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Thread: Where to shoot a BG

  1. #1
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    I apologize for posting this on this forum but to be honest, I have no where else to ask this type of question. Moderators feel free to delete/move thisas you see fit.

    I was just thinking of where would be the best place to shoot a bad guy? I don't believe in shooting people in the legs and whatnot to keep them from attacking you so that only leaves the center of mass, the heart, or the head. Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages. Here are the one's I can think of.

    Head Shot -
    Pros - Instant (or nearly instant)incapacitation and/or kill
    Cons - Small, moving target makes it very difficult to hit.

    Heart Shot -
    Pros - Instant (or nearly instant) incapacitation and/or kill if hit directly. Very close to lungs, spinal cord, and surrounded by ribs which can act as shrapnal if hit. Arguably not as hard to hit as head.
    Cons - Small target to hit, protected by ribs that may deflect a lower caliber bullet.

    Center of Mass -
    Pros - Easiest to hit of the three options listed here, directly in front of the spinal cord, surrounded by all the vital organs.
    Cons - Not guaranteed to stop a BG instantly

    So the question is, where exactly should you shoot a BG. I shoot about 500rds a month and 75+% of that is training to shoot center mass. At this point, if I had to shoot, my instincts would say to shoot high center mass because that's where I usually shoot when I'm at the range. I'm just wondering if I should change my habbits and start practicing to shoot at the heart. I don't want to get used to shooting at the head because I feel that the chances of missing is too high.

    So what's your opinion, where should I train myself to shoot?

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    My answer would have to be - wherever you can and as often as you can. Center of mass is the biggest target with the most vital organs. It may not be an instant stopper, but it will be the easiest target to hit. A poorly placedshot that hits is always better than a precision shot thatmisses.



    LoveMyCountry

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    I'm not a expert marksman, but it would really depend on your situation, position, level of threat, if you are having a good day, etc.

    Of course shooting someone in the leg will teach them a lesson, however most times with a level of threat, you can NEVER assume what the BG is trying to do. Because you can't plan of what type of situation you will be in, me personally would aim for whatever I think I can hit the easiest, be it center mass, legs, toes, hands, ears, etc. You will find that if you were in a struggle for your life, you will shoot ANYTHING that you can hit to stop the BG.



    I plan on being at the range frequently in the future so "perfect" my accuracy, but again, in a situation that will have you in a less than ideal position, you will do what it takes.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Center mass is the way to go unless you posess an expert level of combat marksmanship, and even then its a good idea. However be mindfull that bad guys are wearing body armor more often, so pelvic or head shots may be necessary. Not being prepared to execute a 'failure drill' can get you killed. Mark Wilson was killed in the Tyler Texas shootout because his shots weren't effective against an armored active shooter who was unfortunately able to wound and then kill Wilson.
    http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/ccw/tacoma_tyler.htm

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    LoveMyCountry wrote:
    My answer would have to be - wherever you can and as often as you can. Center of mass is the biggest target with the most vital organs. It may not be an instant stopper, but it will be the easiest target to hit. A poorly placedshot that hits is always better than a precision shot thatmisses.



    LoveMyCountry
    LOL "wherever you can and as often as you can" that's a good answer and about what I was thinking. I also agree that "A poorly placed shot that hits is always better than a precision shot that misses."

    What are your opinions on double taps? I've heard that a BG can still continue attacking for ~12 seconds even with a heart shot. If this is true, I want to hit the BG as many times as possible as fast as possible. I practice the 'Mozambique drill' of a double tap to the chest and a shot to the head the other 25% of the time that I practice so I'm pretty good at it. But if you guys think that a double tap is okay legally, morally, and practically, then I'll plan to practice that drill more often.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Well one hit with any handgun caliber and many rifle calibers might not do the job so expect to have to shoot again. You own every round you fire both morally and legally. Because of this the double tap is being replaced by the controlled pair. Instead of aim, fire, fire it's aim, fire, aim, fire. It is a more defensible course of action should you find yourself in litigation and just as or more likely to make hits in combat. In my opinion you should be 'thinking' or controlling the shot everytime you fire and not firing automatically.

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    Center mass is what I was taught in the military. Its what I shoot for usually in IPSC too.I imagine this training would carry over if i ever had o use it in a personl defense situation.

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    Here's what I think:

    I think us 'gun people' put way too much thought into it. Most people that shoot someone in self defense have very little to no training. Practice and training can be helpful and fun but heck most self defense shootings, people aren't IDPA, etc. shooter's. I'd say most don't even visit the range regularly.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    You are right most gun owners are level 1 or 2 shooters, honestly served best by a 4 inch .38 revolver for defense and just shooting for COM.

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    357luvr wrote:
    Head Shot -
    Pros - Instant (or nearly instant)incapacitation and/or kill
    Cons - Small, moving target makes it very difficult to hit.

