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emt1581
04-09-2010, 22:22
I know in IDPA, for most situations, you have to be behind cover to take shots. But sometimes it would just be a matter of taking out multiple targets with one or two hits per target as accurately and quickly as possible.

It was something I was particularly good at. For example, they set up a "basketball" stage where you held a t-shirt balled up and shot it like a foul shot...then drew and shot targets at 9, 12 and then 3....putting two bullets in each target. I think I took third...and that was the first time I ever tried IDPA.

But what about different sized targets at different distances? The robotic point and shoot doesn't really work for that. What about what the targets have guns and your life (or your loved ones life) is on the line?

I know we act how we train, but are there any suggestions on tactics to defeating maybe 5 or 6 armed targets, most likely without the benefit of cover, in real world situations such as parking lots, side walks, and such?

Thanks!

-Emt1581

David Armstrong
04-09-2010, 22:55
As a general rule, if there are three of them and they press the attack you are going to lose barring some interesting tactics. That was the conclusion after some testing with the Feds (Secret Service, IIRC?) and independently by Walt Rauch. You can try stuff like stacking the BGs or some such, but generally with 3 or more opponents and no cover you are pretty much dependent on luck.

emt1581
04-09-2010, 23:17
As a general rule, if there are three of them and they press the attack you are going to lose barring some interesting tactics. That was the conclusion after some testing with the Feds (Secret Service, IIRC?) and independently by Walt Rauch. You can try stuff like stacking the BGs or some such, but generally with 3 or more opponents and no cover you are pretty much dependent on luck.

I guess having good luck in such a situation would mean that after seeing one or two of their friends drop, the rest run away... :dunno:

Never heard of the testing you mentioned. Interesting though. I'm wondering how the logistics played out and how exactly they tested it?

Thanks!

-Emt1581

MTPD
04-10-2010, 09:02
The answer is to shoot FIRST, FAST & ACCURATE, only one shot per target the first time around without taking cover. Repeat as needed, after taking cover.

And it can be done successfully. For example, a San Dieago undercover cop working the border at night was being held at gunpoint by 3 armed Mexican felons. He "drew into the drop" and instantly put one .38 Special into each BG with a 2" S&W. They all dropped without any of them getting a shot off.

This unit was in so many shooting situations that they were eventually disbanded, probably to protect the Mexican robbers and rapists preying on helpless border jumpers and the PD's top brass frrom the cry-baby press. There was a book written about them and their adventures, forget the title.

So it can be done.

I remember another such shoot-out in Miami back when I was a FL cop. A jewelery store alarm went off and a lone patrolman responded. He dropped 2-3 armed robbers inside and when the last one fled, he followed and shot him dead on the sidewalk. His boss (probably David's father) suspended him for a week for endangering innocents because he had successfully taken a head shot at one of the robbers inside who was holding a hostage in front of himself as a shield, killing the armed robber. Nobody got hit but the BG's. If memory serves me correctly, all the BG's were DOA.

It turned out he was the Captain of the Miami PD Pistol team! He too was using a 38, probably with a 4" inch barrel. Us cops all chiped in and sent him money to make up for his one week's lost pay. It was his biggest pay check ever!

So...........it can be done, and done successfully. However, plan ahead and practice. And I would suggest carrying something with more power than a .38, even though .38's were effective in these two cases!

beatcop
04-10-2010, 15:11
I know we act how we train, but are there any suggestions on tactics to defeating maybe 5 or 6 armed targets, most likely without the benefit of cover, in real world situations such as parking lots, side walks, and such?

Running is an option....a good one

Never heard of the testing you mentioned. Interesting though. I'm wondering how the logistics played out and how exactly they tested it?


It was in one of the shooting rags years ago...I think it focused on the El Presidente drill iirc. They covered a few different variations and I believe they concluded you could get one routinely, two if very lucky, three not happening.

emt1581
04-10-2010, 16:10
Running is an option....a good one



It was in one of the shooting rags years ago...I think it focused on the El Presidente drill iirc. They covered a few different variations and I believe they concluded you could get one routinely, two if very lucky, three not happening.

Now that three would be if they all had guns aimed at you though right?

Something I've always wondered is, so long as the BG's didn't actually know you and you were just a random target, is if you could pretend to be psychotic/mentally retarded and gain some sympathy? I don't mean that in any was as a jab at those who really have such difficulties. But in a life or death situation I'd crap myself and wear it as a hat if it would save me/my family.

I mean I've heard of a woman that was abducted and then he tried to rape her but she acted like a dog (crazy) and it confused him so she was able to get away....same line of thinking.

Mostly I'm going to start practicing with more targets and try to increase my speed while maintaining accuracy at the range.

-Emt1581

beatcop
04-10-2010, 21:40
Now that three would be if they all had guns aimed at you though right?

The original El Pres..

-3 silhouette targets are placed 1 meter apart in a line 10 meters from the shooter

-The shooter starts with 6 rounds in a holstered handgun, and a spare magazine or speedloader with another 6 rounds

-The shooter begins facing directly away from the targets, often with hands clasped in front or over the head.

-Upon the starting signal, the shooter turns and draws, fires 2 shots at each target, reloads, then fires two more shots at each target

I used to shoot it at a 5 meters and just face the target, no turning, hands above shoulder level...draw at the buzzer. On a blazing day I'd be in the mid 4 second range...12 shots, reload, from the holster (thumbreak Desantis).

However, that was "ideal" conditions on a one-way range. When the targets shoot-n-move things don't go so well. At least you get to practice a good first shot draw and target transition.

David Armstrong
04-11-2010, 11:22
Now that three would be if they all had guns aimed at you though right?
No. Think about it. What would make you think that you can react, draw, and effectively engage 3 guys faster than someone else can react, draw and effectively engage 1 guy?

fredj338
04-12-2010, 16:16
I know we act how we train, but are there any suggestions on tactics to defeating maybe 5 or 6 armed targets, most likely without the benefit of cover, in real world situations such as parking lots, side walks, and such?

Thanks!

