Avg. Gunfight - How Many Shots Fired?

Avg. Gunfight - How Many Shots Fired?

This is a discussion on Avg. Gunfight - How Many Shots Fired? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; How many shots are fired in the average gunfight (from *one* person, not all parties involved)? By the way, if you can't reference a study, ...

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Thread: Avg. Gunfight - How Many Shots Fired?

  1. #1
    Member Array austinguy23's Avatar
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    Avg. Gunfight - How Many Shots Fired?

    How many shots are fired in the average gunfight (from *one* person, not all parties involved)?

    By the way, if you can't reference a study, please don't throw out a number that you heard from a friend of a friend or an "estimate". I can "estimate" on my own.

    Thanks in advance...


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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    From John Farnam's website

    Quote Originally Posted by John Farnam
    SOP-9, as it is called, is NYPD's ongoing statistical study of lethal-force incidents in which MOSs (Members of Service) are involved. It dates from the 1860s to the present and is a credible source of information, one of the few available.

    For years, we were all told SOP-9 established the "average" number of rounds fired by an MOS during a lethal encounter was two to three. We later learned that figure was incorrect and was actually the result of sloppy statistical analysis. Naive statisticians simply took the total of all rounds fired outside of the firing range and divided it by the total number of shooting "Incidents." Unhappily, "incidents" included accidents and suicides!

    A more careful analysis of the data (which included only intentional shootings) revealed the actual figure to be very close to six rounds. What that said to us all was that officers, when threatened with lethal violence, were firing every round they had in their six-shot revolvers. After six shots, there was a mandatory pause for a conventional reload or a "NY reload," which consisted of producing a second revolver! After the reload, additional shooting was rarely necessary.

    That was prior to 1994. In 1994 autoloading pistols were introduced to the NYPD system.

    When autoloaders (mostly Glocks, with an occasional S&W and Beretta) came into the NYPD system, we all expected that figure (six) to go up into the teens, fully expecting officers to continue to fire every round they have. The latest data has shown our expectations to be incorrect!

    The new "average" number of rounds fired is eight. Subsequent data may alter that number, but that is what we have now. What jumps out at me is that, after eight rounds are fired, the parties separate or accommodate to the point where additional shooting is not necessary, at least in the short term, even though the officer is fully capable of firing more rounds. NYPD shooting accuracy has improved steadily, but the average hit percentage is still below twenty, so, out of eight rounds fired, only one or two are likely to impact anywhere on the suspect. In most cases, hit or not, the suspect disengages and runs away.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by austinguy23 View Post
    How many shots are fired in the average gunfight (from *one* person, not all parties involved)?
    Not to be snide, but you can't feed someone else's average to the felon who's assaulting you, the only situation that really matters.

    No estimate of other situations is likely to result in any number that will be the number required in the lethal-force assault you're involved with personally. "The number" you'll need won't come from any study: it'll be the number it ends up being. I'm deadly serious. Folks in the military around the world say "you can't have enough ammo" for good reason. Why? 'Cause you can't know how much you're gonna need, today, either due to the nature and variability of a given assault, or due to malfunction. Remember what "average" (well, median) means: half of the encounters required more than that number. My $0.02.

    EDIT:

    Another thing to remember is that in a large number of firefights with even well-trained police officers, it's very often the case that the officer cannot recall the number of rounds fired or even having run out at a certain point. One's sense of time and reality can shift in the pressure cooker of a lethal-force encounter. Ayoob and others have documented this very well. It's highly common. It's to be expected with relative "noobs" to such assaults.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; May 2nd, 2007 at 10:25 AM.
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    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Member Array Harold Fastwaker's Avatar
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    I can only see it in the future sometime. CCW interviewed and recollects that he read somewhere the average amount of shots fired was 8 so after 8 he stopped shooting.


    Not sure about you guys/gals but when I hit the range I make my shot count fired random. Some will be double taps others will pull 5 or 6 shots. You never know how many it will take in the end to make sure there is no threat anymore.


