How does one "shoot to wound"?


March 21, 2003, 08:21 PM
Question about SpecOps procedure.

How do SpecOps (those non-existent D-boys) take someone prisoner who is armed and doesn't want to be captured? It is easy for Operators to put a 3-round burst into a BGs head, but how do you disarm someone when you really need to capture him alive?

For example, when Osama Bin Ladin gets hunted down, he will likely have a gun in his hand and will want to go down shooting. Capturing without killing him would be the preferred outcome.

How is this done? Can someone really be shot in a manner to guarantee incapicitation and still be salvageable? Do certain Operators train for this?

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March 21, 2003, 08:33 PM
I can't really vouch for what the operators train for, but no, there is no "manner to guarantee incapicitation and still be salvageable", at least by shooting them with conventional bullets.

March 21, 2003, 08:43 PM
Do you really believe the Government wants OBL taken alive?

HAHA!!! I don't think so. Every thinking man wants him dead, in an unmarked grave preferably. Unfortunately they might actually have to preserve the body, just to show the Arab "street" he really is dead. Martyrdom or the forever "He is still alive" rumors.

Last thing they want is to have him in any kind of court (or prison).


March 21, 2003, 09:14 PM
Well, you shoot him & if his maker decides to leave him on this earth, you take it from there, if not, oh well :rolleyes:

Standing Wolf
March 21, 2003, 09:36 PM
Two warning shots in the head, two warning shots in the center of the upper torso: that usually calms them down quite a little bit.

March 21, 2003, 09:37 PM
It would really depend on situation and how much damage is OK. IF the target is unaware or distracted by others and you can get upper shoulder with rifle he SHOULD drop the gun. Maybe a flash bang at his feet. Or shotgun with #7 into gun arm/hand.
BUT all of these may fail so you MUST be ready for follow up COM.

March 21, 2003, 09:43 PM
One does not shoot to wound. One shoots to kill and should the BG live, he's just lucky.

I saw a video clip recently where this man (armed) and woman were trying to do a suicide by cop or they said they were going to do a murder/suicide. The cops set up two snipers and at the same time, they shot each in the shoulder, hoping to disable them long enough for the cops to rush in and disarm them. After being hit, the woman picked up the gun, shot the man in the head and then herself in the head.

So much for shooting to wound. What if she had instead decided to shoot one of the LEOs running toward her instead?

March 21, 2003, 09:53 PM
I'm not talking about self defense or Law enforcement encounters.

I'm specifically asking about SpecOps prisoner-taking. This is completely different from everything we train for.

March 21, 2003, 10:06 PM
An older gentleman in law enforcement once told me that "shooting to wound" was just another name for missing...

I agree w/ him...

March 21, 2003, 10:16 PM
Didn't the Lone Ranger used to shoot the guns right out of the hands of the guys in the black hats?

That was real, wasn't it ....? :)

March 21, 2003, 10:30 PM
trying to haul those guys (OBL, etc) into court would be a huge mistake. First off, all you are doing is giving him more attention, and giving him another stage from which to issue his rants...

March 21, 2003, 10:55 PM
OSBL is an enemy combatant.

The proper way to greet him is with fatal fire.

If someone did capture him, he should be executed forthwith.

Double Naught Spy
March 21, 2003, 11:11 PM
Probably the only way to shoot to wound and render a person incapacitated without killing that person would be some sort of spinal cord shot that would be above the shoulders enough to cause the person to be a quadraplegic, but not so high as to sever nerves performing involuntary system function and not so high as to cause death. The problem is that it would be a tremendously hard shot to make without causing too much additional damage that might bring death.

If they really want the guy alive, then they won't be shooting him with bullets, but maybe using other gear such as flashbangs, tear gas and the like that may slow him down enough that he could be captured.

Jim March
March 21, 2003, 11:40 PM
I agree completely re: Osama Yo Mama.

When there's an underling you want to nail, it's possible to break somebody's pelvis. The risk is, get too close to the center and you can nail a femoral artery. But out further than that, you can shatter the hip. He's still dangerous but he ain't goin' ANYWHERE.

Jeff White
March 21, 2003, 11:45 PM
Sorry, but everything you see on TV and in the movies and everything you may have read in a novel abouthow this is done is bunk. There is no reliable way to incapcitate an armed subject so they can be taken alive.

This was a big problem for SOG during the Vietnam conflict. Prisoner snatches were one of their missions. John Plaster writes in SOG A Photo History of the Secret Wars about all the problems they had with this. Prisoner snatch tractics essentially came down to three: disabling the enemy with a carefully placed gunshot, knocking him senseless with explosives, or physically overpowering him.

Gunfire was tricky because the goal was to incapacitate but not kill the target. For this reason many teams preferred SOG's least powerful suppressed weapon, the .22-caliber High Standard HD pistol. Suppressed submachinguns were used too.

Several teams reportedly tested tranquilizer guns but only confirmed what veternarians learned when anesthetizing dangerous animals: when a dose is sufficient to incapacitate quickly, it's enough to kill; but smaller doses act so slowly that the beast remains a threat. SOG men were compelled to gun down NVA hit by light dose darts or watch helplessly while a prisoner died from heavier anesthetic doses.

When tranquilizer darts failed, SOG tested chemical Mace, the non-lethal spray used by police. But when testing the Mace against each other recon men found it unreliably debilitating.

