What does the FBI really say about gunfights?

This is a discussion on What does the FBI really say about gunfights? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Being the quant that I am, when I see the misinterpretations of FBI statistics, I get really annoyed. As I promised , Personal Defense Network ...

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Thread: What does the FBI really say about gunfights?

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    Member Array HeadHunter's Avatar
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    What does the FBI really say about gunfights?

    Being the quant that I am, when I see the misinterpretations of FBI statistics, I get really annoyed. As I promised, Personal Defense Network has published my article about what the Bureau does and doesn't say about 'gunfights.'

    The short answer is the first line of the article: "Not as much as many people would lead us to believe."

    Not as much as many people would lead us to believe. We frequently hear claims like: “Check out the stats, man, it’s always at 20 feet or less, and nearly always at 10 feet or less.” Or “that zero to three feet distance that most gunfights take place at in the real world.” Various figures are cited as the source for these contentions, most commonly “the FBI.”

    Well, neither of those statements can be proven true based on the information supplied by “the FBI.” The available facts are actually a lot less conclusive than many people portray them as. Consequently, there is a great deal of unsupportable extrapolation of the facts that do exist.
    What Do FBI Statistics Really Say About ?Gunfights?? - Personal Defense Network
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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    Anyone involved in a gun fight probably wont be too concerned with FBI stats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    Anyone involved in a gun fight probably wont be too concerned with FBI stats.
    I quite agree.
    However, if you look at it from a standpoint of the current school of thought, and the driving force behind much of the curriculum being taught in gun fighting classes today, it does give, or should give some pause for thought.

    Is it possible that CQB skills are all that's needed, or might I have to be able to put accurate rounds on target at distance ?
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    Hasn't the FBI recently changed their training based on this information as well?
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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    The one thing I know for sure about being in a situation of needing a gun or any kind of force.....I most likely will not get to choose the time place or hows of that situation....So be ready for whatever comes your way to the best of your ability.
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    I have personally known or at least made the acquaintance of four police officers who were shot. Two were actual gunfights, two were executions, officers shot in the head at point blank or near point range with handguns. Neither were able to return fire, and both died at the scene. The third was shot several times in the vest from about six feet away, also with a handgun, and was unable to effectively return fire. His assailant was fatally shot by another officer at the scene. The officer who was shot recovered, and left law enforcement. The fourth was shot multiple times at distance with an AK, and wounded grievously. He was able to return fire, striking his assailant four times in sixteen shots from his M&P40. Three of the shots struck body armor, while the fourth struck his assailant in the leg and took him out of the fight. That shot was fired from a measured distance of sixty-two yards.
    The FBI statistics only include the two who were killed, and catagorize them both as 0-5 foot gunfights.
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    Quick question from the peanut gallery, I assume CQ = close quarters?

    The statistics aren't what motivates most of my practice to 7 meters and in. I just don't see too much of a defensable attack coming from further out (combined with some minor trembling which makes accuracy beyond that to be a thing remembered, not counted upon). If an attacker goes off on me with a rifle from distance I'm pretty much toast anyway. I count on the3 fact (perhaps unreasonably) that most bad guys will have trouble nailing me with a handgun from beyond 10 meters if I'm moving at all. If It is a rogue SEAL, or someone else with a lot of training I'm back to toast.

    It's all about adjusting the odds in our favor as much as is reasonable. There comes a point where I'm simply going to be out gunned, out skilled, and or out muscled (much more likely now than 40 years ago). Hopefully not all at once. Even more hopefully not ever
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    Senior Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    Training should reflect how you live your life. I think we should all train for "bad breath" range encounters, but my life dictates that I also train out to 50 feet. From my office door to my checkout counter is 48 feet. I also train for an advancing assailant from 15 feet...the distance from my car door to concealment (bushes). These are the distances and scenarios for which I train, because it's how I live my life. I can't foresee me at 60 with a bad knee in a running gunfight.

    Statistically, I'm correct.
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    The stats have their value, but to many times are used as a crutch for only training to a certain level. This IMO can be dangerous. The mantra of 3 feet, 3 seconds and 3 rounds is hog wash IMO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill MO View Post
    The one thing I know for sure about being in a situation of needing a gun or any kind of force.....I most likely will not get to choose the time place or hows of that situation....So be ready for whatever comes your way to the best of your ability.

    ^^^^^^^^This^

    I don't think what the FBI says about gunfights is the final distillation of truth as the matter goes.

    With my luck, I will be holed up in a deer blind with some lunatic on the loose, and it will feel like 'Nam .
    I guess we can read it, and get a perspective from it, and put it in the old memory bank, but that's about it.
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    I would think that as you acquired skills and situational awareness the distance should increase. I am not a big one on stats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMB View Post
    Hasn't the FBI recently changed their training based on this information as well?
    Yes. Here's a write up including the old and the new FBI pistol qual courses of fire:

    FBI Pistol Qualification Course ? an evolution | Stuff From Hsoi

    The new FBI qual seems like a very good standard for private citizens who carry concealed to work up to, then build upon.

    Some of the things that are often overlooked in discussions about average distances are very simple points. For example, our way of determining whether we, as private citizens, are justified in presenting or utilizing a defensive firearm are pretty universal: Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy. They may be labeled differently, but the 'Deadly Force Triangle' will look familiar regardless of specific labels. Based on common weapon types used, we know that most varieties of deadly force available to criminals require being within contact distance. These include number superiority, physical capability disparity (size, health considerations, etc), knife, bat, improvised physical contact weapon, etc. Context is a key factor, as well. The motivations to attack private citizens often differ from motivation to assault law enforcement officials. When we (citizens) are threatened, it is most commonly personal, or for monetary gain. In either case, the threat is likely to be close to us. After all, they can't take off with our wallets or purses from 100 yards away, and no abused girlfriend has ever been punched in the eye from 75 feet away. I absolutely don't have sources for this. I welcome anyone to speak with local LEOs about typical assault incidents, context, and categorization. I don't doubt that it will be confirmed that the vast majority of private citizen incidents *do* happen at distances shorter than 20 feet. There simply aren't many reasons to attack us from very far away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeadHunter View Post
    Being the quant that I am, when I see the misinterpretations of FBI statistics, I get really annoyed. As I promised, Personal Defense Network has published my article about what the Bureau does and doesn't say about 'gunfights.'

    The short answer is the first line of the article: "Not as much as many people would lead us to believe."



    What Do FBI Statistics Really Say About ?Gunfights?? - Personal Defense Network
    I have been telling people that for years. When they base their training on these "statistics" they are basing it on the fights that the good guys lost. I hate statistics.
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    Frankly, I don't think it matters that much if the majority of gunfights go down at close range. Some are long range, and it makes sense to be prepared for those as well. Emphasizing short range probably makes sense, but that does not mean excluding longer range.

    Same goes for ammo. Most gunfights might be over after three rounds, but that doesn't mean eight rounds is plenty - YOUR gunfight might require 32. You just don't know until it happens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxwell97 View Post
    Frankly, I don't think it matters that much if the majority of gunfights go down at close range. Some are long range, and it makes sense to be prepared for those as well. Emphasizing short range probably makes sense, but that does not mean excluding longer range.

    Same goes for ammo. Most gunfights might be over after three rounds, but that doesn't mean eight rounds is plenty - YOUR gunfight might require 32. You just don't know until it happens.
    This whole post is solid gold, with the bold added to highlight diamond crusted goodness. Part of my appreciation for the new FBI qual is that it emphasizes common distances, while also demonstrating value in being prepared for atypical situations.
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