Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Shooting Car Glass in Training

Bullet. Angle. Glass. Just some ramblings on our car-related shooting scenarios. Where the bullet goes, whether shooting into or out of a vehicle, depends on the caliber, the angle in which the glass is set, and the angle in which the glass is struck, and the kind of vehicle glass itself.

If you know me, you know I am a GIANT proponent of interactive, simulated ammo shooting. That is all I teach, leaving marksmanship and live fire to those quibbling, debating experts, who never seem happy with each other. For me, it is hard to debate a sims round to the forehead.

Every time we run our simulated, vehicle-related, gun modules around the world, like the Miami-Dade Shoot-out module, the WalMart Madness one, or the VIP Escort one, or the Police Traffic Stop one, etc, the subject of shooting through automobile glass must and should come up. The various levels of simulated ammo we are often stuck with using will not blow and crack auto glass like real bullets. So it effects reality.

For one example - the Miami-Dade Shoot-out “reenactment” we do (a very basic shoot-out with two heavily armed bad guns in a lead, stopped car versus two carloads of "FBI" agents parked behind them, classically armed). We insist that the side car windows are all down, to suggest the gunfire blew them up. In the many variations of this drill, people are sometimes gut-shot or head shot right through these windows. But alas! the windshields must remain (unless we are lucky enough to be an auto junk yard).

Junk yards? A perfect set up for Miami-Dade Shoot-out training is Simunitions ammo with three junked cars. And I just can’t get that every weekend, all over the world. Instead, I just do the best I can with what I got. Resources, resources, resources. Of course, in our car exercises we are usually stuck with shooting Airsoft guns, and using participants' vehicles.  By the way, common electric Airsoft does not hurt cars. Attendees can bring some blankets and drape the front, back or side of their cars if they want to feel better about the whole thing, because even “bigger” Airsoft guns can be more powerful, but they should be fine. Step up to gas guns? Or more? Then start worrying about the cars.
But in the average locations I go too, (back lots of academies and schools) we do not have three cars we can utterly destroy. So we just do the very best we with what we got. People can get some great exposure to all the other good experiences and learning with these important modules.  

While the side windows are down, as they would be blown in a gunfight, but, but, but, as I said, we cannot do anything with windshields. Just can’t. Invariably, during this and other car simulated shoot-outs, people are instinctively peeping though the windshields at each other, and doing some dangerous, brief, “windshield-related” moves, or even finding  themselves taking sudden, emergency positions behind open car doors. Cover is better than concealment. Concealment can be better than nothing, you know...sometimes.  People get briefly stuck behind car doors because its the only and best place to be for a few seconds.

Bullets bounce in simulated ammo auto fights,
at least emphasizing some real possibilities

Gun range lords can critique parts of these parking lot and stopped car performances, grimace at the car door cover and windshield antics and declare certain, brief events they see as “WRONG!” But, they are not the ones on the ground being shoot at and going and doing very desperate and brief things. All we can do is talk about these “mistakes” in pre and post briefings. 

I have seen “it all” doing these drills, these last 20 years (yes, oh yes, way before it was hip and cool) watching people run through these exercises, with vet soldiers and cops and citizens. One time a woman who sold Amway products beat everyone, including war vet soldiers who were still on active duty, in the Walmart Madness shootouts. Crazy stuff that worked. Crazy stuff that didn’t. Mistakes you do or don’t pay for. Trips, falls. Dropped, lost guns. Dropped and kicked across the lot! Seen it! Folks don't plan on dropping and then kicking their pistol ten feet! Just a lot of stuff that really happens as you fight for your life and, or mission…all in, around, over and under cars and trucks. Vital stuff that you will never see, learn or think about on the shooting range with live fire.

Some live fire range instructors do drive their cars onto the range. Shooters get to do a variety of drills shooting from the car windows or launching out of the car and shooting...yes...at more paper targets. Never ending paper targets. (Oh, the great varieties of targets and their positions.) This live fire version is an important step, but "graduation," or the last two hours should be interactive combat, with the opposition alive, 3-D, improvising and SHOOTING BACK!  Why don't they do this? Test this all out?

As with such shooting, you are a far, far, far, far, far  better off running through these interactive  scenarios with simulated ammo of some kind than not, than forever just shooting paper targets.

Auto glass plays a part we cannot often replicate with simulated ammo training, so witnessing demos of auto glass shooting on the range is a good experience too, and reading up on the subject is good stuff. Shooting live ammo through not one but two windshields can have some interesting results, just like shooting through not one open door, but two open car doors can also. But with glass?  It all comes down to the bullet, the glass and the angles.

Well, enough of this rambling about shooting vehicle glass. Here is some video and article info-

Shooting In, Out and Around Cars - the Training Video

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