If force-on-force training has taught me one thing it’s this: adrenalin (not love) changes everything. When push comes to shove, biological chemistry dramatically degrades your motor skills. In many cases, point shooting becomes the default option. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world—provided errant bullets don’t take out innocent bystanders (void if member of law enforcement). At bad breath distances, point shooting can git ‘er done. And “covering fire” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if you’re shooting at someone, legally, it’s probably best if your bullets hit them where it hurts. To do that, aiming’s good. Here are three ways to increase the odds that you’ll use your sights in a gunfight, should it be possible or advisable to do so . . .

1. Make sure you can see your sights quickly and easily

Plenty of shooters use guns with sights they can’t see well because that’s the way the gun was set-up for sale—and they don’t know any better. There are a large number of sighting systems on the market, from big ass Big Dots to funky pyramid things. Depending on your eyesight, the firearms’s point-of-aim and the way your brain’s wired, some systems are going to work for you and some ain’t.

Trial and error baby. Borrow a friend’s firearms. Find a gun range that rents guns and test drive different sights for target acquisition and marksmanship. You may find you’re good to go as-is (Glock’s U-shaped sights are damn handy). Or you may want to swap out. Just remember: the best sights for armed self-defense are ones that you can see quickly.

Oh, and get your eyes tested regularly.

2. Practice bringing your gun on-target, taking it off-target, acquiring new targets

In terms of aiming, what do you see at the gun range? Shooters put their sights on-target for the first shot and then keep their sights on target for all subsequent rounds until they’re out of ammo. Reload. Wash, rinse, repeat.

This routine predisposes self-defense shooters towards tunnel vision (must hit one target) and emptying their gun (at a single target). In a crisis, the shooter’s subconscious knows the gun is aimed at the target so . . . chocks away! Hey, if one bullet’s headed in the right direction they must all be headed in the right direction, right?

The trick: change it up in training. Fire a couple of shots. Take your sights off the target. Put them back on. Fire a single shot. Change targets. Have someone call out targets. Best of all, move and shoot; varying the number of shots and targets. Re-holster.

If your range doesn’t let you allow this kind of training, find a range that does and do it as often as possible, even if it’s once a month or less. At the same time, draw the curtains, warn the fam and practice acquiring targets at home with your unloaded (safety-checked) firearm.

3. Head for cover/concealment

If you’re out in the open, the natural urge is to shoot your gun dry. Why wouldn’t you? You’re exposed. STOP THE THREAT! STOP THE THREAT! If, however, you’re heading for cover/concealment, you’re giving yourself a little psychological lebensraum (note: I’m Jewish). You know—if only instinctively—that the gunfight will last longer than the first fast and furious fusillade. You have a reason to take a little more time. Time you can use to assess the threat and aim.

Disclaimer: This is, of course, a theory. It’s worked for me in force-on-force training but who the Hell knows what could/would/will go down in the heat of battle? Think of it this way: it’s a good idea to head for cover/concealment in a gunfight anyway. Making that Job One—which can be instantly followed by ballistic Job Two—will not hurt you.

One more thing: the further away you are from a target the more you need to use your sights. Sometimes the best self-defense strategy is to move towards the bad guy to ensure accuracy and surprise the hell out of him/them—without using sights. Just sayin’.

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44 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: 3 Ways to Make Sure You Aim at the Bad Guy

  1. Interesting idea. I’ve seen the demonstrations and watched Mythbusters regarding “knife to a gunfight” where the knife guy charges the (holstered) gun from about 7 meters away. Nobody has seemed to consider what Mac the Knife would do if the situation were reversed!

      • Against a drawn knife, I’m going to haul ass from the threat until I can draw my gun and fire. A close ambush from a trained knife fighter is every bit as deadly as a handgun. The media hypes gun violence as if it is fundamentally more dangerous than knife violence. Anyone with a little training knows better.

    • This is why it’s a good idea to engage at the maximum distance you & your weapon combination are effective. Practice hitting a man-size target using point and shoot until you determine that range. Also consider that the greater the range, the less likely the bad guy is going to hit HIS target.
      .