-Emt1581
THis just isn't going to happen, not even for a top competative shooter. Caught in the open, 5-6 armed BGs, you will get some, but one will get you.:dunno: Like stated earlier, you'll need a ton of luck. Shoot & move & hope they are ducking & don't get a lucky shot off.

Deaf Smith
04-12-2010, 17:33
emt1581,

Here is a test. Get three of your friends who shoot and have them bring their carry guns concealed.

Have them all shoot at the same target (representing you.) And you shoot at three targets (representing them.)

Now you get to draw first, again from concealment.

Now if you can hit all three before ANY one of them can hit your target, then maybe you might have a chance.

It all boils down to how good you are, how good they are, and who goes first as well as smaller things like tactical positioning (like stacking them before you start the ball, backlighting, distractions, obstructions, moving, etc....)

But I will say, unless you are an umber shot and they are piss poor, I’d put my money on them. One can prevail, but the odds are not good.

Deaf

steve2267
04-13-2010, 15:14
In addition to everything already stated (skill levels of all involved, luck etc.), if one is to successfully defeat 3 or more armed opponents, surprise or some other sort of edge, is required.

With surprise (and to varying degrees, luck), much is possible. Without surprise, very very difficult, if not impossible.

Please note I am not saying probable, merely possible.

MTPD
04-14-2010, 07:27
Force on force, or speed-shooting contests to see who prevails, isn't realistic. Why not? Because in the real world the BG's aren't going to expect armed resistence, which means they are NOT going to be as alert or as fast as opponents in FonF or speed-shooting drills.

Steve has the answer, with surprise on your side it's possible to prevail against overwhelming odds, as long as you (unexpectedly) shoot first, fast and accurate with a powerful weapon.

beatcop
04-15-2010, 19:28
Force on force, or speed-shooting contests to see who prevails, isn't realistic. Why not? Because in the real world the BG's aren't going to expect armed resistence, which means they are NOT going to be as alert or as fast as opponents in FonF or speed-shooting drills.

Steve has the answer, with surprise on your side it's possible to prevail against overwhelming odds, as long as you unexpectedly shoot first, fast and accurate with a powerful weapon.


The more progressive training programs employ simunitions/fx/paintball, the US Army has been using MILES gear for 20 years!

Force on force is how you build your stress inocculation, a major factor in how you'll perform under stress. If your training program doesn't include this theme, it's not "survival" based...imho

As far as the "unexpectedly shoot first, fast, and accurately", obviously this would represent the "ideal" situation. It's a mirror of the swat theory of speed, surprise, & violence of action...not much new here. My opinion is that this works great when you initiate an attack, but when the enemy is already in action do you think you're going to snipe someone? When there are multiple attackers in a scenario, any lead you develop will be eaten up as you move from target to target...you will likely get shot. A recommendation of moving to cover has resulted in a higher survival rate in the studies that have examined NYPD gunfights.

MTPD, did you ever shoot the drill where you step behind a barricade before engaging? It's been around for a while. I guess I'm just leaning toward the theory that a citizen's role will be predominantly "defend", not "attack". As such, engaging superior numbers, arms, etc is an excercise in self-sacrifice.

The Army attack to defend ratio is 3 to 1. Don't attack a position with less than 3. Granted, it doesn't fit this thread exactly, but you get the point. If you don't HAVE to intiate a gunfight, don't! If your life is about to end, go for it.

This stuff is too situational to address properly.

MTPD
04-15-2010, 21:39
The more progressive training programs employ simunitions/fx/paintball, the US Army has been using MILES gear for 20 years!

Force on force is how you build your stress inocculation, a major factor in how you'll perform under stress. If your training program doesn't include this theme, it's not "survival" based...imho

As far as the "unexpectedly shoot first, fast, and accurately", obviously this would represent the "ideal" situation. It's a mirror of the swat theory of speed, surprise, & violence of action...not much new here. My opinion is that this works great when you initiate an attack, but when the enemy is already in action do you think you're going to snipe someone? When there are multiple attackers in a scenario, any lead you develop will be eaten up as you move from target to target...you will likely get shot. A recommendation of moving to cover has resulted in a higher survival rate in the studies that have examined NYPD gunfights.

MTPD, did you ever shoot the drill where you step behind a barricade before engaging? It's been around for a while. I guess I'm just leaning toward the theory that a citizen's role will be predominantly "defend", not "attack". As such, engaging superior numbers, arms, etc is an excercise in self-sacrifice.

The Army attack to defend ratio is 3 to 1. Don't attack a position with less than 3. Granted, it doesn't fit this thread exactly, but you get the point. If you don't HAVE to intiate a gunfight, don't! If your life is about to end, go for it.

This stuff is too situational to address properly.

If memory serves me, and it may not, I thought the OP was wanting to know what to do in up close & personal fast action shooting situations where you can't risk delaying your shots while seeking cover.

In touching distance shooting situations I consider speed the #1 priority.

As far as the "surprise" factor is concerned, that's why a like to carry a pocket pistol. That way the BG's are going to think I'm meekly handing over money, car keys, etc., when I'm really drawing.

As for cover, seeking cover before shooting is often a tactical mistake, especially when the BG's are up close, which in the case of robberies of civilians they most likely will be.

Alaskapopo
04-15-2010, 23:03
I guess having good luck in such a situation would mean that after seeing one or two of their friends drop, the rest run away... :dunno:

Never heard of the testing you mentioned. Interesting though. I'm wondering how the logistics played out and how exactly they tested it?

Thanks!

-Emt1581

That would only happen with undisiplined attackers with little or no training themselves.
Pat

Alaskapopo
04-15-2010, 23:05
Force on force, or speed-shooting contests to see who prevails, isn't realistic. Why not? Because in the real world the BG's aren't going to expect armed resistence, which means they are NOT going to be as alert or as fast as opponents in FonF or speed-shooting drills.

Steve has the answer, with surprise on your side it's possible to prevail against overwhelming odds, as long as you unexpectedly shoot first, fast and accurate with a powerful weapon.

