What is a gunfight really like?

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jwillgym
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What is a gunfight really like?

Post by jwillgym » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:57 pm

Below is the answer to the question, "What is a gunfight really like" that was posted on Quora. I left the persons name etc that replied to the question. Thought you guys would find the reply interesting to say the lest.

Stephen Sanford, Police officer (2014-present)

Gunfights are hard to explain. Most people, upon seeing my training, skills, and experience would say that I am well trained in firearms. I have trained many others in the proper use, both in the military, as a police firearms instructor, and on my off time.

The first thing you need to know about a gunfight is ammo is cheap. I’ve missed more in firefights than I’ve hit. Sometimes I missed on purpose. My goal isn’t just to kill the other guy, my goal is to win. If I can throw a few rounds down range, forcing the other guy to stay behind cover, then I can toss a grenade in for them to play with. This is called suppressive fire. People (most people) hide, or try and move away from bullets, by taking advantage of this you can force them, herd then to a place your team mates can flank them and finish the fight. But this is all for fighting in a military context, I don’t tell my police students to do this, as there are different rules.

In a self defense situation, be it in your home, or as a police officer on duty, a gunfight will often be at low light, and short range. While it’s not terribly difficult to hit a move person at say, 7 meters, you need to know your gun, have the muscle memory to shoot, reload, and move without looking at the gun. This is why U.S. Special forces are so good, they train constantly in shooting, moving and team work. As the saying goes, “Train Hard, Fight Easy.”

Bullets don’t work like they do on TV. I’ve never seen anyone drop from being shot once, I know it has happened, I’ve just never seen it. Caliber doesn't really matter much, (with some limits of course.) must people don’t drop, and everyone needs to be shot more than once. Handguns suck, by which I mean that I’d hate to be without one, but there are much better tools for the job. A handgun is what I use to buy myself time to get to a rife or a shotgun.

During one firefight I was very surprised to see the guy on the other team take multiple rounds to the chest and torso from my M4 rifle. Now I’m sure that those bullets were fatal, they were just not fatal quick enough. (This is why you see news stories about police shooting someone 17 times or whatever.) Because this guy was still in the fight, and still shooting (even though he would have died no matter medical intervention), so I kept shooting. The only thing that forced him to stop shooting was when I fired a bullet into his brain. People are way tougher than the movies would have you believe. In the gunfight I just referenced, I was also shot fatally. I took several bullets to my chest armor, none of which I noticed. One bullet even hit my femoral vein, and my femur. In almost any situation I would have died from that gunshot wound. I was lucky that my heart only stopped when the team dragged me into the Combat support hospital. The trauma staff was able to restart my heart on the third try.

The lesson is that even fatal gunshot wounds can still give the other guy ( or girl) a chance to keep shooting, as if it’s you, you should keep shooting. Stay in the fight until you can’t, then stay in it anyway. (you’d be surprised what people can do when they are “dead”.)

Most people that are trained, including myself don’t remember hearing any gunshots. This is a condition where your ears shut your hearing down to prevent damage. I could hear by fire team and platoon, but i don’t remember hearing a single gunshot, I could feel the muzzle blasts, see the flashes, but didn’t hear the shooting. I didn’t need to check by looking to see if my rifle was empty either. I was in the zone, and could feel the slide/bolt vibrate differently closing over an empty magazine. I never dropped an magazine with rounds in it, and I never counted my rounds.

Lastly you should know the difference between cover and concealment. Cover will help protect you from bullets, concealment only hides you from view. If you ever happen to be on the receiving end of bullets, knowing the difference is important. In one engagement I was in the guy on the other team would pop out, let off a burst of automatic fire, then move around behind a doorway. While his fire was mostly wasted, it was annoying me. I decided to teach him a lesson. I walked down the hallway, and dumped two magazines of 5.56mm ammo into the wall. Someone on my fire team joined in a chucked a grenade around the corner. I went back in and the guy was suffering from acute bullet and shrapnel exposure. He reached for his gun, and tried to bring it up to kill me, but I was quicker.

Gunfights are messy, they are loud (or so I’m told.) and they are bloody and smell. There is no glamour in getting blood sprayed on your face from shooting someone at close range. The smoke from muzzle blasts hangs in the air. Sometimes the building is on fire. Blood from yourself, your team, and the other team cooks off on the hot barrel of your weapon. Blood (yours and others) runs down your face, mixes with dirt and dust thrown up by bullet impacts. Little pieces of cement, glass, brass, cut and scratch any exposed skin. Later your arms ache from holding onto the weapon so tightly as the damn thing is slippery from blood and sweat.

Everything is confusion, and you don’t ever get a clear shot at anyone, just fleeting targets ducking into and out of cover. It’s horrible, but its exciting, you can move faster, your mind is processing things very fast, making the world around you slow down. You don’t feel pain (until later), the only thing is winning. You can see a stream of empty shell casings in mid air from your side vision, the muzzle flash of the other team in front, feeling your own recoil and watch the sights slowing climb as your bullets leave.
IYAOYAS

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Jonathanw » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:02 pm

Ask DW, he’s very experienced in that matter [smilie=011.gif]

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Rentprop1 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:21 pm

Sounds like it was written buy a Tier 1 Call of duty player...

In the real world the thugs homie will cap you from behnd or the 7-11 clerk will hit you with the crossfire...watch your 6
In the days of the old west a 6 shooter was as common as cell phones are today and just annoying if they go off in a theater.

