self defense


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RedNoma
December 30, 2007, 03:29 AM
I was looking through a thread talking about the legality of shooting someone under certain circumstances and it got me to thinking. If you were in a defensive position taking a shot on them how would your shot placement be? Ie. would you go Spec Ops style two in the chest one in the head? Would you fire a single shot center mass? Multiple center mass shots until they drop? Etc. etc. I was just curious as to what you guys would do and also the legality of shot placement in the course of a trial. What might get you put away and what shouldn't.

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skarpenz
December 30, 2007, 03:35 AM
In all reality you're thought process probably won't be revolving around shot placement in that time of need. I know I would probably just go for center mass until he fell (1-3 shots).

BUT, I'd like to think I could accurately place 2 shots to the chest. I don't really want to shoot anyone in the face unless I have to. I just want the threat neutralized effectively and the BG on the ground/floor.

Raijin
December 30, 2007, 03:44 AM
face shots are a bit much and the psychological damaged incurred by the average man who inflicts a face shot would most definitely render you just about useless for the remainder of your life.

Most of the time it's gonna be a combo of adrenaline, panic and fear that will fuel your shots in this situation. Probably end up shooting in center of mass until they stop moving. that would be a pretty reasonable response.

jrou111
December 30, 2007, 03:50 AM
When I practice, I use one of the targets that shows the internals. I aim for center mass, right on the spine. In reality, I'm sure it'll be much different and more difficult, but the practice helps to condition my reaction. YMMV

Eric F
December 30, 2007, 09:40 AM
most likely you will shoot how you train if you consistantly train 2-body 1-head in the time of crissis thats what you are likely to do. Its an issue of muscle memory

spwenger
December 30, 2007, 10:43 AM
The center of mass of the human body is actually slightly below the navel. In fact, this is actually a good target, particularly if your shot is off center. The best place for a shot to the pelvis is between the sacrum (the fused portion of the spine that forms the central part of the rear of the pelvis) and the hip joint. This area is known as the weight-bearing triangle and is more likely to be broken by handgun bullets than the heavier sacrum. Further, this area also contains a large bundle of blood vessels and nerves.

Head shots are extremely difficult to make on moving people who realize that you're trying to shoot them in the head. Further, only a relatively small portion of the head contains the "off switch" or brainstem. Additionally, the relatively thick portion of the skull that protects most of the brain is not that easy to penetrate with handgun bullets, particularly if a rounded surface of the bullet's noses contacts the rounded surface of the skull.

While most of us are limited to shooting two-dimensional paper targets, not too many people bother to try to visualize them in three dimensions, to envision where the vital organs would be if the shot penetrates from anything other than a straight-on, level angle.

For anyone interested in more detailed rants on this topic, including a useful image of the anatomy of the pelvis, I have brief articles on Aiming Points, Head Shots and Pelvis Shots posted on the Naked Emperor (http://www.spw-duf.info/emperor.html) page of my website.

Wolfgang2000
December 30, 2007, 11:03 AM
Shoot till the threat is gone.

antsi
December 30, 2007, 12:33 PM
In a reasonable court room, shot placement should not come in to play. If the situation justified lethal force in self defense, then any shot placement on the assailant would be justified.

If the situation was not a lethal threat, you'd be skewered for shooting someone in the fingernail - and rightfully so.

Of course, not all court rooms are reasonable. If a prosecutor decides to prosecute you for a justifiable self defense shooting, I'm sure they will bring up anything they can to make you look like a blood thirsty monster. That is one of the reasons you really, really want to avoid ever being in a situation where you have to shoot someone.

ROMAK IV
December 30, 2007, 06:22 PM
If your attacker is wearing body armor, (and they do ocasionally,) a center of mass shot is going to be ineffective and possibly fatal. (to you!) If the "perp" is behind cover, the head may be the only shot you have. Finally, if you are going to get sued by relatives of the "victim", you are likely to be sued not matter where the fatal shot is placed, after all, people are sued for using stun guns.

Roswell 1847
December 30, 2007, 06:36 PM
Groin.
Doesn't matter if they have a kevlar crotch pad or not they will go down.

If the shot centers the groin, no graphic explanation of its effects are needed. Should the bullet go to either side It would likely break the hip joint or sever the femoral artery.

If the shot goes high it would hit the Hypogastric plexus and again he'd go down fast.

Fire as many rounds as quickly as possible.

I've heard of only one case were a man kept fighting after a bullet to the groin. That was an Al-Quida Commander in the midst of a very hot gunfight in Fallujah, and even then he only lived a few more seconds.

Femoral Artery wounds are among the most deadly of all. The artry is as big as a finger and can empty your blood supply in less than a minute. Unconsciousness is usually near instant from loss of blood pressure.

The brain shot is almost allways instant incapacitation but even at close range can be hard to achceive if the perp is bobbing and weaving.
It also requires the gun being raised which can make you more vulnerable to being rushed before you get a shot off.

