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Old 11-23-2010, 04:09 AM   #1
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Default What would be a safe hiding place during a gun fight?

Finding a safe hidding place during a gun fight.

When I was teaching troops and police in a Police Academy I was trying to keep the officers alive. To do so I had to debunk some of the Hollywood movies that everyone see's.
You have seen them I am sure. The hero cop is peeking out the window with his pistol in his hand (which by the way is completely visable to the felon outside) and a bullet hits the window frame. And does nothing but make a splash of wood chips or mortar. So many officers think that they can stand in a window like that and be safe. NOPE. Then the next movie shows the police officer shooting over his car, and he naturally half way stands up to shoot. NOPE. How about the guy in the house and he stands against the wall while the bad guys shoot through the door. NOPE.

My demonstration that I used to instruct the cadet officers and rookies takes place at the range. Out there at the 15 yard line I have a wall built of concrete blocks. Just standing on each other, no mortar. (the only reason there is no mortar is the range master would not allow me to do it.) Next to that is a wooden wall, studs, outside siding, sheet rock inside. Then we have a junked car sitting there. I had a Colt 1911 in 45 acp with 230 gr hard ball.
I asked the men which would be the safest cover to hide behind. Then the next safest, then the least safest.
Most said in this order. Concrete wall, car. and wall. They were close but not right. The car was the safest providing you knew now to utilize it properly.

I then proceeded to show them their folly.
The house wall was safe as they thought (some of them thought) and two magazines of hard ball went through every time. Including the door studs that they thought they could stand behind.
Then the car and 14 rounds went through the doors (both doors) Loaded up again and 10 rounds made it through the engine compartment area. The ones that did not, hit the motor. But the ones that made it through the sheet metal and the radiator and the carburator would have been lethal. And judging from the exit holes they would have made a bloody mess out of the guy hiding behind that part.
Then the finale. Almost everyone laughed when I reloaded and aimed at the concrete wall. Before shooting I asked if anyone would like to hide behind the concrete block wall while I was shooting. About half the class raised their hands.
I announced that for safety reasons I could not allow them to hide behind the concrete block wall. But I wanted everyone that agreed to keep their hands up in the air.

I then proceeded to take that concrete block wall down. I put each and every round in the center of the hollow part of the concrete block and it penetrated completely through. In 14 rounds I had a hole in the wall that would easily have exposed any man sized target behind it. I then turned to the students and said:
All of you that have your hands up are dead.

There was a long silence on the range.
Lesson taught.
Sarge



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Old 11-23-2010, 04:32 AM   #2
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very nice. good info here. but what if the concrete wall had mortar on the joints and concrete and rebar in the holes?



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Old 11-23-2010, 05:11 AM   #3
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very nice. good info here. but what if the concrete wall had mortar on the joints and concrete and rebar in the holes?
Then the bullets would not penetrate.
But it would also be a commercial building or a industrial building. A house made out of concrete blocks does not go to that extreme. Mainly because of the cost. If it was going to be more than 2 stories high then they might use that method of construction. But it is not common. Two stories or more is usually cast concrete or pre-cast slabs with rebars.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:56 AM   #4
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So, the best answer is none of the above. Or, is there another answer other than avoiding a gun fight in the first place? Did you ever train the officers in the actual "best" place or just leave them with no place? Wait, you did not train the ones who were in the LA shootout a few years back, did you?

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Old 11-23-2010, 12:34 PM   #5
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I always thought the safest hiding place during a gun fight would be behind anyone else with guns!

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Old 11-23-2010, 03:01 PM   #6
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Simple, behind Jack!

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Old 11-23-2010, 03:06 PM   #7
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Good post.

Look at my thread about the bullets and vehicles course I took recently and you'll be shocked at what penetrates a car.

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f55/bullets-vehicles-course-sig-academy-34162/

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Old 11-23-2010, 05:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by skullcrusher View Post
So, the best answer is none of the above. Or, is there another answer other than avoiding a gun fight in the first place? Did you ever train the officers in the actual "best" place or just leave them with no place? Wait, you did not train the ones who were in the LA shootout a few years back, did you?
Yes as I stated the car or truck was the safest in certain times. If you are out of the vehicle and can get down by the front tire with the motor and transmission between you and the gun man, then you have a chance. But it would be even better if you could return fire around the front of the auto while keeping your torso behind the heavy mass of the engine and transmission. On many cars that would mean you would have to be very short or you would have to lay down and keep your body at 90 deg. from the shooter. This position also has advantages. There is nothing in the gun fighting rules that says you have to shoot at the felons head or torso if they are not available. From the prone position you can see under your vehicle and if the felon is merely crouching behind the car there will be parts of his lower body exposed to your vision and bullet. Shoot for his feet or legs. This will have the added benefit of making him fall down or break off the attack. If he falls down then you have a bigger and more lethal target. Don't feel badly about shooting a man who is down. If he still has the gun in his hand he is still a target.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:13 PM   #9
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Good post.

Look at my thread about the bullets and vehicles course I took recently and you'll be shocked at what penetrates a car.

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f55/bullets-vehicles-course-sig-academy-34162/
Yes that was a good hands-on course. I wish that all police dept. could afford to take it. Unfortunately most of them ignore the possibilty that they may have to defend themselves in other than perfect circumstances. Even a film or video would be better than nothing.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:04 AM   #10
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Behind the largest person carrying a ballistic shield....or behind a wall of bullets while you exit stage right.



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