There are No Rules in a Gunfight

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Peregrinator
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There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Peregrinator » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:09 pm

Well, there is actually one golden rule: Have a gun.

To be honest, the best way to survive a gunfight is to be absent, but Murphy doesn't always let you plan that well.
Both SWMBO and I have CCW permits and carry small handguns in major calibers. She carries a Kahr PM9 and I carry a Kahr PM45, both with tritium sights. We practice often, a luxury afforded by a private range owned by close friends. These are reliable, very accurate, but short range firearms, not at all my first choice for a firefight. But, they are easily concealable, which means we can always have them with us. You can't ALWAYS have a long gun, and unless you are very lucky in your situation, you can't ALWAYS carry a full sized handgun.

If I could conceal a 12ga or a .308, I'd carry that, but I can't. I work, and I must wear "business appropriate attire", often than means well-fitting khaki's and a button down, tucked in, no jacket.
The Kahr fits. A Glock (love them, own several, including a single stack 36) is too bulky. I'm not a large man, at least not too large, 6', 190lbs and muscular rather than pudgy. That makes it tough to hide a big gun without printing.

Why do I care? Honestly, most people with whom I associate, would not care if they knew I was armed. In fact, I know many of them are also armed. But I actively avoid advertising the fact for a very good reason. If I were a nutjob intent on doing harm, I would shoot the armed guy first. No one knows I carry except wifey and the state, and she ain't telling.

Yes I know that the tinfoil hat crowd thinks the state will come and take my guns. They may. I'm not worried about that, I've made alternate plans. Let's avoid that bit of paranoia for the moment and stay on topic.

The point here, is that gun you have is far more effective than that handcannon home in the safe, or the shotgun outside in the trunk. Although some will argue that 230gr loads out of that Kahr feels like a cannon, it's not anywhere near as effective as just about any longarm, and yes, a full sized handgun would be better, but I can't conceal a full sized handgun effectively, in my situation.

So, here's my realistic, honest and practical suggestions for being prepared with a firearm for day-to-day life in current society.

Select a caliber, style and size:
1.) that is reliable and tested with several hundred rounds in your own hand.
2.) that you can shoot accurately
3.) that you have practiced with diligently (strong hand, weak hand, on the ground, moving, etc)
4.) that you can conceal properly (be realistic, use a mirror and your normal clothing, bend over and look for a bump, sit down and listen for a "clunk")

Then don't tell anyone that you carry it. Why paint a target on your arse?

I do not advocate standing your ground when you can retreat. (Actually, I don't ever advocate standing your ground, moving targets are much harder to hit. You do practice while moving, right?) I strongly suggest you actively avoid getting into a situation that would require you to shoot anyone. I even more strongly advise you to avoid a situation where people are shooting at you. Confrontations, in a disaster, are bad. Confrontations most likely mean injury. Most confrontations are a result of poor planning or poor tactics.

I have been shot at, and hit. I didn't recognize and avoid a situation quickly enough, my bad. If you are ever in a situation where you are facing an armed assailant, you will likely be shot. The faster you eliminate the threat the less shot you will be. That means lots of practice, mental preparation, study of tactics, and more practice. Approximately two-thirds of all gunshot wounds are survived with prompt medical care. Handgun wounds are more survivable than long gun wounds. In some disaster scenarios, medical care may be many hours away, or completely unavailable. Practice, study, practice, prepare, and most importantly...avoid. Rambo's don't live long outside the movies.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by emclean » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:12 am

Peregrinator wrote:2.) that you can shoot accurately
just wondering what you consider accurate enough to carry to be.
I generally use the if I can keep the rounds on a standard sheet of paper at 25 yards. (due to the limits of the range I use, that is the shortest distance I can shoot. I am aware that it isn't a realistic distance for defensive shooting)

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Peregrinator » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:24 am

emclean wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:2.) that you can shoot accurately
just wondering what you consider accurate enough to carry to be.
I generally use the if I can keep the rounds on a standard sheet of paper at 25 yards. (due to the limits of the range I use, that is the shortest distance I can shoot. I am aware that it isn't a realistic distance for defensive shooting)
Actually that's a damn good question, for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that POI is different at 7 yards than at 25 yards.
If you are holding inside an 8"x11" target at 25 yards with a small handgun, then your technique is certainly good enough to produce a reasonable group at 7 yards.

