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One-Shot Drops Surviving the Myth

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by RMTactical, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. bennwj

    bennwj CSM Silver Member

    May 24, 2008
    Fort Drum
    Um.....I have a friend who is on the PPD and he does not qualify every day. Qualification takes about three or four hours.......

    Not sure where you got the info, but it is incorrect.
  2. bennwj

    bennwj CSM Silver Member

    May 24, 2008
    Fort Drum
    Penetration, penetration, penetration.

    If expansion happens that is a plus, but the bullet has to get deep enough to mess things up inside.

    In .45 I use Corbon 230 gr. It SHOULD have the weight to penetrate and if it expands that is even better.

  3. bennwj

    bennwj CSM Silver Member

    May 24, 2008
    Fort Drum
    Do you realize how much harder it is to retain a long gun? What about running, jumping fences etc with a shotgun??????
  4. betyourlife

    betyourlife on a GLOCK

    May 10, 2004
    Seattle, WA
  5. brianm_14


    Jan 29, 2002
    I guess, it all depends . . . over 35 years of shooting has taught me that.

    But if we look deeper, I think we can agree on a number of points:

    1. Each shooting incident is unique, even idiosyncratic. There are so many variables: caliber, ammunition performance, clothing, distance, shot placement, the angle of target presentation, perp's state of mind/body, even timing of multiple shots. Years of hunting with both rifles and handguns, on small and medium game (deer and black bear) has taught me this over and over again. No two shots are ever the same.

    2. Bullet placement (assuming any adequate SD round that can penetrate and expand) is paramount. This is where the old saying, "Take your time, fast" speaks a whole volume of truth. Since bullet placement is difficult to assure and ascertain, it means we have to shoot each threat several times before making any assessment of whether the threat has been neutralized. Again, hunting taught this lesson to me: make the first shot as perfect as possible, then pop 'em a second time as quickly and accurately as possible. With practice, the second shot placement can be pretty good. Knowing I could learn to work a bolt action this way, made me believe I could learn to make both accurate and speedy follow-up shots with a handgun.

    3. Practice is vital to making the shooter/gun/ammo combination work. Years of bullseye competition, in which I reached a Master classification and won state championships, taught me that when I couldn't get to the range, I could dry-fire. Squeeze of ten PERFECT "shots" every day. Every day. For carry, that means, "from the concealed holster." In real life, we all will shoot as we practice, only at the lowest level we achieve in practice. As someone said, "Only perfect practice makes perfect." And lots of it. Thousands of repetitions.

    4. Accuracy must be balanced against the need for speed, but accuracy isn't just for head shots at 25 yards anymore. Jeff Cooper argued that a competent shooter should work to a point where he or she NEVER misses, say, an 8-inch target at at ten yards. (And when you honestly get to that point, cut it down to a 6-inch target or extend it out to 8-inches at about 12 yards, as your next goal.)

    Now, not all will agree with what follows.

    I think that handgun shooting has suffered now that fewer handgunners come from or participate in other shooting sports - sheet shooting or trap teaches what speed, timing, and moving targets are all about; riflry teaches position, real accuracy, and absolute control of your firearm.

    Also, in my life, I started with rifles and then I happened upon bullseye shooting before I got into serious self-defense. I am grateful for that. Bullseye can't substitute for IDPA, but it has a lot to offer in developing deeply-set good gun handling skills. (Try hitting the x-ring with 5 rounds of .45 ACP ball in 10 seconds at 50 yards, strong-hand only; it's a trade off of speed versus accuracy - does that sound familiar?)

    I think it was easier to add combat speed and tactical skills to a firm bullseye foundation of accuracy based on long experience of struggling with issues of trigger control, sight picture, and timing. As a volunteer, state- and NRA-certified pistol instructor, I'd say this is a good approach for anyone wanting to learn SD shooting, if they have time. Buy a decent .22 in the same action-type as your carry piece, and shoot a few bricks or more of this cheap ammo every six to twelve months. Get a good holster for it, too. Work on sight picture and trigger control, and let speed come as it will. (Quality air pistols can have a role here, too.)

    In addition to IDPA (and bullseye), try hunting with a handgun. Rabbit and squirrel with a .38 Special (head shots only, if you please,and use a wadcutter), or deer with a .41 or .44 Magnum, or lesser rounds if close, careful shots are taken; or try woodchucks at 50 yards with your favorite cartridge from a sitting or prone position. Again, like bullseye, this is not a substitute for lots of practice, or IDPA-type competition, but will teach you unique lessons. Taking any life involves a moment of truth, and much later reflection, at least for me. And hunting teaches you to almost automatically use concealment and a variety of positions (or "shooting platforms").

    So practice, be accurate but fast, use a .22, hunt if you can, and dry fire a lot. Actually can be fun!

    This has been an interesting thread, one to reflect on more. Thanks to all, and I apologize if my comments are too lengthy.