Wolfgang2000
December 30, 2007, 06:53 PM
When I stated as a LEO in 76, the old salts would tell me, "if you want to put a man down aim for the belt buckle". The reasoning is simple. The pelvic bone is one of the largest if not the largest bone in the body. A hit on it with any major caliber "usually" works.

Remember that bullet technology, as we know it, was in it's infancy.

To me today center mass is between the nipples. Also I have practiced starting a the belly button and letting the recoil work my aim up to the top of the target. That takes about haft my G19 mag.

dstark
December 30, 2007, 07:32 PM
I would like to think I would shoot in the leg as the first shot. I read in a CA gun owners book that the CA courts recognize a shot below the waist as a legitimate attempt to stop an intruder without killing him. I dont trust the courts in CA enough to immediately go for a kill shot. But put in that situation, my thought process might be a little different.

Grizzly Adams
December 30, 2007, 10:30 PM
To me today center mass is between the nipples. Also I have practiced starting a the belly button and letting the recoil work my aim up to the top of the target.

+1

About half my P14 mag.

M2 Carbine
December 31, 2007, 12:27 AM
I intend to continue shooting at the biggest thing I see until the threat appears over.

M2 Carbine
December 31, 2007, 12:36 AM
dstark
I would like to think I would shoot in the leg as the first shot. I read in a CA gun owners book that the CA courts recognize a shot below the waist as a legitimate attempt to stop an intruder without killing him. I dont trust the courts in CA enough to immediately go for a kill shot. But put in that situation, my thought process might be a little different.

Just a thought.

What do you figure the BG is going to be doing while you waste your first shot trying to hit him in the leg?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Kimberironsights.jpg

Even if you do hit him in the leg he probably will still keep pumping bullets into you.
You need to worry about remaining alive before worrying what a court may or may not do.

sig226
December 31, 2007, 12:53 AM
I don't think your question can be answered. No situation is the same as the ones that preceded it. The "tactical" answer is two shots to the center of mass and one shot to the head, but what if the bad guy refuses to stand still while you do this? What if he's shooting in crowd? What if he takes cover and your two shots to the center of mass won't hit thim? What if your head shot exposes you and there is a 90% chance that you'll die for making the shot?

We try to teach thinking in tactical shooting, but we only reach a few people. The rest parrot what they heard and do not absorb the lessons. This is not easy to do. There are no perfect answers, only imaginary scenarios that lend themselves to impractical solutions.

The last time I shot a tactical course, we had to run 100 yards and them engage six unfamiliar targets at distances up to fifty feet. I had the slowest time at 28 seconds. I was also the only shooter who hit every target with every shot, all double tap X hits. The fastest shooter got off twelve rounds in 6 seconds and winged one target in the left tricep.

To give a concrete example, a friend of mine is a local police officer on a tac team. He was at the Boynton Beach Mall during the shooting last year just before Christmas. He was an Iraq veteran and maybe fifty feet from the shooter. It was an active shooter call. He never discharged his weapon. He told me that the crowd was running everywhere and even though he could see the eyes of the shooter, he had no shot. God bless him, he did the right thing.

sailortoo
December 31, 2007, 12:58 AM
First, as was stated above, you have to do what you have to do to stop the threat - you can't consult a lawyer about what is the "right" shot. I've packed and shot since a high school kid (way too long ago!), but never had to shoot at a live attacker. How do I know what I will do - every possibility has its' own situation and limitations. Seems like most really bad situations develope all too suddenly to do any thinking ahead, or preparation, and that is where your training and practice gives you the reflexive action to do something, right or wrong. One thing that does bother me, is the possiblilty of the BG having armor of some sort, like the LA bank robbers some years ago. I guess the SPWenger, practice for a pelvic shot, may be an answer to that. Besides, we are talking like we can hit the 10 ring dead center every time, while running, dodging, and ducking. Sorry, I'm just not that good. :uhoh:
sailortoo
Semper Paratus (also)

GRB
December 31, 2007, 01:03 AM
The center of mass of the human body is actually slightly below the navel.

You got it confused between center of mass of the human body, and center of mass of your target area in the torso. When center of mass is referred to, it means center of mass of the target area which is usually the torso if presented to you, or if shooting at paper targets. Of course it could be in the lower abdomen if that was all you could see of the target area. Then again, if all you can see is the guy's head and arms as he shoots at your from behind cover, center of mass of the preferred target would be the center of the part of his head that you could see. Quite a difference from center of mass of the human body on the whole.

All the best,
Glenn B

dstark
December 31, 2007, 01:37 AM
Even if you do hit him in the leg he probably will still keep pumping bullets into you.
You need to worry about remaining alive before worrying what a court may or may not do.

That was assuming I caugnt the intruder sneaking through the house, if a guy comes guns blazing i'm not going to worry where I should shot him, I'm going to shoot at what I see. And hopefully hit it.

mossberg
December 31, 2007, 01:44 AM
It's a shame we even have to think about it. In Canada you are supposed to use equal force as the intruder. If he shows up with a sword I have to lock myself in a room and go on ebay.

dstark
December 31, 2007, 01:49 AM
Then you better have a huge supply of different weapons at the ready.

mossberg
December 31, 2007, 01:54 AM
I'm doin my best:rolleyes:

Bighouse Doc
December 31, 2007, 10:49 AM
Movie nonsense aside,(2 in the chest one in the head) a hit to the mid-lower sternum will easily clip the heart and/or great vessels and with the right caliber, clip the spinal cord as well.

