Center mass aiming

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by allenr, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. allenr

    allenr Member

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    ImageUploadedByRuger Forum1475894098.802016.jpg

    Tonight I visited my favorite pub where I got onto a discussion with a new gun owner. He had just completed a self defense training course. He began to talk about trading for center mass aiming. I soon realized that he had a misconception about what it means to aim center mass. He thought it meant shooting to hit between the shoulders and waistband. I explained the he has a misconception.

    My Marine pistol training asserted that center mass a place in the center of the chest between the collar bones and the diaphragm. That is where the sternum sometimes called the breastbone. You can see that in the image.

    It is the perfect center mass target because it is close to the heart and lungs it is also in the area of the vena caves, a major vein that returns blood to the heart so it can be re-oxigenated. Add to that the positional relationship with the heart and lungs and it becomes a perfect target area. Hit the sternum and bone splinters can cut the vena caves, drive bone splinters into the heart and/or lungs and generally stop an assailant in his tracks with one shot from a.38 and larger.

    I train by printing of the included image so that it equivalent in size to the body side of a 5'10" person. My goal is to put as many rounds into the sternum as I can.

    Give it some thought understanding that the best self technique is to deliver crippling to fatal shot in the first moments of a gunfight.
     
  2. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    I was always taught to shoot for the center of mass which meant the breastbone. There are times that center of mass is not possible so we were taught to shoot at whatever would create the most damage and try to incapacitate the enemy. The head is not always possible (ideally) but maybe a shoulder or even a leg might incapacitate. The idea was to stop the enemy with whatever means you had. I imagine you had somewhat of the same training.

    Tommy
     

  3. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    Yep we should hope we deliver a crippling shot placement because any other hit could possibly have led flying back at us. I believe close to 75% of gunshots don't kill or even immediately immobilize an attacker. That fact is probably the biggest reason why not to shoot a BG other than in center mass.
     
  4. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Center of mass...Yep.

    Seems I even remember in Basic training when we were doing hand to hand combat, with the bayonet,
    It was up under the bottom of the breast bone and thrust in and upward.


    Jim
     
  5. Blkhawk73

    Blkhawk73 Member

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    Attending Thunder Ranch for week we were taught 2 center mass (chest), 2 head, 2 pelvis. Now what it read in books and spoken and what really happens is two different things as stress and adrenaline take over.
     
  6. Oldhand

    Oldhand AKA Rawhidekid! Lifetime Supporter

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    For a while the big thing was the Mozambique drill, two to the chest and one to the head. They even did it in the IDPA contests.
     
  7. allenr

    allenr Member

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    The three shot burst to chest and head is not knee. I trained for in the Corps. We were told to aim center mass at the breastbone and fire two rounds and then a third. However we did not re-establish aim after the first shot. Instead you let the gun ride up while you fire the last two rounds. That elevation puts three rounds on target starting in the center chest. My current experience with my Lc9s is that the recoil is so much less than that of 45 ACP that auto placement of shot 2 and 3 will not achieve the desired pattern I have adopted a simple principle for self defense shooting. It is to take the time aim each shot I base that upon the proven theory that a well aimed shot is the most effective way to stop a threat.
     
  8. allenr

    allenr Member

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    No argument from on the points you make. They are right on. One thing you learn in combat is that it is important to hit the target somewhere.
     
  9. Oldhand

    Oldhand AKA Rawhidekid! Lifetime Supporter

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    I didn't mean to imply it was anything new, I haven't shot IDPA since 1990.:D
     
  10. allenr

    allenr Member

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    I think your comments were valuable and implied nothing, but they simply stated a valid fact if the caliber is up to the technique.

    Ammo technology has changed the game in the past few years. Most (not all) of us are receptive to FBI conclusions after testing of 9mm ammo. The conclusion after extensive testing was that the advancements in 9mm ammo has made it more effective than larger calibers which are more difficult to control when firing.

    Today I load a 90g, 9mm +P round in the form of Underwood Extreme Defender. After my own testing and watching some YouTube reviews I am convinced that ammo bests all 9 mm hollow point ammo.

    Let's face it. Technology has changed the science of shooting like it has changed every aspect of our lives.
     
  11. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    I do agree that technology has brought ammo a long ways in the last couple of years. The 9mm has developed quite a bit and very progressively. However, being from the old school, and trained with and still train with a .45 cal. I feel the first shot is the most important. I consistently practice the double tap with my SR1911. But there is a real difference between the calibers. The 220 grain Hornady Critical Defense is a good round and even better if you can follow up with the second shot within approx. a 3" area. The only way to stop a man instantly would be a head shot. However the head can move faster than the torso. The BG can feint with the head and run the opposite way as we see in football. However once his feet are committed, then he is committed to follow that degree. The 9mm/.45 debate will continue until we are in our graves. The best caliber is the one that YOU can handle efficiently and are the most comfortable with. If you are comfortable with a 9mm then go with it, and the same holds true with the .45. Using the Mozambique method of 2 to the chest and 1 to the head is fine, however precisely placed shot or shots in the torso should incapacitate a BG. MHO only!

    Tommy
     
  12. allenr

    allenr Member

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    Tommy, you make a very valid point. While I carry a lightweight 9mm compact todAy it is only because my two injured rotator cuffs just do not allow me stabilize a 1911 with arms extended. If I could I would carry .45 ACP.

    You ought to look into Underwood Extreme Defense ammo. I shot Hornady critical defense in the past but after I saw the reviews of the Underwood ammo I tried it. Then I was convinced it was the best round I could carry for self defense. It can penetrate auto glass and still deliver a crippling to deadly hit. Hollow points can't do that unless you get lucky

    I also have Underwood Extreme Penetrator ammo on hand for when I hike or camp in spring, summer, and fall in black bear country. Even in 9mm it has enough penetration to crack a bear skill or rib cage. No good for street use because it would seriously endanger anyone or thing behind any BG you hit.
     
  13. spikedriver

    spikedriver Active Member

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    I agree about the ammo. I'm just old enough (young enough?) to remember when Hydra Shocks were the latest greatest thing. Now there are lots of even more advanced bullets. My opinion is if you use any of the "good" bullets a chest shot that crosses the center of the cavity should be effective. But hunting has taught me that even with an obviously fatal shot, sometimes the target needs some time to figure out that it is dead. I imagine it's the same in self defense, a guy could keep on attacking for 30 seconds before he drops even with perfect shot placement.
     
  14. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    When I used to hunt elk I had a situation where I hit the elk and he ran another half mile before he dropped. He didn't know he was dead. I was sure of my shot and when I field dressed him I found my round had taken out over half of his heart. Adreneline is a powerful thing that runs through our bodies let alone an animal weighing around 1000 lbs. A friend of mine has done 4 tours of duty in Afghanistan and he is limited to carrying a 9mm. He said that ISIS and the Taliban have been known to take angel dust before they go into fighting. They don't feel the impact of the round. Best place to put a bullet is in the head. That way there is no re-action except for them to drop. I am not that good a marksman where I can place the bullet in the head every time or anytime that I shoot. Therefore I practice double tap to the chest area. I also looked at the Underwood .45 that Allen suggested and I would like to see more videos and tests before I commit myself to using those rounds. They are impressive but at the same time I am a little skeptical.

    Tommy