    Stay safe. Become a handgunner and carry.
  6. Great article! I'm glad this stayed on the first few pages after these few years.
  7. brianm_14


    Jan 29, 2002
    It's illuminating . ..
  8. Guser


    May 28, 2008
    Frisco, Texas
    There was a fatal shooting of a Dallas police officer two days ago. Three officers were trying to serve a high-risk arrest warrant when a bad guy fired one shot through the door, striking the officer in the face. The officer died an hour later.

    News reports failed to say what caliber weapon was involved.

    American Justice, the tv program, did a segment Monday on a 1978 drug raid that went bad. A druggie, who claimed he thought he was being robbed, fired a .38-caliber revolver once through his back door. A Texas Ranger, who was standing in the yard, was struck in the head and died on the spot.

    These two items are just a reminder that, yes, every shooting is different, and that a shot to the face/head will generally drop a man.

    I sometimes get caught up in the debates about caliber effectiveness, but it seems for naught when real world shootings show how shot placement wins the day.
  9. Wasatch

    Wasatch back again

    Mar 15, 2006
    All good points, Guser. :cool:

    From what I've read and seen regarding the fantastic and consistent performance of modern hollowpoint ammunition, I've concluded that the effectiveness of 9mm vs .40 vs .45 is similar enough that I made my decision primarily based on the price of ammo and magazine capacity. The 9mm wins in my book.

    Simply put, I'm a cheapskate accountant who wouldn't go to the range nearly as often to practice/train if I had to buy .40 or .45 ammunition. With shot placement being king in what seems to be the vast majority of the time, I think it's a matter of becoming proficient with your chosen firearm rather than a 9mm-vs-.40/.45 debate. So as I see it, I end up being more proficient with my G19 than if I were to carry a G23 or G30. Couple that with 15+1 capacity, throw in an extra magazine, and I have 31 Gold Dots versus 21 or 27 rounds with the larger calibers.
  10. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    You're not a cheapskate! You're a trained professional who understands and practices the virtue of frugality. (That's how my wife defends me, at any rate.)

    The .357sig is my favorite caliber but I own two 9mm pistols. My opinion is that 9mm, .357, .40, .45, and above are all powerful enough to do the job in the vast majority of civilian self-defense situations. What you wrote is exactly correct although I think capacity is a minor consideration. Most self-defense shootings occur within mere seconds and involve an average of 3-5 rounds expended.

    Most of the caliber quibbling comes from specific applications. It's useless to argue; better to explain your viewpoint and leave it at that. It all comes down to personal preference anyway, and who is dumb enough to question someone else's self-defense responsibility and choices? For example, I feel perfectly comfortable with 9mm and no spare mag in my everyday routine. When I go to the remote cabin, however, it's the .357sig with the two spare mags that go with me.
  11. bnlchris18


    Oct 25, 2006
    Ok, I'm going to clear up a few misconceptions about pelvis shots over COM or Mozambique Drills (2 sternum, 1 head).

    #1, the odds of a perp returning fire after being hit in the pelvis 2-3 times is EXTREMELY unlikely. They would be a medical miracle if they could. The amount of shock to the body, not to mention the brain can't even be described.

    #2, the point of a pelvis shot is to stop the attacker RIGHT NOW!!! You can shoot me in the chest and destroy my heart, yet I will have enough oxygenated blood in my brain to empty my magazine in your direction. (almost said clip on that one, lol!)

    #3, there are almost more major arteries, especially the femoral arteries, guess what, the largest arteries in our bodies, about the size of your thumb, located in the pelvis region than anywhere else in the human body.

    #4, you can line up a firearm with the pelvis region faster than you can draw and lineup at COM, especially in a stressfull enviorment. This is great, considering you only have a few precious seconds in which to defend yourself against an armed attacker trying to flat line you.

    #5, my instructors, several of which were in the armed forces, told me in a couple of tactical courses that you only COM when a target is at an extended range, and you engage the pelvis and subsequently the sternum and head in CQB, when you don't have time to wait for the BG to die from blood loss or perforated lungs.

    #6, the pelvis is the easiest part of the human body to lead. It is simply anatomy. A persons torso will change position several times during an engagement, ie. turning side to side, crouching, bending over, etc. While, the pelvis however, is always stationary, and even a shot hitting the side of the pelvis, still has a good chance to disrupt several nerves and arteries, not to mention, well the pelvis!

    #7, people have been shot several times in the chest with calibers ranging from .22LR to the ol' .30 GI round, while still returning fire. Many of our millitary officials have opted then, to teach recruits controlled pairs, shoot, re-align sights, quicly fire again at the COM ONLY if the target is at an extended range, they teach pelvis shots if the target is at a closer more "dangerous range," using a double tap method, no re-alignment of sights after first shot.

