Thoracic Triangle vs. COM Shot Placement

This is a discussion on Thoracic Triangle vs. COM Shot Placement within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I was looking at one of the silhouette targets (not IDPA or IPSC silhouette, just black silhouette with elongated x at center mass with concentric ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 27

Thread: Thoracic Triangle vs. COM Shot Placement

  1. #1
    Member Array Munsterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Berks Co. , PA
    Posts
    24

    Thoracic Triangle vs. COM Shot Placement

    I was looking at one of the silhouette targets (not IDPA or IPSC silhouette, just black silhouette with elongated x at center mass with concentric rings going outwards) I use to practice with and I noticed something... The "x" ring is located on center of mass (COM), however, this same shot placement does not agree with the theory of shooting for the thoracic triangle ( imaginary triangle drawn by a line connecting each nipple and connected at the top by the notch at the clavicle). The target is a very common type and if I imagine where the "nipples" would be on it, the greatest portion of the x-ring is sitting below that imaginary line between the nipples. However, this x-ring does appear to be COM ( per the military targets I remember shooting at many years ago). We were always taught to shoot COM for quick knockdowns.

    My question is this : What is everyone's take on shot placement ? Should we be shooting COM or for the "Thoracic Triangle" ?


    Note : Mods- I know this is a "where to shoot" question and not "what to shoot" - move it where you feel appropriate.

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,164
    Well, the stopping is likely to happen quicker if you hit the triangle, but it is widely believed that you are better off aiming center of mass. It is allegedly "quicker" under stress, and given the hit/miss statistics from actual gunfights, it would seem that you'll be lucky to hit the target at all, so perhaps one should increase their odds by aiming COM.
    Spend few minutes learning about my journey from Zero to Athlete in this mini documentary!
    Then check out my blog! www.BodyByMcDonalds.com

    Cupcake - 100 pound loser, adventurer, Ironman Triathlete.

  4. #3
    Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    44,404
    Depends...how do adrenaline, set of 'full' drawers, people screaming, dogs barking, sirens, and moving targets effect your shooting?
    I would prefer CoM...then work my way up.
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

    ***********************************
    Certified Glock Armorer
    NRA Life Member[/B]

  5. #4
    Member Array Lumberjack98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    146
    Funny you bring this up. There was a write up in one of the current handgun magazines (sorry, forget which one) that talks about just this and that the one with the X and the concentric rings actually trains people to shoot in the wrong place.
    XD9 Service
    Bersa 380 Thunder
    Taurus 605
    ...a few others

    Texas XD Practical Shooters Association

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    1,772
    It is simpler to teach COM, and a good fast COM hit sure beats no hit at all while a hesitant shooter tries to decide on another point of aim. Humans do not have scoring rings tattooed onto the skin, nor wear clothing with scoring rings embroidered into place. I have long known there are more important bits a little higher than COM, and have often aimed accordingly when pointing my duty handguns and shotguns at bad guys, and while practicing.

    I don't even think of imagining the nipple line. Armpit level will give you a wealth of blood vessels just above the heart, and approximates the nipple line. The aorta is actually a better target than the heart itself, IMHO, as the muscular heart tends to close around bullet wounds.

    As retsupt99 indicated, COM is not a bad aiming point for the first shot, then work your way up and around a bit. Also, think in three dimensions, not two.

    The triangle described in the first post is certainly full of important internal targets, but a COM X-ring also covers important internal targets. The triangle system may be more forgiving of horizontal dispersion of shots, while COM more forgiving of vertical dispersion. After all, along centerline, there is important stuff all the way down to the pelvic area. (spine and abdominal aorta)

    Edited to add: Imagine a low hit aimed at either nipple of the triangle; that could result in a non-vital hit. That is what I meant when I indicated the triangle system could be less forgiving of vertical shot dispersion. Assuming a bad guy facing straight on, I would indeed prefer to hit him above COM, but I still want the shots to be along the centerline.

    FWIW, I had considered a career in the medical field before I became a police patrolman, and studied anatomy and physiology at the college level. This does not make me an expert, of course. If I can get a few words in with my wife, who has an "M.D." attached to her name, and who works for the M.E., I will mention this post to her, and try to get some feedback.

