Are you aiming all wrong to stop a threat?

This is a mistake that many of us are making, especially when practicing with a B-27 target. We’re shooting at the bulls-eye, the “X” or the “10” zone and depending on the target, and we’re hitting the target where we’re aiming – center mass. BUT we’re likely creating a muscle memory record of where we’re supposed to shoot to stop the bad guy that isn’t exactly the best placement of our shots. Here is a short (less than 3 minute) video that explains where we should be aiming – to better stop the threat. Kevin Michalowski explains why.

I know I’ve been guilty of what Kevin’s describing – but now that I’m enlightened, I promise to do better.



Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Are you aiming all wrong to stop a threat?

  1. I.R. Wayright says:

    We’re not trying to kill the guy? I’m sure he will pleased to hear it.

    • Garnet92 says:

      I think that “stop” as opposed to “kill” is more of a legal ploy than actual intent. We all recognize that killing him dedd is the fastest way to “stop” him.

  2. CW says:

    Sounds like very good advice, Garnet.

    And don’t forget to double tap!

  3. Hardnox says:

    Good advice. Those B-27’s were used by the military for training when it was thought that it was more important to wound than to kill since a wounded enemy requires so much support resources.

    Like I.R., I thought the “we’re not trying to kill the guy” with a heart shot was funny.

    The key to stopping a bad guy is to keep shooting until he goes down. Hitting a five shot group on a moving target is much more difficult task.

    • I.R. Wayright says:

      Keep shooting until he goes down………and you run out of ammo.
      Whay did you shoot the guy 17 times? That’s all I had.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Good catch Nox, I missed the inconsistency between aiming for the heart and not wanting to kill the guy – maybe we should just try to “wing” the heart so as not to injure the perp any more than necessary? Maybe only a “superficial” heart shot?

  4. BrianR says:

    Well, this is all well and good as theoretical advice, I guess. But it strikes me as being akin to debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    Target practice in a range environment can teach you a few things: good gun “etiquette”; weapon familiarity; proper technique. But that’s really just about it. From that point on, it’s about as relevant to real gunfighting as playing “Grand Prix” on your computer is to really driving a Formula One race car.

    As anyone who’s been in a real gunfight — either in war or a civilian environment — can tell you, things happen FAST in a gunfight. You’re scared; your adrenaline’s blasting; and your target ISN’T JUST STANDING THERE LIKE A PAPER TARGET. He’s moving, too. And maybe shooting back at you.

    You’re going to be trying to hit any part of him you can, in the very brief moments you have to take the shot. If you stand around waiting for him to expose the right area of his chest for you to aim at, your wait is going to end up being eternal.

    • captbogus2 says:

      I agree with your assessment. You should mention the adrenilin thing, too.

    • Garnet92 says:

      While all you say it true, Brian, for most of us who haven’t been in a real gunfight, all we can do is prepare as best we can for that possibility and hope that we can overcome the adrenaline and stress and maintain enough composure to shoot semi-accurately and often.

      The bad guy (BG) is likely fighting the same problems and it’s possible that hitting him anywhere will trigger a quit response. A psychological “quit response” occurs when the BG realizes he’s been shot and doesn’t want to be shot again so he quits.

      It’s also likely that a bad guy hasn’t practiced enough to be a competent shot – both things are in our favor. No one has suggested that we not shoot until we’ve got a sure hit in the heart area. I plan on keep bullets hauling ass toward him until one of us stops.

      Still, it’s not bad advice. If we’re practicing on silhouette targets what’s the harm? You’re just aiming for a different spot.

      I’ve been to the range twice in the last two weeks and shooting at “Shoot-N-See” stick-on targets stuck onto standard pistol target paper – not even silhouettes. Does that prepare me for a gunfight – of course not, but it does prepare me for reflex actions necessary to hit (at least) close to where I’m aiming. Overcoming panic and being able to hit the guy a few times is my aim (no pun). I won’t even mind if my usual 3-4″ groups expand to 8-10″.

      Most of us don’t have the opportunity to practice in more real world scenarios, most ranges I’ve used prohibit drawing from concealment and rapid fire (other than double-taps).

      I do readily admit that hitting a moving target (especially if it’s shooting back) isn’t like range shooting, but still, range practice is better than playing video games.

      • BrianR says:

        All of what you say is true, Garnet, and I agree with everything.

        My point was that I disagree with the guy in the video, and his “lesson” about the aiming point, which I think is impractical and could be fatal. If one can reliably put their rounds where they want them, regardless of where it is on the paper target, they have a definite edge in a real fight. But waiting around in a real fight for the proper “target” to be available is a deadly mistake. You just start shooting at what you can see.

        The other guy’s going to be doing all kinds of things. Moving, shooting, ducking, facing you sideways, looking for cover, BEHIND something, whatever.

        I’m not waiting around for him to be facing me straight-on, shoulders squared, so I can put one in his pump. That could be a VERY long wait.

  5. Kathy says:

    Sounds like they need to upgrade their targets.

    Most people facing an intruder will be nervous and scared, so hitting center mass is likely the best shot they could hope for. Point, shoot, repeat as necessary until threat no longer exists.

  6. tannngl says:

    Thanks Garnet. Good thoughts from that guy. Except when I pull my gun I am wanting to kill him.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Thanks tannngl, I hope that I’m never in that position, but if I am, I’ll be shooting to stop him/her – if that takes fatal shots, so be it.

  7. clyde says:

    Good post, Garnet, but, like Brian, I had some issues with the dude in the video. Between you and Brian, however, I DID learn some things, and THAT is always good. Thanks for putting it up.

  8. Garnet92 says:

    Thanks Clyde. In the absence of irrefutable, undeniable, and infallible factual information that can only be uttered by Barack Hussein Obumfark (sarcasm), I do try to occasionally impart some worthwhile stuff.

    Whereas Barack Hussein Obumfark will lie, obfuscate, and blow his own horn throughout the complete State of the Union address without revealing anything true about himself, his policies, and his administration’s record.