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Law Enforcement Qualification Courses

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by shafter, Oct 31, 2022.

  1. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Sounds like mythical junk from the "what if" briggade. Prescribing headshots in handgun doctrine is a deep ditch, and it reveals the level of foolishness that substantiates these courses.

    Again, not knocking headshots. If it's the only thing the shooter has, take it. Practice them. They're absolutely essential in some situations. Know that the IDPA and silhouette type targets won't distinguish an ineffective mouth or sinus shot from one that ruptures the cranium, and that shots to different parts of the brain will have dramatically different effects.

    As for vest-wearing targets, the pelvic girdle is easier to hit than the head, but one should also be warned before targeting this area: “Shots to the Pelvic Area”. Wound Ballistics Review. 4(1):13; 1999.
     
  2. wgp

    wgp Member

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    Took a rifle class last week with an instructor I have used many times. He usually closes with a qualifier, as he did this time. I don't know whose qualifier it was, but he spent years with a big-city PD so it may have been theirs. It was timed, shots from 5 to about 30 yards, rapid movement to each station, a head shot. One string was fired while moving. I considered it a good reflection of ability to shoot the gun. Of course, like all classes, compared to real life we are told when and where to shoot and nobody is shooting back.
     
  3. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    I do not think head shots are based on flawed reasoning nor do I find them to be a “stupid idea.” If someone has a bulletproof (I understand nothing is truly “bulletproof,” but I’ll use it because it’s common vernacular) vest and center of mass shots do not stop the threat, then the argument follows that another shot to an unprotected area (for instance, the head) will stop (not just wound or off-balance) the threat. The idea is not grounded in the difficulty of the shot, but the likelihood of the shot to stop the threat. One could argue that the flawed logic is repeating an action that was already proven ineffective (for example, continuing to fire center of mass shot to someone wearing a bulletproof vest).

    Like nearly everything, it depends on the situation (the distance of the shot, the actions of the shooter, whether one knows that the threat is wearing armor, etc.). One’s head is about 1/3-1/2 the width of the chest. Therefore, the shot, in theory, would be 2x or more difficult as a center of mass shot. However, it is nearly certain that the shot will be fatal and instantly stop the threat. If the threat is not facing you, but is turned to his/her side, then the head is about the same size as the chest area and one could argue that a head shot in this instance is of the same difficult as a center of mass shot (fired at the side), but has a substantially higher chance of instantly stopping the threat.

    It becomes a calculation/judgement call by the officer on whether taking an easier, but possibly non-stopping shot(s) is better or whether taking a more difficult, but likely a stopping shot, is feasible. This will depend on the situation and the officer’s skills.

    As for your claim that the Mozambique drill is “not based on documented practical experience or any evidence, but on an anecdotal story popularized by Jeff Cooper,” I’m curious as to what kind of evidence might be available to support or refute the merits of the Mozambique drill. Cooper’s story is based on the “practical experience” of Mike Rousseau. There are other practical experiences of how shots to the chest failed to stop threats and it wasn’t until many more chest shots were fired or a head shot rendered that the threat stopped. For example, Army Rangers and Delta soldiers found chest shot ineffective against Somali militiamen high on khat and other drugs. During the Battle of Fallujah, Marines with M-16A4s equipped with ACOGs inflicted headshots on insurgents, causing observers to question whether Marines were executing insurgents or just capable of making headshots; the later was proven to be the case. I provide these examples as a way to show that 1) the generally easier center of mass shots are not necessarily effective at immediately stopping the threat and 2) to show that taking headshots (even in combat) is possible. Therefore, the Mozambique drill and other similar failure drills have a place.
     
    chaim and trackskippy like this.
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Coach Lee Weems' sig line on PF is:

    "I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken."
     
    trackskippy likes this.
  5. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Indeed!
     
  6. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Bingo! I couldn't agree more.

    This is precisely, and I mean precisely why it cannot be prescribed.

    But these drills are exactly that: prescriptions.
     
  7. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    Of course, this thread focuses on courses of fire for marksmanship qualification. "Prescribed" is a core element of these tests.

    I see no problems with including prescribed target transitions in a qualification course. Even if just a transition from the thoracic to the head.

    And I think that using a voice command to convert a target transition into a failure-to-stop drill (with an untimed head shot) can also have value as part of marksmanship qualification.

    Combat training, of course, adds the element of quick decision-making to the basics of marksmanship and FTS drills. But I don't think that we're discussing combat training here.
     
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