head shots or center mass...

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by evi1joe, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. evi1joe

    evi1joe New Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    I haven't seen this discussed here--and for all I know it's taboo to bring this up, but it's been bothering me so I thought I'd ask.

    When I practice shooting at super close-in ranges, inside of six or seven feet, which is what I mostly do with the P3AT, I always double or triple-tap (or more) to the head.  I do this with one target, or I set up two or three and hit them in different orders.  I find that no matter how fast I go I can pretty easily put all rounds in a 6" diameter at these distances (though I would probably be scoring chest hits even quicker!!--certainly this is true if I started pulling the trigger as the gun itself was being raised).

    I AM IN NO WAY endorsing or recommending this to anyone--obviously there's a metric-expletive-ton of reaons for the standard philosophy (heads are much smaller and move more than Center Mass, etc.).  In my defense, I've been shooting handguns for 23 years, I get lots of free, high-quality ammo for lots of practice, and I feel confident that close-in I can do it...since I'm going to be standing right there in a mugging and a BadGuy's finger is going to be on the trigger, CM shots would be less likely to instantly incapacitate him (note:  beyond mugging/carjacking distance--about 3 yards--I go back to CM shooting, which is about 20% of my practice with the P3AT).

    I was just wondering if there were others out there who did ths.  ??  

    (Also, let me know if it's just bad juju all around--to do it OR to talk about it if you do.)
  2. lagerbrewer

    lagerbrewer New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    I don't practice headshots although once I get this armalaser sighted in I would probably feel more comfortable entertaining the thought of using them in a bad situation.

    I've trained with the police several times and recently did some shooting drills. These drills focused on the spinal column, and resulted in the head. Of course, they were using 16+1 .40's. I think at close range a .380 could make it to the spine. Even if it didn't, you would have excellent CM placement which is why I think it was good training.

    The training assumes that the BG already has a gun out and occurs at point blank. The first step was to yell (anything) and then simultaniously step out of the path of their muzzle while smacking your non shooting hand across their face and drawing with your shooting hand. The second step was to begin placing shots at CM and follow the spinal cord up to the face. Empty the gun and reload, then evaluate if more shots are required.

  3. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    I'm no expert on the subject so please take my opinions with a grain of salt. Here goes ... With adrenalin flowing that six inches is going to be more like maybe 3 inches and if moving maybe even less. In a close range shoot out I want to not only hit my opponent but also avoid being hit. I practice drawing while moving and then shooting center mass 2-3 taps. I practice this a lot in my basement with a high end Glock 26 Airsoft pistol drawn from an IWB holster worn appendix position under a sweatshirt or sweater that needs to be lifted before the draw can begin. Using a snapcap I do indoor practice with the P3AT drawing from pocket [Great care is taken that my gun and mag have first been cleared. The 7 rounds are counted twice and placed out of my immediate practice area. Live practice is done less and at a slower pace than my Glock airsoft and P3AT snapcap practice.

    All the above being said I don't see any harm in practicing head shots. Perhaps practice a double tap center mass and then a shot to the head? Also heard or read something about a "zipper" technique but haven't researched the technique. From the name I'm pretty sure it means you draw and start shooting as your arm comes up - groin to brain so to speak.

    Take care ...
  4. glenspalding

    glenspalding New Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    My CCW training had range time required, as most do. Fortunately my class was taught by a retired LEO range instructor who was also a certified NRA instructor. The range time we had was not just for burning ammo. Shot placement was first (right after safety and range rules), then double taps and finally 3x5 cards that were numbered 1 through 6 on a target board 5 yards out. He would then call the number and we would have to double tap the card. Half of the class was new to handguns, suprisingly they did extremly well. Probably since they did not have any bad habits to break and he would take the time to go over basics on an individual basis if it was needed.

    So why all this info. Well, he kept drilling into us the triangle. Throat to breast area, that was the area for placement. I was an MP, in another age (we still carried 1911's), and it was the same pilosophy then.

    I go for Center Mass, but do try head shots to see how I do on a smaller area. ;)
  5. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Congrats on 100 posts Turk. I have a picture for you that you'll have to wait for. But I digress.

    Remember the %'s of how many police shots miss the target entirely. Snipers can shoot for the head. SHTF situation requires COM. When everything is going down very badly you are going to be lucky to even hit COM. The only time I can even think that a head might be a viable target is if I were shooting in a hostage situation and I am not even sure if I would ever do that.

  6. virtual-rj

    virtual-rj New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Houston, TX
    no one will ever know, for to mention it and you actually do it could be construed as pre-meditation.

    sorry. I will not fess up.

    been there, done that, got the scars to prove it. what I can not say is that even in the same situation, i would do it thesame.
  7. Rubb

    Rubb Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    I prctice shooting at paper.
  8. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    Building on RJ's statement, as long as he doesn't mind.

    If you ever have to shoot someone in any situation, self defense or not, you will end up in court at some point thereafter. And if the person you shot or anyone related to or representing the person you shot is around to pursue criminal or civil charges against you they may go out of their way to prove malicious intent on your part. This means cataloging your weapons and ammunition; interviewing your friends and family and the people at any range you frequent and the people who trained (to shoot at center mass) and who qualified you to carry a gun; cataloging any correspondence (electronic or otherwise) you may have exchanged on the topic and laminating to cardboard for display in court any target(s) you may have laying around that might provide an indication of your proficiency with a handgun as well as where you like to shoot the most.

