Head shot vs Center Mass

Discussion in 'General Firearms & Ammo' started by Wolfwood, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. Wolfwood

    Wolfwood Self Appointed Board Chauvinist TGT Supporter

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    which one?
    :fighting0010:
     


  2. BurkGlocker

    BurkGlocker Active Member

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    My way of thinking has always been two to the chest, one in the head. Usually in a stressful situation, youre not going to have the muzzle control as when youre slow firing, to keep all three in the chest, but if you aim low enough, like right at the belly button, the rise from recoil will put one in the bread basket, one in the chest, and one in the head. But this is only my way of looking at it. Always two to three shots in my opinion, but this is also dictated by how many adversaries you could/would encounter.

    Brad :texas:
     
  3. Maxpower

    Maxpower Active Member

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    I agree:fighting0010:
     
  4. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    We train you to shoot center mass. There are multiple reasons for that, but basically the head is a small target that moves much more than the body. As a non-LEO you are much less likely to encounter a bad guy wearing body armor.

    it is my opinion, based on years of experience and training with law enforcement and well known private training companies, that you should shoot center mass until the threat stops. The problem with practicing solely 2 shot drills or the mozambique drill (two to the chest then one to the head) is that stopping after 2 or 3 shots may get you killed, or if the suspect stops after one or two shots, may get you in prison if you then fire a head shot.

    Those drills have a place and are important, but you should practice a wide variety of techniques.

    I disagree with BurkGlocker's idea of aiming low to begin with. You may only get one shot.

    If center mass shots don't stop the attacker, then you may need a head shot, or even a pelvis shot, depending on the circumstances. I do agree that under stress, your ability to finely aim deteriorates. You can minimize that by training under stress.

    As to the general question; center mass first, generally. ;)

    Much has been written by those who have forgotten more than I will ever know about this subject. I highly suggest reading the books of Massad Ayoob.
     
  5. BurkGlocker

    BurkGlocker Active Member

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    Ayoob has written some great material, but is only one of the many people in the know (but is still in my opinion the number one authority. :p) Different situations dictate different measures, and its not always "two the chest, one to the head" and as you stated, you may only get the one shot. When I said aim at the belly button, its more because of the trigger control that some people loose in stressful situations, and knowing the way I shoot during drills, I always pull high, and sometimes, a foot high or more, depending on the distance.

    But to put it in order, center mass is where I would aim and shoot, and if it doesnt stop the attacker, then that is the cue that head shots are in order.

    Brad :texas:
     
  6. texas_teacher

    texas_teacher Well-Known

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    How bad is the muzzle flip during your drills that you're jumping the whole length of a person's body?
     
  7. M. Sage

    M. Sage TGT Addict

    Jan 21, 2009
    San Antonio
    Most people seem to pull low under stress with a handgun. I've also seen a lot of people tend low with carbines under stress when the hit zones on an IPSC target were covered with a t-shirt.

    I have to agree with txinvestigator on generally center of mass until the threat is gone. Some situations will be different, but in 90% of the ones I can imagine this is how you'd want to shoot.

    Going with the fact that the majority of people wound up shooting very low (belly button) with carbines at 10-15 yards when the target was wearing a t-shirt, I'd have to say that center mass shooting needs to be practiced regularly on a silhouette that has no hit zones defined on it (turn an IDPA or IPSC target backwards, cover it with a shirt, whatever). IMO the reason most people shot so low was because the shirt made the target too "human" for them to hit it with good stopping shots under pressure. Shooting for a square in the middle of a torso-shaped target is mentally a lot different than seeking out the heart area of a shirt and peppering it.
     
  8. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    I agree Brad. But don't limit your options to only a head shot as a back up. You may not be able to make a head shot at the distance the attacker is. His head may not be available to you.

    Areas below the abdomen are seldom covered by body armor, and even a determined or high attacker can be immobilized with broken/shattered pelvis.



    Just out of curiosity, have you had the opportunity to read the ME report on the Miami FBI shooting from '86? Some scary stuff!
     
  9. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    :patriot:
     
  10. SO758

    SO758 Member

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    Lots of things come into play when using deadly force. The biggest factor is STRESS! Next, training. Under stress, your body does things basically on auto pilot, and sloppily at times. If you train to make head shots, the first thing your auto pilot will do under stress is "head shot" (small moving target with plenty of oppotunity to miss"
    "Center mass" big target to get some hits on! In my dept. we have been moving away from from the 2 to the body and 1 to the head. Two to the body didn't stop so why find a smaller target to hit under extreme stress? Find another big target to get some hits on! Belly / pelvic region.

    Im not saying don't ever take head shots or practice with the only body shots. Simply offering another tool for the tool box to think on.
     

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