Where would you shoot to disable a vehicle?

This is a discussion on Where would you shoot to disable a vehicle? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I appreciate everyone’s responses to my question. I agree that shooting at a moving vehicle from a moving vehicle is a very bad idea for ...

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Thread: Where would you shoot to disable a vehicle?

  1. #31
    Member Array Stirling XD's Avatar
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    I appreciate everyone’s responses to my question. I agree that shooting at a moving vehicle from a moving vehicle is a very bad idea for many reasons. I should have stated that in my original post. I also agree there are many better ways to defuse a road rage situation that don’t involve clearing leather. Good courteous driving prevents most road rage and a little humility goes a long way towards de-escalation it once it starts. I get that.

    However, my question was intended to be more mechanical in nature. I was simply trying to determine what a vehicle’s Achilles heal might be. If you found yourself in a desperate, SHTF, middle of nowhere, kill or be killed, no escape situation and you thought the best way to end things was to open fire on a SUV, where would you aim? And to the half dozen of that actually addressed that question, thanks. You provided good food for thought.

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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stirling XD View Post
    However, my question was intended to be more mechanical in nature. I was simply trying to determine what a vehicle’s Achilles heal might be. If you found yourself in a desperate, SHTF, middle of nowhere, kill or be killed, no escape situation and you thought the best way to end things was to open fire on a SUV, where would you aim?
    At the driver.

    I know that's not the answer you are looking for, but a 100-200 grain projectile just isn't going to do that much damage to a vehicle. A handgun round will not penetrate an engine block. A tire is a difficult target and may or may not stop the vehicle. A gas tank is not going to explode and any hole would have to be at the very bottom of the tank to even give you a chance of draining it, and it would take a very long time. Obviously, the gas line would be the ideal place but that's an unrealistic expectation.

    Shooting at the driver has multiple purposes and multiple chances for success.
    1) You hit him and he's instantly incapacitated. Now you just have to avoid his vehicle as it coasts down. If his foot gets stuck on the gas pedal or he is on cruise control(not likely) nudge his vehicle off the road. It will stop when he hits a ditch or tree big enough.
    2) You hit him and he gives up.
    3) You miss and glass injures him.
    4) You miss and he instinctively swerves and runs himself off the road.
    5) You miss and he doesn't like getting shot at and he gives up.
    6) You miss and he keeps on doing what he was doing...in which case you fire again and you get to start all over through the scenario.
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  4. #33
    Senior Member Array Ragin Cajun's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be shooting to disble the vehicle. I would call 911 and simply pull off the road and stop. I would stay in the car. If the agressor stopped too and escaliated the situtation then I would respond by addressing him with appropiate force. Don't shoot the car, it's not it's fault a idiot bought it. j/k I have heard before that shooting a vehicle to "Disable" it is a myth. There is no magic spot that will truely disable it right away.

  5. #34
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    And there's the problem.

    Shooting a vehicle is a no-no. It's kind of that whole "know your target" and what is beyond.

    You don't know what that vehicle is going to do when you start sending rounds into it, it could swerve and kill other pedestrians / motorists, you could shoot through a body panel and kill the wrong person if there are other passengers.

    Too many things can go way to wrong.

    I just don't get these auto "chase" incidents. I don't get why these people don't just E&E to the nearest PD.

    And remember, if you're being followed. NEVER GO HOME!
    Bingo. ^^

    Quoted in whole because it's that good and 100% on point with legality and uncommon sense.

    So what if some dude is following you.
    Let him follow you all the way to the local PD or FD station.
    If they bump or impact your car, so what. You have insurance. Keep rolling to the PD or FD station and do not speed or try to 'lose' them in turn yourself driving like a maniac.
    A notable exception would be whilst taking incoming fire.

    - Janq
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  6. #35
    Member Array AgentX's Avatar
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    From both a legal and a tactical perspective, drive until you're clear of the threat or you can't drive anymore.

    If you're no longer moving and still face a deadly-force situation, deal with the situation at hand. If your threat is in a car, nothing changes--shoot at the threat. You wouldn't shoot at his gun, right? Don't shoot at his car. Shoot at him until there's no longer an apparent threat.

