Head Shot & Backstop

This is a discussion on Head Shot & Backstop within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I often read advice to "go for the head" if the attacker is not responding to the first several shots. I am curious what your ...

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Thread: Head Shot & Backstop

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    Head Shot & Backstop

    I often read advice to "go for the head" if the attacker is not responding to the first several shots. I am curious what your thoughts are on the backstop.

    It is my understanding that the head is a much more difficult target than the upper chest due to its movement and small size.

    I have concerns about misses; I don't want to injure an innocent party. Part of the "head shot" calculus would seem to require an assessment of your surroundings. If there's a restaurant full of patrons behind the attacker, "going for the head" seems rather risky. Or at least a course of action that will substantially increase the risk of a miss.

    What are your thoughts?
    Last edited by PEF; September 21st, 2013 at 08:39 AM. Reason: clarification
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    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    I'm just going to be honest here and say that in most scenarios I can think of, I wouldn't trust my aim to go for such a small moving target in the heat of the moment (especially in a crowded area) and would much rather go for the larger target (chest) that I am by far more likely to hit.
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    Member Array Ricebrnr's Avatar
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    Make your own backstop. Find a better angle or?..

    Pelvic shot.

    When they are down, the ground will be your backstop.

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    We're talking "kill or be killed" here, right?

    When someone is attempting to kill you, it's not the time to analyze the background. Misses are always a concern, but if you don't intend to live, you may as well be unarmed. If the background is that much of a concern, don't place yourself in that situation.

    While I may practice headshots, it's not what I plan as a first option unless absolutely necessary.
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    "change the angle", just like ricebrnr said. Take a knee, and the angle is up, and likely not to hit anyone else. Not always the thing to do, or course, and maybe an almost never thing to do in a real fight, but its something to remember, for say a crowded mall situation.

    Especially if the shooter has his back to you. I bet not too many of us think it very likely that we would encounter a mall shooter. And Im one of them, but a fellow I went to school with for 3 years did.

    In the crossroads mall shooting in Omaha. He was very "lucky". He was "only" shot in the arm. Lots of people shot that day, probably many of average size & height. But this guy just happened to be the tallest in our school. He would stand out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricebrnr View Post
    Make your own backstop. Find a better angle or?..

    Pelvic shot.

    When they are down, the ground will be your backstop.
    This assumes I have the luxury of making a better angle. Perhaps getting down on a knee as another posted noted, but then that takes time and leaves you in an even more vulnerable position.
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    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    This assumes I have the luxury of making a better angle. Perhaps getting down on a knee as another posted noted, but then that takes time and leaves you in an even more vulnerable position.
    In general, I dont like the notion of "taking a knee", but in a mall shooter situation, when you got no choice, or you might be next, especially if the gunman is shooting at someone else, it might be the thing to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    I often read advice to "go for the head" if the attacker is not responding to the first several shots. I am curious what your thoughts are on the backstop.

    It is my understanding that the head is a much more difficult target than the upper chest due to its movement and small size.

    I have concerns about misses; I don't want to injure an innocent party. Part of the "head shot" calculus would seem to require an assessment of your surroundings. If there's a restaurant full of patrons behind the attacker, "going for the head" seems rather risky. Or at least a course of action that will substantially increase the risk of a miss.

    What are your thoughts?
    I posted this, along similar lines, awhile ago:
    How Far Away Should I Take The Shot?
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
    Tuco

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    Important Stuff....Read This.


    "Part of the "head shot" calculus would seem to require an assessment of your surroundings.
    "

    What works really well when you are punching paper targets on your property or taking a careful aimed shot at game does not work so well when you have a fraction of a second to save your life.

    Situational awareness and positioning yourself in an ideal of a location as possible when you are seated in a restaurant would be beneficial but, the answer is "NO" in a self-defensive scenario when you have "little" to almost "no" time to react you will not always know what or who is beyond your intended target/threat.

    In a restaurant you certainly will not know who is where behind the wall that is blocking your view of the kitchen - or who is standing directly behind the bathroom door or if the little girl in the apartment above the restaurant is stretched out on the floor doing her homework.

    You will NEVER know who is sunbathing in their yard or how many kids are playing behind the fence that lies beyond the parking lot where you are required to defend life and limb.

    If your life is truly in deadly peril then you take your shots and you take your chances.

    And then you prepare yourself for the possible/likely legal ramifications that will be certain to follow should you injure or kill an innocent individual.

    Hopefully you will be skilled enough and practiced enough to be able place projectiles into the deadly threat without sending any off into the ozone.

    Which is why I personally realize the fact that I am not a law enforcement officer and I will never interject myself into a shooting scenario in the public arena unless human lives are in immediate danger of being lost.

    If that is the case then basically you do what you need to do and hope for a perfect outcome and end result. Keep in mind though that Lady Luck will always play a part in the eventual outcome. That is unavoidable.

    Some of it will always be out of your control.

