Shot Placement?

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.



Center Mass.

More target area, more potential to hit.

Going for a one stop shot? You better be damn good… and not have any adrenalin or pounding blood in your ears… cause your one shot stop to go astray.

One issue, you miss, where does that rd go?
Second issue, if you hit but do not stop… and you need to fire again… think about the prosecutor… you were going for a head shot? Or spinal shot, base of the skull, lights out?

Center mass. More forgiving as it is a larger target area.


Clint may have been laughing but the area between the hips is a viable stopping point. You can break the joints and you can stop leg movement, also have two arteries that meet in the center of the “crotch” that will bleed a person out in about 3 minutes.


Oh I’ve found there’s a reason behind everything that man says, even if it’s a joke.


Couple of points:
2 in the chest and 1 in the head is an assassin thing. Not what we’re doing.

M16 shooting. FYI: at 300 m if you want to hit the chest aim at the head. Look up ballistics charts for range of 5.56. Compare it to .223 and even 7.62 and .308. I prefer the 5.56.

Center mass until the threat is stopped. Depending on the scenario you may want to put in 1 or 2 rounds in the first BG and shoot others if you’ve identified them. John Wick move :wink: but I think you know what I mean. We ain’t no Rambos.