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3352 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Rob Garrett
So what do you guys know about shooting in and around cars? What are some tips working around them with good tactics...in and out of a gun fight?
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Dane, good topic considering how much time most of us spend in/around cars. Are you asking for what we think about defending while in them, using them for cover/concealment, is it legal to back over assailants or can you just drive over them once?
Nope...I know you can drive over them thrice...unless...they're armed. Then you must drive over them quickly several times and finally, using your brakes, jab them as you come to a complete stop on top of your assailant...

gyp, I think you've just created a new retention technique although I might add that it works best if you have studded tires.
Here's what I think - the experts can tell me if I'm wrong...

If you can drive away from danger, do so - if you can't drive away from danger then DON'T STAY IN THE CAR! You have no mobility or flexibility in a car and the vehicle offers very little in the way of cover for someone sitting inside.

Once outside, remember that a car offers very little true cover. The body panels are easily penetrated by most pistol ammo and nearly all rifle ammo. Get behind the car so that the engine block, or at least one of the wheels is between you and the attacker.

A car offers more visual cover than hard cover but only if you are behind a wheel so you can't be seen by looking under the car.

Is that the kind of stuff you were looking for??

In addition to the above points made, I would say scan, scan, and scan.
It is very easy to become so focused on the guys at your side windows that you miss the guy behind the car or even the guy with the black j-frame right in front of your face on the otherside of the windshield. He may mutter something about people w/ NRA stickers being the easiest to kill :cool:
I would avoid any verbal exchange, other than a single simple verbal command, with the people who appear around your vehicle. Talking ties up your brain and slows you down. Remember the OODA loop.
Be ready to move out of the line of fire as soon as strange people approach your vehicle.
Know how to get out of your seat belt and access your holstered weapon simultaneously.
Get below the dash and be ready to exit the passenger side door. Make sure you put the car in park before you start moving.
Practice drawing your pistol from its normal carry holster, and moving it around the steering wheel at the 3-12-9 o'clock postions if your right handed.
Some other points to ponder. The windshield will spider web when shot, and the passenger windows will just drop away. The seat belt will not retract if you are in a collision. So move the seat belt all the way to the door when you release it.
Place your off hand under the chest strap to access the seat belt latch and then move the belt to the door. At the same time, use your dominant hand to clear the concealment garment and draw the weapon.
Also, firing a gun inside a car might be a tiny bit loud. Sticking the muzzle outside the window may help with the noise.
Locking your doors as soon as you get in your car is also a good idea.
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I know that cars are highly over-rated as hard cover. Unless you are behind the engine block, I wouldn't consider myself out of harm's way.

I've seen .177 air rifles that can penetrate a sheet metal door skin.
Confronations in and around Motor Vehichles are very difficult to plan and predict for. The results are very hard to quantify and the high number of environmental and situational variables can play havoc with
your system of defensive plans.
I have been involved in two sperate armed confontations and I may detail them in a seperate post but these are my thoughts and my planning process:

1.Target Identification and Engagement Descision:
How much time and distance do you have?
How many combatants are you engaging?
Do you have passengers? Do they have firearms? How many vehichles are involved?
What type of vehicle are you driving?
What are your exit paths? Can you open or create an exit?

2.Position and function, what is your position to the target(s)? what are you doing in and around the vehichle when the confontation occurs? for example is the car moving? are you the driver?passenger? are you in the front seat, back seat, have you been in a crash? what if the doors do not open? What if you are rammed? What if you crash? Where are you in relation to the world?
Is this occuring on a highway?, parking lot?

3. Equipment and Preparation:
Are you armed? With what? Have you trained for this type of confontation? Can you drive with skill and prescision? Can you control the passengers or driver in your vehichle?
Will they run into your line of fire? Will they yell "Use your gun" when the perps make thier demands for money, the car, your stuff? and give you away? Will the driver attempt to flee when you exit the vehichle and engage the targets? Will you be run over or struck if you exit the vehichle?