Never underestimate your potential oppenents. Expect them to be as well versed as you or better. Force on Force is an excellent training tool. Its the closest thing we have to the real thing with current technology.
Pat

brownie
04-16-2010, 08:19
Never underestimate your potential oppenents. Expect them to be as well versed as you or better. Force on Force is an excellent training tool. Its the closest thing we have to the real thing with current technology.
Pat

I doubt many BG's will have trained to the level of skills I have in firearms. It would mean they've been to swat, counter sniper, counter terr formal training centers and have over 150 hours of advanced edged weapons training. Hardly likely.

Few BG's will have 39 years on firearms skills training and something over 400K in ammo down range from various semi and full auto firearms. When I meet a BG who is as well versed or better training and time on guns that I do, I'll buy him a beer. :rofl:

In touching distance shooting situations I consider speed the #1
priority.

Yes sir

As for cover, seeking cover before shooting is often a tactical mistake, especially when the BG's are up close,

Yes sir.

Brownie

MTPD
04-16-2010, 08:51
Never underestimate your potential oppenents. Expect them to be as well versed as you or better. Force on Force is an excellent training tool. Its the closest thing we have to the real thing with current technology.
Pat

There is nothing wrong with FonF, it's excellent training. My point was some things that won't work in FonF, are more likely to work on the street. Why? Because you (should) have the advantage of SURPRISE! on the street, that you don't have in FonF drills where resistence is expected by your opponent.

Of course, I'm assuming you are well trained and capable of shooting fast and accurately.

David Armstrong
04-16-2010, 10:00
I doubt many BG's will have trained to the level of skills I have in firearms.
But that can also be said of most people, not just BGs. The exception rarely proves the rule. And as a general rule Pat is right, one should expect their opponent to be as well trained as they are as the default position. That way when you run into a well-trained combat vet who has gone bad it doesn't come as a surprise.

brownie
04-16-2010, 10:24
But that can also be said of most people, not just BGs. The exception rarely proves the rule. And as a general rule Pat is right, one should expect their opponent to be as well trained as they are as the default position. That way when you run into a well-trained combat vet who has gone bad it doesn't come as a surprise.

Lots of combat vets have training, very little on handguns which you're going to run up on for the most part on the street Dave. I don't discount someone's ability but I still don't think any combat vet will have 39 years on handguns and the high level of training on them specifically.

You don't have to underestimate them but at the same time it will be a long time before I run up on someone with the time on handguns and the level of training I have in a BG. BG's aren't that dedicated.

Brownie

Cody Jarrett
04-16-2010, 10:49
You take out the one that poses the greatest threat first. Three attackers, one relatively close and unarmed, another farther back with a club and a third behind him with a gun. Guess the order of takedown?

David Armstrong
04-16-2010, 10:58
You don't have to underestimate them but at the same time it will be a long time before I run up on someone with the time on handguns and the level of training I have in a BG.
Again, no disagreement. Most BGs won't have the experience or training I have either. But as one doesn't know that at the time the default seems to indicate go with the "If I can do it they can do it" position, as that insures you don't end up behind the curve. You never know when you might run into a Platt and Matix, for example.

volsbear
04-16-2010, 11:12
Shoot first, become a moving target. Yes, they're all prepared to shoot at you. Shooting at them first might be just rattling enough to buy you some time to grab some cover. I think that some people have said skill is what will save you and others have said it's luck.

To be truthful - it's probably a combination of both. Your skill combined with some blind luck and hopefully attackers who aren't particularly well-versed in combat skills will help things go your way. You have to be quick to start getting shots off, but equally quick in finding cover while gaining distance from your attackers.

But 5-6 attackers, all armed with guns, already drawing down on you.... in 90% of situations, I have to think you're screwed. So think about Plan B. One of those guys is going to shoot you. Hopefully that wound will not be immediately fatal. So focus on staying in the fight. Shot does not always equal dead particulary if we're talking about handguns.

MTPD
04-16-2010, 11:28
I've long thought the "get to cover first, then shoot" tactic was only for longer distancs because turning your back on an assailant at close range is a perilous move. Shooting first, then seeking cover if necessary, has always made more sense to me, especially at belly to belly distances.

Most up-close robbery shooting situations are over in a second or two, so why waste valuable time (probably allowing the BG to shoot first) by seeking cover before shooting?

I've had a similar problem accepting "tactical reloads" as a good idea in most civilian shooting situations, and for similar reasons. It temporarily disarms you, tempts the ever present Mr. Murphy by juggeling 2 mags and an empty pistol, and unless the shooting is over for sure, it momentarily takes your attention off of your assailants.

And, yes, I know it isn't taught as something to be done while still taking active fire..........but the inexperienced sometimes don't understand that. Just as some don't understand that taking cover before shooting isn't always the best tactic. On the street, both tactics are situation dependent, not universal.

volsbear
04-16-2010, 11:31
I agree. Shoot first and then grab some cover - I think that's what I said earlier.

Nobody can deny that you versus 5-6 bad guys is a pretty crappy position to be in. Few people would make it out unventilated.

MTPD
04-16-2010, 12:04
I agree. Shoot first and then grab some cover - I think that's what I said earlier.

Nobody can deny that you versus 5-6 bad guys is a pretty crappy position to be in. Few people would make it out unventilated.

Yep. Because of the surprise factor an "expert" may be able to drop 2-3, but he better pray the others flee the scene, or at least run for cover. Otherwise he is going to have some serious bullet-ducking problems!

BamaTrooper
04-16-2010, 12:10
Lacking cover, move and shoot with creating distance as a goal. Prioritize- hit the most dangerous first.
Some people advocate putting one on each target before giving anyone a second helping.

volsbear
04-16-2010, 12:19
The more you think about this one, the more it seems as though you ARE going to get shot if we're talking about 5-6 attackers. The very first thing I learned when I took a class on how to defend yourself (if only armed with a knife) if attacked by someone with a knife is "you're going to get cut." This seems really similar.