    This is SERIOUS STUFF! Every person on this forum needs to give it all real forethought and prior consideration.

    If you are just carrying a firearm as a "personal security blanket" and you have it all stored up in your mind that your self-defensive scenario will go according to some predetermined plan then that is incredibly delusional thinking.
    Whatever can go wrong will go wrong...usually.

    Practice your self-defensive shooting skills.
    Avoid any and all altercations if at all possible.
    Remember that it is better to walk away than to escalate a situation where things could get instantly ugly and take a horrible bad turn.
    Make situational awareness an integral part of your daily life. Pay attention to your surroundings.
    Have some sort of Less Than Lethal option also available AKA OC Spray that MAY end some possible potentially violent confrontations before they become chaotic shooting scenarios where bullets could possibly go screaming toward places that you would rather they didn't go.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Member Array Ricebrnr's Avatar
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    That's why I suggested pelvic shot. Firearms is still trained on the bad guy the whole time.

    Changing target from COM to pelvic girdle takes no time at all.

    Once the baddie is on the ground their head is not moving as much and the ground will be the backstop.

    But as you stated, a lot of assumption need to be made with any scenario unless you experience it personally

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Important Stuff....Read This.


    "Part of the "head shot" calculus would seem to require an assessment of your surroundings.
    "

    What works really well when you are punching paper targets on your property or taking a careful aimed shot at game does not work so well when you have a fraction of a second to save your life.

    Situational awareness and positioning yourself in an ideal of a location as possible when you are seated in a restaurant would be beneficial but, the answer is "NO" in a self-defensive scenario when you have "little" to almost "no" time to react you will not always know what or who is beyond your intended target/threat.

    In a restaurant you certainly will not know who is where behind the wall that is blocking your view of the kitchen - or who is standing directly behind the bathroom door or if the little girl in the apartment above the restaurant is stretched out on the floor doing her homework.

    You will NEVER know who is sunbathing in their yard or how many kids are playing behind the fence that lies beyond the parking lot where you are required to defend life and limb.

    If your life is truly in deadly peril then you take your shots and you take your chances.

    And then you prepare yourself for the possible/likely legal ramifications that will be certain to follow should you injure or kill an innocent individual.

    Hopefully you will be skilled enough and practiced enough to be able place projectiles into the deadly threat without sending any off into the ozone.

    Which is why I personally realize the fact that I am not a law enforcement officer and I will never interject myself into a shooting scenario in the public arena unless human lives are in immediate danger of being lost.

    If that is the case then basically you do what you need to do and hope for a perfect outcome and end result. Keep in mind though that Lady Luck will always play a part in the eventual outcome. That is unavoidable.

    Some of it will always be out of your control.

    This is SERIOUS STUFF! Every person on this forum needs to give it all real forethought and prior consideration.

    If you are just carrying a firearm as a "personal security blanket" and you have it all stored up in your mind that your self-defensive scenario will go according to some predetermined plan then that is incredibly delusional thinking.
    Whatever can go wrong will go wrong...usually.

    Practice your self-defensive shooting skills.
    Avoid any and all altercations if at all possible.
    Remember that it is better to walk away than to escalate a situation where things could get instantly ugly and take a horrible bad turn.
    Make situational awareness an integral part of your daily life. Pay attention to your surroundings.
    Have some sort of Less Than Lethal option also available AKA OC Spray that MAY end some possible potentially violent confrontations before they become chaotic shooting scenarios where bullets could possibly go screaming toward places that you would rather they didn't go.
    Words of wisdom and forethought

    I'm not taking a knee in that situation. I want to be on the move always attempting to create a better position and be able to instantly move should I become the object of their bs.
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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Hand in hand with this is carry enough gun. Yes some people are bullet sponges, but more powerful guns do make a difference.
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    We all need to remember these shootings are all a no win situation and the goal is survival. From a legal standpoint when he hits the ground the threat is over because you are still mobile & the BG is not. If you headshoot a BG lying on the ground armed or not you are in deep doo doo. Move off the X and keep moving.
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    Quote Originally Posted by velo99 View Post
    We all need to remember these shootings are all a no win situation and the goal is survival. From a legal standpoint when he hits the ground the threat is over because you are still mobile & the BG is not. If you headshoot a BG lying on the ground armed or not you are in deep doo doo. Move off the X and keep moving.
    Agreed, but that is the the fact scenario I am addressing here.
    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by velo99 View Post
    We all need to remember these shootings are all a no win situation and the goal is survival. From a legal standpoint when he hits the ground the threat is over because you are still mobile & the BG is not. If you headshoot a BG lying on the ground armed or not you are in deep doo doo. Move off the X and keep moving.
    If the BG is still a threat shooting him on the ground is not an issue. If the fight is still on its still on.

    As to the OP. There have been some good suggestions as to changing the angle, the pelvic shot and so forth. IMO it is very important to carry enough gun for these types of situations. A pocket gun may not be well suited for the question you are asking. Another point. Training, training and some more training.
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