View Full Version : "gunfighting" vs. shooting

27th November 2008, 02:24



Both are impressive displays of skill, but illustrate an important distinction.

What do you train for?

Brian Owens
27th November 2008, 05:13

And don't stop there.

Juan Perez
27th November 2008, 16:56
Both. The second film shows what we usually practice on the flat range. We do that for about two weeks, six days a week, 12 hours per day. Then, we progress over to the shoot house and practice with blanks for about a week (urban movement, CQB, etc). Then, we are tested during a stress test. A day later, we progress on to simunitions in the shoot house. That lasts a week. During that time, we begin to work on resisting combatants and this spills onto hand-to-hand, gun retention, etc. Breaching is something that occurs simultaneously during the blank fire week. Later that week, the breachers are further trained with their own instructor while us "assaulters" continue with CQB. The sniper/observers train separately from the beginning and will join us during the live-fire week. Anyway, after the simunitions week, we go to the urban training area (has about 74 buildings) and practice urban movement to include free climbing and so forth. The next week, we begin the live fire runs back in the shoot houses. At this time, the sniper/observers are supporting our assaults with long range shots. During the final week, we conduct either a live fire culmination exercise, or a force-on-force - using simunitions - with the support of a local SWAT Team, or some Federal Agency. At this time, it is quite possible that we might use rotary wing support for fast roping onto targets, unless they are otherwise committed. We are required to do this at least once every fiscal year. That's not including the quaterly evaluations every team must undergo if not deployed in a combat zone, or supporting some other type of operation.

That's the only way to round up training to try to cover most scenarios.

27th November 2008, 23:15
You, and to a leser (much lesser) extent I have the advantage of gvt. funding for our training however. The "average joe's" expense for ammo and range time is an entirely different animal in terms of training focus. How I wish I was back on the tac team...all I get on the gvt. dime now is range qual and 3-4 training days a year. The rest is on me.

29th November 2008, 01:29
I think the issue is more complex. Naturally, I am a firm believer in its better to have a shooting than be in a gunfight, especially as distances get shorter and initiative is at issue.

But "what kind" of shooting or gun fight?

Square range training has its place, and can be in small measure preparation for "shootings." Its not at all for gunfights. But even then, VERY few shooters/gunfighters are training for gunfights at grappling range, or during grappling. But the latter are a reality - I've got stats somewhere indicating that a relatively high percentage of police shootings occur during or immediately after a physical confrontation.

Arguably some are prepared for "shootings," but could fall apart in a gunfight, especially one not going their way. Others are prepared for a gunfight at a "comfortable" interval, but at a distinct disadvantage in a gun-grapple, and so on.

Tac training tends to deal with shooting and gunfight training, but not training for things like the Cress incident shown. I know too many tac types and "gun" guys, whose primary or even total answer is the gun, and that seem to define confrontations based on what they happened to be most prepared for versus by that for which they are least prepared.

Good stuff, guys, you are giving CQC a "shot in the arm."


29th November 2008, 01:42
Another one for illustrative purposes:


29th November 2008, 04:58
Another one for illustrative purposes:


Garrett Freeman killed game warden Justin Hurst, in that incident.

Running from a poaching ticket.

I dont know the dynamics of the entire gunfight, but when the guy went into the car (to get his AK47), I would have tried to move to a better position of cover. Many officers go to their car as cover, for which it sucks....

30th November 2008, 03:43
Copy that, especially against a mobile adversary. At issue is that preparation for that gunfight is in a different realm than preperation for the Trooper Cress gunfight. We need to be prepared for both by training across a continuum of likely encounters and likely dynamics, and then work on flexible adaptation to the types of encounters that weren't covered at the range or in simulation training.

Granted, it takes a lot of training to do that. But that is where it must become a way of life versus simply showing up at in-service training (often consisting of little more than a totally unrealistic qualification course) when it is mandated.

30th November 2008, 22:41
IMO the best strategy for the above situation would be to seek cover and engage. For a civilian I would recommend either hunkering down, or if he is maneuvering on you attempt to escape by moving from cover to cover. For LE or military you are eventually going to have to maneuver to eliminate, capture or contain the BG (you may need to stay defensive for a time till help arrives). Or you are going to have to work with other soldiers/officers to complete that task.

30th November 2008, 23:03
Certainly - I think I am speaking in generalities more than specific answers to each problem - principles versus tactics.

Going back to your first post "what do you train for?" is a more complex question to answer in light of both gun fights we see here (for the Cress incident is absolutely a gun fight).

When compared with the range training clip I think more questions are raised as far as how we train and how we apply it.

1st December 2008, 00:47
I think you can look at statistics to give you a general idea of what to divide your time over. Depending on what you are likely to face of course.

My initial point was to illustrate that there are big differences between "skill training"/Range training and a gunfight. Much like the big difference people notice between sparring in a MA class and a street fight. You have to be aware that while you need to train those "flat range" skills you need to mix in some "force on force" training if you want to experience the "real thing" as closely as possible.

1st December 2008, 02:07
100% agreed. I would like to see force on force based qualifications. I think the square range is a place for basic skills, and one that we return to continually for refinement of the basic building blocks, but I think most of our training should be in preparation for and in force on force.