Ralph Mroz once wrote an article (sadly no longer available) titled "I don't need to know how to kill people faster". I thought he made some good points that mirror how I feel and I wanted to share it here. Interestingly enough, MSG Paul Howe made a similar observation when he said maybe 10-20% of what he learned training with world class competition shooters applied to his training and missions. I once learned close quarters rifle techniques from a former Green Beret. While I'm more confident about my ability to quickly engage multiple threats within 10 yards at a full sprint using an AR, I'm not as confident I'll ever need to use that skill in a law enforcement setting.
From Mr. Mroz--
There are now quite a few ex-mil guys, with tons of real-world two-way range experience, many from what we now call "Tier 1 SF groups", teaching to the public. That their wisdom and the lessons of their experience is freely available to citizens is a uniquely American prerogative, and we should all be grateful. We should all avail ourselves of what they have to say, and closely consider their advice regarding…well, everything gunfight-related. And we should put that information through these five filters:
- These guys are not you and not me. They are young, for one thing, and in peak condition. They are the beneficiaries of decades of the very best, full-time training that American tax dollars can buy, not to mention the millions of rounds that they've been able to expend. On top of all that they are the product of a world-class selection process and they possess talents and physical and mental abilities that most people don't. In short, what works for them may not for us. Might, but also might not.
- They train for and have experience in missions with rules of engagement (ROE) that differ considerably from that of U.S. citizens simply trying to defend themselves (and their families) within the time, budget, and legal constraints that most productive citizens have.
- They come out of an environment in which training and actual missions are conducted while being part of a team that is as high-speed as they are. On the other hand, you and I are alone.
- Their primary weapon is the M4 or similar. Engagements with the handgun are relatively rare. As Dave Spaulding has pointed out: police officers are the people that get into gunfights with handguns in large numbers, and in the context of civilian ROE to boot.
- My analysis of the gunfight data that Tom Givens has complied leads me to believe that if you can draw and hit an 8-inch circle at 7 yards in 1.5 seconds you can probably—probably—shoot well enough. You can add in a little more time once you draw from concealment, depending on the concealment method. (Tom may not agree with me, but note that I did emphasize probably, as in most of the time.) After that, your time is best spent on learning awareness, judgement, threat management, verbalization, aftermath tactics, the law, etc. There’s more to self-defense than shooting, and after I can meet this standard I don’t need to know how to shoot people faster. Improve your shooting if you enjoy so doing, but do not neglect these other areas!