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Define Shot Placement

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Big Boomer, Dec 9, 2007.

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  1. Big Boomer

    Big Boomer Member

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    I would like to hear a description of what everyone thinks "shot placement" means.

    You hear that shot placement is more important than anything right? If you can't hit your target what good does it do you?

    You hear people say that bullets don't matter, caliber doesn't matter, shot placement matters.

    So is it (just a few examples):

    1. The ability to hit COM at any given distance?

    2. The ability to just hit your target (at all)?

    3. Hitting in the general chest area?

    4. Placement of shots to the head?

    5. Hitting the spine/nervous system?

    6. Shooting through the eye?

    7. Placing the shot between the ribs perhaps so it passes through the heart?

    8. Hitting the lung(s)?

    9. Targeting the major arteries?

    10. Going for the pelvis or hip?

    11. Aiming through the ear?

    12. Shooting 17 rounds and hitting the same target within an inch in under 2 seconds?

    13. Shooting the gun as fast as it can fire hitting ALL your shots in a specified area?

    14. Hitting your target the first time? How about the second, or more follow up shot?

    15. Are we even discussing follow up shots or is that irrelevant in regards to shot placement?

    What matters most in "shot placement"?



    I would also like to add that those of you who are the big time "shot placement" advocates that usually like to pack 9mm and 380's (from what I have seen) usually also advocate that you also need as many bullets as possible in an auto loader. (If it's about shot placement why do you need so many?)

    So with shot placement being key, if you had to defend your life, do you wait for that perfect shot like when deer hunting? Or are you just so good that you blast away and hope to hit that sweet spot?

    I really just want everyone to clarify when they say (in regards to so many gun debates, usually over caliber) shot placement is most important...

    This is usually following the usual threads of say 9mm vs 45 that one cannot possibly shoot a larger caliber as well as smaller one. And "shot placement" is key. Is this meaning follow up shots have to be accurate AND fast? Then it would be more about I can shoot my X caliber faster than your X caliber.

    I mean if I take my Ruger 10/22 and say my 45 Auto I can empty 25 rounds of 22lr in about the same time it takes to empty 14 rds in my XD-45 in the same grouping at 7/15/25 yards. So is shot placement considered equal in these two comparisons?

    I am not trying to start a war here just asking those that feel strongly about this particular issue to give their definition of it and give some back up evidence on how to accomplish this?
     
  2. LAK

    LAK Member

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    Shot placement is selecting a specific point on the target - and hitting it.
     
  3. Majic

    Majic Member

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    Simply hitting where you aim.
     
  4. Big Boomer

    Big Boomer Member

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    So what are we aiming at? What "sweet spot" are we supposed to be able to hit?

    And, if I might add, how big is this "specific" target? Does it need to be bullseye? Or are we talking in the general vicinity? Say within an inch? How about 2? How about within a foot or so of the intended area, that would be ok right, I mean as long is it actually still hit something?

    Do have have to be able to hit this from a bench rest? How about a moving target? Perhaps through cover? Any specific distance?
     
  5. Majic

    Majic Member

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    You are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Your target could be anything. Don't try to limit the uses of a firearm. When you look across your sights you see one particular point. Shot placement is to try to put that shot in that one particular place. Now how close you get to it depends on a lot of factors but you do your best to be perfect.
     
  6. MostlyGenius

    MostlyGenius Member

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    People are 3 dimensional targets, not B27 silhouettes. We want to get our bullets into the vitals and systems that matter right now.

    Primarily this is the vasculature of the heart. As a rule of thumb this is the nipples to the notch of the neck (or 'cardiac triangle') if you are facing the assailant. If he is bladed that will look more like armpit to the base of the neck. We want our bullets to pass through as much volume of bad guy vitals as we can. This is a relatively easy target because it is slow moving.

    Secondarily, we like to bullets into the brain. Shots to the brain are the most effective fight stoppers in all calibers, but handguns do not reliably penetrate the skull. This means that you need to funnel your bullets through the eyes and bridge of the nose. Keep in mind that the head is a small, fast moving target.

    Thirdly, we would attack the platform. Shots into the pelvis might not prove immediately fatal, but can damage the ability of the attacker to stay upright and moving. There might be some increased psychological effects from shooting near the groin as well.

    Finally, we would shoot anything that is available. An accumulation of smaller wounds to the extremities, while probably not life threatening degrades the assailants ability to fight, and may cause a better target to become available. This and multiple assailants are a great reason to have high capacity guns.

    Central Nervous system would be nice, but it is too small, too well protected, and too well camouflaged to be a reliable target. Targeting stuff like an artery, a kidney, or whatever is basically fantasy.

    'Follow up shots' isn't really something I think about. I think about transitioning between Primary, Secondary, Tertiary targets until the threat falls out of my sights. Then I find him and decide if I need to repeat the procedure.

    I don't do anything different based upon caliber. I don't believe that the split times between 9mm or .45 is going to make any difference, what is the bad guy going to do with 1/10th of a second?

    I don't mean to offend, but this question sounds like a justification of your chosen weapon system and caliber.
     
  7. AdamSean

    AdamSean Member

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    This is basically, if I want to place a shot on someone's forehead. Or place one to their left shoulder.
     
  8. Big Boomer

    Big Boomer Member

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    Ok so far we have a few things.

    1. Shot placement=roughly a 9" triangle into the vitals.

    2. Follow up shots, or the importance of, are not as important as the first one, and I'll add because of numerous things including the target starting to move, or moreso.

    3. Shot placement does not mean headshots, organs, CNS, arguably the pelvis region but is usually not the the first place most go to for the primary shot.