If you act quick you can get two or three, but once the initial shock wears off, those other three are going to be tough. Distance, cover, luck.

BamaTrooper
04-16-2010, 13:01
The more you think about this one, the more it seems as though you ARE going to get shot if we're talking about 5-6 attackers. The very first thing I learned when I took a class on how to defend yourself (if only armed with a knife) if attacked by someone with a knife is "you're going to get cut." This seems really similar.

If you act quick you can get two or three, but once the initial shock wears off, those other three are going to be tough. Distance, cover, luck.

I would think at contact distance, i.e. knife distance, hits would be easier than across the parking lot or down the sidewalk.
Granted, 5v1 sucks and I would want to be in the 5 if this occurred.
Assuming all of your attackers are trained and motivated, you may be in trouble. If they can't shoot and their equipment is dreck, then it might be lucky shots that take you down.

volsbear
04-16-2010, 14:36
I would think at contact distance, i.e. knife distance, hits would be easier than across the parking lot or down the sidewalk.
Granted, 5v1 sucks and I would want to be in the 5 if this occurred.
Assuming all of your attackers are trained and motivated, you may be in trouble. If they can't shoot and their equipment is dreck, then it might be lucky shots that take you down.

Well that's true, and hopefully your attackers will among the majority who honestly can't shoot worth a spit. This is why movement and gaining distance is so important. Hopefully their inexperience and lack of skill makes them miss.

Of course, as is the case with many gang-related shootings, bystanders for miles will be dropping like flies.

BamaTrooper
04-16-2010, 14:42
Well that's true, and hopefully your attackers will among the majority who honestly can't shoot worth a spit. This is why movement and gaining distance is so important. Hopefully their inexperience and lack of skill makes them miss.

Of course, as is the case with many gang-related shootings, bystanders for miles will be dropping like flies.

Yep, and if I am the target, I don't want to be standing. I will be hoping their survival instinct has them ducking and running or better yet, freezing without going to cover.

volsbear
04-16-2010, 14:47
I imagine this is one of those situations where if you've been fortunate enough to gain some practice shooting while moving, you might have a real edge on staying unperforated.

PEC-Memphis
04-16-2010, 16:10
The idea for IDPA tactics, although not always followed:

Without cover, is to shoot one (1) to each target - near to far, preferably with movement, then additional shots to each target in any order.

If cover is available, move to cover shooting on the move - again, (1) to each target - near to far, preferably with movement, then additional shots to each target in any order. If all shots are not fired upon reaching cover, "slice the pie" around cover.

In my very limited force-on-force training.....

The people who remained stationary, drew and fired, got shot a lot more than....

the people who moved laterally, drew and fired (Typically, the faster movers got hit less - but also got less hits on their opponents). These people got shot more than.....

the people who ran to cover as fast as possible then made well aimed shots at their opponent who was also (usually) behind cover.

Cover was about 20 feet away - I ran. I was never shot on the move or behind cover. Out of about 14, or so, scenarios, I won about 50% and tied (no one shot) about 50%.

Alaskapopo
04-16-2010, 16:43
I doubt many BG's will have trained to the level of skills I have in firearms. It would mean they've been to swat, counter sniper, counter terr formal training centers and have over 150 hours of advanced edged weapons training. Hardly likely.

Few BG's will have 39 years on firearms skills training and something over 400K in ammo down range from various semi and full auto firearms. When I meet a BG who is as well versed or better training and time on guns that I do, I'll buy him a beer. :rofl:

In touching distance shooting situations I consider speed the #1
priority.

Yes sir

As for cover, seeking cover before shooting is often a tactical mistake, especially when the BG's are up close,

Yes sir.

Brownie
You are an outstanding individual. My point is its always better to over estimate your opponent vs underestimate them. I also agree that cover is concern #2 in close range situations. Kill the threat first cover second.
Pat

beatcop
04-16-2010, 19:13
....In my very limited force-on-force training.....

The people who remained stationary, drew and fired, got shot a lot more than....

A few guys pointed out "very" close range scenarios as being exceptions, but I genererally agree, move fast when possible. Especially when you are already behind the reaction curve. The majority of crooks don't practice enough to know how to shoot a moving target and resort to the "thrust and fire" technique...which is likely to be the same as the good guys technique.

(NYPD) Data gathering began in January 1970, and over 6000 cases were studied during the 1970s. The study results and findings were released in 1981. The following sets out many of those that focus on shooting situations and shooting techniques.


In 70% of the cases reviewed, sight alignment was not used. Officers
reported that they used instinctive or point shooting.

Cover

The element reported as the single most important factor in the officer's
survival during an armed confrontation was cover.

In a stress situation an officer is likely to react as he was trained to
react. There is almost always some type of cover available, but it may not
be recognized as such without training.
http://www.virginiacops.org/Articles/Shooting/Combat.htm

MTPD
04-17-2010, 09:06
Shooting while moving has to practiced and practiced a lot. Otherwise you may miss your targets. "Back in the day", our department never practiced shooting while moving. Consequently, every cop who, for whatever reason, shot while moving, missed.

And while I think shooting while moving is great for experts, it's a bad idea for the untrained.

MTPD
04-17-2010, 09:14
BEHIND THE CURVE: It's not good to be behind the curve in a shooting situation! That's why surprise resistence is so important. It puts the BG behind the curve.

emt1581
04-23-2010, 22:16
I appreciate all the replies. I'll be honest, what made me think about going up against multiple targets was because, at the time, I was watching Rambo (the most recent one). If anyone knows the scene it's where Rambo get's confronted by pirates. When he figures out the pirates want to rape a woman on his boat, he eyes up the situation and sees that only ONE of the pirates actually is ready to fire, so he quickly draws and puts a shot into everyone starting with the one pointing the gun at him. Then he returns to that guy for a few head shots.

Now from what yall shared, it would make sense that if ALL the pirates had their guns in hand, even Rambo would have been toast, but that was the key to surviving...only ONE of the enemy was actually an immediate threat.