Sometimes just plain aggressiveness was yielded prisoners-merely having an NVA trooper dead to rights with your weapon on him didn't ensure submission. You had to exploit the momentary edge and seize him so quickly that he had no option but surrender. Down in Cambodia's Fishhook, RT Pick One-Zero Everett Cofer and One-Two David Zack covered while One-One Bob Graham seized a lone enemy soldier. There wasn't time for anything fancy: Graham jumped out and punched the soldier right between the eyes. "It was a good catch," intelligence officers later told Graham.

Frequently teams emplyed explosives laid out as a demolition ambush. In theory the blast would knock the target off his feet, wrench his AK from his hands, and render him temporarily senseless. Teams developed intricate demo ambushes using a combination of carefully placed explosive charges and claymore mines, so the overlapping fans of steel shot would kill or disable every enemy soldier in the ambush except one, and he would be tossed head over heels and taken alive. With rehersals, these demo ambushes could be laid along a trail in less then 60 seconds.

It's important to remember that there is no reliable way to incapacitate any subject at will. If there was, there would probably be no armed police agency in the country. OC, Tasers and stun guns have all been developed since the days SOG was snatching prisoners along the Ho Chi Ming Trail and none of them are reliable enough to replace the lethal force option. Less lethal rounds for shotguns and grenade launchers have the same dangers. For an example of state of the art chemical incapacitation, lok at the Moscow Theater take down of a few months back. Read the threads where the effectiveness of 5.56mm ammunition is discussed. It just can't be done. "Set your phasers on stun" is still fiction.


David S
March 21, 2003, 11:47 PM
a double tap to the groin area usually puts anyman down..........

March 22, 2003, 09:32 AM
I'd go for the "knarlly pinky toe" shot. That ought to do it!:D

March 22, 2003, 10:26 AM
ok ok guys would you shut up the guy got away .......... I told you all this bickering aint gonna get us anywhere next time shoot the S*B in the knees and get it over with ....:rolleyes: :D

March 22, 2003, 10:59 AM
Shoot OBL to kill? I'd rather see him taken alive so he can spend some quality time being questioned by the Israelis. Then when he's done singing, public firing squad (this being the High Road, I wouldn't think of recommending the squad dip their bullets in bacon fat).

Back on topic, don't the majority of gunshot victims bleed to death? Shoot to stop and control the bleeding: the target may survive. Shoot to wound and the shooter may not survive.

...Its now time for this Internet commando to take his son to Little League... :D

March 22, 2003, 02:07 PM
203 with rubber baton or CS?

Double Maduro
March 22, 2003, 02:59 PM
Shooting to wound is called "missing".

If you try to miss on purpose you are likely to miss the bg entirely.

March 22, 2003, 03:04 PM
I do not agree that OBL or even 'ol Saddam will be taken alive, unless they surrender. Even the spec ops bubbas can not be expected to put their lives on the line, unless it is a clean snatch mission. They give up they live, they try to fight with thier hands or with a knife, they fall down and get a beating, they shoot at our guys, they die.

Now assuming that under some really strange situation shooting to wound was called for, knee cap the bg. A direct shot into the knee cap is probably one of the more painful things that could happen. There are only two spots on the body that have a
larger collection of pain receptor nerves than the knee. You can guess where the other two are. :what:

Double Naught Spy
March 22, 2003, 04:23 PM
I see a couple of you are very confused about the difference between incapacitation and immobilization. Shots to the pelvis, groin, knee, etc. are NOT likely to incapacitate a person. The person may not be as mobile, but they sure can still shoot your butt when you come after them and not only that, but now you have pissed them off and they are in pain. If given the chance, they won't be so kind to you.

Cool quote Jeff White, thanks.

March 22, 2003, 07:19 PM
If you're like me you aim for COM and whatever happens, happens!:p

March 22, 2003, 07:40 PM
The most reliable way is to read the guys horoscope and wait for his lucky day -- then double-tap COM. Medevac as necessary.

March 22, 2003, 09:44 PM
is ready to be executed on "suspicion."

They do not want him alive for many reasons. Same as they don't really want you to have guns.

At this point we do NOT know.

We were attacked. Maybe we know who did it. Maybe not.

March 22, 2003, 10:58 PM
There are a lot of great points, but I think larryw hit it on the head. You do not shoot to wound, no such thing. However, upwards of 90% of handgun wounds are survivable. I haven't read statistics on the 5.56 m4... but from certian articles I've read, it seems like field data proves the service rifle to be quite stunted in their stopping power.

So if we're talking about using a handgun to take someone in alive... don't worry about it. Chances are, all you have to do is treat them after the fight and they'll survive. This is probably true with the current m16 or m4 too.

But when in doubt, empty the magazine. It's not worth taking them in alive if they're going to try to kill you. So shoot to kill!

Jeff White
March 23, 2003, 12:24 AM
Perhaps you'd care to take a few rounds from our service rifles to demonstrate how survivable they are?

Yes we can just set up with some good trauma surgeons and paramedics and start treatment after we shoot our intended prisoner COM. :banghead: Read the citations for a few awards of the Medal of Honor. People take all kinds of wounds from all types of weapons and still continue to function long enough to kill or injure. This makes shooting our intended prisoner a chancy thing at best.


March 23, 2003, 09:59 PM
Jeff... I'd rather not. You're exactly on the right track. If you're shooting to wound, you're still gonna have the guy attacking you. Might as well incapacitate him and take the chances of the scum dying.

I took my information from a gun mag article talking about the evolution of the m16. The vietnam era rifle had a different rifling ratio. In the DoD's attempt to make the weapon more reliable and accurate, they took some of the stopping power out. The article desrcibes the wound from a new m16 as being like that of being stabbed with an ice pick.

I'd still go to war with it... or a .308 m14 if I had the choice.

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