But, that's not really the issue, we are concerned with point of impact. Since you have drawn your weapon, you have already decided that deadly force is required, to preserve your life or the lives of others. You need to stop the threat quickly and reliably, as several studies have shown that at short distances you don't have time for more than a shot or two. You need to be able to place that shot where you want it, and it will be 1-2" be lower than point of aim, if your firearm is sighted for 25 yards.

If you research the trajectory vs line of sight of the ammunition you use, you will note that, due to the sight plane being above the barrel axis, your point of impact is actually below point of aim until the two meet at the sight-in distance. For most handgun sight-in distances, the projectile continues to climb above the point of aim, then begins to drop, again crossing the point of aim at at further distance.

Several factors come into play:
Distance from bore axis to sight line
sight in distance
bullet drop (a combination of velocity, weight, wind resistance, and other lesser factors)
recoil (heavier recoiling loads can raise the point of impact)

For a typical 9mm, this could translate into 2" low at the muzzle, 1" low at 10 yards, and zeroed at 25 yards. A typical 115gr 9mm projectile will drop back down through the sight line at about 100yards, giving you two zero's at 25 yards and 100 yards. Along this entire range you could expect about a +/-2" POI from POA. (point of impact, point of aim) If you are limited to a 25 yard practice range (a common problem) then you have to research the ballistics of the cartridge. Almost all common cartridges have graphs and charts publicly available on the Internet, that show point of impact vs sight line. A google image search of "9mm ballistics" will show you several examples of the above. Obviously a big, slow .45 ACP round will have very different ballistics than a fast and light 9mm.

If all of this is a bit too confusing, drop me a PM with the make and model of the firearm, and the exact rounds you intend to use. I can run it through a ballistics calculator and give you a pretty good approximation of point of impact at 7 yards with a 25 yard zero.

One thing you really need to consider, is if you are practicing with the same rounds that you intend to carry. Most people don't. People tend to practice with cheap "ball" ammo, then carry very different ammo for self defense. This is fine to practice technique, but you will almost certainly have a different POI for defense ammo vs the practice ammo. I'd suggest you at least put a magazine full of your carry ammo through the firearm on occasion to remind yourself of the differences in point of impact, felt recoil, amount of "flash" etc.

Best regards, and good luck.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Asymetryczna » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:48 am

Peregrinator wrote: Rambo's don't live long outside the movies.
This may be true. Still, one can honor their courage and sacrifice.

Arthur John Rambo
Panel W16, Line 126, Vietnam Memorial Wall

Silver Star Citation
Silver Star Awarded posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant Arthur John Rambo, United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force on 26 November 1969 while serving as an artilleryman with the Howitzer Battery, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date he was located at the squadron command post when it suddenly came under an intense mortar and ground attack from a North Vietnamese Army force. In the initial moments of the firefight, a rocket propelled grenade slammed into a cargo vehicle next to him, and the vehicle erupted n explosions and fire. Sergeant Rambo immediately began alerting the personnel in the area and directing them away from the area. He then crawled to the fiercely burning vehicle and attempted to drive it out of the area. Suddenly another grenade hit the vehicle and he was thrown to the ground. Undaunted, he crawled to a self-propelled howitzer and started the engine. As he began driving out of the area, the vehicle was hit by yet another rocket propelled grenade and he was fatally injured in the ensuing fire and explosions. Sergeant Rambo's heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army. General Orders: Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam, General Orders No. 4896 (December 23, 1969) Action Date: November 26, 1969 Service: Army Rank: Sergeant
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Peregrinator » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:51 am

Asymetryczna wrote:
Peregrinator wrote: Rambo's don't live long outside the movies.
This may be true. Still, one can honor their courage and sacrifice.
Yeah, I do. Sometimes memorial day make my throat all tight, my eyes get red, and my nose starts to run, probably just allergies, right?
All gave some, some gave all.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Asymetryczna » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:23 pm

Yeah, it's allergies. If it is Memorial Day and I am home I make the trip to Robert E. Lee's old plantation grounds up north to walk amongst their memorial stones and the silent, white crosses. When I consider that Union generals fought to bury some of the first dead from Manassas in his wife's rose garden the inherent wiseass in me does a shrug of shoulders at the irony...
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Stercutus » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:10 pm

I have been shot at, and hit. I didn't recognize and avoid a situation quickly enough, my bad. If you are ever in a situation where you are facing an armed assailant, you will likely be shot.
Somebody shot you?