So yes, a movie sparked the question, but it doesn't make it any less valid IMO. It could still easily happen in real life...multiple targets that is...not pirates (at least not for the majority of folks). What I gathered from this thread is that once more than one gun is spotted, the goal should be to find cover and/or run. Same goes for one gun IMHO, but it's even more crucial with multiple targets with guns aimed your way.

Thanks!:)

-Emt1581

BamaTrooper
04-24-2010, 08:58
... I was watching Rambo (the most recent one)... he eyes up the situation and sees that only ONE of the pirates actually is ready to fire, so he quickly draws and puts a shot into everyone starting with the one pointing the gun at him...


The same sort of OODA loop decision making can be seen (and explained by the character) if you watch The Outlaw Josey Wales. The scene on the boardwalk where he asks the soldiers if they are gonna "pull those pistols or whistle Dixie"

I love that movie.:cool:

Cody Jarrett
04-24-2010, 22:07
But that can also be said of most people, not just BGs. The exception rarely proves the rule. And as a general rule Pat is right, one should expect their opponent to be as well trained as they are as the default position. That way when you run into a well-trained combat vet who has gone bad it doesn't come as a surprise.
Plus the BG already has "one up" on you as he has his gun drawn. Forget TV. You can't beat a drawn gun under most circumstances. Not without a diversion or some other tactic that consumes the BG attention.

MTPD
04-25-2010, 08:59
Plus the BG already has "one up" on you as he has his gun drawn. Forget TV. You can't beat a drawn gun under most circumstances. Not without a diversion or some other tactic that consumes the BG attention.

Actually, I've known several "victims" being held at gunpoint who succesasfully drew into the drop. However, it works best if the victim is a trained combat shooter and waits for an appropriate moment to draw and shoot, i.e., when the armed felon is looking away, concentarting on someone else, is trying to cover multiple victims, is busy scarfing up loot, etc. All of which are likely to happen at some point during armed robberies.

Successful armed defense also works best if the "victim" has pre-planned (mentally) and practiced (physically) what he will do if ever confronted by armed felons. That way all the "victim" has to do when it happens is wait for the right moment to activate the plan he already knows and has practiced, thus putting the armed robber behind the curve.

This is the way I think about it: PLAN AHEAD, SEIZE THE MOMENT, SHOOT FIRST, FAST & ACCURATE!

Unnamed
04-25-2010, 22:52
This unit was in so many shooting situations that they were eventually disbanded, probably to protect the Mexican robbers and rapists preying on helpless border jumpers and the PD's top brass frrom the cry-baby press. There was a book written about them and their adventures, forget the title.


I don't suppose you could remember the name of the book, could you?

MTPD
04-26-2010, 08:25
I don't suppose you could remember the name of the book, could you?

It took me a while, but here it is!

MetroLocal News
Local Breaking NewsSan DiegoNorth CountySouth CountyEast CountyBorder AffairsFor the RecordNews by Region
CaliforniaNationMexicoIraq & AfghanistanWorldNews by Topic
PoliticsEducationFeaturesMilitaryScienceTechnologyHealthColumnistsOdd NewsObituariesSpecial ReportsDocuments

S.D. police's border unit 'last of the gunslingers'

Retiring sergeant looks back on days with mid-1970s squad
By Kristina Davis*

Monday, June 8, 2009 at 2 a.m.


San Diego police Sgt. Carlos Chacon visited the area near the border where he was wounded in a shootout with Tijuana police officers while serving on the Border Area Robbery Force. (Sean M. Haffey / Union-Tribune)


San Diego police Lt. Dick Snider (back) persuaded then-Police Chief Bill Kolender to start the Border Area Robbery Force, which included Carlos Chacon (second from left). (Courtesy of Ernie Salgado)
DETAILS
Border Area Robbery Force

Formed: October 1976 to stop assaults on border crossers

Disbanded: May 1978

Members: 10 officers and one sergeant

Shootings: About 16, including six major shootouts

Arrests: More than 300, including Mexican police officers

San Diego officers wounded: 3

Claim to fame: Subject of Joseph Wambaugh's best-seller “Lines and Shadows.”

In the spring of 1976, as the nation prepared to celebrate its bicentennial and Jimmy Carter campaigned for the presidency, officers from San Diego's 86th police academy left the classroom and began their rookie year.

Dressed in the crisp khaki uniform of the time, Officer Carlos Chacon spent his shifts chasing criminals and learning the city's back alleys.

But after six months on the job, a lieutenant had other plans for the intense 23-year-old.

How would the kid from Otay like to join an experimental team of other Latino officers and spend nights crawling around the border canyons? The elite squad would hunt robbers who were leaving scores of illegal immigrants maimed or dead.

By saying yes, Chacon had no clue how much the assignment would shape his career. How many shootouts he would have under his belt in his first year. Or how the team's exploits, for better or worse, would become the subject of Joseph Wambaugh's best-selling book “Lines and Shadows.”

More than 33 years later, Sgt. Chacon will retire this month from the San Diego Police Department.

He is the last of the 11 original members of the Border Area Robbery Force to leave the department.

“It's been glorious. I've had a charmed career,” Chacon, 56, said in a recent interview. “I love this place, love this job.”


Dangerous canyons

In the mid-1970s, San Diego's canyons had become a death trap of nightly stabbings, shootings, beatings and rapes as bandits from Mexico terrorized immigrants making the journey north.

The robberies were making headlines and San Diego police Lt. Dick Snider persuaded then-Police Chief Bill Kolender to start the team.

It didn't take long for someone to realize that the acronym for Border Area Robbery Force was BARF, and the name stuck.

Chacon and an academy classmate joined veteran officers for training in military-style tactics at Camp Elliott, an old Marine Corps range near Tierrasanta.

The assignment took on a special meaning for Chacon, who thought about his mother's journey decades earlier when she illegally crossed the Rio Grande into Texas with his three older brothers.

For its first three months, the team dressed in camouflage and moved through the canyons in the dark among the cactuses, rattlesnakes and raw sewage. They rarely got close enough for a bust before the robbers returned to Mexico.