    I remember back in high school I took a week long junior police academy and we had to watch a video of a state trooper who fired 6 rounds from his revolver into a perp on LSD (if I remember thats the drug he was on) and the man stood strong and kept charging the officer. If I remember correctly the officer did not survive that fight as he was shot multiple times. God Bless his soul.

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    Member Array austinguy23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    From John Farnam's website
    Perfect! Thanks, BlackEagle.

    I must say that I'm a bit disappointed (and surprised) to hear the average is 8 rounds. I was just about ready to buy the S&W M&P 340 CT 5-round revolver...(sigh)...I still may. I'll just have to work on my aim!

    I have a Glock model 19 (16 rounds), but it simply isn't practical to carry in my opinion. It's just too heavy and cumbersome. Rock solid gun though...

    CCW9MM, while it is true that any incident I may be involved with in the future may not reflect the national average, looking at average statistics is still helpful. Knowing that trained cops require an average of 8 rounds to end a gun fight is very important in considering the capacity of a CCW.

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Austinguy23 -

    I'm with CCW9MM on this one. If the national average were two rounds, would you carry a derringer? Better to be prepared. Your Glock 19 might be a little bulky, but it sure isn't heavy - and you never know what might happen. Realistically the chances of being assaulted by an individual is quite slim - more often than not it will be at least two BGs that you have to deal with. JMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by aus71383 View Post
    Austinguy23 -

    I'm with CCW9MM on this one. If the national average were two rounds, would you carry a derringer? Better to be prepared. Your Glock 19 might be a little bulky, but it sure isn't heavy - and you never know what might happen. Realistically the chances of being assaulted by an individual is quite slim - more often than not it will be at least two BGs that you have to deal with. JMHO
    The key word is Average. some may require more or less. More though. If 2 BG's are engaging , what is the likelihood # 2 BG will fight on when confronted with shots fired?
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I guess that's sort of my point - likelihoods shouldn't be a factor. You should be prepared for any eventuality (okay, I should).

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    Member Array Harold Green's Avatar
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    It seems to be a natural tendency for folks who carry concealed gun – especially those new to carrying – to look for data on the “average” number of rounds fired in defensive encounters, and to look for a gun that’s small enough to be easy to wear and easy to conceal. In other words, they want to define what the minimum is they may need, and then carry only that minimum.

    Our local shooting group runs simulations of actual defensive shooting encounters. Doing this has changed the preconceived ideas many of us had about carry guns and how much ammo we should carry for them.

    The first thing we discovered was that, in a significant number of the simulations, we ran out of ammo before we ran out of threats. Not all the threats were neutralized when our guns were empty and our reloads exhausted. The next thing we discovered was that we could resolve the simulations more quickly and surely with a larger gun than with a smaller one. The third thing we discovered was that it’s not really much more difficult to carry and conceal a larger gun and carry more reloads than it is to carry a smaller gun and fewer reloads.

    There are two tried and true sayings that pretty much summarize what we found by running these simulations over an extended period of time. They are, “use enough gun,” and “you can never have too much ammo.”
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    Also, lets not forget that the statistic or whatever was for police officers. People getting into a firefight with police are a TAD bit more determined than the person breaking into your home to steal grandmother's pearls.

    In ALL of the self-defense stories that I have read where a gun was involved, MOST of the time just the presentation of a gun has caused the bad guy to flee, therefore no shots were fired, in the other accounts I have read the most shots I've ever, personally read fired from a civilian gun has been five.

    Most of the time it has been two shots aimed at the main perp and the other(s) fled.

    Like I said, someone getting into a firefight with the police is panicking. They know they are done and they have absolutely nothing to loose.

    However, when you are in a tangle with a civilian you have a chance to get the heck out of dodge and you are going to run for it before you stick around to help your wounded buddy and get shot or wait for the police to arrive.

