One of the most frequent questions I get from students is “How many rounds do I fire in a situation where my life is at risk?” I often answer this with the very simple answer “As many as you need too to put the threat down.” I then refer back to the military term of FIRE SUPERIORITY and how important it is to have in a firefight. Militarily, there are many tactical reasons for fire superiority. But the most practical reason that translates to a typical civilian situation is to increase the CO’s odds of survival by putting more rounds into the enemy (and the enemy’s direction) than the enemy is putting into yours.
I also often go into a lengthy speech detailing exactly why the CO you should always “Train as they are going to Fight”. The way a CO trains with their firearms for self-defense is a very big deal. A person will always perform to their specific LEVEL of training in a firefight. In the case of the amount of rounds to be fired in a firefight for example, If the CO drills to fire only a set number of rounds at a target in training, 95% of the time, they will do the same in an actual fight. For instance if you train to fire two rounds and then “assess” the damage to the target, that is what you will do on the street. The problem with this is this type of thinking is first UN-REALISTIC and DANGEROUS and second, it creates bad habits that the CO will have trouble un-doing later on. For this reason, I never teach or tell my students to fire a SET number of rounds in ANY drill.
Listen to me when I say this: You must never “pre-condition” yourself to respond only in a SPECIFIC way in a combative situation. If not for the only logical reason that Combat in ANY form is un-predictable and random, whether it be military or civilian. It has been my experience that Mr. Murphy is always “skulking” around, looking for a chance to throw a wrench in the works when you think you have it all figured out. For this reason, we must seek to be, as Bruce Lee said Like Water.” In other words, be adaptable, be pliable and ready to change your plan in an instant, depending on your enemy.
The phrase I use in training when explaining fire superiority to my students that cuts to the heart of the matter is: “SHOOT THEM TO THE GROUND!” The CO has to understand that in today’s world an attacker is more than likely to be on some type of illegal substance that impairs typical human responses to pain, requiring more than the average number of force and/or rounds to put them down, just ask any cop who has been in a fight or shooting with a meth head or somebody on PCP! There is also the likelihood, though slim in most cases, of the attacker wearing some type of body armor. This of course would require the transition to head shots to the “T” junction of the cranium, focusing on the orbital sockets (eyes) to be able to put a round into the brain to shut the attacker down. This all may sound gruesome and somewhat “pre-meditated” in some respects, but understand, your enemy is doing the same amount of training in planning to steal, kill or rape you and your loved ones right now.
There is one caveat regarding “Shoot Them to the Ground” philosophy: Since all firearms can only hold so much ammunition, it makes logical sense that the CO carry AT LEAST one additional magazine and RELOADS be drilled on regularly in training. The reality of MULTIPLE ATTACKERS dictates this necessity. Let us not forget that predators run and work in packs .
So taking all of this into account, the CO needs to do the following in ALL of their drills:
- Never set up a drill to Fire a set number of rounds.
- Force reloads by loading your initial mag with 4 to 5 rounds.
- The “Mozambique”or Transition to a Head Shot drill needs to be integrated regularly, work on varying distances from 3 to 15 yds. Remember the “T” junction of the head.
- Gunfights are not Static..people tend to move when bullets start flying! For this reason, movement drills need to be integrated into everything we do with a firearm.
In closing, be GENEROUS with your ammo “distribution” when it comes to defending your life, you can always buy more ammo, but not another life.
Stay Armed, Stay Vigilant and Stay Dangerous!