They realized they would have to become the victims to get close enough.

The officers shopped at thrift stores for beanie caps, old jeans and long-sleeved denim shirts. A worn sports coat hid the modified sawed-off shotgun that Chacon often carried.

They smoked Mexican cigarettes and let their hair grow wild.

It worked. Confrontations occurred several times a week, often ending in foot chases and gunfire.

“It was akin to being in a war,” said BARF member Rene Camacho, now a consular liaison detective with the Sheriff's Department. “I'll never forget the shootings, being robbed. The feeling of not knowing what's going to happen in the next second.”

Camacho was standing next to Chacon when the rookie officer was shot.

The team was hanging out at an area of the border fence where two Tijuana police officers were known to extort immigrants before they crossed.

“One was pointing his gun at us, ordering us to come back to the Mexican side,” Chacon said. “He kept rocking his gun back and forth.”

Chacon's sergeant, Manny Lopez, responded in Spanish by telling the Mexican cop that he didn't have the authority to order them anywhere. Lopez never let on that they were cops.

The Mexicans, growing frustrated, then decided to cross the border and drag the group back, Chacon said.

It turned into an armed standoff between Lopez and one officer, and the Mexican cop fired. The bullet ricocheted off the nylon shoulder strap of Lopez's bullet-resistant vest.

“Of course, everyone starts shooting,” Chacon said.

He saw one of the Mexicans look at him and fire.

“I felt dirt in my face and my arm felt like someone kicked me,” Chacon said. “I was looking at one of the officer's stomachs in the flash, and aimed and fired.”

One of the wounded Mexicans was taken away in an ambulance, but the other escaped into Tijuana. Meanwhile, the sky above Tijuana glowed red and blue and sirens wailed as hundreds of Mexican officers responded to join the gunfight.

Chacon was treated for a bullet wound to his right arm.

The shootout strained relations between the United States and Mexico as their police forces clashed more frequently in the canyons.


Taking a toll
Nineteen months after the experiment began, Chief Kolender decided it had grown too dangerous to continue.

By then, the team had arrested more than 300 people – some of them Mexican law enforcement members – and logged about 16 shootings. Three of the team members had been shot.

“A lot of lives were saved and crime was down considerably in the border area,” said Kolender, who is retiring this month after 14 years as San Diego County sheriff. “They sacrificed a lot to do this.”

The news media hailed the San Diego officers as heroes, but the team members were quietly struggling with personal demons that came with being exposed to too much violence, death, fear, boozing and womanizing.

“We all changed,” Chacon said. “When we started, we were all very close. But the stress took its toll on every single individual.”

When Los Angeles police officer-turned-author Joseph Wambaugh began to talk to the officers a few years later, he thought he had stumbled on a modern-day tale of the Old West.

“They were a throwback to 19th-century lawmen out in those canyons with a badge and a gun. They were the last of the gunslingers,” said Wambaugh, who lives in Point Loma.

“It's a difficult task to get handed to you when you're a young man thinking you're a cop doing police work, and suddenly you're out there being Wyatt Earp.”

In interviews for the book, Wambaugh said it was apparent the officers never decompressed from the experience. Most of their marriages fell apart shortly after. Chacon's marriage lasted longer than most, but even it succumbed to divorce in 1995. He has since remarried.

“Lines and Shadows” became a No. 1 best-seller in 1984.
Like “kids with Christmas presents,” Chacon said the team gathered in a living room one night to open a box of early copies sent by Wambaugh. The mood quickly turned sour.

“If he'd been there, he'd have been beaten within an inch of his life,” recalled Chacon, who said he has never read the entire book.

Perhaps most infuriating were the numerous accounts of the officers'extramarital escapades that had been hidden from their wives.

After the dust settled, most of the other members conceded the portrayal was pretty accurate and are proud of the book.

When BARF disbanded, the team became the department's first unofficial gang and narcotics squad – yet another plum assignment for an officer with two years on the force and little patrol experience.

Eventually, Chacon asked to return to being a patrol officer in Southern Division, which includes Otay Mesa and San Ysidro.

During his long career, Chacon worked in many units throughout the department, including vice, special investigations, intelligence and as a Mexican liaison officer. He has spent the past three years in the department's special-events unit.

Chacon said his proudest moment as an officer didn't happen in the canyons; it came when he arrested a Latino protester during a border standoff with the Ku Klux Klan. The protester had taken a rock and smashed the windshield of a car full of KKK members who were trying to leave.

“I didn't take sides. I demonstrated that I was professional and unbiased as I could be,” he said. “It was a defining moment for me as far as what we're here for as cops.”

Unnamed
04-26-2010, 11:06
Much appreciated. I guess I didn't hear about it since it came out the year I was born...

MTPD
04-26-2010, 13:41
Much appreciated. I guess I didn't hear about it since it came out the year I was born...

Maybe I dated your grandmother back in high school??????????? :supergrin:

Cody Jarrett
04-26-2010, 15:25
Actually, I've known several "victims" being held at gunpoint who succesasfully drew into the drop. However, it works best if the victim is a trained combat shooter and waits for an appropriate moment to draw and shoot, i.e., when the armed felon is looking away, concentarting on someone else, is trying to cover multiple victims, is busy scarfing up loot, etc. All of which are likely to happen at some point during armed robberies.

Successful armed defense also works best if the "victim" has pre-planned (mentally) and practiced (physically) what he will do if ever confronted by armed felons. That way all the "victim" has to do when it happens is wait for the right moment to activate the plan he already knows and has practiced, thus putting the armed robber behind the curve.

This is the way I think about it: PLAN AHEAD, SEIZE THE MOMENT, SHOOT FIRST, FAST & ACCURATE!
This is not the average handgun owner waiting to pay for a slurpy. The average gun owner is scared s***less, hands shaking, dumping adrenaline and endorphine, tunnel visioned, has auditory exclusion and is clearly not in position to think and assess a situation through. That ability comes only from years of exposure in stressful situations. That is the fact of the matter. This type of guy gets himself killed more often than he wins. If he's lucky he's taken some personal protection classes, combat classes and participated in activities such as IDPA. If he hasn't he should keep that heater cased and concelaed until there's no other option.

