Head Shot vs Center of Mass - pros and cons

Head Shot vs Center of Mass - pros and cons

This is a discussion on Head Shot vs Center of Mass - pros and cons within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; While head shots are much more effective when it comes to stopping the BG. One advantage to Center of Mass shooting that doesn't get mentioned ...

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Thread: Head Shot vs Center of Mass - pros and cons

  1. #1
    Member Array Panic215's Avatar
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    Head Shot vs Center of Mass - pros and cons

    While head shots are much more effective when it comes to stopping the BG. One advantage to Center of Mass shooting that doesn't get mentioned much is the fact that it minimizes the potential for collateral damage, such as hitting an innocent victim. You have a much larger target and are less likely to miss. What do you guys think?

    BTW... You guys may have seen this but I have a link to a great video of a CCW working at a hotel counter lay the smack down on a would be assailant (Nothing graphic is shown, just traumatic). I would like to get your guys opinion on how he responded. Granted, he achieved the desired results but what, if anything, could he have done differently given the amount of time he had.

    I will be happy to post with the approval of the Moderators.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    That video has been posted a bunch of times

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    when the "s" hit the fan you wish you could make the tv head shots. but, you are fortunate if you hit your target (BG) with a center mass shot. sometimes yes, sometime no with the head shots. i have seen lots of rounds go down range and miss the "bg" .

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  5. #4
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    The ''effectiveness quotient'' of head over COM is probably indisputable but - the head moves randomly and rapidly and is a way smaller target area. IMO to try for head will almost always under stress guarantee a miss.

    Under stress the most instinctive target zone is the main and largest region - so COM. If as many find, they shoot a shade high when stressed then higher COM shots might translate into head shots - whereas intended head shots will by and large be high or wide.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."

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  6. #5
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    Array Baby Hulk's Avatar
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    Neutralize the threat, period.

    Stress and required instanteous reaction would probably mean COM - time is too essential to 'concentrate' on a one-shot-ends-all head shot.

    My .002.
    It's not about the caliber you carry, it's about how you USE it.

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  7. #6
    Member Array Mass-Diver's Avatar
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    As soon as you hit the COM a few times, I feel it's a good practice to try to score a head shot next. Lots of people can take a couple hits to the body and not be stopped cold. A head shot is a challenge to hit under stress, but isn't that why we all carry these big mags *wink* while head shot might be a bit luck, it sure would be a relief if you were being attacked and were close to be killed and all of sudden the threat is 100% gone

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Freedz's Avatar
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    Sure a head shot is more effective (most of the time) than a com shot but you have to take what the situation gives you. If you have a clean shot and are sure of you abilities then yea i'd say its a good option.

  9. #8
    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    Aim small - miss small.

    I've never been in a firefight (thankfully). But I've done quite a bit of hunting and know how animals react when mortally wounded. I'm not about to assume that after I empty my pitifully under-powered weapon into the bad guy's chest that he will drop to the ground - unless one of those rounds hits the spinal column or the head. Reading some of Mr. Camp's accounts simply reinforces this belief. (Which is also why it amazes me that some folks will choose a subgun over a rifle - but that's another topic...)

    I've also seen guys that can drill the bullseye all day at ridiculous distances shoot over a deer's head standing 10 yards away. Even experienced hunters have those moments. Adrenaline does funny things to the mind and while experience and training can help - they are in no way a fool-proof solution to the problem. I know the adrenaline dump from hunting big game in no way compares to that of a life or death situation, but I believe it is probably a similar - though subdued affect.

    So where does this leave me? Everyone reacts differently in these situations - some folks will be calm as a button - others will be able to do little more than point the thing in a general direction and pull the trigger - regardless of training. I don't know where I'll fall - but if the day ever comes (and I hope it doesn't) I will aim at the smallest target I can find - whether it be a button on the guy's shirt, or the pimple on his nose - all the time practicing the four rules of safety. It may not work out like that - but that's muh plan.

  10. #9
    los is offline
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    COM! Unless of course, ..you're using that new "laser guided
    CQB head-shot ammo".

    practice, Practice, ..PRACTICE.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  11. #10
    erh is offline
    Member Array erh's Avatar
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    "Center - Mass..." The "shot of winners..!" Or at least more likely...
    Eric Howland
    Savannah, GA.

  12. #11
    Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Time and distance, coupled with skill and prior experience always dictate the scenario.

    Take the shot that presents itself, under the time and distance constraints, knowing your personal limitations.

    The mind is the limiting factor


    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

  13. #12
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up AzQkr

    I sure am glad that AZQkr has joined the forum so now... I don't have to type so much.

    Now...I just have to type DITTO:

    Flawless Reply AZQk

    The greater the elapsed time that any "violent event" continues then greater becomes the possibility that Madam Fate will interject her Fickle Finger into the scenario and things can/will go astray.
    Obviously advancing your personal skill level always increases the liklihood that you can end a deadly threat quicker and more effectively.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  14. #13
    Member Array TCB in TN's Avatar
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    Whatever shot is available.

    I have stated many times in the past, that I believe you take whatever shot is presented. The BG shows you a part of his body, from his big toe to his head, you do your best to shoot it off. Thankfully I have never been in a firefight, but one of my Jar Head buddies put it that way. You shoot whatever part of the BG that you have the opportunity to. You don't wait for the right shot, you take whatever shot you got. Putting two in the leg, or arm or foot, of the BG may not put him down immedietly but it will certainly help your cause. BG sticks his head around the corner you part his hair. COM is bigger more stationary target and so a higher percentage shot, but you better not wait around hoping for a perfect shot. Take the best shot you get and make it count.
    There are only 2 people I trust in this world and you ain't one of'em!

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    Sometime when you are at an indoor pistol range take a look at the walls and ceiling. They are full of marks from poorly aimed shots. Key word here is "aimed". Those marks were made by people under no pressure, taking their time and aiming.

    Now imagine the high stress you would be under in a life or death confrontation. Your heart is raceing, you suffer from tunnel vision, your body is dumping all kinds of chemicals throughout your system, your fine motor skills are amost gone. You will be lucky to hit center of mass believe me.

    A few months ago some idiot politician from NY proposed a shoot to wound law for LEO's. Shoot the bad guy in the arm or leg instead of center of mass. I believe anyone with half a living brain cell voted against this.

    Certified Instructor for Minnesota Carry Permit
    NRA Pistol and Personal Protection Insrtuctor
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  16. #15
    Member Array Pickpocket's Avatar
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    One advantage to Center of Mass shooting that doesn't get mentioned much is the fact that it minimizes the potential for collateral damage, such as hitting an innocent victim. You have a much larger target and are less likely to miss.
    Quite the contrary, this is a central theme.

    The only answer to this question is, as always:
    Time, Situation, and Capabilities will dictate.

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