  2. Since you keep posting your experience with force-on-force training I will keep on pointing out that your training, while a boat load of fun, has little if any relevance to a private citizen in a DGU situation. The only thing you can legally do is defend your position. You cannot counterattack. If you can bug out the chances are you don’t meet the legal requirements for the use of deadly force even in a stand your ground state. Spending too much time training in this environment will ingrain tactics that will put you in legal jeopardy. Realistically you won’t be able justify self defense much beyond 10 yards unless you are being taken under direct fire at longer ranges. Even so, in built up environments you will seldom have a clear shot beyond those 10 yards. The bad guy doesn’t care if he misses you and kills someone else but you do care if you hit the wrong person.

    Point and shoot, and the proper use of sights is the one solid point to your post. This summer I have concentrated my self defense practice sessions to improve my DGU skills. Your point about finding the right sights for you is spot on. For close DGUs you want a gun with good combat sights. I give you three guns which are designed with easy to use, close in sighting capability for this very requirement, the M1911 and the M-9 and a stock Browning Hi-Power. You aren’t going to use the fancy sights in a high adrenaline situation. You are going to look down the barrel at your target and pull the trigger until your target drops or you drop.

    • “The only thing you can legally do is defend your position”

      That is simply not true. And before you share some legal “knowledge” that may get someone killed, please qualify it with where it is true (I dunno – NY/NJ – but I’m guessing).

      In many states you can use lethal force to intervene if you observe a forcible felony in progress. I know we’ve debated intervene/don’t intervene to death – but Stand Your Ground doesn’t just mean I can only plant my feet and return fire. You better believe the first thing I’m going to do is put something solid between myself and the BG. The next thing I’m going to do is determine what my best option is tactically. If that means going after him – too bad for him.

      Another provision of many states SYG laws is the idea that the perp “takes the victim as they found them.” So if I have a loaded 12 gauge in the closet, and you kick in the door – I have no obligation to shoot you with my .22 rather than the shotgun. You chose to initiate hostilities, so you have no defense if I use whatever resources are at my disposal to ensure my safety.

      That may not apply to all states, but it applies to both states I’ve had a CCW in (MO and FL). YMMV.

      And, in any case, it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

      • dont have time for guessing. citations needed.

        texas penal code 9.32

        DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person
        is justified in using deadly force against another if the actor is

        section 2

        unable to safely retreat;

        well then, that is case specific. if my back is against the wall in my house, sure give em the old joe biden 1 – 2.

        if im out with my family in the food court in the mall, dude has a gun 50 feet away, and its a clear shot for me quickly behind a covered wall and out the exit to my car? im gone. i am not justified to stand my ground.

        http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/html/HB03773I.htm

      • As far as I know Texas is the only place that allows you do that. Most us don’t live in Texas and can only use deadly force when life is on the line.

        Defend your position does mean plant your feet anymore than stand your grounds does. Defend your position means take those steps necessary to defend yourself, and in some cases,others. It doesn’t allow yo to chase after the the threat, only end it.

        • Washington (RCW 9A.16.060)

          Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:

          (1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or

          (2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.

          In Washington, you can intervene to stop a felony in your presence or on your home or other place you’re staying, or in.

      • Instead of talking tactics let’s talk geometries.

        First the home: Your standard 3000sqft house is a 50′ x 30′ rectangle. It is unlikely that you will get more than a 30′ sight line before you hit a wall. So if you are alerted you can probably set up a defensive position with at most a 10 yard shot. The bad guy is coming to you so there is little you have to do except pull the trigger. If you are unalerted then it’s a fight in close quarters and point and shoot is about all you got whether moving or stationary.

        Self defense on the outside is tad bit more complicated. Bad guys don’t walk around with placards identifying themselves as bad guys. And there is nobody there to give you “COMEX” command. You know that scary Hispanic looking guy who is “following” 100 yards behind you? He could be just some guy walking in the same direction as you or heading to the same Micky D’s for a late time Big Mac just like you. So when you turn around and pull out your piece to confront the “bad guy” don’t be surprised if he pulls out his piece and shoots you. Even if had ill intent you had no justification for go at him. You have become the aggressor even in a stand your ground stat.