And he better know how to move and shoot at the same time.

MTPD
04-27-2010, 08:30
This is not the average handgun owner waiting to pay for a slurpy. The average gun owner is scared s***less, hands shaking, dumping adrenaline and endorphine, tunnel visioned, has auditory exclusion and is clearly not in position to think and assess a situation through. That ability comes only from years of exposure in stressful situations. That is the fact of the matter. This type of guy gets himself killed more often than he wins. If he's lucky he's taken some personal protection classes, combat classes and participated in activities such as IDPA. If he hasn't he should keep that heater cased and concelaed until there's no other option.

And he better know how to move and shoot at the same time.

I agree. I'm not used to being around "average" type gun-packers = non-shooters. However, when I took the TX CHL course a few years back, there were plenty of those types taking it with me, so I know what you mean. Which is one reason I advise people to plan ahead, so they WILL ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO when the time comes, and not have to try and figure it out at the last second under duress. And (hopefully) will have actually practiced it at the range, or at the very least practiced at home by drawing and dry-firing with an empty gun.

Cody Jarrett
04-27-2010, 10:49
I agree. I'm not used to being around "average" type gun-packers = non-shooters. However, when I took the TX CHL course a few years back, there were plenty of those types taking it with me, so I know what you mean. Which is one reason I advise people to plan ahead, so they WILL ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO when the time comes, and not have to try and figure it out at the last second under duress. And (hopefully) will have actually practiced it at the range, or at the very least practiced at home by drawing and dry-firing with an empty gun.
Planning ahead and visualizing "what if" scenario's is included in the NRA personal protection series for that very reason. Most people will never encounter such a situation but putting themselves in that virtual world forces thinking through a scenario. A well educated shooter possesses a level of awareness that helps him/her see the situation before or just as it's occurring, placing him/her in a much better reactive position by being slightly ahead of the curve. Distance and movement are a trained shooters friend.

MTPD
04-27-2010, 11:15
Planning ahead and visualizing "what if" scenario's is included in the NRA personal protection series for that very reason. Most people will never encounter such a situation but putting themselves in that virtual world forces thinking through a scenario. A well educated shooter possesses a level of awareness that helps him/her see the situation before or just as it's occurring, placing him/her in a much better reactive position by being slightly ahead of the curve. Distance and movement are a trained shooters friend.

I agree. This is all good advice.

Beginners please note Cody's last sentence. If you want to be an effective shooter while moving, you need training and practice, lots of practice.

Riz58
04-28-2010, 14:19
And while I think shooting while moving is great for experts, it's a bad idea for the untrained.

The advice is incomplete. If you stand and try to shoot, you are dead. Unless you are the proactive, first to see, draw, and have distance guy, you will die if you stand and shoot. Every FOF class proves that fact.

Shooting while moving does take practice, but if you practice point shooting out to seven to 10 yards, you will score hits, and one does not need to be an "expert" to succeed.

If you can't move and shoot, RUN! Run to cover, run away, zig zag, whatever, but run. It is very hard to hit a moving target, and even if hit, it most likely will not be fatal, nor even prevent your escape (at least for several minutes.)

Alaskapopo
04-28-2010, 14:23
The advice is incomplete. If you stand and try to shoot, you are dead. Unless you are the proactive, first to see, draw, and have distance guy, you will die if you stand and shoot. Every FOF class proves that fact.

Shooting while moving does take practice, but if you practice point shooting out to seven to 10 yards, you will score hits, and one does not need to be an "expert" to succeed.

If you can't move and shoot, RUN! Run to cover, run away, zig zag, whatever, but run. It is very hard to hit a moving target, and even if hit, it most likely will not be fatal, nor even prevent your escape (at least for several minutes.)


While I agree you should be able to shoot and move there is also a time to stand and deliver. There are situations where the best (ie only tactic) is to simply stand and shoot. In a close range fight (less than 7 yards) cover is a secondary concern. The primary concern is putting bullets in the threat. Also force on force does not prove you will die. It may show you will get hit. Getting hit does not mean you will die. You need to be able to finish the fight.
Pat

Deaf Smith
04-28-2010, 18:09
The advice is incomplete. If you stand and try to shoot, you are dead. Unless you are the proactive, first to see, draw, and have distance guy, you will die if you stand and shoot. Every FOF class proves that fact.

Question guys....

In real life, unlike square ranges, IDPA, or even FOF, etc... Do people who actually stand-and-deliver die constantly?

That is, any idea what the survival rate is for those who stand and fire? I keep seeing this, ‘if you don’t move you are dead’, but does this translate into real life?

Take for example Lance Thomas. He didn’t do much moving and he lived (abet he got shot a few times to, but that may have been due to low capacity handguns he used in at least one of his shootouts.)

Deaf

PhoneCop
04-29-2010, 07:05
That would only happen with undisiplined attackers with little or no training themselves.
Pat

Pat,

You say that as if the majority of the thugs mugging people in a parking lot were disciplined and had training instead of the vast majority being undisciplined POSes with little to no training.

Just as FoF scenarios have their failings when it comes to determining just how likely some course of action is to succeed or fail. Participants in FoF will attempt to do things they and a large number of persons would never attempt in real life just to see if they can get away with it, if it will work.

The participants aren't the real life actors. Different skills, experiences, and equipment, fears and expectations, knowledge and desired outcomes.

In real life when the intended victim shows teeth, blows their buddy's blood or brains all over one or more of the others, their reality has radically changed.

I am not saying you can rest assured the criminal is undisciplined with no training. But that the safer bet.

I am not saying that FoF has not value. But it's limitations must be realized and accepted.

Steve

MTPD
04-29-2010, 08:04
While I agree you should be able to shoot and move there is also a time to stand and deliver. There are situations where the best (ie only tactic) is to simply stand and shoot. In a close range fight (less than 7 yards) cover is a secondary concern. The primary concern is putting bullets in the threat.
Pat

Amen!

