Proper Bullet Placement

Reading other blogs this morning I bumped into this photo and it reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to point out:

010203That is the common B-27 target known to almost every shooter in the world. Millions of rounds have been shot at many pieces of paper with that imprint looking to score at the “X” and that is not precisely the best place for a terminal resting place of a bullet shot in self-defense if you have to translate your skills against an attacker.

doc-how-do-i-know-standard-b27I found the above graphic at US Concealed carry and the superimposition shows the folly of the “X” in a B-27 target. At best you are giving the Bad Guy a really bad case of bleeding ulcer combined with ballistic acid reflux but it would be far from a disabling or terminal wound, at least not within a reasonable time frame.

When I took a class with Randy Cain of Cumberland Tactics, he gave us a targeting that stayed with me since: Imagine a vertical line down the middle of the body and a horizontal line that goes from top of the armpit to top of the other armpit. Where the line intersects, that is where you must aim.

upper-body-circulation2As you can see, you will be aiming at the biggest concentration of by-ways and the main pump of the circulatory system. Even counting a bit off center at any quadrant, you are bound to hit something that either pumps or carries a lot of blood, get a lung or even the spine. That is a lot of damaging that can be done.

What I do at the range is (when I remember to take it) to place a 3×5 index card dead center on the intersection and practice putting all the BBs inside the card. When allowed by the range, I pull out one of the targets designed by Randy Cain which I consider is one of the best ideas ever printed.

randy target
Click to enlarge

At first glance, it looks like some sort of weird cammo, but among the shapes, there are actually some internal organs that can be used as reference for how harmful a shot could have been. You step back enough and it all becomes a mass of unidentifiable shapes that will not give you a reference and you must use your brain and eyes to properly place the shot. Do notice that the head has a very specific area where the shot is called good: the triangle made by the eyes and the nose where a pistol-caliber bullet will enter the cranial box without much deflection or prior deformation.

I have seen other targets with the same concept out there so there is some good paper to train with available. This should be used as much as possible or at least make the proper corrections and aim for the top “8” & “9” numerals of the B-27 Target as you ain’t shooting jalapeños.

7 Replies to “Proper Bullet Placement”

  1. Bleeding ulcer and acid reflux from a gunshot wound, while not rapidly terminal, sounds like an absolutely terrible way to die.

    As in hunting, a good clean kill is preferable. And when shooting in self-defense, finishing the target off with a knife to the the throat is generally frowned upon.

    I’ll keep the anatomy lesson in mind if I’m ever practicing to hit human targets.

    1. And when shooting in self-defense, finishing the target off with a knife to the the throat is generally frowned upon.

      That is a T-Shirt right there! 🙂

  2. Also of note in the last target are bones in the pelvic girdle – a better second choice if shots to the center of mass aren’t providing the desired response, or if the attacker is charging with a knife or impact weapon.

    Sounds like I’m channeling Massad Ayoob 🙂

  3. My CHL instructor talked about the “T”, a small strip about 1″ wide that goes from eye to eye, then from between the eyes down to the bottom of the breastbone. Anywhere inside that T-zone is, for the most part, soft tissue backed up by the spine. Take out the soft tissue in those areas and they’re done for, but hitting the spine behind drops them instantly.

  4. “At best you are giving the Bad Guy a really bad case of bleeding ulcer combined with ballistic acid reflux but it would be far from a disabling or terminal wound, at least not within a reasonable time frame.”

    It looks like the X ring is right along the inferior vena cava as well as the descending aorta… I get what you’re saying, and I think you’re correct that there are better places to shoot an attacker, but I’m guessing that scoring hits on those blood vessels would probably result in faster incapacitation that you might expect, as they both supply / return all the blood from the lower body to the heart.

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