    I think the "average" amount of shots fired is higher for police than for civilians but that is Lima theory. I have no evidence to support that other than the countless stories I have read where 3-5 was the magic number.

    Now, I know someone is probably going to post a story where a civilian needed 20 rounds just to prove me wrong.. but again, 3-5 seems to be the average for the stories I've read.

    It would be interesting to go to the NRAs website or something similar and start reading the stories where people have used their guns. Keep a tally on a piece of paper and figure out the average for yourself.

    And keep in mind that these are stories from people who decided to make their story known. There are probably thousands of people who have pulled a gun in their own defense and not fired it who didn't find it all that notable and didn't report it. My husband would be one of those.

    I would say that if you put into account how many times just the presentation of a gun deterred a crime and no shots were fired you would find the mathematical average would be close to 1.

    In order to find the average of shots fired you would have to weed out every single story where shots NEEDED to be fired and then find the mathematical average from there.

    My Brother-in-law, a police officer, has pulled his gun in the line of duty five times. Not once has he had to fire it. His average is still zero. Most of the time it was the presentation of the gun that made whoever was messing around, stop, reconsider and give in to being cuffed and taken away.

    You can make yourself feel safe and warm and fuzzy by looking at averages and going "Whew, I only NEED five rounds," but personally, I wouldn't put my life in the hands of an average.

    I carry seven rounds plus one in the chamber and a spare mag of seven. More than likely I will never need that spare mag. More than likely I will never need all eight of those rounds. Even more likely still is that I may never even draw my gun in my own defense, but I'm not trusting my life or safety to any of those things.

    I am perfectly comfortable with the fact that my gun only holds eight rounds MAX at a time. If I need more than eight rounds, I have a spare mag, if I need more than fifteen rounds... well, I was probably never coming out of that situation alive anyway.

    That's a personal decision in direct disregard to any averages or statistic. Some would say I don't carry enough ammo, well, phooy on them .. I'm very comfortable with the amount of ammo I carry. I believe it to be enough. That's that for me.

    YMMV (yeah.. I got to use it again..!)
    Last edited by limatunes; May 2nd, 2007 at 10:23 AM.
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  11. #11
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    The data I use to determine what I will carry:

    Average gunfight rounds fired - more than zero.

    So always carry your gun. Even if you are 'only going out to get a carton of milk from the gas station'.
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    While obviously the parties involved were a bit different than the group here, this is not abnormal for a home-invasion style assault (at least according to what I still hear from Harris Co., TX). Instead of being the responding officer, it would be one of us. When the gun comes out, the difference is irrelevant. Copied from another site:

    http://www.parade.com/articles/editi...005/featured_0

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    While obviously the parties involved were a bit different than the group here, this is not abnormal for a home-invasion style assault (at least according to what I still hear from Harris Co., TX). Instead of being the responding officer, it would be one of us. When the gun comes out, the difference is irrelevant. Copied from another site:

    http://www.parade.com/articles/editi...005/featured_0
    Wow, that's a bad scene all around. Interestingly, the one bad guy took two rounds of .45 to the head and wasn't put down, while the other guy was also able to continue firing after taking at least one hit. Goes to show that "more is always better" and also that "what should be enough may not be..."

    Kudos to Deputy Fulford for staying in the fight after being hit, and for ridding the world of two would-be murderers.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  14. #14
    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    a fight only last about 3-5 sec on average (guy o the street not police actions) at a distance of less than 7 yard so how many rounds can you shoot in that time my guess is all the gun will hold. Its not the number fired but the number of hits.

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    I can present from the holster, get off all 14 rounds from my P228, and be well on my way to completing a mag change in 5 seconds - and at 7 yards I wouldn't be worried about a miss. Of course, this assumes both me and the target are standing still - not likely - but you may be surprised by how many rounds can be expended in a short amount of time...
    AzQkr likes this.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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