  7. #6
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,706
    Center of mass of the target presented. I want a good hit, now, rather than a better hit later...
    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.

  8. #7
    Member Array Munsterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Berks Co. , PA
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumberjack98 View Post
    Funny you bring this up. There was a write up in one of the current handgun magazines (sorry, forget which one) that talks about just this and that the one with the X and the concentric rings actually trains people to shoot in the wrong place.
    If you think of it, please let me know - I'd like to read the article.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexster View Post
    It is simpler to teach COM, and a good fast COM hit sure beats no hit at all ...
    I certainly agree a COM hit beats no hit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexster View Post
    (-snip-)...If I can get a few words in with my wife, who has an "M.D." attached to her name, and who works for the M.E., I will mention this post to her, and try to get some feedback.
    I'd greatly appreciate her input!

    The reason I bring this all up is that I was planning a training day tomorrow and in getting all my stuff together, I noticed the target and got to thinking...( that can be dangerous and sometimes very ex$pensive-LOL!) Perhaps by constantly training myself to shoot at COM, I/we are doing ourselves a dis-service of constantly shooting at a less than ideal point of aim. In other words, "in the heat of battle" I fully expect I/we will react just as we practice/train. For me, that means I almost instinctively shoot center -o-mass. I'm wondering if i should perhaps make a concentrated effort to make my point of aim a bit further North or at least, like Retsup said " shoot my way up" .

  9. #8
    Administrator
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    19,620
    depends on how good you are
    "Just blame Sixto"

  10. #9
    Member Array David Blinder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    54
    Gut shots hurt but not as much as a heart exploding as it impacts the spine.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    6,781
    Thoraic triangle is going to be most terminally effective and optimal for soonest stoppage as this can be shown simply by referencing a diagram of the human torso with internals shown.
    But, the TT is a relatively small area requiring fine motor skill _and_ trained shooter skill to hit.

    While traditional Center of Mass is not as good for terminal effectiveness again simply by referencing a human torso.
    But, it represents a relatively huge area that works well toward gross motor skills and requires a modicum of shooter training and skill to attain repeatable hits with most any firearm including those that have no sights and/or shooting from the hip or using point shooting techniques which both involve non-use of sights.



    Optimally if time allowed I'd be aiming for the TT.
    Otherwise the CoM would be my primary goal/priority ahead of getting a hit anywhere on the BGs body as opposed to a miss.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  12. #11
    Member Array Texas Yankee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dallas, Tx
    Posts
    308
    I have no practical expertise on this subject but have read a lot lately on this. The old point shooters appear to have advocating aiming at just above the belly button. The Texas law enforcement qualification and CHL target recently changed from emphasizing the Triangle to aiming COM. I understand that change was made because there were some LEO encounters where the LEOs missed high because they were aiming at the Triangle as trained but with the adrenalin flowing shot high. If you look at Swenger's site, you will see some interesting materials suggesting that the pelvis area actually has more and bigger blood vessel and nerves than COM and may stop a BG sooner. Massad Ayoob makes the same point in some of his writings. And Jim Cirrillo has said that when the NY squad hit someone in the pelvis area, they always went done. Didn't necessarily stop the fight and sometimes they got up, but at least they initially went down. And I believe Farnam teaches a zip up method where you start with a low aim and work your way up. As a result, I have changed my training to aim COM primarily but also work on strings starting COM going down to the pelvis and working my way back up.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Tyler11B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    650
    the TT would be what i would want to hit, but as fast as the situation would probably go i would shoot at whatever i could hit. COM and TT like i said would be were my aim is, but as long as i can hit any piece of skin its going to hurt the aggressor
    U/315
    KY Concealed Carry Instructor
    Taser X2/X26 Instructor
    "It is the tradition that a Kentuckian never runs. He does not have to…[he] is entitled to stand his ground, and meet any (life-threatening) attack made upon him with a deadly weapon…." Gibson v. KY, 34SW936(Ky.1931)

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    2,193
    here's what I wrote in a similar topic a few weeks back (I'm too lazy to type it again ):

    "COM" is not a very precise concept. I think this is compounded by the fact that many LE-style Q-targets place the highest scoring area way too low. For example, on the B-27 the "X-ring" is at about solar-plexus level.

