Shot Placement?

I was taught to shoot for center mass until the threat stopped (poke holes and leak oil).

I know some train two to center mass one to the head.

I know there are scenarios where a CNS shot is the only real and safe shot (White settlement church shooting).

I even saw a post from someone on here talking about going for hips first. (Not planning to subscribe to this, but his reasoning was interesting. I believe it was @Craig6 (sorry @larry84, got you mixed into a mistake, just trying to stimulate conversation).

What are y’all’s thoughts?

I will stick to center mass, but there are potential scenarios where a CNS shot is the only option without risking hurting people around.


We who were in the military are taught to shoot in this way for one reason, and we all know what that is, and this is a good practice, if you do that now you will more than likely go to jail for a long time, remember you want to neutralize the threat, and if that is with one shot, then that is it, you don’t need to unload anymore rounds into the threat, I’ll catch a bunch of flak and that’s OK, I may be wrong, but I don’t think so.


Ummm. You shoot to stop the threat, and shoot until the threat stops. And when the threat stops you stop shooting. Just like the police. :+1:


Does anyone practice firing once? Except for head shots which i guess would be an option depending on circumstances. As stated shoot to stop the threat. I know some bg are stopped just from seeing a firearm, some after one shot, but the whole stopping power bs comes into play


If you have a club or range nearby that hosts IDPA events, go watch them sometime. Almost any scenario that can be dreamed up, they will try to create. I once participated in one (informal and not timed) where score was judged on One Shot per target.


So I know we shoot to stop the threat. But that is not an answer to placement.

I do not think we will be thinking a lot about placement in a self defense shooting. I think we’re going to put shots on a bad guy. BUT we always say “Shot Placement matters more than caliber.

Is this about I intentional placement? Or is this the concept that more shots and being on center mass, you’re more likely to hit a vital area.

There is also the concept of the mental stop (1-3 rounds is usually enough but not always).

Do you shoot center mass and when you start to run low, go for CNS?

Just questions.

Center of mass


Pew! Pew!

When I was a child, I shot like a child. But, when I became a man…

Bang! Bang!

Two shots


Bob, see my post just above. The idea behind that drill was concentrating on accuracy combined with movement. The more often it’s practiced, the easier it becomes.

Edit - I suppose the point that I’m trying to make is that the fewer shots required to stop the threat, the better.
Fewer chances of “collateral damage”.


There were two practical reasons for being taught to shoot center mass.

  1. the original sights on the M16A1&2 were sighted in at 25yds. and would would rise out to 175yds and drop back into 0 at 250yds. If you aimed center mass you could hit the target some where out to 300yds.
    After that you would have to aim higher.
  2. Unless you are a stone cold killer in the heat of battle by aiming center mass or lower would keep most people from shooting over the target.
    Now some are teaching to shoot high chest for a heart shot.

Center mass if it’s rushed no doubt. If time is allowed more thought goes into it


You shoot until the threat stops, Period.


Always thought most folks shoot center mass because of the size of the target. Easier to hit. Is that incorrect?




That is correct. Lots of vital spots their and a big target. It’s definitely the safest place to aim because you’re less likely to miss.


No, it is correct, center of mass is where all the vital organs are, that’s where you want to shoot.

Hey! Sorry @larry84, I went back and found the post. I didn’t mean to throw you into the top of this thread for something you didn’t say.

@Craig6 comment on the “Caliber” thread is what motivated me to start this conversation.

If a fight is coming my way, I will not be looking for a fair fight, but rather a fight I can win, quickly. My idea is to shoot to the hips for several reasons. First, a large target, and in most cases not well protected,e.g., body armor.
Second, large blood carrying arteries. Fast blood pressure loss.
Third, loss of mobility
Fourth, I prefer a 12 gage with slugs, hard to run with a 1 oz slug in your hip.
I don’t know if I was the one that made the statement first, but these are my reasons.


Clint Smith says if they have body armor “Shoot for the crotch” :rofl::joy:


No problem Craig6 has made some very interesting statements that for the most part I agree with. Just good company.