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Thread: A shooting or Gunfight??? what do you think

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Feb 2008
    Bellevue Nebr.

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    There was a comparison made a few years ago...I think it was by Paul Howe...about the difference between a shooting and a gunfight. Basically, in a shooting, one side has the initiative and is generally the only one shooting. The other side is caught behind the loop...or out of the loop so to speak. These are most often seen in police and military events where being taken by surprise is a greater sin than losing a fight. Police/military guys often know what they are getting into and generally have the initiative in the fight.

    These are very nice and desirable outcomes for the good guys. All you need for, as I call them, ambush shootings is the alertness and understanding the fight is developing and the moral ground that justifies your shooting, and of course...the skill to be able to hit.

    Many commercial schools specialize in this and hope to be proactive 100% of the time.

    The gunfight, on the other hand, is different. It places the good guy in what our friend Southnarc calls Initiative Deficit...or in caveman terms, Reactive. The bad guy has already launched and your fight begins there. In these reactive events, if you do not have edge of some sort, you will lose. We get a chance to view videos of shootings regularly. We also get to test out theories with the use of force on force. When two guys decide to shoot each other at close range, guess what...both of them get shot. The first drill we run in our Interactive Gunfight Class is one where guys face each other at 4 yards and they try a shot against each other under equal initiative as well as unequal initiative. End result...both guys still get shot.

    There are those in the training industry that dislike our use of force on force and gunfight simulations. They say that "force on force" is not real. Quite true...we never said it was real. But it is the best alternative available today to the common man without going out and getting into gunfights. Still, how much convincing does someone need? I recall a couple of years ago, Southnarc and several other instructors set up a drill at the Warrior Talk Symposium. Two men were called up at a time, while the other "volunteers" waited outside out of ear shot. The commands were simple as each man was given a simmunitions gun. "When I say GO, the man in front of you has a gun and is trying to kill you". The guys who stood their ground and tried to out draw the other man, ended up getting shot at the same time they fired their pistols. Mutual suicide.
    The guys who moved sharply off the adversary's line of fire were generally able to evade the first shot. (I say generally as there are no guarantees in the gunfight).

    Now, they were in fact eventually shot as the bad guy was able to recover and move through the OODA loop, but the fact they were able to evade the first shot is telling. They were also able to hit the other man and it is that timing of event that contained the greatest lesson. If the good guy is able to evade the first shot and counter, there may not be a second shot coming from the bad guy at all. Getting off the line of fire is not an end in itself, it is a means to get inside the bad guy's decision and action cycle. What Getting off the X does is reset his OODA Loop back to Observe.

    Now you can certainly do this with other means such as throwing something in his face, or even looking over his shoulder, but what moving also does is get you clear of his gun muzzle which the other distractions do not. Moving off the X as you draw and fire helps your survivability. This makes eminently more sense to me than working on perfecting your weaver stance!

    Still, there is resistance. I think much of it comes from the inability of some instructors to successfully teach getting off the X. Some guys have been planted on the range for so long that even a lateral side step on the draw looks like stolen alien technology to them. Couple that with the over-reliance on the tool and the prevalence of corpulence in the shooting community and you end up feet planted in a weave-a-soceles shooting groups again.

    The proof is in the pudding as it were. Guys who move off the X generally have the ability to evade their adversary's gun muzzle and shot, while placing three to four shots on the bad guy before the bad guy is able to "catch up". So the world is not flat after all. In any proactive when you can, but train reactive so when the time comes that you find yourself in the initiative deficit mode, you will be able to get off the x and go home safely.
    Gabe Suarez
    Suarez International USA, Inc.
    One Source Tactical
    Office 928-776-4492

  2. #2
    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Whenever someone says 'gunfight', I have an image of guys running around pistol-whipping each other.... Or a tug of war over a rifle/shotgun... 'mine,no it's mine, give it BACK!,let GO!....
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
    Lynnwood, WA, ,

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    At 4 yards I wouldn't be trying to quick-draw anybody. It's too close for guns and if the BG tries to draw his, I'll do what I can to use that to my advantage. If he's relying on his gun alone, I am going to rush him and hopefully execute a decent take-down move on him before he's capable of getting the gun up. Let's face it, the fastest most people will be able to draw and fire a gun is 1 second. Some are faster, but most are slower. In 1 second, I imagine I could close the 4 yards and knock the BG off balance, possibly disarm. He's going to be so focused on getting the gun out and getting the shot off that he won't be able to focus on his balance or other vulnerabilities. The way I see it, when it comes to gun fights, a good defense is a good offense, and a good offense is a good offense.

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