Saturday, June 21, 2008

Combat Shooting Tactics & Prep

I hope you will never be in a fire fight or armed combat situation. It looks exciting and well choreographed on TV but when it comes down to it, the physical and emotional toll of having to defend your life and/or take a life isn't something the average person wants to deal with for the rest of their life. That said, being able to defend your life may happen at some point, and like a seat belt, you don't know that you need these skills until YOU NEED THEM, so here's how to get the combat/tactical skills you need:

  • Have a nice selection of firearms. A handgun, rifle, and shotgun are the basics. Mid-range firearms are a good bet--you don't want a cheap, crappy weapon that you can't rely on, but on the other hand, you don't want to go into perma-debt in order to buy top of the line weapons (overkill, so to speak).
  • PRACTICE every week with all of your firearms. Whenever I hear people say they have a pistol for protection but when asked how often they practice, they say it's been quite a while, I cringe. There's a muscle memory thing and an automatic reaction thing that only comes about with continued practice and these things come in quite handy during an unexpected firefight. So practice as often as possible but no less than once a week.
  • Practice is all sorts of conditions: bright sun, low light, dusk, night, in the hot sun, in the rain, in the snow...
  • Practice from various positions: standing, seated, prone, weak-hand, strong-hand, both hands...
  • Practice speed loading.
  • Know the ballistics of various types of ammunition. How far does it go and how fast? How does your various ammo react to the wind?
  • On a side note, I would suggest learning how to reload your own ammo. Not only will you learn various aspects of making custom ammo but it will save you lots of money if you are going to do a lot of practicing.
  • Learn the difference between cover and concealment and use both to your advantage.
  • Keep your "wings" tucked in. Elbows, arms, knees, feet.
  • Practice drawing quickly and efficiently.
  • Practice with sights and scopes and without.
  • Play paintball. It is nowhere near the experience of actual combat but it's as close to simulated battle as most civilians will get.
  • Practice shooting a variety of targets at a variety of distances, including static and moving targets.
  • Try competitive shooting, such as IPSC or other combat-style practices/competitions.
  • Practice spotting targets and non-targets. I particularly like the pop-up type targets which have both shoot and no-shoot targets.
  • Practice moving silently and stalking. Part of being able to effectively engage your target is the element of surprise. There's no surprise if you sound like a heard of elephants coming. Move quietly.
  • Once you have the basics down, consider the necessity of more advanced tactics and equipment: night vision scopes, laser sights, body armor, close quarter combat techniques, how to clear a room, squad/platoon tactics, simultaneous engagement, etc.
  • Always use eye and ear protection while practicing. We want you to be able to hear into your old age...
  • Get your training from the experts. It's fine to trade info and insight with others at the range or in competitions, but to become highly skilled in anything, it is invaluable to get your training from the experts.
  • Consider that the old sayings have quite a bit of truth to them: "one shot, one kill", "double tap", "know thyself, know thy rifle", "this is the last shot for the rest of my life".

Anyway, that's the basics. For more information check out


  1. Three months ago I was facing two rottweiler that came into my property and attack my chihuahua mix, when I came, the male dog had the chihuahua in the jaws shaking it and the female dog was bitting the buttocks of the little dog.
    I shot twice at the big male, hit him both times and still charge me, shot the third time and miss, then he (the dog) bit me near the family jewels, (fortunally I do carry my wallet in my front pocket) it did tear my pants, I did shot for the fourth time and killing the dog, the female dog pass me by and I shot her once on the chest. she run away.
    The sherrif came to the house. see what happenned, and threaten me with taken my gun, he was more concern that I did not have another weapon, he was telling me I should allways have a second gun, he was trying very hard to drive that point. Well, he finally let me keep my gun after I assured him that I would follow that advice.
    Then he procceded to follow the blood trail. he found the second dog owner and he got a big ticket by the animal control officer.

    Well, following the advice of the officer I bought the second gun from my wife's collection ( paid her one dollar ).

    By the way I used 5 rounds and I was empty and no means of reloading, no knife and just my short finger nails.

    I guess is a good advise from the officer to carrie a second gun.

    Thanks for your dedication and good advise.

  2. Excellent points. Along with the old adage that you won't know when you will need a firearm until you actually need it (like a seatbelt), you never know when you are going to need a back-up firearm and spare ammo until you need them (and at that point, you will REALLY need them). If you can carry a back up firearm, great, but if you are carrying any firearm at all, ALWAYS carry spare ammo (ie: a spare loaded magazine or speed-loader for a revolver since in an emergent situation you will not have time to reload that magazine you just emptied).

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