David Armstrong
04-29-2010, 08:49
In real life, unlike square ranges, IDPA, or even FOF, etc... Do people who actually stand-and-deliver die constantly?
No. They have a less likely chance of surviving the incident. That is some more of those stats you seem to be unable to find without help.

Deaf Smith
04-29-2010, 17:56
Just as FoF scenarios have their failings when it comes to determining just how likely some course of action is to succeed or fail. Participants in FoF will attempt to do things they and a large number of persons would never attempt in real life just to see if they can get away with it, if it will work.

The participants aren't the real life actors. Different skills, experiences, and equipment, fears and expectations, knowledge and desired outcomes.


I have noticed that very thing PhoneCop. Alot of those at FOF schools have people with various types of training that you don't find often in the street, and thus the scenario gets kind of skewed.

Now say a FoF was setup with one very experienced shooter and three off the street people who were just handed air-softs or simulation guns and went through the scenario. I bet the tactics might change with the influx of those inexperience people.

FoF does have it uses (and I like it) but when it becomes ‘gunfighter’ .vs. ‘gunfighter’ the tactics will not be the same as ‘gunfighter’ .vs. ‘limited experience’ shooter. Just as a good boxer going against three novices at once.

Deaf

Cody Jarrett
04-29-2010, 19:05
The advice is incomplete. If you stand and try to shoot, you are dead. Unless you are the proactive, first to see, draw, and have distance guy, you will die if you stand and shoot. Every FOF class proves that fact.

Shooting while moving does take practice, but if you practice point shooting out to seven to 10 yards, you will score hits, and one does not need to be an "expert" to succeed.

If you can't move and shoot, RUN! Run to cover, run away, zig zag, whatever, but run. It is very hard to hit a moving target, and even if hit, it most likely will not be fatal, nor even prevent your escape (at least for several minutes.)

MTPD hit the nail on the head. Remember your target is an eight inch circle in the upper (or exposed) COM. With practice that shot placement is very do-able. Point shooting at 7-10 yards may take a litle practice but I highly recommend you train at it.

Riz58
04-29-2010, 21:29
I am speaking of being the party who is reacting, not being pro-active. If you try to draw against the drop without moving, the odds of you being hit, probably multiple times goes way up. I cannot imagine where standing still inside of 7 yards, if there is room to move either to the side or into the attacker, that standing still would be preferable in a reactive situation.

No FOF is not perfect, but most of the people I have worked with work hard at being "actors" and adopting the appropriate role. Of course they cannot do that perfectly, but if FOF and movement works against more highly trained individuals, logic tells us it will be even more effective against lesser skilled opponents.

I also know from our training that if the BG is standing there with the gun pointed at you from 3 to 7 yards, those who initially tried to apply their range training, stand, front sight, and shoot, all ended up "dead" or seriously wounded. Some of those guys getting shot were really good. Few, if any, of the guys who moved were hit and none seriously wounded, usually an arm or hand.

Point shooting is not hard, but it does take practice. I can put 11 out of 11 rounds into COM out to 10 yards while moving very rapidly at 11, 1, 7, 5 or any other o'clock, and I am no highly-trained ninja. I usually get out to shoot once a month. I would urge everyone to get good material and study it or take a good course. I can recommend Roger Phillips.

Look at the tapes of the real gunfights, see how people actually react, and incorporate those reactions into your response to the situation you face.

Alaskapopo
04-29-2010, 21:53
Pat,

You say that as if the majority of the thugs mugging people in a parking lot were disciplined and had training instead of the vast majority being undisciplined POSes with little to no training.

Just as FoF scenarios have their failings when it comes to determining just how likely some course of action is to succeed or fail. Participants in FoF will attempt to do things they and a large number of persons would never attempt in real life just to see if they can get away with it, if it will work.

The participants aren't the real life actors. Different skills, experiences, and equipment, fears and expectations, knowledge and desired outcomes.

In real life when the intended victim shows teeth, blows their buddy's blood or brains all over one or more of the others, their reality has radically changed.

I am not saying you can rest assured the criminal is undisciplined with no training. But that the safer bet.

I am not saying that FoF has not value. But it's limitations must be realized and accepted.

Steve

Your correct the average thug is not that well trained. But my feeling is its better to over estimate your opponent vs under estimate them.
Pat

Cody Jarrett
04-29-2010, 22:01
Your correct the average thug is not that well trained. But my feeling is its better to over estimate your opponent vs under estimate them.
Pat
Their skill level can be seen when you read a lot of the news articles... like where the cops recovered 12 shell casings and no one was hit. :wow:

David Armstrong
04-30-2010, 10:00
Their skill level can be seen when you read a lot of the news articles... like where the cops recovered 12 shell casings and no one was hit. :wow:
Actually that sounds like many LE shootings.

PhoneCop
04-30-2010, 10:37
I have noticed that very thing PhoneCop. Alot of those at FOF schools have people with various types of training that you don't find often in the street, and thus the scenario gets kind of skewed.

Now say a FoF was setup with one very experienced shooter and three off the street people who were just handed air-softs or simulation guns and went through the scenario. I bet the tactics might change with the influx of those inexperience people.

FoF does have it uses (and I like it) but when it becomes ‘gunfighter’ .vs. ‘gunfighter’ the tactics will not be the same as ‘gunfighter’ .vs. ‘limited experience’ shooter. Just as a good boxer going against three novices at once.

Deaf

I agree, except that we need the punishment to much more severe. One of the things that I believe motivates people to attempt things in FoF which they might not if they would really get hurt. Severe very painful, delibitating shock and loss of $100.00 they put up in advance if they are wrong and get shot or shoot the wrong person or in the wrong situation.

Now, that's an interesting thought...

It wouldn't have to be for every situation. FoF as he currently appear to run it is usefull for establishing a bit more truth and introspection on skill and what works. But maybe this "extreme" step up to occassionaly eliminate the "gamers."