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This conversation came up at a recent class I attended.

Apparently, in some scenarios, any hit or hail of lead that makes the attacker stop from he or she is doing, is the goal.

I am not a ballistics expert, but a peripheral hit from a rifle should be more effective than from a handgun.

Armed with a SAW or dual wielding Glock 18s, the spray and pray method may also be effective.

For a civilian pistol gunfight, my goal for accuracy and effectiveness:

Deliver and maintain rounds on target within a 4" circle, oriented along the center line of the torso, at armpit height, while moving, and adjusting speed for distance and no-shoots in the foreground and background.

My flaw is when in close contact and shooting from a compressed position.

In this case, the muzzle orientation is down.

The effectiveness tag because handgun calibers do weird stuff when they pass through cloth, then hit water, meat, and curved hard surfaces, of which the body is composed.

Thoughts?

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21 minutes ago, A.J. Holst said:

Apparently, in some scenarios, any hit or hail of lead that makes the attacker stop from he or she is doing, is the goal.

 

I was taught the goal is to make the attacker unwilling or unable to fire his weapon at you. That has not changed for me. I can’t see me ever shooting someone that is not armed.

21 minutes ago, A.J. Holst said:

For a civilian pistol gunfight, my goal for accuracy and effectiveness:

Deliver and maintain rounds on target within a 4" circle, oriented along the center line of the torso, at armpit height, while moving, and adjusting speed for distance and no-shoots in the foreground and background.

Thoughts?

More power to you if you can do that Brother. I know I can’t do it. 

If I was an instructor, I wouldn’t have a problem with “Shot placement”; but you would have to be able to do it without using sights.

You have probably never experienced an adrenalin rush anything like it in your life, at the same time you will have to shoot before he does. Good luck.

That’s why I buy quality equipment that in my opinion can achieve that goal. My opinion is the only one that matters because it will be me that lives or dies. (Same for everyone else) I have concerns about my ammo passing though clothes or what they will do the body. I use the best that is available.

I’m not sure what you mean by shooting from a compressed position, muzzle orientation being down??

 

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AJ, are you referring to shooting from retention at the ‘3’position of the draw?  If so, somewhat instinctive, but certainly an easy practice drill.  Good dry practice initially keeping good support hand awareness.  Muzzle position may be directed down for several reasons, crowds, need for pelvic hits, position of off hand.

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I'm old school. I was taught that if you can hit a 9" paper plate out to 25 yards, that was good enough.  ;)

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19 minutes ago, Grayfox54 said:

I'm old school. I was taught that if you can hit a 9" paper plate out to 25 yards, that was good enough.  ;)

Hitting a 9” diameter with a carry gun (that aren’t usually target guns) at 25 yards is very good using sights. Doing it while someone is pointing a gun at you, or worse, shooting at you would be incredible.

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Well happily no adult in America is 9" across. I've seen a bunch over 45" though.....

 

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If I can keep my shots, whether they be longer range rifle or short range handgun, in a 6 inch circle I am happy. I figure I can hit anything on 2 or 4 legs that would be a threat. Is it not competition level shooting, but that is where I am at with the training time I get. 

Now I know heat of the moment and movement changes things, but I am not going to go let someone shoot at me to practice. Unless SHTF then having to draw my gun means I have already made serious mistakes. 

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5 hours ago, DaveTN said:

More power to you if you can do that Brother. I know I can’t do it.

The goal, not my reality...

4 hours ago, chances R said:

AJ, are you referring to shooting from retention

Yes.

 

4 hours ago, chances R said:

Muzzle position may be directed down for several reasons, crowds, need for pelvic hits, position of off hand.

Absolutely, my point was more about the POI being below the armpits.

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I agree high thoracic is choice.  For most civilian use, hopefully the situation permits.  LEO is more likely to have retention length encounters due to restraint issues, more closeup and personal situations.  As Ronald 55 said, as a civilian closeup work hopefully can be mitigated earlier.

