Just had a thought and want some opinions

This is a discussion on Just had a thought and want some opinions within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I keep hearing that in most gunfights only 20% of shots fired hit the intended target. I'm wondering if that is because most cops and ...

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    Senior Member Array BRTCP88's Avatar
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    Just had a thought and want some opinions

    I keep hearing that in most gunfights only 20% of shots fired hit the intended target. I'm wondering if that is because most cops and armed citizens don't practice that much?

    I've heard from several friends I know in law enforcement that most of their co-workers don't do anything but the required requals, and the first time I went to the range the guys behind the counter were saying I was a natural and what a good shot I was. I don't know if they were just trying to encourage me or what, but I'm still not that good of a shot after two years of practice and three defensive firearms courses.

    So, I'm wondering, is the hit rate so low because of all the bad shots who think they are "good enough" or does adrenaline, etc., really effect you so much that 20% is wishful thinking?

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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    A lack of practice is definately a factor and then there's that massive shot of adrenaline when you are getting shot at. Unfortunately there is no real world practice that simulates being shot at. Sure you can do things to increase your adrenaline, you can have paintballs, airsoft, etc sent your way. You can be under the stress of competition and the have the surprise of a timer going off in your ear, but I'm sure that nothing prepares you for defending your life and those around you with real bullets coming at you. You can be a great shot at the range, hell you might be good at shooting on the move but you are in a safe enviroment. Another factor is the amount of ambient light in a shooting encounter, they usually occur in low light condidtions and not many people practice that type of shooting. If you get the chance do it.
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    My guess would be it is a combination of factors. Lack of practice, the adrenaline rush and the fact that a target isn't moving and shooting back at you.
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    Its a combined issue. Increased heart rate, even just a little, affects your fine and gross motor skills. Factor in fear, adrenaline, movement and any environmental issue you can think of, and all of a sudden 20% sounds like a high number.
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    Adding to what others said, not all of the shots in a gunfight are intended to hit the target. Many shots are fired to suppress the BG. If you make him duck then you can escape or advance depending on the need at the time.
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    What little practice most folks get is on a static range shooting paper for tiny groups. Gunfights are dynamic encounters engaging moving targets that shoot back. Train to fight and you'll fight like you train.
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    Ummmm... ahhhhhh... wellllll

    I'd say It's more a mindset and lack of practice causing the missed shots. And throw in some really poor tactics.

    IMO. and this is only my own opinion... Based on my experience, and training I have recieved.

    The high number of missed shots is mostly as result of high capacity handguns, and people including police having a false sense of confidence that " I have enough firepower to handle anything". This false confidence IMO leads to poor tactics. This results in using a cover by fire tactic. Unloading in the direction of the threat to keep him/her from hitting you.

    If anything the adrenaline dump may somewhat compensate for the lack of training, but the lack of training will show itself at the worse time. More important than training is practice. People who dont practice never get to know their firearm, and it's capabilities, and much more important they never get to know their own capabilities. All that makes for a crisis of confidence at the worse possible time. So then... cover by fire.

    I said mostly with the high cap pistols but this happened when revolvers ruled also... but to a lesser degree. Less Bullets= less missed shots.

    Again this is only the opinion of tis one man

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    Add to all the comments about adrenline, heart rate, etc that the BG is a human being and the majority of us are raised that it is BAD to take another life. The circumstances may warrant it but the nagging thoughts from our upbringing keep intruding. That's why the military calls people "assets", "targets", "resourses", etc. Anything but a human being. We even called the Viet Cong the impersonable "Charlie" so we wouldn't think of them as "human". Don't get me wrong, I am for gun ownershiprights, member of TN Gun Owners, NRA member, have a carry permit, and hope I will respond correctly if the time comes. Just adding a psycological 2 cents worth.

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    How many of you responding have "seen the elephant"? I would wager not many.
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    Most people, including police, practice with ear and eye protection. To do otherwise is foolhardy. I have a considerable hearing loss from range shooting as a youngster without adequate ear protection. Cotton and kleenex doesn't get it. Still, the report of a gun will definitely cause a flinch or the expectation of one after the first couple of shots. I've read that people say they seldom hear the first shot in a gunfight but I believe additional shooting is like a new type of training that you never really get used to. Remember, shootings are still relatively rare (thank God) and some things you just can't practice for.

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    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    My guess would be it is a combination of factors. Lack of practice, the adrenaline rush and the fact that a target isn't moving and shooting back at you.
    Plus the fact that you might be moving whether you planned on it or not.

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    Once you have taken a life or wounded someone in combat, police work or otherwise it changes you. Forever. I only hope and pray that God is merciful enough to most of us to never have to.
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    Citizens show amazing accuracy and self-restraint with firearms
    Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606). (23) And readers of Newsweek learned in 1993 that "only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The 'error rate' for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high." (24)
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    While I generally agree with what has been, there are some exceptions. I believe that training and practice are the most relevant factors. When I was active LE, I always considered myself a gunfighter first and everything else second, that was because I considered it as the activity that was most likely to get me killed. I trained and practiced accordingly.

    I believe that the adrenaline thing is over rated. That may be due to having considerably more adrenaline incidents than the average person. Most of the people I worked with, including myself, were virtually always effected by the adrenaline rush, after the fact.

    This is just the personal opinion of someone who has shot people and been shot at a considerable number of times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    While I generally agree with what has been, there are some exceptions. I believe that training and practice are the most relevant factors. When I was active LE, I always considered myself a gunfighter first and everything else second, that was because I considered it as the activity that was most likely to get me killed. I trained and practiced accordingly.

    I believe that the adrenaline thing is over rated. That may be due to having considerably more adrenaline incidents than the average person. Most of the people I worked with, including myself, were virtually always effected by the adrenaline rush, after the fact.

    This is just the personal opinion of someone who has shot people and been shot at a considerable number of times.
    Guantes, would you say that you were the exception rather than the rule? I have found that most LE that are gun guys, take it very serious. The ones that are not gun guys, seem to hate training days. The last training day, we had Officers that couldnt figure out double feeds, some took the skin off of there reaction hand thumb, the instrutors were really pissed and concerned with what was occuring.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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