    Here is the easiest rule of thumb I've heard for hitting the proper target area of the torso: When looking at the attacker (regardless of which direction they're facing) imagine a vertical line splitting him into equal halves (right down the centerline of the body), then imagine a horizontal line at the level of the top of the armpits. Shoot the spot where these lines intersect. Hitting this spot will give you a good chance of hitting either the heart, lungs, or aorta.
    --------
    here's the other topic: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...igher-poa.html
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  15. #14
    Member Array Double Naught Spy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    453
    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoTex View Post
    here's what I wrote in a similar topic a few weeks back (I'm too lazy to type it again ):

    "COM" is not a very precise concept. I think this is compounded by the fact that many LE-style Q-targets place the highest scoring area way too low. For example, on the B-27 the "X-ring" is at about solar-plexus level.

    Here is the easiest rule of thumb I've heard for hitting the proper target area of the torso: When looking at the attacker (regardless of which direction they're facing) imagine a vertical line splitting him into equal halves (right down the centerline of the body), then imagine a horizontal line at the level of the top of the armpits. Shoot the spot where these lines intersect. Hitting this spot will give you a good chance of hitting either the heart, lungs, or aorta.
    --------
    Interesting. If you actually use the top of the armpits as your guide, then you stand a good chance of missing the heart itself as the shot will be too high if you hit the + as intended.

    The reason the nipples are used as a lateral reference (at least for men) is because the heart is located between the nipples, lower down on the chest than the armpits.
    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): First aid - MayoClinic.com
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Double Naught Spy; December 14th, 2008 at 10:07 AM.
    Considering yourself to be defenseless is the first administrative step to becoming a victim.

  16. #15
    Member Array Munsterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Berks Co. , PA
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoTex View Post
    ..."COM" is not a very precise concept. I think this is compounded by the fact that many LE-style Q-targets place the highest scoring area way too low. For example, on the B-27 the "X-ring" is at about solar-plexus level.
    That's exactly what I was thinking when I created this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoTex View Post
    Here is the easiest rule of thumb I've heard for hitting the proper target area of the torso: When looking at the attacker (regardless of which direction they're facing) imagine a vertical line splitting him into equal halves (right down the centerline of the body), then imagine a horizontal line at the level of the top of the armpits. Shoot the spot where these lines intersect. Hitting this spot will give you a good chance of hitting either the heart, lungs, or aorta.
    Thanks for the tips... just the sort of stuff I was looking for. Oh, thanks for the link to the other topic, too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy View Post
    Interesting. If you actually use the top of the armpits as your guide, then you stand a good chance of missing the heart itself as the shot high will be too high if you hit the + as intended.

    The reason the nipples are used as a lateral reference (at least for men) is because the heart is located between the nipples, lower down on the chest than the armpits.
    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): First aid - MayoClinic.com
    ...More of what I was looking for. The x-ray really is revealing ! Great idea. It seems to me that there's a fairly large area of "vitals" here, it's just a bit higher than I've been training to hit. Anyone know of targets that reflect this info ?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Thoracic Triangle: Raising Your Sights During SD Range Practice
    By 147 Grain in forum Defensive Carry & Tactical Training
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: December 7th, 2010, 09:42 PM
  2. Nice shot placement
    By SAMI in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: March 10th, 2010, 07:02 PM
  3. Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement
    By torgo1968 in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: July 24th, 2009, 06:20 PM
  4. shot placement
    By friesepferd in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 51
    Last Post: August 8th, 2007, 06:22 PM
  5. Shot placement
    By Maverick7340 in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: August 20th, 2006, 04:53 PM

Search tags for this page

bi sexual
,

bisexual

,
bisexual body
,
bisexual humans
,
diagram of human torso
,
diagram of the human torso
,
human shot placement
,
human torso diagram
,
shot placement
,
shot placement human body
,
thoracic triangle
,
torso anatomy diagram
Click on a term to search for related topics.