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In numerous high stress situations, I have been able to see my sights, unless one doesn't consider things like taking down a murder suspect as high stress.

There's a lot of wisdom in the words of Jim Cirillo.  

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On 2/9/2020 at 12:36 PM, Grayfox54 said:

I'm old school. I was taught that if you can hit a 9" paper plate out to 25 yards, that was good enough.  ;)

In a defensive situation, if my attacker is 25 yards (75 feet) away, chances are I’m going to try to flee rather than attack. I know Tennessee is a “Stand your ground” state. However, if I shoot and kill someone who is 75 feet away, a prosecutor or DA’s office might try to make a case that I was not in imminent danger to life and limb. 

When it comes to self defense training, I am more concerned with accuracy 10yards or less. If I could, I would love to train shooting close range while moving backwards or back and to the side. Unfortunately you can’t just do that at a typical range.  I do move the target out or 15 or 20 just to see what I can do, but I don’t send too many rounds at that distance. 

Edited by Snaveba

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I realize the thread topic is “Combat Accuracy” but most of us are not likely to be in combat. 

Edited by Snaveba

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9 hours ago, jlw said:

In numerous high stress situations, I have been able to see my sights, unless one doesn't consider things like taking down a murder suspect as high stress.

There's a lot of wisdom in the words of Jim Cirillo.  

Quote

 

Cirillo once said, “In law enforcement, your problem isn’t at your front sight, it’s in the background.”

He continued, “As a police officer, you’re obligated to make sure that the person you’re shooting is the one you should be shooting. If you’re looking at your front sight you can’t see that some poor guy is pulling a black wallet out of his back pocket—you think he’s pulling out a gun.”

In today’s legal climate, you can’t let God sort ‘em out… a jury will be looking at your actions and it’s biologically impossible to focus on both your front sight AND the actions of the threat in front of you.

Lesson: Focus on your attacker and responding to the threat. Your front-sight won’t be a factor in a close-quarters gunfight.

“Subconscious Shooting” Will Rule
In an adrenalized state, you won’t have access to the same logical, controlled response tactics that work so well at the range.

When the bullets are flying, your in-grained training will happen without thinking.

That’s a good thing for you because it means that all the training you do BEFORE an attack will automatically be there when you need it.

The bad news is that, if your training is the typical “marksmanship” style training done down at the range, your training ISN’T aligned with what happens in a real life-or-death attack.

Lesson: Training counts… but it has to be the RIGHT training to come to your rescue when you need it. Since most real gunfights happen less than 9’ away, your training should focus primarily on close-quarter tactics rather than the typical range training distances.

 

 

Edited by DaveTN

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That's not what Cirillo himself wrote in his descriptions of the gunfights in which he was involved.

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8 hours ago, Snaveba said:

In a defensive situation, if my attacker is 25 yards (75 feet) away, chances are I’m going to try to flee rather than attack. I know Tennessee is a “Stand your ground” state. However, if I shoot and kill someone who is 75 feet away, a prosecutor or DA’s office might try to make a case that I was not in imminent danger to life and limb. 

 

At that distance YOU may not be the immediate object of the attacker's attention. You might be engaging them to save someone else. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Snaveba said:

 

When it comes to self defense training, I am more concerned with accuracy 10yards or less. If I could, I would love to train shooting close range while moving backwards or back and to the side. Unfortunately you can’t just do that at a typical range. 

 

 

Come out to the TN/GA/AL Training day on FEB 22 and you will get a full day of it .......

 

 

 

 

Edited by Cruel Hand Luke
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14 minutes ago, Cruel Hand Luke said:

At that distance YOU may not be the immediate object of the attacker's attention. You might be engaging them to save someone else. 

 

 

That is true. 

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21 minutes ago, Cruel Hand Luke said:

At that distance YOU may not be the immediate object of the attacker's attention. You might be engaging them to save someone else. 

Sure. And at that distance, the use of sights is now required. I would be switching from point instinct shooting to target shooting.