He should go down like a rock if the spine is hit. If only the great vessels, he might have a few more seconds of fight in him.

It would probably pay big dividends to practice until center of chest shots come easy.

Deanimator
December 31, 2007, 12:40 PM
Center of mass is easiest, but for some reason, all of my hits on the 300 yard popup in the Army were in the head, both in real life, and on the Spartanics simulator...

Deanimator
December 31, 2007, 12:55 PM
I would like to think I would shoot in the leg as the first shot. I read in a CA gun owners book that the CA courts recognize a shot below the waist as a legitimate attempt to stop an intruder without killing him. I dont trust the courts in CA enough to immediately go for a kill shot. But put in that situation, my thought process might be a little different.
California is goofy, but I doubt it's THAT goofy.

Shooting somebody is lethal force, PERIOD. You shouldn't be using lethal force against someone unless you have a reasonable, immediate fear of life and limb (or someone you're defending does). Shooting to "wound" someone indicates that you don't actually think that the person is an immediate threat to your life and limb. A prosecutor or plaintiff's attorney is going to ask you such things. If you say you "shot to wound", they're going to ask you why you shot somebody since you clearly didn't feel as though they were an immediate danger to your life and limb. If you intentionally shoot somebody in the leg, and they either die or lose the leg, those questions are going to come hard and fast.

Shoot to stop (and that usually means center of mass or head) or don't shoot at all. Lethal force isn't a game or a TV show. If you don't need to use it, don't use it AT ALL. If you DO need to use it, use it to the extent where the threat to you is removed IMMEDIATELY. After consulting an attorney, state that you felt that your life was threatened and that you shot to stop that threat. Do NOT deviate from that script.

sm
December 31, 2007, 01:35 PM
Glenn Bartley wrote: You got it confused between center of mass of the human body, and center of mass of your target area in the torso.

Glenn, thank you.

My Take:

Self Defense is a State of Mind first, then the rest of the Hierarchy is Tactics and Equipment.

Survival is staying safe and arriving back home safe.
Mindset is not going to where trouble is, evading if trouble shows up and if one cannot effectively evade, then having skill sets to effectively deal with surviving.

Point being, in the Real World, One cannot buy Physical Objects and Expect these inanimate objects to ward off Evil , allow one to evade Evil, or even Effectively Stop the Immediate Threats of Evil.

A Criminal will have the Mindset to take you down, and will use "methods" to allow him/her to sneak up upon you quietly and quickly, and kill you with a rusty screwdriver found on the street.

It was his/her Mindset, practiced skill sets of reading people, places and things, practiced skill sets of employing a "tool" - as NO tool is ever any better that the user of said "tool" - and remember it is the Intentions of a user of a tool that determines if the "use" is for good or evil .

To stop a Threat one's target is the largest exposed area presented by the threat.

If the largest "target" presentation is the knee out from behind cover a VCA is using, then that is your "target"

In the Real World, there is no start buzzer, no brass bucket - point being, one is wise to not be a "programmed" shooter only.

I was not raised to be a "programmed" shooter. Mentors and Elders had me shoot 6 and 9 inch paper plates (hold one to your chest and look in the mirror) and playing cards/ 3 x 5" inde cards (head) and these "presentations were not "flat" or "straight on".

Akin to Awerbuck, these Mentors & Elders had these at various angles.
I am starting this at five years of age and having to shoot these presentations.
As I get bigger - also having to do so not standing up and facing them.
My little butt was on the ground, one knee, sitting, blood from critters on my hands, arms, shooting while on the ground, and even up and back over my head...and whatever else these Mentors & Elders could think of.


Another point I want to bring up - One may NOT have any "Physical Items" to defend themselves with.
I was also raised to "not be programmed to always think I will have weapons" on my person.

I am going w-a-y back as kid. Yes, times were different, and we did not have "permits" to carry guns.
Still at age 8 I was carrying Concealed many times, due to the nature of how raised and what raised into Industry-wise.

Lessons all through the years I sure do appreciate these Mentors sharing.
As there are places one cannot have "weapons" and metal detectors and being frisked does occur.

True.
Sterile Setting, largest target presentation was the knee and I used a heavy glass pitcher to stop a threat long enough for my pard to evade out the back and I running to get out as well.

I busted off a car antenna in a parking lot as the building I had just left had metal detectors and I was faced with multiple attackers.

Trash Can lid was the most handiest tool to stop a threat and my best target presentation was the gun and hand holding the gun.

My concern today is even greater than what is was 30 years ago, and that being folks are being indoctrinated and brainwashed that Physical Items alone will keep them safe and stop immediate threats.

Cemeteries are full of dead heroes.


Mindset, Methods, then Equipment - please.

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