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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently, I attended John Farnam's pistol class. He taught the class to shoot the abdomen of the Bad Guy for the first shot and to work your subsequent shots up into the chest from there.
The reasoning behind this technique was that it is easy for the BG to disappear from your vision if your pistol is aimed chest high. By
aiming at the abdomen, your field of vision is greater and it is harder to lose the BG.


Any thoughts on this?
 

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I COMPLETELY disagree with this method! I know other trainers who preach the same method, and it is IMO an excuse for people who have never mastered the skills of defensive shooting and proper weapon handling. If you have a good grip on your gun, and you have taken the time to practice your split times between rounds, then there is no reason not to put all shots on COM. With proper recoil control, your sights should be instantly back on target, and you will have missed seeing NOTHING. If you can't control your recoil, then "ripping" shots vertically up your target is probably what's going to happen anyway - so call it training if you like - I call it "don't know how to control my recoil, so I'll pretend I am doing this on purpose."

Aim for centre of mass, and HIT centre of mass.
 

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JM What type of targets did you use?

Shane, everyone is not an expert. Many of us did not shoot the '.12 to .15' splits of cyper space shooters.

As a long time trainer and one that has trained with Farnam, I find no fault. Many trainers also teach low holds when holding someone at gunpoint.

I consider any hit in an 8" by 12" area from belly button to collar bone line to be a good hit. Sure, center line on the sternum would be better, but I shoot a .45 most of the time when shooting righthanded, and in a dynamic situation, I'll take any hit as outlined above. GLV

PS, Shane, most instructors I know do not preach. GLV
 
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This is niether revolutionary, new, or unique.
Farnam has adopted the sub machine gun shooting philosophy to the handgun.

Specifically, prior to the issue of HK carbines to the millitary Spec Ops and Marine Security Forces they were issued the Uzi and micro Uzi automatic carbines.

In training with the Uzi the instructors taught to aim for the center of the person and walk your bursts upward allowing the gun and your body to work under recoil.

At one time, we were even taught to cant the guns slightly to allow for easier rotation to multiple targets under fire.

When the sub gun went to empty you were to "drop" it onto the sling, swiveling it left with your support hand as you drew the handgun and engaged the target with a triple tap, two to the chest and one to the head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GLV,

The class shot steel plates and steel rotators. For a few strings we shot life size dummies which collapsed with a centerline hit.

Shane,

This technique is to enhance one's field of view of the bad guy, especially when suffering from tunnel vision. Controlling recoil is not the reason why Farnam suggests his students do this.
 

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There are three ways to stop a fight in general. Stop them from moving, stop them from seeing or stop them from breathing.

Can't see, can't fight, can't walk, can't fight and can't breath, can't fight.

If you look at the human body from that prespective, the gut isn't very useful as a target.

The one thing that the gut is good for is a knife wound. Had a friend with the experience to make this obsevation say, "damn hard to fight with your guts in one hand".

I would prefer to place my shots, especially the first, where it is more likely to do the most good, nipple line to eye brows about the shape of a bowling pin, in case some have forgotten.

What is needed is perfect practice; not a technique designed to duplicate what will happen when the string breaks that holds our shit together :grin:

Having trained with Farnam this is clearly a new approach for him since I saw his program. Like many things in training it is easy sometimes to fixate on a teaching point that wasn't intended to be more than an casual observation.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-06-17 20:29 ]</font>
 

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Well said, Dane. In order for pistol bullets to stop a fight, one must put holes in things that matter. There's not much in the gut that matters...at least not that will matter SOON enough to save you.

Notice that even IDPA moved their A-zone upward in the chest after complaints that it incorrectly encouraged shooting too low.

Rosco
 

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JM wrote;
Recently, I attended John Farnam's pistol class. He taught the class to shoot the abdomen of the Bad Guy for the first shot and to work your subsequent shots up into the chest from there.
The reasoning behind this technique was that it is easy for the BG to disappear from your vision if your pistol is aimed chest high. By
aiming at the abdomen, your field of vision is greater and it is harder to lose the BG.
It is very difficult for me to disagree with a trainer the caliber of John Farnam but I don't really understand the point. In a "close encounter of the worst kind" the shooting mission is to incapacitate as quickly as possible. A hit to the abdomen, that does not also strike the spine, is not likely to achieve incapacitation in the next few minutes. Even if the spine is hit and the perp goes down he may still be able to shoot with a hit that low in the spine.

So at some point we have to raise our sights and obscure our vision anyway.. it might as well be on the first shot and those immediately following.

I might add that we encourage our students not to "string" shots but to "group" them rapidly. True enough, shooting while moving dynamically makes small groups a bit more difficult. Remember the #1 goal is to go home without bulet holes or knife cuts - moving and cover are as important as shooting, maybe more. Still, we are at least trying for an upper spine hit - taking as many heart/lung hits ast we can get also. Other hits are only good to keep the bullets from running into innocent bystanders.

