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The Myth of the Double tap.

How many times do you shoot an adversary? Often in training scenarios the phrase “two to the body and one to the head” is used. But anyone that has been involved in military combat operations or even a law enforcement shootout will attest to the fact that 2+1 is insu cient and unrealistic.

First, let’s look at it from a practical perspective: Can you hit a headshot on an animated adversary who is returning re and closing distance in a crowded situation? Can you do it under extreme psychological and physical stress? Most importantly, can you a ord to fail? e answer to all these questions should be no.

Second, in a gun ght you cannot see the holes or hits on your adversary’s body. So unlike a two-dimensional paper target, where most shooters attempt to see the hits and correct, or shoot aim, shoot aim... you cannot see the holes or impact points. In real life that’s not practical, what you should be doing is aiming with your body and con rming with your eyes, you must have First Shot Placement Guarantee. en if all else (grip, sights, trigger...) are in order your subsequent rounds will follow the rst. Holding shot breaks between .20–.33sec you should be able to have 3–5 rounds on your enemy in about one second. By the time his brain registers he was shot once, he will be hit several more times in that moment in time and unable to immediately react.

Once your adversary is de-animated and considerably more stable, you will then take the neutralization head shot. Most likely he will be on the ground by then, so your controlled head shot will have to wait about 2.0 seconds +/- after your last body shot. You will then get the permanent cessation of deadly behavior you desire.

Q: How many times do you shoot an adversary? A: Until you get the desired result. Q: Where do you aim initially? A: Greatest mass area, contributing to a fast drop in blood pressure (65 systolic), which will lead to the inability to function. Q: When do you take the neutralization shot? A: Once all dominant threats are addressed with a 3–5 round rhythm set.

Make your training more realistic by shooting three-dimensional targets with clothes on such as department store manikins. Attach them to the targeting system at an indoor range and have someone else run the cables to create animation. Place a separate small cardboard box on the ground and run the drill like it’s real life: 3-5 rounds into that moving target and then transition down to the small box ( ink 6"X6"X6") and take your neutralization shot. If you suspect your adversary is armed with a bomb, neutralize from cover.

To better grasp this concept one can refer to videos of the attack in the Istanbul airport in June to see the value of that neutralization head shot. Without it, the terrorist was able to detonate after being shot several times at close range to the body. Assume there is a dead man’s switch (or remote activation), in which case neutralization must be done from cover. Remember, where there is one, there are many.


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