        How about at 50 Yards? Pretty much the same deal. When he gets to 25 yards maybe you get some indication that you have a threat to your person. Oh no, the guy you just shot with his hand in his pocket threatening you is just a guy with his hands in his pocket. You would be going down even in Texas.

        For all practical purposes you will be unable to identify a threat to your person until he is within 10 yards. He isn’t going to make his move until your reaction time is down to a few seconds. Your job is identify potential threats, most of which will be false alarms, soyou can deny or disrupt his targeting solution before he gets close enough to overtly show his intentions toward you. The trick is finding the right false alarm rate that gives you the highest probability of identifying and avoiding the threat coming at you. You will still be vulnerable to false negatives.

        So, as I said it’s going to be a ten yard shot or less with you sighting down the barrel.

    • I’ve often wondered about this myself. Certainly not a criticism of force-on-force training, Robert’s or anyone else’s, but I’ve often wondered if there is a similarity between that and an oft-repeated statement around here that (paraphrased) if the cops are constantly training tactical dynamic entry, then they’re often going to be doing tactical dynamic entry, even in situations where it’s not completely appropriate. So much of the force-on-force training I’ve seen has to do with clearing rooms and “slicing the pie” and confronting and eliminating the threat. That stuff is neat to learn and a blast to practice, but it’s not what 90% or more of the gun carrying public needs.

      • I disagree slightly. I don’t know the stats on which DGU is more common, street or home, but clearing one’s own domicile upon hearing a noise in the night is a pretty useful skill. One should have both skill sets.

        • Clearing a house all by your lonesome with no one to watch your back is dangerous to the point of nearly suicidal. Having talked with the combat vets in my office they are universally against the idea. I would note, however, they do recognize a difference between traversing the house to secure a loved one and methodically clearing every room in advance of the cavalry arriving. Barring a very limited number of circumstances staying put with cover and concealment and the ability to hit anything coming through the murder hole seems the most tactically sound option.

          That being said since my kid sleeps at the front of the house and I sleep at the back I know staying put isn’t an option but I also have no plans to clear the house on the way to or from her room. Secure the most direct route for moving there and back and then bunker.

        • I know that it’s an article of faith that civilians should never “clear” the house, but really – is that a practical piece of advice? You hear a noise downstairs – do you go to investigate (with a gun or without), or do you immediately dial 911? Ninety nine times out of one hundred it will be your air condition unit, or pipes, or a closet rod falling down and I can guarantee you – right around time #10, your police department will either stop responding to your calls or send a unit the next day.

          Now, if you hear do a mag dump in your living room and holler “Stand and deliver” – yeah, call 911. In any kind of more realistic situation, it’s not likely that people will call 911 on mere suspicion.

      • Respectfully, I disagree Matt in FL. The more opportunities you put yourself in to get training that stretches your skill sets to the failing point, the more prepared you will be if, God forbid, a moment of crisis comes.

        Better to over prepare and never need it, than to need it, and not be prepared.

        • Yeah, I understand what you’re saying, and you’re right. To a point. More knowledge and training will never do you wrong.

          My point was that from what I can tell, a lot of “gun training” companies and organizations concentrate heavily on the “I want to be special forces” type stuff (like dynamic entry and hostage situations) at the expense of the “What should I do if someone approaches me at the ATM or tries to carjack me” type stuff (self-defense, cover/concealment, and tactical retreat). I think the latter form of training is much more likely to be useful to the average concealed carry person than the former. This bias often goes far enough that the latter instruction isn’t even offered at many places, because they’re too busy making everyone into wannabe soldiers.

