Great read, thank you for posting this!
This is a discussion on Combative Anatomy for pistol within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Combative Anatomy There are two types of weapons, edged and impact. A bullet is a just a hybrid that goes really fast. The only two ...
There are two types of weapons, edged and impact. A bullet is a just a hybrid that goes really fast. The only two ways to damage tissue is but cutting and crushing it.
When a bullet strikes tissue it has the ability to damage the following system listed in the order that the shooter will likely notice the effect and the immediacy the round would have on the ability of the attacker to continue aggression
Central Nervous System- comprised of the spinal cord and head. Since you will likely be shooting into the front of side of your attacker the head is protected only by being a small target and the spinal cord by the tissue in front of it. Comprising the CNS will look like someone turned off a light switch.
Structural System including bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments- these targets all over the body. The most effective ones being the elbows, knees, and pelvic girdle. Any damage to the hands will likely render them useless for using a weapon, especially that to thumbs.
Circulatory System- the largest, and easiest to compromise. Even though it may be likely to result in eventual death it may seem as though the attacker has not even been struck.
Everyone is familiar with a "ball tap". You walk by a buddy and ball tap him and his head comes forward, depending on how good your ball tap is the farther he will bend over exposing the top of his head and spinal cord to the front.
Most traditional training has us bring our pistol to COM (usually high chest) before beginning to shoot. Doing this we miss have the COM by bypassing the groin to nipple line. There is no reason not to shoot in this area since the muzzle will pass it coming from our hip anyway (at least in a dynamic situation). So those low rounds hit and have the probability of causing the "ball tap" response. As you continue to fire you have a better chance of accessing the heart and lungs with rounds passing behind the clavicle. As previously described you also have a better chance of hitting the head or spinal cord because it has now become the COM.
The pelvic girdle is super vascular and required for locomotion. By default targeting in the manner described you are increasing your odds of targeting the structural system, Central Nervous System, and Circulatory System, in that order instead of the traditional concentration on the Circulatory System alone.
In other words instead of shooting for the head bring the head down to where you are shooting. Also translates well to open hand combatives, edged weapons, and impact weapons. - George
Great read, thank you for posting this!
Don't frisk me, I am the weapon.
Sig Sauer P239 DAK (9mm)
NRA Member & Pistol Instructor
Nice post...Good points to think on.
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
And Shepards we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee,
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, So that our feet may swiftly carry out thy command,
And we shall flow a river forth to Thee, And teeming with souls shall it ever be,
And oh so true. I have always had the mindset to put down a charging anything, take out the running gear.
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato
I agree with this completely. It's also better to aim downward when in proximity with non-combatants so any blow-through rounds go into the ground or maybe hitting the legs if they're particularly close. It also keeps any misses from traveling very far, let alone traveling very far at chest level.
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
Makes sense. Thanks for sharing your insight.
*WARNING - I may or may not know what I am talking about.
The recent increase of criminals being arrested wearing ballistic protection also makes pelvic shots right at the get-go a good call with a handgun.
Makes sense good read... thanks
NRA Certified Rifle/Pistol Instructor
Accuracy ALWAYS WINS! So carry what you can hit with.
If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics stink.
This was called Tatooing in the old days. Basically firing up the center line. Problem is people often turn rather than slump over when shot. Better to fire COM. Body armour shots go to the face not the pelvic girdle.
Good stuff... thanks George!
ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!
"A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
What I would fear from going low first is that there might not be much of a reaction at all if bone or spinal column isn't hit. There's lots of soft and squishy stuff inside (to absorb the momentum of a bullet) and this stuff "guts" doesn't have sensory receptors.
I have watched a dog with its belly cut open and guts hanging out eat its own intestines.
Now, if close in, a kick to the privates will bring the head down for a head shot. No one of course wants to be in a confrontation at that range---which is where of course they happen all the time.
I'm a big advocate of the KISS principle.
While we all hope for the electrical shut down shot, and many of us know what that is, and how to make one, when all you got is your your brain in survival mode, and big muscle groups doing the movement for you, can you count on your dynamic thinking to be there for you in time of a crisis? I think minimizing risk/error is critical to still maintain some degree of safety while still giving you the best chance of stopping a threat. I think it would be better to practice or to teach to shoot to the area "center of exposed mass". Therefore the analogy of somebody coming directly at me I'm going to aim center of exposed mass. Now if all I got is a Cranial Vault shot, because the guy has something blocking his bigger areas, then I guess thats what I'm aiming for.
I would focus on recoil management techniques and speed of defensive accuracy hitting a targets center of exposed mass.
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Having never been in a gun fight and hoping and praying I never am in a gun fight, it does seem to me that any hit on a truly BG is better than no hit at all.
Willingness to fight and willingness to win is more important to me than worry about shot placement (hopefully much practice has already tended to shot placement).
There is much more at stake than the BG, there is your life, your family's life, your friend's life and stopping the BG from attacking some one else who may not be able to defend themself.
NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
nor the arrow for its swiftness,
nor the warrior for his glory.
I love only that which they defend.
very informative, great read gave me some stuff to think about