    Heart Shot -
    Pros - Instant (or nearly instant) incapacitation and/or kill if hit directly. Very close to lungs, spinal cord, and surrounded by ribs which can act as shrapnal if hit. Arguably not as hard to hit as head.
    Cons - Small target to hit, protected by ribs that may deflect a lower caliber bullet.

    Center of Mass -
    Pros - Easiest to hit of the three options listed here, directly in front of the spinal cord, surrounded by all the vital organs.
    Cons - Not guaranteed to stop a BG instantly
    All of the above, repeatedly.

    molonlabetn

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    but heck most self defense shootings, people aren't IDPA, etc. shooter's. I'd say most don't even visit the range regularly.
    The above is a true statement - IMHO.

    We who practice frequentlythink too much. Life threatening situations happen fast. Sometimes way too fast for logical thought. Panic sets in-- Fight or Flight response. Our training give us the ability to think better under pressure than those who do not train. Andbecause of that training we areresponsible gun owners and know to shoot only when we have no other choice.

    If you have to shoot.

    Shoot center of mass until the threat is no more. That could be 2, 3 ormore shots. Accuracy is not as important as speed in a life threatening situation. Of course you still want to hit your intended target in a close pattern.Center of mass is abigger target than the head. Center it is for me.



    DeadCenter



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    I'll take whatever shot I can get :P. Isn't it true that if you shoot anywhere below the belt, its not "intent to kill"? That would definitely help you spend less time in court sorting things out. It's crazy how criminals have taken people to court for getting shot at. Isn't there some law in Florida that allows you to shoot if you have the slightest notion that someone is going to harm you?


    When I'm at home, I keep 2 rubber buckshot shells as the first 2 rounds in my 12 gauge. then comes 3 more rounds of good ol' 3" 000 buck . That way, you can say that you originally tried to stop the intruder using less-than-lethal means, and would have a better case.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I'll try not to overthink this too much but I have a few comments on your post mercutio. This is not a flame just my opinion.

    On shooting in the legs. If the badguy dies from a femoral artery bleed out, good luck proving intent. Anyhow IMHO shooting at someone is generally only defendable if you are justified in using lethal force to defend yourself or others. Otherwise you probably are commiting a crime. In other words there is no legal justification for shooting in the legs that wouldn't allow you to shoot them COM or anywhere else. So shoot for COM if you must shoot at all but IANAL.

    As for rubber shot I would advise against it. 1. Its less lethal force, not less-than-lethal, meaning you can still kill someone with it. 2 if you are justified in shooting them you should use lethal force and shooting any firearm will probably be considered lethal force regardless of load. 3. Rubber shot may very well be lethal at indoor ranges, and usually is not fired directly at targets (bounced off the street). 4. You might only get one shot to save your life in an emergency, make it something effective.

    I keep 00 buckshot loads in my Mossberg for HD.

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    I believe the old axiom to be true
    "Shoot 'em where they're biggest, and shoot 'em more than once"

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    longwatch wrote:
    I'll try not to overthink this too much but I have a few comments on your post mercutio. This is not a flame just my opinion.

    On shooting in the legs. If the badguy dies from a femoral artery bleed out, good luck proving intent. Anyhow IMHO shooting at someone is generally only defendable if you are justified in using lethal force to defend yourself or others. Otherwise you probably are commiting a crime. In other words there is no legal justification for shooting in the legs that wouldn't allow you to shoot them COM or anywhere else. So shoot for COM if you must shoot at all but IANAL.

    As for rubber shot I would advise against it. 1. Its less lethal force, not less-than-lethal, meaning you can still kill someone with it. 2 if you are justified in shooting them you should use lethal force and shooting any firearm will probably be considered lethal force regardless of load. 3. Rubber shot may very well be lethal at indoor ranges, and usually is not fired directly at targets (bounced off the street). 4. You might only get one shot to save your life in an emergency, make it something effective.

    I keep 00 buckshot loads in my Mossberg for HD.
    I would have to agree not using rubber shot for home defense. I think it's a good idea on paper but when the SHTF, you need absolute stopping force. Not something that will at best, just slow the BG down. There's a chance that at very close range, it could kill. But if someone breaks into my house and I'm pressed into pulling the trigger, I want to know without a doubt that they're going down.

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    mercutio545 wrote:
    I'll take whatever shot I can get :P. Isn't it true that if you shoot anywhere below the belt, its not "intent to kill"? That would definitely help you spend less time in court sorting things out. It's crazy how criminals have taken people to court for getting shot at. Isn't there some law in Florida that allows you to shoot if you have the slightest notion that someone is going to harm you?


    When I'm at home, I keep 2 rubber buckshot shells as the first 2 rounds in my 12 gauge. then comes 3 more rounds of good ol' 3" 000 buck . That way, you can say that you originally tried to stop the intruder using less-than-lethal means, and would have a better case.
    If you pull the trigger, regardless of where you hit them (or even if you hit them at all), or where you say that you aimed, it is 'deadly force'. In some states/localities the act of pointing a firearm at another person is considered 'deadly force' (or at least the threat of it). It all amounts to 'Assault With A Deadly Weapon' if you are not justified in your actions.

