Shoot 'Em Til They Drop Theory...

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by Brian@ITC, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Brian@ITC

    Brian@ITC New Member

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    A common teaching in firearms training is that you will be able to get your gun out and use it and immediately stop the threat in their tracks. This type of training is based upon things going perfectly. Exactly how many times in your life has anything gone perfectly?

    Even if you do land rounds (including multiple rounds) on the threat, do you really expect them to just fall down and die? A large number people die from the mental aspect of being shot as opposed to the physical aspect. According to Lt. Col Dave Grossman’s teachings, most people who are shot don’t know they are shot because the body shuts down all secondary senses such as pain. So, even if you are able to inflict one or more fatal gunshot wounds on the adversary doesn’t guarantee that they will drop on the spot. The reality of what this means is that more than likely the attacker is still going to be in the fight and possibly causing serious harm to you and or your loved ones.

    The common teaching of you will be able to get your gun out and you will be able to shoot the attacker and they will fall down and die on the spot is something that is going to get people injured or killed because they are going to expect it to happen and when it doesn’t they haven’t trained for it, so their chances of survival are probably not good. You will react how you have trained to handle a situation whether or not you want to believe it—it is a proven fact and Grossman’s teachings back this up. If you don’t train on a regular basis, then your chances of pulling something off in a life or death situation are slim at best. And, if you spend most of your time training at the shoot ‘em to the ground (or dead) theory, then how do you think you will react in the real deal when things don’t go perfectly?

    Personally, I feel the training mindset of shoot ‘em to the ground is more counterproductive than productive because it is placing high expectations in people’s minds. I don’t believe that most training should be negative training, but students should be placed in “no win” situations because this is reality. People learn more from mistakes than from success—it is just human nature. By placing students in no win situations they won’t always expect things to go as planned. Can you survive a “no win” situation in real life—absolutely.

    If the shoot ‘em til they are down (or dead) theory actually worked as well as people would like to believe, then the murder rate and the number of people killed by guns in self-defense shootings would rise greatly. The numbers for attempted murder (with guns) and those injured as a result of someone using a firearm in self-defense would decrease significantly. The truth of the matter is that people (both victims and criminals) are living through multiple gunshot wounds by the numbers. To complicate statistics more, how many people who die from being shot die hours or days later?

    What I am not saying is that it is impossible to shoot someone til they drop. I’m just saying that it is probably unlikely that it will happen and you shouldn’t expect to. HOPE for the best and TRAIN for the worst! That way you will be prepared when reality kicks in during a life threatening situation.

    Just remember that in a fight that marksmanship is a hopeful skill, FIGHTING skills are a must!

    How do you feel about the shoot ‘em til they drop theory?

    __________________________
    Brian K. LaMaster
    Innovative Tactical Concepts
    Modern Warrior Talk
    Your mind is the weapon. Your body is simply the delivery system for the tool you choose to implement into the fight.
    Marksmanship is a hopeful skill, FIGHTING skills are a must!
    "What you don't know won't hurt you - it will KILL you!" General Gerry Prather, USAF, XOK (1982)
  2. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    In my modest experience I would say training someone how to deal with a firefight is a bit like training someone how to deal with being in an automobile accident. Cant really be done. Too many variables.

    Best we can do is establish guidelines, training drills etc. and hope they have the common sense to practice and apply.

    As for shooting someone till there down? An empty gun can get you killed :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2009
  3. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Y'all can believe one thing, if some one has shot me, I will be trying to shot back, if I can. The BG don't want to die either, so, he is in the same boat that I'm in. If I get my gun out, and start shooting at him, his only chance for survival is to shot me better than I'm shooting him! I sure hope that makes sence to y'all!
  4. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Since any given year in the past few decades in the United States around 70% of handgun wounds are not lethal, that should be food for thought.

    The shoot them until they drop technique is fine with an M4, L85, AK, although I guess a mute point since when you run cold, your mates have you're 3, 6, 9, and 12 anyways.:D

    Tranter, you nailed it..."An empty gun can get you killed".

    There are people out there instructing to fire one shot, observe for affect, then fire for head shots (cranial ocular) if no affect observed. The Mozambique Drill has been around forever now too. This is all fine and good...the little problem with it is a head is damn harder to hit than the torso, unless you get lucky by being very close to a still head. Head shot accuracy being consistently reliable under stress with rapid heart rate, loss of fine motor dexterity, possibly while suffering wounds, and most notably the target in a fight erratically moving in swift jerky bobbing motions require several notches up the proficiency ladder than hitting a torso. Hitting B27 heads on a range is easy. Real ones ain't.

