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  • Multiple Threat Engagment

    I have noted there seems to be two primary ways people are taught multiple threat engagement with handguns.

    Assuming for sake of the example, same target priority, there is:

    Each target gets at least one rnd before the others do

    Or

    Each gets multiple rnds from the start

    For example, IDPA, which was founded by some experience shooters (Vickers, et al) calls for the first. 3 targets in front of you with equal target priority - unless otherwise instructed - you would shoot 1,1,2,1,1. That's 1 for each of the 3, 2 in to the last, then one more for the last 2

    People like Clint Smith however argue that the time it takes to simply add an additional rnd is negligible, knowing how notoriously ineffective handguns rnds are, teaches multiple rnds per target from the start, so 3 equal priority targets in front of you, would be 2,2,2, I recall, then deal with the situation as circumstances dictate.

    I have been to courses where both methods are taught. I shoot the former as a regular IDPA shooter, but often practice the latter as it seems more natural and instinctual, etc.

    Which do you follow/teach and why?
    Last edited by WillBrink; 09-07-2009, 03:35 PM.
    - Will

    Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

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  • #2
    I'm a complete layman, which means if I'm ever in that situation I've done something terribly wrong. Hopefully it never happens.

    Our range has a shooting event in which 9 clays are distributed in a staggered line along chicken wire, and from 10-15 yards individuals try and break 5 targets with 5 bullets before their opponent reaches the last. If you miss any of your own he gets all the time in the world to walk hits towards that center target and claim victory, so accuracy is balanced with speed.

    That said, acquiring a sight picture and firing accurately is a lot harder, in my limited experience, than shooting at the same target twice. Even with weapons whose recoil disrupts your sight picture. I'd side with easier hits in a high-stress environment than potentially miss a closing threat and hit God knows what behind them.
    **Not a LEO**

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    • #3
      Originally posted by OperatorEX
      If I'm going to alternate targets, at the minimum each gets a hammer (2 quick shots)...
      The theory of one each is arbitrary, same as two each. The point is, give each a dose before you focus too much on any one threat. I buy that.

      The way I train, and the way I train my wife, is that she is to fire as many rounds at a given target as she feels is appropriate. I give her the command to fire, and she draws and puts 1, 2, 3, or the whole mag into a target as SHE determines it needs.

      With multiple targets, its the same thing. You've got three threats, all equal in priority (this is a fiction, as no two targets would be "equal." There is ALWAYS something that could be used to discriminate between them, even if it is minor. At some point, you have to decide to shoot, and decide which target to shoot first. If you have decided that a target needs to be serviced, then I would service that threat in a manner fitting the threat. If its a hammer pair to each, good. If it's just one round each, fine. If its 3-4 rounds each, then do what has to be done, but do it quick!

      In addition, there is a likelihood that the threats will be soft-targets that could be easily dissuaded with a single round each (picture punk gang-bangers.) Then I'd probably pop each once, then go back for seconds!

      If the targets were hardened threats who would not be likely to be easily turned away, there is more of an argument that you should drop each in turn, in order to cut down the odds as quickly as possible.
      J. Wise

      AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

      "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

      Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

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      • #4
        Oh, and then there's the goose method. Hit the point-man (tip of the 'V') and watch the followers scatter.

        This also works the other way. If you want to get all of them, start picking them off from the back, first. That way they all think you're missing and won't scatter until you transition to them!
        J. Wise

        AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

        "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

        Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

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        • #5
          I will preface my response by saying, In regards to the original post, I do not necessarily believe that many trainers, or the particular trainers mentioned, are saying that one MUST ALWAYS address multiple threats in the manner which was described above. However, they may be giving a generalized response in an ideal situation. I think we all agree that anything worth shooting once, is worth shooting multiple times, as necessary.

          Good question Will, however the response that you will see in real life, or a truly dynamic 360*, force on force, SIMS or similar, type of situation will be much different than you might see on a paper punching one way range. While the many different firearms training companies / trainers try to incorporate as much realism as possible on a square range and paper targets, the true response in a 360* dynamic situation is almost always very different.