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The better you can shoot.... the better you can shoot. Period. Even under stress. And it seems that those who start out at a high level seem to do just fine. If you start out at the top of the mountain and tumble down 25% of the way you are still pretty high up that mountain. If you start out only 25% of the way up the mountain and you fall 25% of the way down under stress then you are now in a heap at the bottom. 

If you can draw and shoot a 3 shot 4" group at 7 yards in 2 seconds and you suffer a 25% reduction in ability due to stress then that is now a 5" group in 2.5 seconds. If you can only do it in 4 seconds that is now a 5" group in 5 seconds.   

 

(This is not directed at any individual in this thread) What annoys me is when people who can't shoot well by virtually any metric work in the training industry and take money from people and tell them that as long as they hit the target (generally the size of a king size bed sheet) any where then that is good for you and bad for them. And they use that as a justification for sloppy marksmanship. And they refer to vague "pearls of wisdom" like "you won't be able to see your sights in a gunfight" that was wisdom from a time when sights on "combat pistols" were largely tiny little nubs compared to the sights we have today. Look at the sights on a 1911 built in 1920 or even a 1911A1 made in 1943 vs a modern one made by Springfield or Wilson or virtually any other manufacturer. But the "instructor" is still telling people that you won't be able to see them and therefore they damn the student to not using their sights under stress for lack of even trying to look for them. Self fulfilling prophecy. Garbage in garbage out. Unfortunately there are too many people hanging up a shingle and calling themselves instructors that don't have a good enough contextual and historical body of knowledge to know that what they are saying might not apply today or WHY it might not apply. And frankly too many of them don't shoot at a level to have any idea of what actually is possible and what is not. 

On the other hand there are plenty of folks (Cirillo and Bill Allard, Charles Askins,Wyatt Earp,John Wesley Hardin etc etc) who saw sights and used them and won a bunch of gunfights. Why? Because they LOOKED for them. The interesting thing is that all those guys could shoot well....hmm...maybe there is a cause and effect relationship ? 

Now I'm not saying you will ALWAYS have to see sights to hit a human in the upper chest . In fact I am a big proponent building a drawstroke and grip that drives the gun to where it needs to be whether you look at the sights or not and then using just enough visual verification to guarantee the hit and no more .  Some shots are so easy that you can make them without focusing hard on the sights. Think about a shot on an aggressor 3 yards away. That is not a technically difficult shot to make and most people can make it from less than full extension. But If you spend all of your time on shooting fast garbage can lid sized groups at 3 yards and you are then confronted with a guy 10 yards away in a parking lot filled with a bunch of "organic backstop " (people) down range then suddenly things just got really dangerous for EVERYONE. 

AJ mentions the 4" group as fast as you can deliver it. (and the key here is to do it FAST). That is something to strive for in training and we understand that we might still end up with a 6" group at speed under stress. I personally want to keep it all in a 3" circle and work toward that (as fast as I can) so that if it is 4 or 5 under stress that is still adequate to hit them somewhere very close to the spot I was actually trying to hit. And we are trying to hit a SPOT. We are not just trying to hit the guy "somewhere...more times than not....most of the time". If your "acceptable standards" are high in training then your "stress degraded performance" is probably still higher than most people's "best case scenario performance" . (That last comment was an understatement ...there is a reason that the average police hit ratio is 25% and certain specialized units like LAPD SWAT and  SIS (Special Investigation Service) is more like 95%. And it does not have anything to do with the gun in their holster. It has to do with their level of training and the standards they accept as "good enough". )  

In the end we just do not know what the problem we face will be. It will PROBABLY be 3 or 4 yards but it could be 34 yards. Andy Brown shot Dean Mellberg from 75 yards away with a Beretta 92 to stop the Fairchild Air Force base shooting in 1994. He hit Mellberg in the head and right shoulder.  Vic Stacy shot Charles Ronald Conner from 50 yards away with a revolver while Conner was trying to kill officer Steven Means in Early,Texas in 2012. He hit him 4 times. I'm guessing Brown and Stacy probably both saw their sights....... 