    To get an idea, tie 5 helium balloons to a low clothesline on a breezy day, do pushups until muscle failure, do a 400m sprint, then immediately engage from 5 meters with 5 rounds...this test may be humbling or just rather challenging, but you'll see the difference in static training and stress training.

    Some people may say this is extreme. However, everything in a fight, no matter how simple, becomes a deliberate challenging effort.

    The key is to train under challenging conditions. We resort to our lowest level of training on the two-way range.
  5. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I have sung this song again and again over the years. I keep coming back to the Mozambique. The idea is after the two torso shots, big target, reliable, quick tap-tap you come up for the head, and it isnt there, cause he's down. If for any reason, drugs, armour etc. hes not down, the head shots made before you have time to put the kettle on for tea.

    Heads are small targets and they move about a lot, too many people who have never taken any shots of this kind are full of advise that will, as I like to say, get you killed.

    Also keep in mind unlike most of you, and me, the guys who will take difficult shots are at the top of their game. Lots of training, lots of practice.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2009
  6. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    Back when I had delusions of wanting to be a police officer (1996-ish), our Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) had a simulation machine that projected various altercation scenarios in full-motion video onto a large screen and you had a Glock 17 with a laser module inside it to fire at the threat if and when needed. You were judged on how you reacted, whether you took down the threat, and number of shots fired. I'll never forget one scenario where I got yelled at rather loudly (I was only 16 or 17 at the time). I fired 32 rounds into the suspect after he drew on me. The officer in charge of the simulation asked, "how would you justify firing 32 rounds into a suspect in this scenario!!!" I said, "he wasn't down yet..." :D

    That response didn't go over well... :D

    I do tend to agree now that firing a maximum of 3 rounds, and reassessing your situation is the best tactic. :D I hope I never find myself in the situation where I'd need to test that practice.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  7. army mp

    army mp Member

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    Statistic’s go out the window in a gunfight. I know there are people who have been hit dead on with a 45Acp.and survived but that number is low. Today more than a few people are carrying sub compact Handguns. Which are fine, but a trade off. The military teaches Point shooting and center of mass for a reason. No one knows how they will react when they meet the Elephant.
  8. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    This is of course correct. There is no substitute for experience, but good training by qualified instructors and regular practice will help.

    After all, everyone's fist time is their fist time. Its just that some firsts are going to be less fun than others...
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2009
  9. charliej47

    charliej47 New Member

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    The military instructors taught us that when you draw, you shoot center-of-mass and to continue to fire as long as the assailant offered resistance. That once you started shooting you walked into the target as you fired. I remember emptying a 1911 before someone used a M60 to drop the tartget.
  10. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I really like this one, and think it is a really good post. I am one of those folks that have never had any real training in firearms, but have hunted, and shot all of my life. At one time I told an LEO that I would shoot till I ran dry. He asked me what I would tell the Judge when asked why I had shot this guy 19 times. My reply was simple, Judge, I didn't have any more bullets! Of course I was just playing around, but I really did believe this at one time. Now it would depend on what my target was doing. If he was still on his feet, gun in hand, after taking two, or three rds., I have to fire a couple more rds. If he is still on his feet, and has dropped his gun, then I hold up. If he goes down, I hold up, unless he tries to point his gun in my direction.
  11. noslolo

    noslolo New Member

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    Great topic, thanks for the seasoned advice!
  12. TOOHSOTKIL

    TOOHSOTKIL New Member

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    You might also consider shooting lower after the center mass instead of moving up.
    If using a small caliber handgun, do not use this method.

    After the two center mass shots have produced unwanted results, shoot the beltbuckle area line a few inches to the left or right. When shooting a major caliber this shot will break the hip or pelvis or both. It will cause a major collapse which will complete the takedown and give you time to reaquire a smaller target while still shooting to end the threat.