          With money being tight for a lot of folks, I’d rather spend my money on a course that gives me the most bang for my buck, i.e. lots of stuff I might actually use, rather than a course where the useful stuff I gain (better gun handling, reload drills, etc.) are only incidental to the class because the class is about how to invade and clear a building, and that’s information I’ll likely never use. Unfortunately, as I said above, sometimes the class I want isn’t even offered anywhere near me, because all the schools are “tacticaled up.”

      • Pyratemime is giving good advice. Slicing the pie is a fantastic technique when employed correctly and the the correct situation. That is 1. When the shooter has cover to all other potential entry points or 2. When the shooter is in a closed off room with only one entry point. The Pie technique requires slow movement and a high degree of focus or near purposeful tunnel vision. Working this solo even the most inept BG can walk up and have an easy opportunity to smoke you.

        House clearing as a solo operator is not difficult so much as risky and highly exposing. Even an experienced professional assaulter is best served to post up in a corner on the wall with a door and let the funnels work in his favor.

        That being said, for those who have young children elsewhere in a house they must be secured and their room defended. Much like modern active shooter responses speed to the objective is the best plan:
        Using a slow pie technique without a second shooter or team to cover the as said above is unnecessarily exposing,
        Because trading a home defense scenario for a hostage scenario is a bad plan. Get to the kids fast while the BG is distracted by your gun safe or flat screen
        Speed is your best defensive option. There is no reason to clear a guest room to ensure your first job bedroom set is safe- clear past everything while moving toward the important room you need to secure and only engage hostiles if they are in your path of travel or it is immediately necessary. Get to the people you want to protect, enter the room with violence of action but choose your targets carefully using the whole body then hands technique. Then let the funnels do the work for you. Make sure when you call the cops to tell them where you are, that you are trained and armed, that all friendlies in the house are secure with you, and to loudly identify themselves before they enter the room.

        Asymmetric Solutions does teach pie and a safety enhanced cqb technique to civilians. We heavily discuss the practical or impractical application of the techniques. While these techniques may have few real life applications we view it as similar to the popular AR platform. Realistically, fewer than 1% of AR owners will ever meet a defensive scenario that will require them to employ their rifle for its intended purposes. If they ever do- good on them and ideally they will have the techniques to employ it with skill.

        Though unlikely to ever be used, with any shooting practice that requires a higher degree of mental function and multiple thought processes the shooter becomes more effective at using a weapon to aim and fire when other stressors and variables are present.

        The best preparation for a home invasion is a practiced and rehearsed plan that includes all personnel living in the structure. This alone will give the defender the presence and clarity of mind to make decisions as necessary instead of facing the new variables straight out of the gates.

        Asymmetric Solutions

        • Well said, thanks. Every time I’ve had to use force in defense of life, the people and friends around me were surprised that it had actually happened, and that it was already over by the time they realized something was going on. I suspect that’s true for most people who are committing the indecent acts, too.

          Decide, move quickly and forcefully, and then stop. That’s about it.

  3. “When push comes to shove, biological chemistry dramatically degrades your motor skills. . . ”

    I don’t think this negative understanding of human nature is how we became the dominant animals on the planet.

  4. Alternatively, use a laser. Just because you’re capable of aiming down the sights of even point-shooting at the range, in a controlled environment doesn’t mean you will when adrenaline is pumping, your hands are shaking, and you weren’t 100% prepared to fight for your life. A laser, if you can steady yourself, will make putting shots on your assailant much easier.

    • That ” if you can steady yourself” is one big if. If you are in a DGU you don’t have time to “steady yourself.” You have to go with what you got shaking hands and all.

      • The shaking starts afterward.

        Loss of fine motor control is immediate.

        And training under stress reduces the impact of stress on performance under fire.

      • If I had to choose between shakey hands with a laser and shakey hands with iron sights, Im still gonna say use the laser. At least when trying to find the bouncing laser you can see what your target is doing instead of trying to find the bouncing front sight. .02.

        • If I had to choose one, which I don’t, I’d go with a laser. I’m not going to see either on the first shot. On the second or third I’d see a laser better than my sights, because I’m slowly becoming far-sighted.