          I think we all understand and appreciate what IDPA as a sport brings to the table as being a pseudo realistic based shooting sport concept, however it can never really replicate (doesn't claim to fully replicate) the real deal, or a 360* force on force atmosphere. Obviously training is the key. IMO, without actually taking real lead, a pain reinforced type of 360* dynamic training scenarios (SIMUNITION etc), conducted in real life environments, are key to developing techniques and responses. You do not see much civilian firearm / defensive courses using pain reinfoced, force on force situations / training tools. We do quite a bit of this type of training and I can guarantee a couple of things......You and your opponents will be hauling ***, so you can throw out the idea of stationary paper targets, and second, your shooting platform will be less than ideal. Therefore the rigid notion of going down the line and giving each bad guy a single round or two, then coming back in reverse order for another combat accurate shot, or a coup de grace head shot for each of the bad guys is just not consistent with realism.

          Having said that, and without getting too much into combat tactics here, we need to take into account the availability of hard cover, avenues of escape that may also provide hard cover / concealment, all while perhaps engaging targets, maybe only being able to engage a single target. We also should be aware of the opportunity that our movement can create a situation where we are able to set up our targets in such a manner as to cut down on the lanes of fire, or the other threats ability to get a clear shot on us without having to go through one of their buddies to hit us. Kinda like a multiple attacker martial arts concept. Of course this is simplifying it, and again I really don't want to get too involved in such combat tactics here, however I will say that with multiple threats, you had best be moving your ***, looking for hard cover, an avenue of escape that may possibly set you up for a better tactical advantage, or all three. Then while doing all of this, you should be giving some semblance of accurate return fire. Not easy to do, and all in all this is definitely a suck *** situation.

          In summary, I basically cannot give a set way in which we engage multiple threats, such as order, number of rounds and then come back in another order. I think that doing so, creates more of a problem than a cure, as no two scenarios will be alike. With a dynamically evolving and changing scenario, we need to rely that our training and/or real life experiences in such situations, allows us to respond and adapt as the situation unfolds. The more realistic based force on force training that we can go through the better. I will try to give you the tools, teach you the techniques, provide you the best training and hopefully turn you into a master carpenter. Then it will be up to you to hammer the nails as you see fit.
          The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Surf View Post
            ...<SNIP>...
            You know, if you gave that answer on the stand, I'd have to object - the answer is nonresponsive.

            You go ahead and discuss all the issues that MATTER, while disregarding (for the most part) the question asked. Cheater...

            J. Wise

            AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

            "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

            Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jwise View Post
              You know, if you gave that answer on the stand, I'd have to object - the answer is nonresponsive.

              Silly lawyer! You'd understand it if you were a cop!

              If god forbid i am caught in that scenario then. 1) I did something wrong and was not very aware. 2) I REALLY ****ed somebody off who I shouldn't have. 3) Im not engaging until i have a valid deadly force threat under CRS 18-1-704 so whichever one is the first to meet that criteria is likely the one that I will engage first.

              Im not LEO, im not facing an army, if its a multiple target scenario than I either got caught in some robbery or its a gang. Hopefully stand up to the first to present the threat, and then engage as necessary to stop the threat. Would then cycle based on opposing weapon and distance to target as best I could.

              If i have maintained any kind of awareness, and been a good witness rather than a dead hero, the only place I will ever have to practice this will be in an IDPA/IPSC practice or match.

              Now i need to go hide before jwise reads this and catches up with me.
              -------------------------------
              You can't fix stupid, but you can arrest it. - LINY

              "Their house, their rules. And when they get robbed, they can call 911 and ask them to send a hippie to protect them." - ateamer

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Surf View Post
                In summary, I basically cannot give a set way in which we engage multiple threats, such as order, number of rounds and then come back in another order.
                I somewhat agree.

                I have gamed it in my mind many times. I know i will be moving and I can bet the targets will be moving. I realize that more than likely I will target fixate on the largest threat (that's animal instinct) and more than likely engage that threat until it is no longer a threat. Hopefully that will be quickly and I can move on to the next most prevalent threat.

                IDPA is a game. ALWAYS remember that. SIMS rock for training but if you do it enough you can start to game it as well, although not as easily as when the targets are cardboard and don't shoot back.
                "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
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                • #9
                  Helpful and interesting responses gents, thanx.
                  - Will

                  Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

                  www.OptimalSWAT.com

                  General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

                  www.BrinkZone.com

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                  • #10
                    I know WillBrink said with a handgun. But, I am going to cheat and say I'd have to go with a M67 or a M203, depending on distance.

                    Really though, I am going to have to agree with Surf in that a real world situation will be a bit more complicated, and all the points he used to articulate such a point were valid (avenues of approach, cover and concealment, etc.) I am also going to agree with Jwise in that no two targets will have the same priority. One of them will stand out and ask for some special attention.

