Head shots and force on force

They’re suggesting headshots, in this situation, the problem I have with it is recoil anticipation and adrenaline.

I did attend a force on force class with Point Blank Firearms Training from Alaska at the USCCA Expo.

When I did the force on force, they have you outside your home and tell you your door is kicked in what do you do? Do you have family at home? Kids?

So not knowing what the situation is set up in my mental mind, I called out to see if anybody is there. A woman screams my name and stated he had a knife. Go in the house, clear room after room, and found him holding her with a knife to her stomach. The only shot I could take was a headshot.

The one thing that stopped me.

Was the thought, can I keep that front sight still enough to hit him in the head without hitting her? I’m under stress, I’m under adrenaline, I pull that trigger there is a chance I will dip the gun. And hit her instead. I couldn’t get a clean shot, so I had to convince him to let go of her. Even then she was still in my way, and I had to duck behind the wall because I seen him draw his pistol while mine was down at my side trying to get him to let go of her.

I duck behind the wall, he fired two shots, I reappeared behind the cover, his body was fully exposed, sights aligned, finger on trigger, and his hands are up, and they call a cease fire.

I’d love to take out the bad guy and save the day, but I don’t want to be the fool that head shots his loved one like this

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That is why all my weapons have on demand Lasers on them and are zeroed where the dot appears is where the round goes


That’s great but I’m not so sure it addresses the concern of adrenaline, trigger press, muzzle dipping, people moving in between when you decide to pull the trigger, when you do pull the trigger, and when the bullet gets there…making a hostage situation headshot in a dynamic situation is certainly not a desirable course of action if you can come up with any other option (especially using a handgun)


The one confrontation I had i did draw my weapon and did it automatically and did not know until it was already in the low ready at the second stop,and at the 3rd stop was where i lit him up between the eyes and engaged to laser and at that time I did notice that the weapon was dead between the eyes and there was no shaking or dropping of the the weapon barrel was dead on and not moving at all but I have been practicing ever since i got out of the Military in 65 and the first thing i did was eat and then went in and bought a weapon and then bought a car and headed out from Ca. to Texas going to the range is good and every thing works on the money, but I still practice moves at home that you cant do at the range and dry practine is a good motor memory training,at least it works for me as verified at the confrontation


That’s only proves, that you are not stone-cold killer… but unfortunately in hostage situation being unemotional is a winning skill.

That particular scenario cannot be predictable and will never give the answer what do we do. Do we take a shot, or no? Do we risk hitting loved one, or do we risk giving up and completely lose control on the standoff?
You actually had a great opportunity to overcome the emotions and to take a shot without real consequences.
You would have the answer if you were capable of taking risky shot. Now, you still don’t know…


If I could of I would of light him up, but again you have your “loved one” held up against him. Is it worth it engaging if you lose her?

I know my capabilities, but I’m not good enough for that type of situation.


Yeah. That is tough. But force-on-force was a great chance to check what happened if you pulled that trigger. At least you would know you can hit or not. Would it be comparable to reality? Still no… but think if you wouldn’t feel more comfortable in any situation later, knowing you can pull the trigger in the situations where other still hesitates.

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welllll there’s the whole sample size of 1 thing and the whole knowing it’s not real thing

As in I wouldnt’ recommend saying you “know” you can hit in that real life situation even if you were perfect 100% in one training iteration with safety gear

It’s…just not a good situation (fortunately it seems to rarely if ever happen in real life that I can tell with private citizens)

It seems to me the obvious training takeaway is to train the loved ones to create separation in any opening they can find in that situation and you take the shot then.

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Yes when it comes to force on force on training you work through it as if it’s a real scenario, and in a scenario where you have to use force, you’re literally betting your life on it.

Can you take that head shot with 1,000% Certainty that you’re going to stop him, and save her, if you make a mistake you will no longer see her and it’s your fault. YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE FACT YOU KILLED YOUR OWN MOTHER, DAUGHTER, SISTER, WIFE OR GIRLFRIEND.

Can you with 1,000 percent certainty, put that front sight on the persons head, keep it still enough as you press through the trigger, and not mess up?

99.9999999% of you can’t say that. Even if you can do that, would you?

Remember the 3 T’s

Target acquisition
Target Identification
Target Isolation

That is drilled into my head, you need all 3 to take a successful shot.

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What happens even if you can make the shot? Does that mean it’s an automatic clean kill? Nope. The dying brain can still make the muscles twitch making the bad guy squeeze off a shot or jerk the knife. This isn’t the movies. Also, there is a chance the bullet will glance off the hard bones of the head. You really need to hit through the nasal cavity, ear, mouth, etc. we are talking about a small area.

Should we practice head shots? Sure. But we also need to be realistic about the realities.

One option would be to work your way in close using verbal de-escalation and then put the gun literally on him and pull the trigger. It’s very risky either way, IMHO.

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Force-on-force training IS to see what can you do, what are you capable of. You do this training to see if you can pull the trigger in situation when you will hesitate. That is the meaning of training. You train, you check if the trained action works for you or not.
In OP situation it’s more mental training than accuracy or precision. Marksmanship can be practiced without force-on-force.

@Sinbad asked - What happens even if you can make the shot? The answer could be found on that training. @Forensic_Wow didn’t pull the trigger. He still doesn’t know what could happened.

Anyway, we trained the way it works. If that particular scenario gave answers how he would act during real hostage situation - that’s ok.
In my opinion there is still no answer. I personally prefer to train to the maximum limits to find the moment I know I cannot do anything.
In hostage training scenario I always risk to check if this risk gives results or not. Then I’m correcting my actions if needed. If my training doesn’t gives me any feedback - it’s just another game. And game teaches nothing.

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well I told my daughter and grand daughter if some one is breaking in the house to drop to the floor because the one standing is going down


That is correct,you are not in a place that is real battle where the job is you know who the enemy is

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I don’t think you are thinking this through properly. First, crime statistics for people taken hostage at one crime scene (wherever you are when X is kidnapped) and taken to another crime scene, nothing favorable is going to happen.

So the way I look at it, is what’s going to happen, to X, if I don’t take the shot. This topic came up a few years back on this forum, one of the members was a Missouri State Police Hostage Negotiator, and he said exactly what I am saying now. That nothing good comes to the hostage if taken, from one place to another, where the criminal now has time to do whatever. My wife knows if someone takes her, that she needs to go completely limp and be dead weight. To open up targetable area’s.

At least once a month, I end my range day, by shooting as if someone was using someone as a hostage/shield. In the thousands of rounds I’ve fired, I’ve clipped the hostages ear once.

Edit: It’s not a decision I would make for anyone but my wife or daughter, even then it would be only made if I was completely out of options. I would just try to delay the hostage taker for anyone else, until a professional hostage team could be on site .

It’s a training mantra here, the body can’t go wherever the mind hasn’t gone before. Isn’t that why we do scenarios on here? To have the mind go where the body hasn’t.

Do I ever want to have to make that decision? God no. But there is a chance it might happen.


I found the thread.