          I focus on the threat, not my sights, when a threat is close and serious. Criticize me as you will, but I don’t pretend otherwise. With an EO on a long gun, it works. With a big relatively distant Express-style rifle front-sight, on a medium bore for example, it works. If I were twenty, perhaps I’d go with the sights instead, because with a handgun “chasing the laser” can be the brother of “chasing the red dot” on little red-dot sights. Chasing the red-dot with, for example, an RMR on a pistol, is the worst. It scares me just thinking about its use in a real and close gunfight.

        • A laser or a red dot sight do not make your hands shake, what they do is graphically show where the muzzle is pointed, where the bullets will impact if the gun is fired at that instant. In other words they show the truth.

          If bullets came out of the end of your finger the finger pointing exercise would mean something. If you really want to test your point shooting ability try it with a laser on your gun. Lasers are really good for dry fire practice especially with something that you can repeatedly fire without jacking the slide.

    • I’m not sure I agree. I’ve heard lots of trainers say they don’t really like lasers, because people spend time (read: concentration) “looking for the dot” rather than watching the target and pulling the trigger. Pointing is an instinctual ability for most people, and most people are quite good at it, even without sights or a laser dot to reference. Here’s a test… Make a gun with your hand, and then, without looking, think of something across the room to your left or right (not directly in front of you) and point at it. Then turn and look where your finger is pointing.

      From where I’m sitting, my front door is at my 8:30 position. I just tried to aim at the doorknob with my left (non-dominant) hand. Without moving my hand once I pointed, I turned my head and sighted down my finger. I was pointed about two inches below and one inch to the right of my doorknob, from ~20 feet away. That instinctual pointing is well within “minute of bad guy” at that range.

      • The reason most professional shooters do not use a laser is that it requires looking over the weapon and identifying the dot has made contact with the target. This is understood to be more difficult to acquire than a front sight and excessively degrades the speed of a follow up shot as the point of aim/point of impact shift from even small movements is drastically increased due to the arm/distance of the laser point.

        A more acceptable alternative to iron sights that has proven effective even with faltering vision is an micro dot sight (Docter, RMR, etc.) added to the weapon slide. Many Tier 1 SOF unit personnel who have not used lasers are running this on their weapons with much success.

  5. It is not discussed much but the neuro-psychology of combat plays a huge role in preparedness and performance under threat conditions. It is true that adrenaline surge effectively destroys most fine motor control that training produces– and narrows sensory perception to dangerous minimums. All other things being equal, adrenaline controls your physiology and thus your performance — at a substantially degraded level for most combat scenarios.

    But there is another way to go about this — which forces the body to control the adrenal surge (technically, the “HPA axis”)
    http://oxitocina.com.br/site/artigos/art_Oxitocina17.pdf
    http://www.marmarapharmaceuticaljournal.com/pdf/pdf_MPJ_243.pdf
    http://taylorlab.psych.ucla.edu/2006_Relation%20of%20Oxytocin%20to%20Psychological%20Stress%20Responses_HPA%20Axis%20Activity%20in%20Older%20Women.pdf

    Do NOT focus on your personal survival when you train — focus on defending loved ones, and only tangentially yourself (and specifically as necessary for their well-being and survival). This approach to training — which — depending on your personal proclivity for it — may be as simple as placing a photo of you wife/child/mother/father or other lvoded one on the range table and putting that image in mind every time your raise a target sight picture and pull the trigger. Love conquers all.

    Neurologically, what it does is place an oxytocin-mediated hormonal cascade in charge of the HPA axis — without losing its power– reduces the bad performance effects of the adrenal-mediated stress — clears your mind and body and without losing that adrenal edge, if needed. Not the “vicious dying rat” mode– but “Momma Tiger” mode — with her cub behind her.

    In short, always train to PROTECT — and with the subject of your protection always immediately in mind when training — NEVER train just to survive. Paradoxically, self-sacrifiicial protection as a primary state of mind — even in self-defense — may be farmore capable and actually more likely of personal survival than narrow self-concern.