I have a great deal of respect for John, but in this case - at least as reported - I will have to respectfully disagree.

Regards,
Jim Higginbotham


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jim Higginbotham on 2001-06-17 19:41 ]</font>
 

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I've heard John advocate this technique. My understanding is that he believes your target will likely crouch or duck, leaving you with nothing to shoot at if you had been aimed at the cardiac triangle. He suggests putting the first shot in the low abdomen, since it isn't terribly mobile. This is analogous to a defensive back concentrating on a running back's navel, so as not to be fooled by upper body fakes.
John is an excellent trainer and is continually refining his technique. Like Jim, I think very highly of him. While this is certainly something to think about, I am not going to incorporate this into my training at this time.

TB., NC
 

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On 2001-06-16 22:28, GLV wrote:
Shane, everyone is not an expert. Many of us did not shoot the '.12 to .15' splits of cyper space shooters.
Exactly my point. If you are not an expert who can't follow up shots with decent accuracy or speed, best to get your first shot where it counts - CENTRE OF MASS.
 

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On 2001-06-16 22:35, David DiFabio wrote:

Farnam has adopted the sub machine gun shooting philosophy to the handgun.
My Grandfather was in the 3rd wave on Omaha beach, and later right in the middle of the Bulge. He carried a BAR and had a few buddies with thompsons. The trainers told them to aim at the target's right knee (left side from the shooter's perspective) and walk the rounds up and across the target's body.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Ronin21 on 2001-06-18 10:52 ]</font>
 

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I have just spent 2 days with Mr Farnam doing an "Urban Rifle" class. He did explain his technique and his reasoning. If you have your sights where they "should" be, about second button down on a business shirt, you lose visual contact with the BG if he moves even a little. Now you have to come down to a high ready and "find" him again, then realign your sights and go at it again. With this technique, while not the best area to shoot, it will get things started and by continuing up while you aim and fire, you have less chance of losing your visual contact until the BG is down and hopefully out. He didn't refer to it as "ripping" but as "zipping" him up! This was discovered thru force on force exercises done with Simunitions. I might have a problem with this technique if I had a very limited ammunition capacity, like a 5, 6 or even 7 shooter. You will expend lots of ammo doing this! I'm not sure on this yet and will continue working with it before I add it to my repetoire.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Captain on 2001-06-18 10:57 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Captain on 2001-06-18 10:58 ]</font>
 

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I was recently told that the FBI used to train their agents to shoot this way (maybe still do?), due to the fact that many confrontations occur with the BG in close proximity and closing ground fast. It was thought that you would be fending off the attacker by pushing him away with one hand and drawing your weapon with the other. If you're trying to push someone who is charging you, you would be placing your hand somewhere around chest level. If you trained to shoot for the center of the chest, you may shoot your own hand. So they trained to get the first shots into the abdomen.

A local LEO told me that they actually train for this scenario. They stand at arms distance from the target and place their hand at chest level then trace their hand on the target with a pen. At arms length, they draw from the holster and shoot into the admomen of the target. If they hit the hand, well... I guess that's better than trying it with your hand actually on the target.
 

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I would guess I have shot at least 2000 rounds of simunitions over the last five years. Most of it during roll playing scenarios, 5 rounds or less, at a time. I am almost always the one to instigate the action while doing so.

What I have learned from all that simunitions, @ .50 cents a rounds is this...shoot for what you want to hit and the rounds will go there in a fast moving, dynamic, violent confrontation.

Depending on how generious I am feeling I shoot for the thighs and hit there. If I desire to I can do head shots into the visors of the students at reasonable ranges. The visor is bigger than a normal head let alone the occular window.

In a real confrontation I would shoot center of mass at arm pit/nipple level. I have no doubt that the rounds will go there from my little experience shooting actual people with simunitins training rounds.

Simunitions are an interesting exercise. Use them enough and I do think they'll give you a good idea of what will happen in a shooting. The caveat is use them enough and study the results from both sides of the equation.

I have not seen the disappearing target problem in sim training nor have I had a problem following a target with the sights.

My sim gun of choice? A 5 round jframe.

YMMV
 

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The best gun fights are where the first and last round fired are one in the same and they came from your gun. A gut shot has little chance of incapacitating, although the guy may run away after being shot there, so the goal of stopping him is attained. Heck, firing a warning shot into the air likely won't incapacitate the guy, but he may run off. Either way, you are one shot down and the guy is not incapacitated.

I don't think it is a good idea to be intentionally, knowingly placing shots in places you don't feel will incapacitate your opponent. He may die weeks later of a septic infection of the abdominal lining, but that means nothing if you aren't alive.
 

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We use a target slap and draw and fire. If you shoot yourself in the hand, you have violated rule 2. Also, your hand might hurt a bit, and others may laugh at you.

On a serious note, this exercise requires dry fire practice, and should be done one shooter at a time, with instructor with shooter. GLV
 
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