With the onset of the recent terrorist vehicle assaults, RF asked me what was the best way for an armed person to stop a vehicle? I thought this one was kind of a no-brainer, but in talking to him as well as several other people, including soldiers (POGs), I realized that it’s not a scenario most people have considered, and a lot of armed citizens have some bad insticts when it comes to stopping a two-ton or greater death machine.
As a soldier and as a police mentor to the Afghan National Police, I’ve pulled hundreds of mounted combat patrols, as well as hasty traffic control points. I’ve been trained to stop vehicles and I’ve killed men attempting to use a vehicle as a weapon. A lot of soldiers have. There are a few things I’ve learned, and how to stop a vehicle is one of them.
Shoot the driver. Keep shooting the driver. When the vehicle is at rest, keep on shooting the driver until the driver is also at rest.
The question reminded me of a discussion I had with a few of the old mujahideen that we were working with in Afghanistan. In talking about the air superiority of the Soviets, someone asked where was the best place to shoot a helicopter to bring it down. They all laughed. Apparently it was an old joke.
So where is the best place to shoot a helicopter? In the pilot. The same goes for any vehicle. That soft squishy human is far easier to stop than any of the mechanical or electronic components on the vehicle.
Sure, if you happen to have a 50 BMG handy, throw some rounds into that engine block and that will stop it. But even that won’t stop the vehicle nearly as fast as rounds into the driver. Not the tires, not the radiator, nowhere but the driver will stop the vehicle immediately.
As far as where to shoot the driver, just aim center mass. Yes, the round will be deflected by the angle of the window. Shoot many times. As always keep shooting until the threat is stopped.
Understand that will take many more rounds since you are firing through a barrier. I’ve always been surprised at the radical amount of deflection from shooting inside the vehicle to out, but outside to in will have fairly minimal effect. So if you are shooting center mass you’re likely to hit somewhere inside that body. Repeat as necessary.
If you are to the side of the vehicle, which is where you would much rather be, drive your rounds through the door, through the window, whatever you have to do to just keep shooting center mass. Yes, the door will slow your round down. Yes the door will deflect your rounds. Keep pouring rounds through and you’re much more likely to hit something vital.
Now, the likelihood of you ever needing this particular skillset is extremely small, so I wouldn’t even spend range time training for it. Just keep in your head that, just as the gun isn’t your target during a gunfight, the vehicle isn’t your target in a vehicular assault.
Shoot the driver.