4. Have you decided to Win at all costs?
If you have panicked, frozen, lost your will to fight, or if you feel defeated you will lose period. You must believe that you will win and you will survive at all costs.
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On 2001-04-24 00:59, JM wrote:
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Some other points to ponder. The windshield will spider web when shot, and the passenger windows will just drop away.
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My car was recently vandalized. One of the side windows was shot with a BB gun and shattered. However, the window tinting film held all the glass in nicely even though the BB penetrated. I don't know if this would be the case if somebody used a handgun round, but just another point to consider if you were planning on having the glass just go away.
Well I'll tell you this, you sure don't want to shoot the car dashbord by accident! A friend of mine (no really, it wasn't me, honest!!!) told me about a time that his truck was "killed" with a .45 ACP! He said he was driving a friend somewhere and showed him his .45 auto. The friend was playing around with it, put a "hot" magazine in the weapon, and when he racked the slide the gun went off. The truck just sputtered to a stop and wouldn't even turn over; the only evidence was a smoking hole in the passenger side dashboard. When the truck was towed to the nearest garage the mechanic pulled a .45 bullet out of the truck's computer. It cost my buddy several hundred $$$ to have it repaired! LOL
I also posted this under "Pass the Ammuntion"
I felt it was appropriate to also post under this thread.

This post is only one part of my testing results,these are my notes, informal I know but I want to preface this by saying these are my personal results and my testing methodologies. I pay for this stuff out of my own pocket and I test it for my own benefit. I am not an "Expert" or a ballistician. I strongly recomend that you always test your own ammo/defensive pistol combination for your specific needs and only carry/depend on it when you are satisfied and confident.
Dane gives me the opportunity to share my writing/ideas here so I post them for the benefit of others:

Tactical Penetration and Cars (Sheet Metal).

On Saturday afternoon I had the opportunity while testing the new Black Hills 230gr Gold Dot ammunition to also test it against automobile sheet metal and I was very impressed.
I used three pieces of auto sheet metal (patch panels from the Eastwood company) spaced 3" apart mounted on 2x4 framing with two large semi boneless Hams behind them.
All shooting was done from 24” directly facing the target to realistically duplicate standing next to a vehichle door. I recognize that we are shooting at a flat surface and this may not be a complete representation for shooting at cars but: *I must explain that this was done as I did not want to have rounds go skidding off into my range area in odd directions. *I learned this the hard way once when a Corbon .45acp 200 gr. +P load literally skimmed along the metal surface and bounced off of the wall and went up-range after shooting at the metal panels at a 45 degree angle. I was not injured but… (Safety, safety, safety)

Ok, on to the Sheet metal results:
The really suprising aspect of the gold Dot bullet is the way it performs, specifically the large cavity of the BHGD cuts an almost perfect circle of sheet metal and the discs are then somehow "dropped" or dislodged by the gold Dot hollo point cavity as it continues into the target material and the BHGD expanded to .70" on average and penetrated to a depth of 11.3 inches into the Ham, (I need to note that without photos it may be hard to understand the distinction I am making here.
If I were primarily concerned with automobiles as tactical barriers I would strongly recommend the Gold Dot 230gr bullets)
I tested the BHGD side by side with my favorite loading the Winchester Ranger 230gr +P Talon round and the Talon load semi-clogged on all five test rounds with the "disc", then traveled into the target and still expanded to .73" on average across the semi extended Talons, it penetrated 9.4 inches into the Ham. In comparison the BHGD resembles the classic flat almost square nose profile fully expanded bullet and the WRT is the classic mushroom profile semi rounded shape bullet, the WRT did not expand completely and the Talons were only partially opened, with ham grisel caught in them.
As to velocities the WRT +P clocked 1,020 fps from my SS Springfield TRP.
The BHGD clocked 905fps from the same TRP; this is 5 fps higher than Black Hills advertises.

I am looking for a new service to post some more of my pictures; I hope to have them here shortly.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-05-27 12:49 ]</font>
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If you are going to test, there is a real need to test 'real world'. Real vehicles, with windows down, regulators in place, interior trim in place, etc. Whole cars, running, etc. Tires with air in them, so you can see how slowly they really go down when shot, etc, etc, etc.

If you cannot or are not willing to test as above, get a copy of Rich Davis's tape Second Chance VS the Cop Killers. Rich does a lot of vehicle shooting in this video. Or attend a Farnam course where a car shoot demo takes place. GLV

My thoughts on cars:

1) Cars are bullet magnets!
2) They give a very false sense of security. The lesson on cover vs. concealment can be costly!
3) They are best used as a means to avoid/escape a fight.
4) They have more "knock down" power (LOL) than a 230 gr. ball round. Use it that way if required.
5) It its all you got, then it's all you got and use it the best way you can.
6) Ditto on the Second Chance video. Real telling when Rich Davis shoots a tire several time. It DOES NOT blow out like in Hollywood!

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