    #8, unless you are a highly trained member in a HRT/SWAT team/SOCOM, then head shots are highly unlikely to land in a combat situation, unless the target is within 5-10 yards, and even then, it's still not a sure thing, especially considering the fact if you miss, you could hit the proverbial innocent bystander.

    #9, I run three drills. One is an extremely close engagement 5-10 yards, three shots to pelvis, two to sternum, re-align, one to the CNS. The other drill is for 10-25 yards, two to pelvis, two to sternum, one to CNS if perp doesn't sieze aggresion. Last is 25+ yards, controlled pair two to pelvis, one to sternum, re-align, followed by subsequent controlled pairs to sternum and pelvis untill target drops.

    I hope I have shed some light on the idea of pelvis shots as opposed to the more outdated COM. It is what it is.
  12. bnlchris18


    Oct 25, 2006
    I would like to add, as far as personal experience goes, I served four years in the volunteer program, Mahal 2000, and IDF all volunteer group dedicated to Jewish Americans and others abroad to train and fight with the Israeli Defense Force. I spent about four months alone living the "kibbutz" style of communal living, learning Hebrew, and intergrating myself in their culture. I will say this, I have never met a more qualified and dedicated people intent on protecting their homeland from external and internal aggressors. I served in the Scout/Sniper program for two years. We would often use modified Ruger 10/22's and M24 SWS's. My detachment had one engagement in the beloved Gaza strip and we had over 4-5 engagements on the West Bank. Oh, and by the way, they had us training on old Mauser K98's with the Nazi markings dremeled off and converted to 7.62 NATO. The idea was to save the wear and tear of DMR's and sniper rifles for war not for training.

    Shana tova, laila tov!
  13. If I have to shoot a BG more than once with my 500 S&W, I will gladly pay for his funeral
  14. Glocker08


    Sep 22, 2008
    "S&W 500 Mag. When you absolutely, positively must stop an elephant driving a truck, AND the truck". :supergrin:
  15. W4CNG


    Sep 19, 2002
    In the Gun Room
    I am a proponent of the two to the body and one to the head (Mozambique Drill) and repeat if necessary with the 4th Sight Picture to repeat quickly. I intend to win any Gun fight that I am forced into, as I will not start it, but I will end it at all costs. Practice and train Hard because life is full of challenges.
  16. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    Oct 21, 2005
    J-Ville NC
    The pelvis shot will only stop his bipedally privelaged movement not his trigger finger. Headshot does all of the above. Even though it may seem unlikely that he would return fire after a shattered pelvis, it is still possible. That possibility must be taken away... headshot.
  17. CableRouter


    Jul 26, 2008
    One only has to look at all the holes in the sound baffles on the ceiling to see how bad of a shot some people are. At my range there are holes in the plastic shell holder shelves in the lanes.

    Every few times I sneak in a little rapid fire as my last string of the session. What are they going to do, ask me to leave? After seeing me put all my rounds in a 8 inch circle I usually get a "Nice shooting, but slow it down a little ok?" to which I put on a big smile and reply "No problem at all, I'm done for the day." :supergrin:
  18. JBP55


    Mar 4, 2007
    You stated ( in post #431) you run an Extremely Close Engagement drill of 5-10 Yards.
    An extremely close engagement in my opinion would be less than 1 yard. At extremely close range you can touch someone.
  19. bnlchris18


    Oct 25, 2006
    I guess in my view, someone with a gun trying to kill me from 5 to 10 yards out is extrremely close. I term knife type distance as CQB. Anyway, I understand that the pelvis when shot a couple of times won't prevent the attacker from reflexively pull the trigger, it will however, at least give you much better odds compared to bringing your weapon from it's holster, often concealed, then bringing the weapon all the way up to the head level, then making a head shot on a moving target. All in seconds.

    The fact is, I can pull my Glock 26 from it's holster and begin fireing starting at the pelvis region, then zippering the rounds up along with the recoil faster, than bringing the gun all the way up to the head. Now, the pelvis shot is intended to buy you time, to make that CNS shot. It is easier to aim at and shoot a human pelvis than even the center of mass or toso hits, also the pelvis is the foundation of the body, bring it down, and you will have a greater oppurtunity to make more precise shots, such as CNS or sternum.

    Everything I've been describing in this thread is definately a tried and true practice used in Special Forces and security agencies around the world.

    I hope this is starting to make sense.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  20. Dashes

    Dashes Da-10mm-Monster

    Dec 21, 2008
    Notice the calibers which are more common, have higher numbers.

    I wish they would report the total shootings INVOLVING EACH CALIBER as well as total slain with each caliber.

    I feel like that'd give you a more accurate view of what has been the most effective, in a real life scenario, as opposed to saying 92 were killed with a 9mm and one with a 10mm with out specifing how many times each were used period.

    It says 1 was killed with a 10mm. I can almost guarantee that was 1/1.