    This is simply another option and for skilled operators.
  13. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir New Member

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    Here's an additional thought. In trial it would probably come up the number of times you fired on the assailant as well as the placement of the shots correct? For example if the wounds indicate that you continued to fire after the target was already down then your case may be weakened. I can't remember the name of the case but the man on the New York subway who shot I believe 4 individuals who he believed to be threats, and the wounds indicated that he shot them after they had fallen. I think that case also goes against the idea of shooting without observing the effects.
  14. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Just to expound, this is an effective technique for 3 reasons:

    1. This rule becomes less so as the distance from the threat increases*; From arms length away, if you draw a line from your shoulder to the threat's pelvis, his pelvis is positioned like a large cup. A bullet, blade, or strike at this angle will go directly in the cup. For bullets and fists, as the pelvis sits like a cup, nearly the full kinetic force will be absorbed here.

    2. The center of gravity for most men is high in the chest or near the shoulders (unless conditioned to balance at the hips) and a powerful blow to the pelvis/hip joint will topple a man rather simply.

    3. Major blood vessels that supply the legs and return blood from the legs converge in the pelvis cup. A bullet or blade penetrating into the cup has a high probability of bursting a major vessel/s and causing a rapid drop in blood pressure.

    *The further away you are from the threat the more reduced the target area is; not by distance but relative angle.

    The two reasons this technique is less preferred than cranial ocular bullet strikes is 1. that although it will effectively stop a man or bring him down, in effect it is like shooting a threat in the knees in that a determined man could resume accurate fire and may still poses cognitive ability for some time and 2. the technique relies on angle to target to work for a handgun; For example, by kneeling beside cover (always better than standing) you are at an angle where the pelvis of a standing threat will protect the major blood vessels and possibly deflect bullets unless you get lucky and hit the pubis (center cartilage/very small target), so the upper/center torso, then cranial ocular area, remain better targets for more assured and rapid stops.

    It is still a viable technique to practice just in case Murphy remembers your name.
  15. gunlearner

    gunlearner New Member

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    question for you
    how many mags can you carry with open carry or cc with you at one time
    i ask this cause in ecuardor the law states that you can only carry 10 rounds in a mag and a quantity of one mag
    second by experience of ecuador (i live in the most violent city of ecuador at this moment and one of the most violent in south america)
    last year we had 110 murders in a city of 250000 people. aprox
    there are two major gangs here that deal with drug traffick, money laundry, extorcion, kidnnap express, and the most common killing by contract, the price 1000 usd. but you can get it for less
    their MO
    small motorcycles or king cab pick up trucks. the number of people are two to 8 people with smg or pistols.
    so here is the million dollar question
    how can you repell an atack when you only have 10 rounds against more than 2 people.
    what are you rules of engagement in the USA. here to be able to proof self defense you have to show the police that you were shot first.
    so how can you shoot until they drop if you have limited ammo and various targets and the only ammo you can use is 9mm that by what you state at the beginning a person does not realice that are shot until the adrenaline comes down????
    my way of looking at this problem is first awarness, second know your risk profile, third be ready for the everything.
    my wife in less than one year has been in two shoot outs the first ones she had to take the car in a side walk and cover my kids and the second one she had to pedal to the metal until a safe zone.
    what i tell my people is with limited amount of ammo es be as effective as you can be therefore the need of practicing drills of getting away of a situation is the key to survival.
    my company got hit last year: we had a convoy of 4 trucks loaded with some 30000 pounds of fresh shrimp. for security i had one car suddently 3 pickup trucks and one small sedan came out of no where with a total of 16 people 4 out those had smg and the rest pistols. my point is that there is no way that if i had 8 man armed could have had repelled that job.
    luckly i have a program where comunication is big so i know where are my people every time and what are the risks of the situation so i called some friends in the police and we recover the product and thank god my people got small injuries (one got hit in the head and the other too)
    thank god i learned from good friend in the us military (special forces, navy seals, former cops and other friends and of course the people in this forum how to deal (delta13) with different scenarios
    take care
    gl
  16. gunlearner

    gunlearner New Member

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    has anyone considered the fact that most atacks happen with in 7 yards and most of the time the ideal is to take the perps weapon.
    correct me if am wrong but isn´t harder to take your weapon out and start shooting if they have de element of surprise???
    which in ecuador is normally a dark street, or when you get home and open the garage (geographic scenarios should be taken under close consideration),
    my rule down here is if i have 10 mts or more i rather run than stay and if my family is with me and they one to take one of my own then I WILL TAKE AS MANY AS I CAN WITH ME
  17. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    This rings a bell with me having spent time in Brasil. More than most countries I have been in it requires constant awareness when out and about. A feeling you can only know when you have had it. You clearly have. Even locals can become too relaxed and careless, I remember one time alerting some of them to an ambush I noticed being prepared. I fully agree with your 10 min rule. Against well armed groups taking some with you is about the best you can hope for, hollywood aside.