Please expound on that if you are able.
These days of dust
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new Son

But I'll kneel down wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Neville » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:50 pm

I'm going to disagree. There are rules for a gun fight.

If you know and follow those rules, you set yourself up to win the next fight - the one that involves the legal system. Shooting at your adversary (who is presumably shooting at you) at every available opportunity sounds like a good "winning" strategy. However, if there are innocent bystanders as your backdrop, if you miss your intended target you may hospitalize or terminate someone who didn't deserve it. You've increased your odds of surviving the gunfight, at the expense of having to spend some of those years of saved living behind bars. Holding your fire until you have a clean shot may place you at greater immediate risk but may help make the years of life you save, actually worth living. There are other rules such as if your opponent suddenly disengages and turns tail. Do you know if he's left the fight? Or just seeking better cover? Are you prepared to defend your decision to shoot a fleeing person in the back? Because that's how it will be portrayed in court.

Yes, there are rules. Bad guys don't know them, follow them, nor care about them. Good guys cannot afford to ignore them.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by KYZHunters » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:12 pm

Is "sigable" a word? Sigworthy?
Neville wrote:
Yes, there are rules. Bad guys don't know them, follow them, nor care about them. Good guys cannot afford to ignore them.
crypto wrote:It's not that you were being "harsh" so much as a "douchebag".

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by raptor » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:19 pm

Neville wrote:I'm going to disagree. There are rules for a gun fight.

If you know and follow those rules, you set yourself up to win the next fight - the one that involves the legal system. Shooting at your adversary (who is presumably shooting at you) at every available opportunity sounds like a good "winning" strategy. However, if there are innocent bystanders as your backdrop, if you miss your intended target you may hospitalize or terminate someone who didn't deserve it. You've increased your odds of surviving the gunfight, at the expense of having to spend some of those years of saved living behind bars. Holding your fire until you have a clean shot may place you at greater immediate risk but may help make the years of life you save, actually worth living. There are other rules such as if your opponent suddenly disengages and turns tail. Do you know if he's left the fight? Or just seeking better cover? Are you prepared to defend your decision to shoot a fleeing person in the back? Because that's how it will be portrayed in court.

Yes, there are rules. Bad guys don't know them, follow them, nor care about them. Good guys cannot afford to ignore them.


Well written well said.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by roscoe » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:30 am

Neville wrote:I'm going to disagree. There are rules for a gun fight.

If you know and follow those rules, you set yourself up to win the next fight - the one that involves the legal system. Shooting at your adversary (who is presumably shooting at you) at every available opportunity sounds like a good "winning" strategy. However, if there are innocent bystanders as your backdrop, if you miss your intended target you may hospitalize or terminate someone who didn't deserve it. You've increased your odds of surviving the gunfight, at the expense of having to spend some of those years of saved living behind bars. Holding your fire until you have a clean shot may place you at greater immediate risk but may help make the years of life you save, actually worth living. There are other rules such as if your opponent suddenly disengages and turns tail. Do you know if he's left the fight? Or just seeking better cover? Are you prepared to defend your decision to shoot a fleeing person in the back? Because that's how it will be portrayed in court.

Yes, there are rules. Bad guys don't know them, follow them, nor care about them. Good guys cannot afford to ignore them.
Word!

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by flybynight » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:53 pm

So...in a nutshell there are three rules in a gunfight.
(1) Have a gun, because without one you're not going to survive a gunfight. You're going to survive a attempted murder.