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by jwillgym » Thu May 03, 2018 1:39 am

Guess none of you googled the guys name...
IYAOYAS

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by lakelandman » Thu May 03, 2018 4:30 am

Good info thanks for sharing.
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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Cloaked Dagger » Thu May 03, 2018 7:59 am

jwillgym wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 1:39 am
Guess none of you googled the guys name...
Is he the businessman and congress man that died in 1913 or the polo player that died in 1977?
Libertas aut mortis!

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by jwillgym » Thu May 03, 2018 9:55 am

Awarded DSC for actions in Iraq. He is also being considered for MOH upgrade. Your Google fu sucks.
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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Trouter3 » Thu May 03, 2018 10:10 am

What's f#%king question to ask, Wow we talking military or civilian ? Gents you cannot put into words what your feelings are when blow the side of a VC head off, each individual has their own reaction to horrendous combat, me I did it over there for 19 months it scared me for life ....you know what my little lady has forbidden me to talk about this s';t because it brings back bad depressing memories so b4 I get my ass handed to me I'm going to back off this subject .....we gotta have and find more interesting and educational subject to discuss on this forum ...it ain't fun killing someone ......

Cya

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Trouter3 » Thu May 03, 2018 11:17 am

You know just thing b4 I go ..gotta make this fast ...I got a better subject matter " how is stabbing someone to death with a fighting knife .... Now thats interesting stuff especially when the guy doesn't die right away and you need to stab him multiple times, now you can get pretty descriptive s';t on that subject if you've done it sweaty, bloody stinking ... Whew !! You guys are nuts wanting to know about this crap, my grandson once asked me about killing people, but he was young and stupid ...

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Rentprop1 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:50 pm

after watching the movie " The Revenant " I really wanna chop someone in the spine with a tomohawk like the Indians did
In the days of the old west a 6 shooter was as common as cell phones are today and just annoying if they go off in a theater.

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Trouter3 » Thu May 03, 2018 2:25 pm

Nah Rent you don't wanna mess with that tomahawk, you want go a few with a knife and that grizzly bear momma, that'll get your attention like it did his 'ruined his whole day ...

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What is a gunfight really like?

Post by dammitgriff » Thu May 03, 2018 2:53 pm

I’m thinking a gunfight is the result of bad tactical planning.
Rentprop, have you seen Bone Tomahawk? Couple of disgusting scenes in that one, too.
Trouter, sorry you’re still dealing with combat memories. I hope to convince both my sons to steer well clear of military service because of those effects on men’s minds, and the moral hazard it presents in general.

R/Griff

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by photohause » Thu May 03, 2018 4:01 pm

Every gun forum has to have someone to bring this topic up...geeesh
What new gun my dear, this old thing?

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by dammitgriff » Thu May 03, 2018 5:52 pm

True, it’s something that shouldn’t be discussed, because if you don’t mention it, you don’t have to confront it. ‘Merica!


R/Griff

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Jeepsnguns » Thu May 03, 2018 6:25 pm

photohause wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 4:01 pm
Every gun forum has to have someone to bring this topic up...geeesh
In defense of the OP, it was an interesting read for a non military/police person such as myself.
I hope to never be involved in a violent self defense situation.
"If you put your nose really close to the screen and inhale deeply while reading these, you can almost taste the crazy." Waldo1

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Jeepsnguns » Thu May 03, 2018 6:46 pm

Rentprop1 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:50 pm
after watching the movie " The Revenant " I really wanna chop someone in the spine with a tomohawk like the Indians did
Another great Rent'ism!!! :ber
"If you put your nose really close to the screen and inhale deeply while reading these, you can almost taste the crazy." Waldo1

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Trouter3 » Thu May 03, 2018 8:36 pm

The public is for some reason transfixed with killings, it's an ugly horrible thing when it takes place be it military or civilian, even if your right or wrong you'll never be the same believe me, practice to become proficient with your firearm and pray to the good Lord that you'll never have to use, this isn't the Wild West " what is a gunfight really like" tv cowboy s';t that's who will answer that, the Monday morning quarterbacks, I hope you never have to answer that question, once you respond to this conflict, pull the trigger, and that weapon goes bang, even if you don't kill the person your done, lawyers, police records, being sued, finished, your life and family will never be the same, so forget about a gunfight !! F#%king run if you can! get the hell outa that asap. You never get use to killing or see people dead near you ... Seeing a dead body on a police show isn't the same as standing over a body of a human being whose life you just took " what is a gunfight really like " geez you don't want to know .... Going to get me another brew watch some hoops.....

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Skoll » Fri May 04, 2018 7:25 am

I just think it's a part of human nature. We're a violent species and our 5,000 years of recorded history is literally an AAR of one war after another. Doesn't mean I think we're all bloodthirsty killers, nor am I saying everyone should always be prepared to kill, but it is an immutable part of us none the less. That fascination with killing and death will always be there because we are mortal and we are violent, it doesn't matter if you're Audie Murphy, Rambo, or the grandma down the street who makes everyone cookies.

Just my two cents on the topic without everyone else going all Vietnam flashback.
"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.”

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Rentprop1 » Fri May 04, 2018 8:40 am

Skoll wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 7:25 am

Just my two cents on the topic without everyone else going all Vietnam flashback.
[smilie=011.gif]
In the days of the old west a 6 shooter was as common as cell phones are today and just annoying if they go off in a theater.

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Re: What is a gunfight really like?

Post by Jonathanw » Fri May 04, 2018 9:03 am

Image

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