Edited by Cruel Hand Luke
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15 hours ago, jlw said:

In numerous high stress situations, I have been able to see my sights, unless one doesn't consider things like taking down a murder suspect as high stress.

 

+1 .

I'd argue that fending off a guy who is armed with a knife while you are seated in the passenger seat of a car is pretty stressful yet once I got the gun out and created some space  I saw the sights clearly because I LOOKED for the sights. I also took the time (less than a second) to scan the back ground for what was beyond the target in case of a shoot through or a miss. So when people try to tell me it CAN'T be done that just does not match my own experience. 

Incidentally I had that discussion about the incident and the scanning the background with a student one time. I told him about how fast things can be processed in your mind and it can look like other things and people are in slow motion. I related that I had the time to look at the back ground as I got the gun up and on the sights and that I still had enough dexterity to take up the slack on the trigger AND then let off the trigger without firing the gun once the threat decided that he really didn't want to get shot. I was able to do this without any spastic accidental jerking of the trigger. And that was with a 1911(So much for NEEDING a DA trigger to prevent ADs) And your hands do not ALWAYS turn to flippers during the incident. (Afterward the adrenaline dump did make my hands shake but not until after it was over). 

So now fast forward about 8 months and that same student who works as a bail bondsman gets into a gunfight while trying to take a bail jumper into custody. He told me that IN THE MOMENT he remembered what I had said and he actually LOOKED at the background (an urban parking lot feeding into a city street) as the gun was coming up out of his holster and BEFORE he pressed off the first shot. He said "It was just like you said" .  He shot and hit the guy twice, the bad guy ran off and his lawyer negotiated his surrender to the police a couple of months later. Apparently one round hit the bad guy's gun and one hit him in the leather belt he was wearing and deflected off leaving 2 superficial arm and torso wounds (so much for pistols knocking people down) .  Point is that we don't all experience exactly the same  phenomena and we don't all react the same to it. You tend to do what you have practiced and planned for...

Edited by Cruel Hand Luke
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In the quote above, Cirillo isn't talking about unsighted fire.  He's talking about covering a suspect and being able to view everything that the suspect is doing prior to having to shoot.  In that sense, he is correct because the problem in the background is innocent people.  In his descriptions of his actual shootings, he was clearly using sighted fire albeit he may not have had a true, hard, front sight focus in every instance.  I'll try to look back through his written works for the exact wording, but he did describe a method of looking through the gun in some instances and being so aware of the silhouette of the gun that one could tell if it was misaligned.

I have pressure tested, as much possible, the looking through the gun method in graded force on force sessions and found that it works extremely well within certain distances and with full torso targets.  I've also found in those same scenarios that I can make a shot on a moving person at 17 yards with a hard front sight focus because...

I looked for my sights.

I know of one school out there that is a haven for poor shooters because their sensei tells them they won't be able to see their sights and that so long as they hit somewhere on the silhouette target all will be good...  They might get by with that right up until they have to hit dude in the right eyeball because all that is sticking out from cover is the gun, hand, arm, and the right half of dude's face.

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Just a friendly regular reminder that time spent training with people like @Cruel Hand Luke who know what they’re doing is really worth it. 

Spending a day or two with some good folks, working on *correct* execution of drills you can bring home with you, and getting to put some rounds down range load testing your actual carry setup is so worth it.

Really.

Seriously.

If you’ve never done it, take a defensive pistol course from a knowledgeable instructor. Randy is a great instructor, and we’re so thankful to have him on TGO.  But he’s also a professional who has suggested good trainers in other areas to a whole bunch of folks over the years.

Get some training.  It’s worth it.   

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I took an NRA defensive handgun course a few years back and could probably use a refresher. Hard to do the same kind of training by yourself. One of the sessions the two instructors walked behind us while we were shooting a series of shots yelling at us and even poking us at times to add stress. Not the same as a real situation but was certainly a lot harder concentrating.

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