    In short, they will crawl up your anal orifice with a microscope.

    For those reasons I decline to participate in your poll at this time but will offer this...FWIW

    If I am in a situation where I have no retreat and no choice but to draw my weapon to protect me or my family I will shoot center mass, as I was taught. And I will apply that force until there is no longer a threat to me or my family, as I was taught.

    If I am in a situation where I have no retreat and the threat to me or my family is behind cover then I will shoot at any target of opportunity. A hand or a foot or a toe or a head or anything else that sticks out until there is no longer a threat to me or my family, as I was taught.

    Yes I am aware of "no retreat" and "castle doctrine" and all the other "rights" available to me but walking away from a gun fight is only half the battle as long as there is the requirement of having to explain exactly how I walked to a jury of what could be 12 gun-grabbers.

    Apologies for the long post but self defense and the possibility taking a life are no longer as lighthearted a topics they were back in the day before the horseless carriage.
  9. clayflingythingy

    clayflingythingy New Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    The head is a small target. The BG will be moving. You will be moving. What's more a head shot may not work even if you connect. BG has his head turned. Bullet goes thru cheeks taking out teeth/jawbone. That may not be enuff to stop a hyped up maniac.

    CENTER MASS is what you practice for good reason. Bigger target!
  10. GMax

    GMax New Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Two to the torso, two to the head. Not necessarily in that order.
  11. Spikejerk

    Spikejerk New Member

    I'll just say that I practice several different types of failure drills while on the range.
  12. Packer

    Packer Banned

    May 14, 2005
      If I have to draw a .380 point-blank against a BG who is pointing a gun at me--I will be shooting UP, from a crouched position, at his most vulnerable THROAT with a DPX.  THAT IMO, is the most likely chance of a one shot stop from 3-4 feet with a P3AT. A headshot at that angle will probably bounce off, even if a .380 IS powerful enough to penetrate the skull.

      Beyond 4 feet it's COM. But let's face it. Non LEOs cannot legally shoot the BG much farther away.

      Beyond 10 yards, I'm running for cover. From COVER, I'll let HIM come to ME thinking I'm unarmed. SURPRISE!

      In the heat of the moment, one shot from a small semiauto may be ALL you get. BGs have been known to take MULTIPLE rounds to COM and still keep fighting. A DPX to the throat should effectively stop breathing, blood to the brain--And MAY also result in a severed spine.

      In this situation, (Under the gun) I would NEVER put just one hand in my pocket to draw. One hand moves are universally perceived as a draw. I will verbally offer my surrender, money clip, car keys etc. while inserting BOTH hands into front pockets. The quick CROUCH while drawing will take me out of line of fire and make me a smaller target.

    I don't CARRY a gun just to hand it over so somebody can shoot ME or some one ELSE with it.

  13. glenspalding

    glenspalding New Member

    Sep 25, 2007

    Can't follow your post in relation to mine.  Sniper, % misses, lucky to hit COM.
    I practice COM not head shots in answer to the survey.

    So how do you practice?
  14. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Don't quite understand your first sentence.

    When I practice self defense shooting I do it COM. When I practice accuracy I do it trying to hit LOTS of different targets.

  15. glenspalding

    glenspalding New Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I didn't understand the sniper line since I don't practice in that manner.
  16. msrdiver1

    msrdiver1 New Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    If you have the luxury of time to target the head, hand, foot, etc. then a jury may be hard pressed to believe you had NO CHOICE to but apply lethal force (hand gun). Shoot the BG enough times leaving you, the victim, alive. Remember our tiny 3AT's are DEFENSIVE weapons not war mules like a .45 1911, or high capacity 9mm, that the BG may be brandishing. I close with a quote from a defensive tactics LEO, "I'd rather be judged by twelve than carried by six."
  17. glenspalding

    glenspalding New Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Therfore getting a CCW is premeditation for carrying a firearm, which in turn is premeditation for using deadly force....

    What a world we live in.
  18. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    Therfore getting a CCW is premeditation carrying a firearm, which in turn is premeditation for using deadly force....

    What a world we live in.[/quote]

    Unless you live in Vermont (and maybe Alaska) getting a CCW is being a responsible law abiding citizen and seeking to learn what rights and responsibilities you have if you were to find yourself in a self defense situation. Carrying a gun without a CCW is a thug looking for a reason to shoot somebody.

    Nice LEO quote by the way msrdriver and I do want to be clear that I'm not advocating anyone should hold back in a fight, only there is a perceived line between intent and necessity that everyone should be prepared to deal with based on their choice.
  19. c0wboi38

    c0wboi38 New Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    I've posted this before...

    My instructor (some here have heard of him, Stephen Wenger) teaches something else. First step is drawing the gun to the "Protected gun position." That is, the gun is held against your ribs, on your gun side, slightly angled outwards, in direction with your wrist. That is done at the same time as you use non gun hand to deflect whatever weapon is threatening you, along with a side-step from the line of fire.

    All of this brings your weapon inline with the attacker's pelvis, out to about 6 feet. Any sufficient weapon will do lots of damage, and likely break the pelvis as well. Can't chase you if he can't walk. Plus after the NYPD's stakeout Unit experience with pelvis shots, that's why he teaches this.

    More info, along with pictures, here:
  20. glenspalding

    glenspalding New Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    So I take it your vote was for CM or never.