    Realize too, that rubber buckshot is still 'deadly force'; certainly meant to be LESS lethal, but at close range (inside 10yd or so) still penetrates human fleshquite effectively. Using rubber buckshot has never, and would not, affect the outcome of a hearing regarding a justifiable homicide, in any way. Either you are justified in shooting, or you are not. It doesn't matter if it's a bb-gun or a .50cal, even a blank cartridge or shell can kill at close range. Don't take the act of pulling the trigger any more lightly because of the type of ammo you are using, or assume that anyone else will.

    molonlabetn

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    357luvr wrote:
    I was just thinking of where would be the best place to shoot a bad guy?
    Someplace where they'll never find him!

    More seriously, all of the above. I recommend 3-4 shots center of mass, followed by a couple to the head. As with shampoo, repeat.
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    Someplace where they'll never find him!
    Nice -- I like the humor



    DC





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    In Washington if you kill in self defense the following applies

    RCW 9A.16.110
    "the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of time, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in his or her defense."

    So I think just hurting the intruder would be more difficult on the budget. But if you kill in self defense, the state will pay for you to. But keep in mind you would have to be able to handle the mental part of knowing what you have done.

    I don't know if Virginia has these reimbursements, but it is something to think about with deciding use of force. I don't think I would imagine shooting someone just to hurt them, if I were to shoot someone it would be to stop them before they stopped me.

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    Ah awesome, I had no idea the rubber buckshot packed such a whallop. I've never shot it (you can't shoot it at dominion, you have to use their ammo. And I don't know of any other places around Richmond where you can use your own ammo), but I think I'll keep the two in there. If you're going to shoot to kill, you might as well make it hurt more for them before they die. I also have rubber ball ammo with one big ball in it. I pulled the ball out of one of the shells and it was more like hard plastic (didn't bounce or anything). All I have to say is OUCH.

    I have some flechette shells as well, but I've never tested them out at the range either so I don't trust them in action yet. Just thought they were pretty neat.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Just a word of advice, as civilians we shoot to stop a threat, not shoot to kill. Even though we use may have to use deadly force to stop a threat, being the good guys that action is intended to save our lives not take theirs. It is that distinction that will serve you well if a situation ever gets to court. Wanting to inflict intentional suffering won't look good either.

    It's best to use ammo for its intended purpose and to use the most effective you can get your hands on. Rubber shot, flechettes, bolo rounds, birdshot and the like really aren't suited for home defense. Rubber shot has riot control uses but when are you going to need to drive off a horde? Flechettes AFAIK really aren't that effective except to possibly having a longer effective range. No one has invented a better mousetrap yet when it comes to shotgun ammo for defensive purposes, stick to what has been proven to work, buckshot and slugs.

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    I hear flechettes can pierce some types of armor and have more of a spread (The person who sold them to me said they had some use in Vietnam for taking out snipers from trees).

    And if there ever is a horde at least I know I'll be prepared :P

    I bet people in New Orleans when Katrina hit would have loved to get their hands on some rubber buckshot, to fend off the looters and troublemakers. Or when the LA riots were going on. You never know. Always good to be prepared I guess.

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    longwatch wrote:
    Just a word of advice, as civilians we shoot to stop a threat, not shoot to kill.
    This is exactly the reason why I have "less lethal" ammo. I'm really not trying to have someones life on my conscious, even IF they are a criminal. I'd rather use the "less lethal" ammo on the possible assailant, make them surrender themselves, then call the police. This is what my original reason for posting was.

    Always giving me a hard time, longwatch

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Flechettes were tried out in Vietnam, but you should ask why doesn't the military use them today? It's because the flechettes just didn't produce incapacitating wounds. If you need to penetrate armor, slugs do a much better job than flechettes. I've been tempted to get some novelty rounds myself but from what I've read about how they work they really seem to be wallet cleaners and just for fun. As for looters, rubber rounds would be good for that but you run into the legal issue of using deadly force to protect property.

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm
    Some shotgun cartridges are loaded with flechettes. These are small, steel, pointed dart-like projectiles with aft stabilization fins, and are commonly referred to as "nails with tails." The low cross sectional area of a single flechette, combined with the small amount of flechettes that can be loaded into a shotshell, makes them an inferior choice for home defense when compared to buckshot.
    Also, according to Second Chance Body Armor Company, flechettes are not effective against soft body armor, if this is a particular mission requirement for your ammunition. Steel shot also is ineffective against soft body armor.
    There are other various exotic shotshells that are best classified as gimmicks. These include rubber buckshot, bean bags, steel washers, rock salt, "Dragon's Breath," bird bombs, ceramic slugs, "bolo" projectiles and so on. The efficacy of these loads is questionable at best, and we advise you to avoid them altogether for this simple reason.



  25. #25
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Just trying to school you right my man and keep you alive and out of jail.

    Edit to add: I very much understand about not wanting to kill someone, I am the same way. However, you might only get one shot to save your life so you should prepare accordingly.

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