    • Ummmm… None of those studies you linked support that position, ya know. Oxytocin release in females as a marker of chronic stress or anxiety is primarily what those studies addressed. The rest of your proposal is pop psych.

      There is a reason we dump adrenaline when threatened. And it’s a very effective chemical for short term flight-or-fight situations, evolved for this over millions of years. Consider its hugely helpful effects on the body: dilated pupils, sweating, increased muscle contractile strength, routing of blood away from skin and toward muscle, increased respiration and cardiac output, bronchodilation, etc.

      • No, it’s not “pop” anything. It’s applied behavioral physiology. Don’t reject things quite so fast, Horatio — there are more things than you dream of here.

        Rats are about all they can comparably test with truly functional threat stressors, for obvious ethical reasons. But given the strongly common mammalian physiology at these baseline functions, give confidence that the same broad effects pertain in humans — both male and female, though differently: http://physiologyonline.physiology.org/content/13/1/22.full.pdf+html

        Aggression is modulated — both down AND up by oxytocin – http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-07/aps-ora071505.php
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614114445.htm “Neurobiological Cause of
        Intergroup Conflict: ‘Bonding Hormone’ Drives Aggression”

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689929/ “Oxytocin: the Great Facilitator of Life”

        rats introduced as an intruder to the cage of a singly housed male rat have between two- and five-fold increases in Oxt levels …. This suggests that Oxt’s role in aggressive encounters may have more to do with the stress response to this type of social interaction than aggression per se. This mirrors the link between maternal aggression…
        ,,, In humans, an important distinction has been drawn between reactive and instrumental aggression (Blair, 2003), with only the latter being associated with impaired amygdala structure and function (Kiehl et al., 2001), especially in males. Our data would therefore predict a reduction in reactive aggression under oxytocin in humans, but this requires further study under social contexts. In this regard, it is again noteworthy that behavioral scales of anger showed no effect of oxytocin in this experiment. This finding, which agrees with previous observations (Kosfeld et al., 2005), again indicates that the neural effect of the neuropeptide identified using sensitive fMRI methodology biases behavior in the social context but not when subjects rate themselves in isolation.

        Fear is leashed or eased at a neuro-hormonal level:
        http://www.jneurosci.org/content/25/49/11489.full “Oxytocin Modulates Neural Circuitry for Social Cognition and Fear in Humans” :

        In excellent agreement with preclinical data suggesting a selective effect of oxytocin on amygdalar output (Huber et al., 2005), we found an additional impact of the neuropeptide on functional connectivity between amygdala and brainstem effector sites of the fear response. This effect was located on the level of the midbrain and encompassed both the region of the periaqueductal gray and of the reticular formation (Fig. 2), which are prominent among the brainstem areas to which the central nucleus of the amygdala projects (LeDoux, 2000) and which mediate fear behavior and arousal (LeDoux et al., 1988). This indicates that the effect of oxytocin on anxiety in humans may be attributable to a combined effect on both amygdala activation and coupling to regions mediating fear response. In agreement with our findings, autonomic response to aversive pictures has been reported previously to be reduced under oxytocin (Pitman et al., 1993), compatible with the effect on amygdala activation and connectivity seen here.

  6. This is why reality based training is of such importance. Many shooters spend hours poking holes in paper but do not develop stress situational shooting skills. In the same way pilots use highly realistic simulators to practice emergencies and desensitize themselves to those situations to the point they put their rational brain ahead of the panic response. Shooters can do the same thing by a steady combination of non-gamed competition, live fire realistic scenarios, force on force training, and learning/repetitive practice of sound tactics.

      • IDPA can be great for practice so long as it is not gamed for a successful score and it shot with combat effective techniques.

    • I’m with Asymetric. You’re on the right track with a “going to the ATM” scenario, seeing a fight between a boyfriend / girlfriend, carjacking, etc. Obviously, a home invasion / robbery is a scenario to train for. Ditto with a non-specific noise in the night. Although we strive for perfection, it is seldom seen in combat. Reality – based training has great value. It can minimize or eliminate fatal errors, change unrealistic expectations (like a 100 % hit ratio), and reveal weaknesses in tactics.

