Shot Placement?

Great post!

Are you all aware of the details of the “hands up dont shoot” incident (I use the moniker for easy reference, not because it had any truth in it)? Aiming at the center of mass had no effect on 300 lbs of rage and marijuana.


One cannot duplicate the level of stress one goes through in a defensive shooting. This is the reason one shoots center mass FIRST.

It’s the largest target of the body! I hope no one has to feel that stress level…but this is why one should practice, practice, and practice some more.


Q: What do most people do after they’ve been shot?
A: The same thing they were doing before.


Theres a ton of great information on this thread. But the chances of a one shot and threat goes down for the count is very small using a pistol caliber. Center mass is taught because hits count. Maybe you get lucky and the first one stops it but that is an extremely small likelihood. However your chances of landing 3-5 quick hits are very high. Time won’t be on our side, I dont see how if you shot 5 quick shots how they could determine in which order they were landed.




Hands up don’t shoot was a lie.

Pants up don’t loot


More aggressively!

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I’m amazed at the lengths that they will go through to protect a criminal. The POS was just trying to kill an officer and they would quibble about him taking a round in the back? Why do we hold these scumbags in such high esteem?


Fellow civilians ,

You’ve got only seconds, you’re in the most extreme emotionally tense state of your life …

What did your training teach you to do when almost on auto-pilot?

“What the attacker presents”, might be the easiest target.

Defending from a criminal/attacker: What do I want to do?; Not to dismember or permanently disable, not to go for greatest pain, but to go for the “stop”?

You defended life: You’re in court, they ask you, “What were you aiming for?”; “Why did you aim for that part?”

If center-mass is presented forward to you, and you instead aim for another body part, might you increase “collateral damage” risk of hitting someone else, or miss altogether and then the attacker reaches you physically or whose ‘aim’ lands on you?

What are the odds that an attacker would be wearing body armor?

Center-mass or chest might be the easiest target to reach accurately. Whereas the private part (groin), just the opposite? If I’m mistakenly taken for a criminal, I’d rather get shot in my mass (that’s with an “m”) than “down below”.

Is there such thing as honor or an honorable “shot” of respect? (Not unlike in professional boxing or mixed martial arts); If I start playing too dirty, might they too?

Not out of anger, not revenge, or payback, nor premeditated, but to defend and stop?

“Punish only he who has committed the crime” – Marcus Aurelius

“Defense is a definite part of the game, and a great part of defense is learning to play it without fouling.” – John Wooden


anyone know if they charged the wisc officer for shooting perp Blake in the back?

All true but the ones that folks remember are the oddities. Bunch of leos in ny missing some guy their chasing way too many times. ( 27 comes to mind but may be incorrect)

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There’s an old saying in boxing - if you kill the body, the head will follow - if you waste time on headshots, that’s your business. The focus on any form of self-defense is stun, stagger and stop the assailant and the threat or attack. Leave headshots to assassins.


That’s an interesting concept to question. I believe it is good to be able to hit a 3" target at ten yards, but be honest and say if your attacker will stand still for three seconds, that is a possible shot. of course the head is a hard rounded bone, off center shots could deflect without stopping the attack. If they are moving real slow or pauses (like White Settlement) that is a good option, if you have trained for it. But if the person is moving center mass shots make more sense. The body doesn’t move as much as the head will. That is my reasoning. I am in favor in punching holes in the center mass until the target is stopped, or is still and close enough to get a good head shot. I really want my bullets to stop inside the body. I will check back and see what other replies you get and the reasoning behind them.


Center mass. Unless you are going against someone who is wearing body armor. Then its the Rhodesian drill. Two to the body, one to the head. That takes some practice. a good 9mm hollowpoint will stop someone if you hit them in the pump. But then there are so many factors like if the guy is on meth or dust and then you may have to almost chop off their head to kill them.


It depends! Is your opponent shooting from cover? If so, head and upper chest may be all you have to aim at. If I have to shoot I want to elimunate the threat. A shot center mass to a vest won’t stop the threat most likely. A groin shot will likely cause a bleed out. However, until then the opponent may be able to shoot you. Head shots are hard to hit as the target area is small. The Army taught me center mass, pistol instructor taught aim small miss small. I will take the shot the give me the best opportunity to eliminate the threat. But agsin it deoends.


My thoughts now after hearing thoughts and watching training,

#1 if upright and at a distance (3yards) center mass until threat stops.

#2 if shooting from retention and close range, going for the hips.


Just asking. Wasn’t there a leo who was excellent at head shots with a revolver. Don’t remember his name, something I read long ago…

Head-shots are a low-percentage choice, unless you’re being jacked-up at close range, and even then it’s a better choice to “jam-shoot” your assailant in a wrestling match. In martial arts, a groin-strike is the same -it’s better to go for an open-hand or hammer-fist strike or kick to the bladder, which can cause enough damage to require medical treatment. Don’t get fancy - just learn enough to stun, stagger, and stop a thug determined to do you harm. Remember - shot is shot, and it better be a righteous shot from your end of the incident.

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