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  #1  
Old 12-26-2010, 06:06 PM
Emerson Emerson is offline
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How many shots in a gunfight?




I've heard any number of shots from different people but I am looking for a legitimate source that reports the number of shots on average that are fired in a gunfight.

Any ideas?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2010, 06:08 PM
tsp45acp tsp45acp is offline
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No idea, but I'm interested too.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2010, 06:20 PM
Mick0610 Mick0610 is offline
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Having been a cop for only 30 years, I remember the old cliche' was 3 shots in 3 seconds at 3 yards for a long time....seem to hold true for most of my years.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2010, 06:22 PM
XBOXER XBOXER is offline
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It all depends on if they are a LEO or a civilian. LEO's tend to use the spray and pray technique and its not uncommon to hear about incidences where they (LEO's) fire 70 shots and manage to wound the suspect once, in the forearm.

Civilians are generally better trained and better shooters on average so I would guess they end gunfights on average within 1-5 rds
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2010, 06:23 PM
Shadow1911 Shadow1911 is offline
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Yes, 3 shots average.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2010, 06:58 PM
bdkithcsu bdkithcsu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XBOXER View Post
It all depends on if they are a LEO or a civilian. LEO's tend to use the spray and pray technique and its not uncommon to hear about incidences where they (LEO's) fire 70 shots and manage to wound the suspect once, in the forearm.

Civilians are generally better trained and better shooters on average so I would guess they end gunfights on average within 1-5 rds
I wonder where civilians get this amazing training...?
A lot of great sources there XBOXER
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2010, 07:20 PM
45silverback 45silverback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkithcsu View Post
I wonder where civilians get this amazing training...?
A lot of great sources there XBOXER
Why...on the internet of course silly....

But most cops really can't shoot worth a damn, unless they also happen to be gun guys. We had several LEOs come out and shoot with us when we shot USPSA. For most it was a eye opener. There also used to be an open shoot where local LE was invited to the Air Force base as a community involvement deal when I was stationed in Altus OK...Same deal.

On the other hand, the vast majority of civilians will never be involved in a gunfight no matter how big a gun nut they are.

IMO real experience trumps range time...or course one should have the one before engageing in the other...

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  #8  
Old 12-26-2010, 08:27 PM
jscott jscott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
I've heard any number of shots from different people but I am looking for a legitimate source that reports the number of shots on average that are fired in a gunfight.

Any ideas?

Thanks
While there are many sources, the NYPD is often cited based largely in part on the fact that they have such a large pool to draw from and attempt to keep accurate records. When they were carrying revolvers the average number of shots fired per officer per gunfight was six. When they switched over to autos, the number increased to eight. Their average hit percentage has remained at approximately 20%.

Take into account that those are only LE shootings so may or may not be directly applicable to private citizens, and most definitely not to military.

Unfortunately, I have the distinct displeasure of having been involved in multiple gunfights.... and believe me, it is a displeasure. For what it is worth, the lowest number I have fired was 2. The greatest was 9.
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2010, 08:30 PM
JimD303 JimD303 is offline
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This is what the "Tactical Dali Llama" (Ken Hackathorn) had to say to us in March.



^ Ken's description of the "Real World".

Key points:
*There is a significant difference between a shooting and a gunfight. A shooting involves 1 actor pulling a trigger, a gunfight involves both people shooting at each other (or more than 2 people shooting at each other).

*Most gunfights and shooting happen inside of 10 yards, and in low or failing light.

*Both parties are typically moving as soon as the shooting starts.

*In shootings, 1-4 rounds are fired. In gunfights, both parties shoot to empty, regardless of capacity.

Considering who Ken is, and how long he's been at it....I'm inclined to believe him.
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2010, 08:32 PM
trickyasafox trickyasafox is offline
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I think a lot of the reason why police seem to have lower 'hit %' (or at least perception seems to be going around) is that the LEO engagements I would bet, happen at greater distance. I would also bet that they (the LEOs) are fired on first, whereas civilian confrontations are either simultaneous fire or where we have the advantage in dropping the hammer.
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2010, 08:37 PM
JimD303 JimD303 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickyasafox View Post
I think a lot of the reason why police seem to have lower 'hit %' (or at least perception seems to be going around) is that the LEO engagements I would bet, happen at greater distance. I would also bet that they (the LEOs) are fired on first, whereas civilian confrontations are either simultaneous fire or where we have the advantage in dropping the hammer.
Why? LEO's have much looser rules regarding having their weapons in hand that civilians do.

A cop can put his hand on his gun, or take it out, almost anytime he feels remotely threatened. If a non-LEO tried that, they'd be booked for brandishing, terroristic threats, or aggravated assault in a New York Minute.
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2010, 08:43 PM
jscott jscott is offline
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Quote:
*In shootings, 1-4 rounds are fired. In gunfights, both parties shoot to empty, regardless of capacity.

Considering who Ken is, and how long he's been at it....I'm inclined to believe him.
While I believe Ken is a credible instructor, I would have to fundamentally disagree with those figures.

From personal experience and intimate knowledge of many shootings and gunfights (regardless of how one defines them), I can tell you that a significantly large number of "shootings" involve more than just a few shots. I can also attest that many "gunfights" have been ended with 1 or 2 shots, even while the defender was under aggressive fire.