      Even those who haven’t trained (the old lady grabbing a gun in the middle of the night) *may* be successful. I train for peace of mind and personal enjoyment. I also train because I have to, and I’m currently suffering from shorting a role player or two with a paintball, airsoft, or Sim round.

      Given that a societal collapse is also a reality based scenario, it makes sense to train for that as well. Good post.

  7. I would add to step three. Cover and concealment can work both ways. Yes
    you may be temporarily safe but the baddie may be using the time to find
    a superior position. Choose your c&c carefully. Pick a position that has an
    escape route and preferably an opening to provide return/covering fire.

  8. I like Mead’s post, in the sense that fighting selflessly for others, family, teammates, whatever, definitely lets the adrenaline work with other good hormones, complementing them. Paralysis is death. Selfless wordless desire to prevail “for others” allows, promotes, speed and focus. I agree with Tdiinva, that force-on-force is a bit over-sold these days. If you didn’t duke it out for real with enemies as a teenager, it’s tough to get the skill and mindset, especially if you are a nice empathetic person. And, if you you’re up against somebody with speed, a simple goal, and zero empathy, you’ll lose if you let a gunfight become a fistfight, which is why you have a gun. He isn’t thinking about HIS pension or portfolio. He doesn’t have one.

    I AGREE with point shooting as the key skill. It is what happens first. Maybe by your second or third shot you’ll see, almost peripherally, your front sight. I’d recount the claim of the guy who shot bin Laden (forget his other problems): Even with an EO on his gun he point-shot first, based on his utter familiarity with the gun, and only saw the EO reticle’s dot on the second.

    I’ll confess that I see defensive close shooting like so much dead serious skeet shooting, but with other weapons. If there’s time to acquire the sights, you will know, won’t you? If I were teaching (which I won’t be) I’d teach point shooting at moving targets at three yards, and work back to sighted fire slowly. Shootings happen very fast and close. That’s just the truth. And changing pistol grip styles and form factors is a disaster for very fast point shooting. Every major change is a setback, for sure. This is that “man with one gun” thing. Unless you’re Hickok.45. Or so I think.

  9. I’ve been spending too much time on arfcom. I read the “FSA” in the video title above as “Free Shit Army.”

  10. These are my thoughts, might not necessarily be yours:

    1) If the BG “came out of nowhere”, you were not doing your job.

    2) If you had to start looking for cover After the SHTF, you were not doing your job.

    3) If you had no time to aim chances are you failed on #1 or #2 above.

    4) Learn to shoot one handed, both aimed and pointed, on the move, and get to know your limitations.

    5) If you are not getting good results at #4 get qualified instruction. Drop to an easier to shoot lesser caliber. A .380 in a BG is infinitely better than a .45 in the bushes.

    If BGs are on foot odds are high that the place is their turf. They will know it well. They will attack where and when it plays to their best advantage. You need to know where a threat can come from at all times, and the best place to scoot to. From recent encounters in the news it seems they like to attack from behind. Check your six often. If they can’t surprise you and know it, they might hesitate and wait. In the meantime you are moving out of the “kill zone”.

    Go about your business with the mindset that you are unarmed. 100% avoidance equals 100% survival.

    • Well said- awareness is perhaps the best defense. Keep your head moving and look for areas that may conceal bad guys. Never, never be complacent when moving from point A to point B. Make eye contact with those advancing on you and following you. Create separation by changing direction or moving over. Put obstacles between you and potential assailants. If your general impression of the situation makes your hair stand up ignore the “it won’t happen to me” thoughts that you are being paranoid and make the secure choice to move to cover or preferably the dominant side of a choke point or funnel and wait it out for a bit. BG’s are looking for an easy mark not a fight.

  11. Robert,
    all three pieces of advice are awesome and both 2 and 3 are good for a cornucopia of reasons.

    Also just wanted to use cornucopia in a sentence, even if it doesn’t QUITE fit the meaning.

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