Put Bullets in the Meaty Bits

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Not long ago, John Correia of Active Self Protection published a few thoughts about what’s important in gunfighting on his social media. We liked it so much we figured we’d run it here for your examination, edification, education, and possibly disputation. We’ll discuss in the comments, if you’re so inclined. (Note: that’s #grandmamaximus in the cover photo – proof that septuagenarians, or people of any age, will find the time and energy to train if they’re serious about prevailing in a fight.) ∼ Mad Duo

“He who puts the first shot into meaty bits on the other guy, wins.”

Grunts: septuagenarian.

John P Correia

I’ve watched about 5,000 gunfights at this point, and the patterns that emerge are pretty clear. Some thoughts you might want to consider that I don’t think that the training community really wants to hear:

1. Most gunfights aren’t entangled gunfights. Empty-handed skills are important, but very rare once the gun comes out. They’re necessary for LE more than CCW, by a long shot. For CCW, empty-handed skills are critical for the 80% of assaults that don’t rise to the level of deadly force response. So go to your martial arts training.

2. Reloads are almost vanishingly insignificant factors in gunfights. I have seen precisely two reloads in a real gunfight that weren’t on-duty LEO. And neither of those affected the outcome of the fight. I have seen about seven or eight where a higher capacity firearm or the presence of a reload might have affected the outcome. So 0.2% of what I have witnessed. Don’t spend much valuable class time teaching emergency and retention reloads…at least until your highest level classes where all the fundamentals are flawless. I like Tom Givens’ focus on the PROACTIVE reload once the fight is over. That has value in my opinion.

3. He who puts the first shot into meaty bits on the other guy, wins. Not 100%, but darn near, at least partially because of the FIBS Factor. Therefore, training a fast and reliable draw and first shot in the meaty bits is most important, in my opinion. It is THE critical skill to winning the gunfight. The best cover is fire superiority.

[Our Minion David (one of three Davids, actually) on a steel challenge bay putting a Dan Wesson through its paces]

4. Follow-up shots are necessary. Seldom do gunfights END with that first shot, so keep at him until he decides he is done fighting. This is where multiple target acquisition is important, because it simulates a moving target to hit (unless you have a fancy moving target that can move erratically, in which case you are high speed!).

5. People have a crazy tendency to use the gun one-handed, mostly because they have stuff in their support hand. Training people to drop what’s in their hands and get two hands on the gun is a necessary skill for #3 and #4.

6. You simply WILL NOT stand still while someone wants to kill you. Unless you’re counter-ambushing, when the gun comes out you will move. So training students to move with purpose while #3 and #4 are going on is also a critical skill. They’re going to do it, so teach them to use it.

7. Chasing deadly threats is another bad habit that I see all the time. Teach your students to shoot and scoot. Move AWAY from the threat.

[Our minion Kim, one of the last people we’d want to engage in a gunfight, on the range trying the Springfield XD .45]

8. Concealment ain’t cover, but it works identically in 99.9% of cases. People won’t shoot what they can’t see, so teach your students to get to concealment, and to shoot through it if their threat is behind it.

9. People love cover so much they give it a hug. Reliably. Like all the time. Teaching distance from cover/concealment is an important skill and one that is necessary.

10. Malfunctions happen. They just do. But unless you’re carrying a crap gun, they’re rare. In all my videos I have never seen someone clear a malfunction that needed a tap to the baseplate to get the gun back working again or whose mag fell out when the gun went click…rack and reassess is necessary though. In a couple of instances, a strip, rack, reload would have helped.

Just some random thoughts…I hope we have met your jimmy rustling needs for today.


Why a Saturday Screed? Why not? Anyway, we’ve always admired adeptly administered alliteration.

You can find Active Self Protection online here to learn more about Correia or that organization. Follow ’em on Instagram, @activeselfprotection, or find them on Facebook, /ActiveSelfProtection/.

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News Desk

Reported on today by the News Desk. Our goal is to inform, educate, edify, and enlighten. Warrior-scholar or everyman, we believe everyone should think and be dangerous.

News Desk has 273 posts and counting. See all posts by News Desk

2 thoughts on “Put Bullets in the Meaty Bits

  • February 5, 2017 at 1:25 am

    This article cuts through the bullshit admirably. Well done.

    Something I would point out about #1. #1 is a very important point but something else needs to be said here. If you end up entangled with someone else don’t take a hand out of the fight to reach for your gun until you can reliably do so without either losing the gun or dropping a hand and taking a light-out shot to the face. Make some space before you try to draw or only draw as an absolute last resort (as much as I hate to say it, think Zimmerman).

    Way too many people say that if they have a knife pulled on them or end up in a fist fight they’ll draw and fire. When I hear this I just laugh to myself and think “Sure you will, bud. Sure you will”.

  • February 5, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for the run down. The ASP videos are always enlightening and often frightening . There’s so much noise in the personal defense community and related media . It’s nice to see conclusions derived from data and not dogma .


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