It has much more to do with the training and abilities of the shooter than it does with whether or not it is a "shooting" or a "gunfight." I would assert that those with greater training tend to fire fewer rounds but with markedly better results.

There are, of course, other variables such as distance, lighting, obstacles, movement, and number of parties involved that will significantly increase or decrease the number of shots fired/required.
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  #13  
Old 12-26-2010, 08:48 PM
mark2734 mark2734 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimD303 View Post
Why? LEO's have much looser rules regarding having their weapons in hand that civilians do.

A cop can put his hand on his gun, or take it out, almost anytime he feels remotely threatened. If a non-LEO tried that, they'd be booked for brandishing, terroristic threats, or aggravated assault in a New York Minute.
Not really. LAPD has a distinct written policy limiting when officers can draw their weapon. A violation of the policy can result in suspension days off.

While its true in a busy division officers will respond to or become involved in 15-20 situations per watch where they could potentially be involved in a shooting. After awhile you either get used to it and only draw when you really need to, or you request a transfer to a slow area.

Either way trickyasafox is correct, most police shootings are in REACTION to what a suspect does, meaning the officer is almost always playing catch up.
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  #14  
Old 12-26-2010, 08:55 PM
HungrySeagull HungrySeagull is offline
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I don't know.

There is no finite answer to this question because there are so many variables.

I carry three mags with 24 rounds knowing damn well the bad guy has one mag and 30 rounds potentially. Lord willing, I never will have to worry about a actual gun fight.
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  #15  
Old 12-26-2010, 09:11 PM
rangertrace rangertrace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2734 View Post
Not really. LAPD has a distinct written policy limiting when officers can draw their weapon. A violation of the policy can result in suspension days off.

While its true in a busy division officers will respond to or become involved in 15-20 situations per watch where they could potentially be involved in a shooting. After awhile you either get used to it and only draw when you really need to, or you request a transfer to a slow area.

Either way trickyasafox is correct, most police shootings are in REACTION to what a suspect does, meaning the officer is almost always playing catch up.

That is exactly where "Second Chance;" vest got their name.
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  #16  
Old 12-26-2010, 09:13 PM
rangertrace rangertrace is offline
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Train, train and train some more.......that is all I can say about that!
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  #17  
Old 12-26-2010, 11:17 PM
Emerson Emerson is offline
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This seems to be a decent source, but the results are pretty diverse depending on which LE agency is involved.

http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Aveni/OIS.pdf
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  #18  
Old 12-27-2010, 12:32 AM
eagle0711 eagle0711 is offline
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It seems that you run out of time before you run out of bullets. Many, such as Ed Lovette have studied this subject and came to this conclusion.

That is if you hit what your'e aiming at.
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2010, 02:59 AM
dsmdylan dsmdylan is offline
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Originally Posted by 45silverback View Post
But most cops really can't shoot worth a damn
it should probably be noted that you're comparing them to competitive shooters. your average cop is certainly a much better shot than your average civilian.
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  #20  
Old 12-27-2010, 07:19 AM
Dwight55 Dwight55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmdylan View Post
it should probably be noted that you're comparing them to competitive shooters. your average cop is certainly a much better shot than your average civilian.
Overall, . . . I agree, . . . with one caveat: it depends where that average civilian comes from. If you pick him out of the "hood" where .22 Jennings and .25 Ravens are the weapon of choice, . . . that one is yours. Same for the uber snooty suburbanites who appoint "boards" to resolve all conflicts.

Out and around "red neck" and "tea party" America with which I am familiar, . . . it just ain't so.

May God bless,
Dwight
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  #21  
Old 12-27-2010, 07:20 AM
Herbert Cannon Herbert Cannon is offline
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Shots fired

I remember taking John Farnham's ( Defense Training International) class a couple of years ago and he gave the average number of shots fired in a gunfight as seven. He did not say where his stats came from.
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  #22  
Old 12-27-2010, 07:23 AM
Herbert Cannon Herbert Cannon is offline
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shots fired

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmdylan View Post
it should probably be noted that you're comparing them to competitive shooters. your average cop is certainly a much better shot than your average civilian.
I would have to agree with that summation. The average civilian buys a gun shoots it six or seven times and puts in a drawer and leaves it there.
However, I have had cops tell me that a lot of their fellow cops could not hit the broadside of a barn.
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  #23  
Old 12-27-2010, 08:40 AM
mitrod3 mitrod3 is offline
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3 of his...........1 of mine. I prefer not to have the opportunity to have that kind of personal incident specific information again.

Be safe, shoot well.

Last edited by mitrod3; 12-27-2010 at 09:27 AM.
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  #24  
Old 12-27-2010, 08:56 AM
69charger 69charger is offline
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I remember you in that situation Mitrod3. Sorry to hear you had to learn the hard way.
Dave
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  #25  
Old 12-27-2010, 09:18 AM
mitrod3 mitrod3 is offline
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Originally Posted by 69charger View Post
I remember you in that situation Mitrod3. Sorry to hear you had to learn the hard way. Dave
Me too. I appreciate the thought. The scar (though small) on my left arm from his grazing round is a constant reminder of why I never want anyone throwing lead at me again if I can, in any way, avoid it.

Last edited by mitrod3; 12-27-2010 at 09:27 AM.
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