Shooting stance, grip, sight picture and trigger control are the mantras of the consummate pistolero. There are multiple options appropriate to different shooting scenarios. Tight groups demand perfect control and sight picture. But what about those less than ideal situations where the formulation of a response is measured in perhaps, milliseconds. When faced with a possible deadly force situations, we are hit with a barrage of physiological changes that affect perception, motor control and upper brain activity. First the chemical response, there is an adrenaline dump, tunneling of vision, then loss of fine motor control, this is the point we revert to training. Motor response depends more on muscle memory than cognizant thought.
How to Avoid the Use of Deadly Force
Decisions, is he/she armed check yes or no. Are they in a heightened emotional state due to conflict or under the influence of chemicals, drugs or alcohol. Are they complying with demands to drop or otherwise secure his weapon. Rules are more restrictive for law enforcement but even the civilian CCW carrier needs to do what he can to avoid deadly force, time permitting. Obtain cover or concealment and try to negotiate, a highly unlikely scenario, but the decision to employ deadly force is irrevocable and time to consider options short, very short.
Shoot or Don’t Shoot Scenarios
Most armed confrontations occur at 10 yards or less, about double the distance of a typical track home’s living room. Many occur under seven yards and the decision to shoot or not to shoot is measured in parts of a second. To assume the preferred modified Weaver stance and to handed grip, achieve sight alignment and fire takes far too long in the short time intervals between perception of threat, decision to use deadly force and fire. Most likely we will resort to one handed fire, and a principle called, the flash-sight-picture, introduced by Jeff Copper.
Flash Sight Picture
In a defensive fire time is in short supply, reaction to the threat has already disposed of precious milliseconds. Another problem is that the human eye cannot focus across multiple plans, rear sight, front sight and target. Achieving proper sight alignment eats time you don’t have and placing precision shots in a tight group is neither required nor desirable. Our response is to focus on the front sight, contrary to the inexperienced shooter that is fixated on the threat and disregards his sights altogether.
Aim for Center Mass
The vital target spot on an attacker is center mass, and our focus should be in the sternum area of the threats chest. Lungs, heart and major vessels are in this area. This area is the largest target on a threat’s body, and remember we are trying to neutralize an aggressive act, not necessarily kill the attacker. As the threat materializes we should already have the gun centered on the threats area we intend to deliver our fire. When the decision to fire is made we switch our focus to the front sight, then fire. With practice of the flash-sight-picture you can place all your shots within an eight-inch circle. Shot dispersion, though centered on the sternum cover more areas containing vital organs and blood vessels leading to hopefully a truncated event.
Custom Shooting Ranges for Firearm Training & Practice
As with all other shooting techniques it requires constant practice to achieve a competent level of proficiency and confidence in the technique. You hopefully never find yourself employing deadly force to protect yourself or others. If you do you have one chance, you survive or you don’t and real life does not have a reset button. This applies to both law enforcement and the concealed carry individual. You have but one chance, use it well. Put in some range time. Contact Shooting Range Industries to learn more.