                    Additionally, my perspective is different. You all have to go out there every day and face the world by yourself (until your back up arrives). My training and my experience is always as a member of a fire team, often a squad, with at least one and usually two crew served weapons (M249/M203) and everyone else having an M4 with three round burst available.

                    If I try and answer this fairly, and all I've got is me and my Glock 22, I'd like to think I'd give everyone a love tap to buy some time, and then go back for more.

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                    • #11
                      Tow major problems I see in multiple threat training.

                      1. Little or no incorporation of utilization of cover.
                      I would take cover, and reveal and attack one opponent at a time.

                      2. Winning as objective.
                      The objective of the training should be to survive. To survive does not always equate winning. "Never retreat" idea is what a military commander would want from their soldiers, and not particularly for that soldier's sake.
                      A lot of training habitually do this. But, if tactical situation is not in your favor, systematic retreat or "tactical redeploy" should be in order. I've never seen of heard / read of any organization that properly teaches how to systematically do a tactical redeploy or retreat.

                      If I'm out numbered, goal of me attacking with a firearm is to keep myself alive until I extract myself from danger rather than charging into an unfavorable battle.

                      Target selection wise, keep an open mind. You may not want to keep sending rounds after rounds at an opponent with a shotgun only partially exposed and hard to hit spending precious seconds when there's a two exposed guys with a pistol you could have already downed.
                      Last edited by GrayBlue; 09-08-2009, 09:01 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blackdog F4i View Post
                        I realize that more than likely I will target fixate on the largest threat (that's animal instinct) and more than likely engage that threat until it is no longer a threat. Hopefully that will be quickly and I can move on to the next most prevalent threat.
                        This is what I was thinking when I said the following...

                        Originally posted by jwise
                        If you have decided that a target needs to be serviced, then I would service that threat in a manner fitting the threat.
                        The question is difficult, because it is a hard question to ask what one would DO, rather than simply ask what one has been trained to do. What would I do? I don't know. Give me the WHOLE picture, and I'd most likely be able to tell you, but so much of what I perceive is non-verbal and even non-articulable. Like Blackdog said, "that's animal instinct."

                        If I sensed weakness, I would attack furiously, with overwhelming force. If I sensed strength, I would put distance between us and continue to move while shooting, RACING for the nearest cover/escape. Who knows...
                        J. Wise

                        AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

                        "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

                        Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jwise View Post
                          The question is difficult, because it is a hard question to ask what one would DO, rather than simply ask what one has been trained to do. What would I do? I don't know. Give me the WHOLE picture, and I'd most likely be able to tell you, but so much of what I perceive is non-verbal and even non-articulable. Like Blackdog said, "that's animal instinct."

                          If I sensed weakness, I would attack furiously, with overwhelming force. If I sensed strength, I would put distance between us and continue to move while shooting, RACING for the nearest cover/escape. Who knows...
                          In essence this is exactly what I am saying. It is difficult to give a game plan for such a dynamic and ever changing scenario, with endless possibilities. Basically you train the person to be as proficient with their weapon systems / gear that they use, teach them sound tactics, and give them as much realistic 360* training as possible. After that it will be up to the individual to assess the situation as it unfolds and react as they see fit for the situation. We all need to be thinking dogs and IMO not given too rigid of a game plan to follow.
                          The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

                          Surfs Up on youtube!

                          Specialized Services Group on Facebook!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GrayBlue View Post
                            I've never seen of heard / read of any organization that properly teaches how to systematically do a tactical redeploy or retreat.
                            At an Advanced Tactics class at my last department, we practiced doing 'tactical peels' with pairs.

                            Not only was it a HELLUVA lot of fun, it taught us the very basic idea that sometimes getting the heck out of the situation is the right choice!
                            J. Wise

                            AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

                            "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

                            Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              This is the difference between IDPA and real life. In real life you will be too busy running for cover, shooting, reloading, radioing for help, ect., to worry about who to shoot first and how many rounds to put in each one. You shoot and keep shooting until all threats are gone, there is no 1-1-2-1-2-1 or any of that lunacy. People interviewed in the six o'clock news will wonder why it took 57 shots to stop three threats, when three would have obviously sufficed to anyone that has watched any movie. In real life you will just draw and shoot, the conscious part of your brain won't know what happened until it's over.
                              Last edited by yellowreef; 09-09-2009, 04:40 AM.
                              "You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall... I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."

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