    Edit: If, however, you're a passenger in a car, it's different--if someone's shooting at you or actively ramming/pushing your car and you can shoot back without endangering anyone else, go for it. But don't shoot at the vehicle, shoot at the driver.

    Forces in Iraq and war zones are authorized to escalate force and are using 5.56 to 'stop' vehicles by shooting into the engine block, but in most cases, it seems to be because the driver stops driving, not because the vehicle fails mechanically.

  7. #36
    New Member Array Ranger375's Avatar
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    Got it...get ya one of these...



    Hard to conceal though...

    Seriously though...JD's got it right in my opinion.
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  8. #37
    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    If I have to shoot to disable a car...it's going to be at the driver
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

  9. #38
    Member Array nikdfish's Avatar
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    I'll play ... you aim at the nut behind the wheel ... ;-)

    Nick

  10. #39
    Member Array starshooter231's Avatar
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    If you've got time to draw your pistol, and take your eyes off the road to aim, then you're probably not under a threat that justifies firing a shot.....

    Matt
    +1

    I must agree with Matt.
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  11. #40
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    I would make sure that I had talked to 911 and shooting was a last resort. If the sight of the gun did not scare the Jerk away and there was no other way out I would put a couple of rounds through the radiator. If things escalated out of control after that the windshield would be my next target as a last resort only.

  12. #41
    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    tires and where the tank should be, if in a chase I'd shoot for the radiator and engine compartment.
    I am sworn to protect the Constitution of the U.S.A. from all threats both foreign and domestic.

  13. #42
    Member Array riverkeeper's Avatar
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    You'all really need to learn how to do a J Turn.
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  14. #43
    Member Array AgentX's Avatar
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    J turns aren't really the most reliable technique--we're teaching Y turns now. Much more repeatable and executable on narrower roads and for all practical purposes, as fast as a J turn (maybe a second slower). If you end up hanging your rear wheels off the road or catching them in a ditch, you're not getting out of whatever situation you were trying to avoid. Gaining a second isn't worth the risk.

    That said, if you do an aggressive Y turn, well, sometimes you do just end up facing the right direction...

    Problem is that reversing direction is a good move to get away from a threat to the front, not to deal with an aggressive pursuer. And if you have to break contact to the front, you're most likely best off by using reverse until you've broken a line of sight with a threat, then executing your turn-around technique of choice. 1) keep the engine between you and the threat and 2) don't spend a few seconds turning around if you can avoid it...stop short, put it in reverse, and back out as fast as possible.

  15. #44
    Member Array AgentX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G View Post
    I would make sure that I had talked to 911 and shooting was a last resort. If the sight of the gun did not scare the Jerk away and there was no other way out I would put a couple of rounds through the radiator. If things escalated out of control after that the windshield would be my next target as a last resort only.
    To me, this is like saying you'd shoot someone in the leg until you had no other choice.

    If there's a deadly force threat, shoot at the person presenting that threat. If there's not, don't shoot anything or anyone. It's not the tactical issue you have without a vehicle (since a car is a bigger target, unlike a leg), but it's the same legal/moral principle.

    Likewise, you won't hit ANYTHING if you're shooting while driving your own vehicle. It's too hazardous to even consider.

  16. #45
    Member Array gunfighter48's Avatar
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    To answer the OP's question: from a purely mechanical standpoint, I'd either shoot the tires or for a bigger target the radiator. A vehicle isn't going far without coolant. Chances of hitting the driver thru side windows or windshield are not good. There was a shooting show on the Outdoor channel last night (Shooting USA) showing how difficult it is to hit a driver by shooting thru auto glass. Most shots were deflected completely away from the driver. That could be one justified reason for shooting at the tires or radiator, to avoid hitting other occupants in the vehicle.

    But I have to agree with the other posters, I would pull over to the side of the road and stop. Or if possible pull off the highway into a well lit gas station or mall. Much better option than getting run off the road. If the perp follows then proceed as with any other violent encounter, protect yourself.
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