it is VERY unlikely. Now we can change our scenario up a touch... of the 6 rounds that missed the target's head... 3 landed in the chest of a four year old girl walking with her mother and sister, killing her instantly. IS that something you could live with... thinking, maybe if I'd have just aimed for the chest, an area much more likely to hit and stop my rounds? It's happened before. I know I couldn't live with that.

The failure drill was never designed to be a defensive drill in a situation in which the typical citizen would have to employ a weapon against an armed adversary. It wasn't even intended for street cops to use. The time and place for a failure drill is in very limited confines with a very low likelihood of stray bullets causing harm, in an offensive operation, with an inordinate amount of training on failure drills. Somehow it morphed into "the thing to do", yet what many don't understand is that outside of those narrow confines it is one of the least ideal tactics:
-Without the training (I'm not talking a class or two; I'm talking weeks and months of training), you are highly unlikely to be successful.
-Without being very close, you're not likely to be successful.
-Without being on the offensive, you lack mental preparedness and that all important time... meaning you won't be successful.
-Being unsuccessful means you miss your target
-Missing your target means you wasted ammunition
-Wasting ammunition means you wasted time
-A missed target means stray bullets flying through the air
-**All of the above means you are putting undo risk upon not only your own life, but the lives of those around you
 

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Firing in self defense is, at most, a once in a lifetime event for most people. It's most likely the most serious thing that will ever happen to you. Have the mindset to do it right if that event happens or leave the guns at home.

IMO, always fire at least 2 rounds center mass in quick succession if you have to fire your gun in self defense. Then and only then can you pause to evaluate things. This is doubly appropoe with a relatively marginal round like .380 caliber.

Never automatically empty your magazine - but do fire until the threat has been neutralized even if that means firing every thing you have.

Like my old Grandmother used to say - "Anyone worth shooting is worth shooting right."
 
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