    So basically the first shot, in the upper goodies, now at what distance?

    Is it going to be a stationary target or are we considering it to be moving?

    Remember we are going for definition here. I mean if we are talking hitting it on the fly while running at 50 yards well I guess I should just stop CCWing right now and go home :uhoh: when does ones "inability" to have "correct" shot placement come to the point that they should change guns or just simply give up the goat and forget about it and grow wool?

    And as far as justification of Caliber I carry many different calibers. I can shoot better with my 45 than I can with my snubby 357 so does that mean I should never carry my 357?

    I can't say that I could get my snubby into that triangle at 7 yards double action. I can with my 45 no problem. Single action yes not an issue. My snubby can outshoot me. I just haven't spend most of my life shooting DA revolvers like everything else I have. But does that matter?
     
  9. The Unknown User

    The Unknown User Member

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    Why has the idea of shooting people in the pelvis come up? Shooting someone in the crotch doesn't seem like it'd get rid of the threat.

    Have I missed something?
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    The "Sniper's Triangle" formed by drawing an isoceles triangle across the nipples with the apex at the junction of the throat and the clavicle.

    Because it offers a good chance of breaking the pelvis, destroying his column support and dropping him. He may not be down for the count, but he'll be less able to mount an effective offense if he can't stay on his feet.
     
  11. MostlyGenius

    MostlyGenius Member

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    The definition of 'shot placement' is putting hits where you want them. I have outlined where you generally want them in order. Movement, distance, and cover simply confuse the issue. Effecting physical 'stops' is about hitting vitals. You can toss in variables, the but answer is still the same: Shoot the vitals that you can hit. If the vitals aren't exposed then hit whatever is available, but don't expect it to effect a stop regardless of what caliber you are shooting.

    The vitals don't change in size with distance. They just get easier to hit if they are closer. If you want a standard then shoot a fist size group. The distance (or speed) at which you can no longer shoot a fist size group is above the limit that you can count on getting fight stopping hits. That doesn't mean he won't quit, it just means that he can elect to keep going. I believe that the rule of thumb is that group size expands about 400% under stress (I can't recall where I got that statistic.)

    I wouldn't make the argument that someone should give up CCW, I would say that they should invest in getting some training. There isn't a standard, their are only probabilities. The CCW goal would be to improve your chances by being able to get good hits quickly at increasing distances. Ideally we would like to engage them within our ability to get hits and outside of theirs, but we don't control how good they are. We can only control how good we are.

    None of this is a function of gun. All of this is the function of the shooter, assuming the firearm is in good working order with quality ammo. Having too big a caliber just makes it harder for the shooter to progress. I had a friend that had 2" revolver in .45 Long Colt - his first shot was spot on and after that the gun just beat him up. As soon as he switched to a smaller caliber he could suddenly shoot one hole groups. He obviously had the fundamentals, he just had more gun that he could shoot comfortably.

    Rob: Because if the pelvis is all that is available you don't have any other targets, and there is a chance of getting some major vessels or breaking the bones necessary to keep him upright and moving toward you. A good pelvis shot might make a moving target into a stationary one.
     
  12. CrawdaddyJim

    CrawdaddyJim Member

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    About like this but would be smaller for a shot that is taken from the side because of the arm and shoulder mass.
    target.jpg
     
  13. bg

    bg Member

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    When you find out, let me know..
    Would "one shot, one kill" fit in here ? I would think that was pretty good
    placement..
     
  14. QuackAddict

    QuackAddict Member

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    Only if you're a sniper.

    Don't think I'd depend on my CCW to stop someone with one shot, no matter what caliber it is. Keep shooting until the threat stops.
     
  15. easyg

    easyg Member

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    +1.

    For a human target, in an ideal situation, I prefer the sternum or right between the eyes.
     
  16. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Member

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    I've always looked at shot placement (when referring to a human target) as hitting the right areas on the target that will neutralize the situation. Regardless of the caliber, if you hit the right spot, you will stop your target.
     
  17. Markbo

    Markbo member

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    Hmmm... this site has more over analyzation than I have ever seen anywhere else. Seriously, 16 possible definitions????

    "Shot Placement" is self a self descriptive term, i.e. the placement of a shot (or bullet) on a target. The ABILITY to place the shot has nothing to do with this phrase and the rest of all that has nothing to do with this short, clear, unambiguoius phrase.

    Holy Cow, I gotta hit the unsubscribe button as soon as I get notified! :rolleyes:
     
  18. Ohio Rifleman

    Ohio Rifleman Member

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    I usually don't participate in these types of discussions, as they make me a bit uneasy. I loathe the idea of shooting another human being, no matter how justified.

    Anyway, a phrase I hear a lot is "center of mass." I believe this means the chest/stomach area, which is where you should aim for in such a situation. That way, you have a good chance of hitting the heart or lungs or something. I've been told that aiming for the head is usually a bad idea. It's a small target and well-protected.
     
  19. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Good shot placement is putting a bullet where it has the chance to incapacitate the attacker within a reasonable amount of time.
     
  20. junyo

    junyo Member

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    Shot placement is the ability to, under combat/high stress conditions, put your bullet within a reasonable/effective proximity on the target to where you intended. It doesn't necessarily mean COM, because you might not be able to see COM, or you might have a pistol and COM is covered with body armor. It's A) a rapid decision on where you should put you bullet to end the fight as quickly as possible and B) the ability to execute the required shot, as well as C) the tactical awareness to realize that if your guess was wrong (and you're still alive, and in the fight) you should shift your aim to a different point on the target.
     
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