(2) Survive the gunfight ( as legally as possible )

(3) Have a great lawyer. Because no matter if you're the good guy or the bad, The victim or attacker. They are going to try and put you all in the same cage.
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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Stercutus » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:41 pm

Jeff and Mark's rules were written more from a military perspective and in a less litigious time.
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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:41 pm

Stercutus wrote:Jeff and Mark's rules were written more from a military perspective and in a less litigious time.
I was thinking thinking something similar when I first read this post. Different rules, legally and ethically, for:

-Military
-Law Enforcement
-Civilian

But I like the way Neville summed it up.
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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by delarey » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:30 pm

Not sure why I'm seeing these old threads, but figured this is interesting enough to resurrect...
There are no universal rules in a gun fight. There are only rules that YOU decide to follow.
1. The 4 rules of firearm safety
2. Overwhelming force of violence. Shoot to win. Fight for your life.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Chaos454 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:43 am

For violent encounters I really only have one rule... don't die! There are many options on how not to break rule number one.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by NT2C » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:39 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:10 pm
I have been shot at, and hit. I didn't recognize and avoid a situation quickly enough, my bad. If you are ever in a situation where you are facing an armed assailant, you will likely be shot.
Somebody shot you?

Please expound on that if you are able.
It's not as uncommon as many people believe. I've been shot at three times (once in the military so maybe we won't count that one, but the one on a street corner in NYC and the one in a Brooklyn hallway count) and hit once when I wasn't the target (caught a piece of an old lead .38 Special slug that bounced off a cast iron lamppost when very young me blundered into the path of a liquor store holdup gone bad).
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by delarey » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:49 pm

You are right. It's not that uncommon. I have to say, I haven't been shot at since immigrating to the US. Had plenty of incidents in Africa though.
Everyone laughs at a .22 derringer until it's barrel is making an imprint on the side of your head...just sayin'.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by Stercutus » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:35 pm

My point two years ago was more along the lines that if there was an actual gun fight then it would have been applicable to the gunfighting thread. Dude never came back so it is what it is.

Outside of military combat I have never been shot at and thankfully never been hit by any of the things that people have tried to kill me with (Rockets, mortars, rifles, machineguns, IEDs). I am certain that mostly it was not personal.

Although not too long ago someone I work with was being shot at was nearby. Close enough to hear the shots fired. He did not get hit either.

If I get my way I will never be shot at again. At some point everyone's luck runs out.
These days of dust
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new Son

But I'll kneel down wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by JF89 » Wed May 15, 2019 3:21 pm

Im just a civilian with no LE or Military background. Ive been shot at twice , as a teen I lived in section 8 shitholes infested with druggies and bangers. Both times I ran like Forest Gump no tough guy shit , had a roud hit right by my head even. Not very pleasant experiences. Ive been shot too but it was only a .22 into my left arm, some jackass at our shooting spot was trying to be cute and put a round in me while trying to hit something right by me. After that I determined I didnt like getting shot so I went and got some legit training to help avoid being shot should I ever need to defend myself.

As far as gunfighting goes every instructor seems to have a different approach, not sure anything is set in stone.

I mean common sense says

Use cover whenever possible

Shoot untail their not a threat

Rinse and repeat untail youre dead or youve stacked bodies 5 high then you can use them as sandbags.

Really there is guidelines that instructors teach their students, not sure I would call them "rules" though.

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by moab » Wed May 15, 2019 3:38 pm

I love this old list of rules for a gunfight. If you imagine John Wayne reading it aloud. It's pretty entertaining. Some jewels in there for sure though. It's been around the internet for ages. I used to have a framed copy behind my desk.

Rules for a Gunfight

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. "All skill is in vain when an Angel pisses in the flintlock of your musket."

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11, Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.)

19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

22. Be courteous to everyone. Friendly to no one.

23. Your number one Option for Personal Security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Do not attend a gun fight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a "4".
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by MPMalloy » Wed May 15, 2019 6:41 pm

moab wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:38 pm
I love this old list of rules for a gunfight. If you imagine John Wayne reading it aloud. It's pretty entertaining. Some jewels in there for sure though. It's been around the internet for ages. I used to have a framed copy behind my desk.

Rules for a Gunfight
Mister BTP, I presume?

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by NT2C » Wed May 15, 2019 6:50 pm

#24 there... my buddy's .357 might disagree with that.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: There are No Rules in a Gunfight

Post by moab » Wed May 15, 2019 8:48 pm

MPMalloy wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:41 pm
moab wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:38 pm
I love this old list of rules for a gunfight. If you imagine John Wayne reading it aloud. It's pretty entertaining. Some jewels in there for sure though. It's been around the internet for ages. I used to have a framed copy behind my desk.

Rules for a Gunfight
Mister BTP, I presume?
"BTP"?
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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