    I guess sadly in the 21st century it's something many will come to understand. And not in far off places.

    Re taking a perps weapon, not a bad idea if the circumstances are right. It would need to be very fast, unexpected, violent and best with some basic disarming techniques. I have one experience of such, but it was I who was disarmed! On that occasion it worked out OK. Sticks in the mind though !!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
  18. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    In the US, most places with CC let the permit holder use his/her judgment how much ammo to carry. As far as I know.

    "how can you rappel an attack when you only have 10 rounds against more than 2 people." A better question is, how can you defeat the attack with 0 rounds? If you avoid it or catch the attack before it can gain motion...you win....

    I like the little fish vs. big fish game. The little fish (prey fish) survives by using terrain against the big fish. The little fish does this by holding to places the big fish cannot go, in essence making the big fish's size and strength useless. No matter how big a fish you are it is wise to move about like a little fish or else something bigger might eat you. The way to win this game is to 1. stick to places where numbers don't count/where many attackers cannot simultaneously attack from multiple directions 2. be unpredictable 3. see the big fish first 4. condition to not hesitate on your instincts.

    In truth, 10 rounds of 9mm in proficient hands is a formidable weapon. There are a million what ifs, but the fact is your handgun is an equalizer...it evens the odds and nothing more. If you train well, if you need your weapon for real, there will be plenty guns laying on the pavement once your mag is empty.

    The other logic is this: Don't just have 10 rounds. This is something that must be weighed since it does have consequences attached.


    The closest weapon to grab is always your hands.

    The other rule is the fastest draw is no draw. (If your risk goes up, get your weapon ready early. If that is not practical...leave for a while.)

    7 yards. The decisional control measure distance. When I was learning to be a bodyguard, I was introduced to a concept that changed my understanding. To make the story short...it was demonstrated to us over and over that in a very close attack, the most upsetting and effective thing you can do is the highly unnatural act of instantly closing the distance to the attacker to zero, deliver your own attack, and escape. It works very well within 7 yards and every bit closer the effectiveness is multiplied. (It is the same principle of instantly flanking your element into a near ambush to break free of the kill zone. But instead of a jungle MSR, the terrain is a hotel lobby or an airport etc.)

    "with in 7 yards and most of the time the ideal is to take the perps weapon." Another TTP...The best thing a threat can do is what 90% will anyway...thrust the weapon out at you at eye level. At extreme close range, the fastest defense isn't to get out of line with the enemy handgun...the fastest defense is to get inside of it in relation to the threat's body and then take the handgun.

    There is always the buddy rule...always have one. " a dark street, or when you get home and open the garage". If possible, only do risky things with a buddy over watching.
  19. gunlearner

    gunlearner New Member

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    another thing if you have the need to carry a gun. you must have a clear idea of your risk profile and like i tell my friends that are body guards "you have to be the secret keeper of you boss to be able to protect him" with out knowing all the little details you cannot protect some one. same rule should be aplied with us. realice that you have done something that some one did not like is part of life and to what degree only you know
    another thing is in my case contract killers here in ecuador (sorry if i go away from the topic but i consider that all these elements are important) is to know the profile of the possible person that will attack you
    they like the element of surprise now there is an school for hitmans colombian style yung kids with no experience, and if your awarness is good and dont become careless, then you can have the advantage of been prepared
    one thing is for sure most people that carry guns in ecuador only 2% has the trainning needed to use those 10 rds effectively.
    and like delta said "do not hesitate"
    i think that makes the diference on shoot until they drop
    it is so nice to have this forums you people are great
    gl
  20. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    All very interesting. I have never been a bodyguard, or for that matter wanted to be one but I have worked with them on occasion. I remember asking one how it was possible to deal with an attacker who makes his move really close up, perhaps producing a knife and lunging from a couple of feet. His answer was you cant, so they dont get close up. He said each member of the team has a zone around him, anyone coming close to the zone gets their full attention.

    Actually I guess I was one a couple of times, but not really. Phone call: Weekend job, need six, have five, can you help? Me: Not a chance, no way am I going to place my butt on the line for some one else for money, not now, not ever. Phone: It pays £1000.00. Me: I am in.
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