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I know most gunfights take place at very close range (I'm guessing within one to four yards). My question is, if the opportunity presents itself, at what distance would it be wiser to retreat from an armed confrontation than to participate in one?
 

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I think if you can safely avoid armed confrontation at any range you should do it. The key word being "safely" If I open my door and a BG is 2 feet on the other side with a knife I will close and lock the door. If that same BG opens my door himself and I am the only thing between him and my family I will shoot, instead of retreating to another room. If you can stay out of harms way do so, if not,
shoot straight
 

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Originally posted by traevin:
I know most gunfights take place at very close range (I'm guessing within one to four yards). My question is, if the opportunity presents itself, at what distance would it be wiser to retreat from an armed confrontation than to participate in one?
I second eljay45.. It is always best to try and retreat, but there are situations where you wont be able to do so for various reasons..
 

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I hope those who post hypothetical situations in the forum know that there will never be an absolute answer. Too many factors and variables involved. It is best to adopt standard ethic or a force continuum and utilize it in all hostile confontations.

I will use the least ammount of force necessary to protect myself and those around me. AT the same time I am going to use the "one up theory" to keep me at the advantage in any given hostile situation.
With this said, situation will dictate the degree of force and action by me.
If armed keep in mind that you will not want to get into a hand to hand combat or wrestling situation. If you lose, your own weapon will be used against you and the BG has himself a nice new toy to use on the populace.
Best to get a reactionary distance and stand your ground.
And then there will be the what ifs. WHat if there was a hundred BGs and...
Best thing I can say is for one to pick up some Masaad Ayoob books or some combatant midset books.
*Not directed at any one person*: In addition, get some formal training before walking around armed thinking that that you are going to protect yourself and loved ones. An untrained and unskilled firarm owner can do more harm than good if confronted with a hostile situation that they can't cope with psychologically.
 

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<><>> i think gargoyle pretty much said it all. <>> i would use lethal force as a last resort.>> after all other options have been used. <>>> rc

[This message has been edited by rc (edited 06-17-2001).]
 

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Gargoyle is right in that there will never be a "Hard and Fast" rule on when to retreat or engage because all lethal confrontations will be very dynamic and will have variables changing througout the ordeal.

I would always be looking for a way out without having to fire a shot, but like others have said if it can't be done safely without harm coming to me or someone I care for engagement will be necessary to stop his, or her, or their actions.

Also if it is a lethal confrontation there is also a lot to be said about moving while drawing and shooting. You don't gotta stand still and duke it out with the bad guy/s. MOVE it makes for a much harder target for them.

Ross T.
 

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When you say "armed" assailant, do you mean a firearm? Big difference between someone across the street with a knife yelling they're gonna kill you and someone with a gun. No way you're gonna be able to "run away" at 1000fps. Most times simply displaying your firearm will end an assault. But not always. And don't underestimate contact and edged weapons. Check out the studies done in how fast someone can close the 7yd gap. Who was it that said: "when in doubt, get it out..."? Yeah, I know, that bogus "brandishing" charge is a bummer. But nowhere near as bad as a razor slash across your face. Stay safe.
 

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Originally posted by traevin:
I know most gunfights take place at very close range (I'm guessing within one to four yards). My question is, if the opportunity presents itself, at what distance would it be wiser to retreat from an armed confrontation than to participate in one?
One edition of "Scariest Police Shootouts" showed a state trooper that was shot at by one of the occupants of the car he had stopped while he was standing at the driver's side window.

He ran a fast, circular path away from the car, and out of the field of view of the camera. Moments later, after several shots had been fired, he was back in view, minus his cover, gun in hand, and advancing on the BGs, which he subdued and arrested.

The officer was unharmed.

In another incident, an officer was shot by the driver of the car he had stopped while standing next to the driver's side door of the car. The bullet impacted the topmost rim of his vest. He ran backwards as the car sped away. He was unhurt.

How close do you need to be to run away? I'd say it depended on the circumstances, and how fast/well you can think on your feet.
 

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Those films were showed to us in MP school and we critiqued the reaction of the officers. One thing we noticed on the first film you talked of is that the officer aquired a "short hopping" quirk while firing. "Short hopping" is when a person brings their feet together close and sort of bounces. I remember all Marines poking fun at this. But hey, if all I did was "short hop" during that shootout that the particular officer was in, I would feel pretty good about it.
In a high stress and immediate threat to life situation the body/mind will want to resort back to instinctive tendencies. (shooting one handed, looking at the target and not sights, failure to seek cover, etc) Remembering your training is paramount!

Note: I was out shooting yesterday and was picking up brass when the target stand fell over on the dirt and made a whopping sound. I "short hopped" a couple feet, almost like a Deer!
I remembered making fun of that poor officer right then, so there you go!
 

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nwgunman said: "No way you're gonna be able to "run away" at 1000fps."

True. But if all he has is a pistol and he's 75 yards away, I probably will run away.

It is very dependent upon the situation. Are you with loved ones who can't run as fast as you? How far way is the perp? How is he armed? How close is cover - concealement - escape? Is he just shooting wildly, or is he shooting aimed rounds at you?

It all depends.

M1911
 

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Originally posted by Gargoyle:
Those films were showed to us in MP school and we critiqued the reaction of the officers. One thing we noticed on the first film you talked of is that the officer aquired a "short hopping" quirk while firing. "Short hopping" is when a person brings their feet together close and sort of bounces. I remember all Marines poking fun at this. But hey, if all I did was "short hop" during that shootout that the particular officer was in, I would feel pretty good about it.
In a high stress and immediate threat to life situation the body/mind will want to resort back to instinctive tendencies. (shooting one handed, looking at the target and not sights, failure to seek cover, etc) Remembering your training is paramount!

*snipped*
If I remember right, the best short-hopping in the collection was the trooper that took on an armored subject that that exited the stopped vehicle, and had drawn a weapon. The officer drew and began firing as he short-hopped backwards right to left in the field of view until he was off camera.

He was unhurt, and scored two (I think) hits, but without effect because of the armor.

The one thing I noticed as I watched (and I have played it back several times both in slow-mo, and one frame at a time) was that the officer seemed to have a more stable platform as he backpedalled. His shoulders/waist/hips didn't bounce up and down much at all, so his grip stayed more or less level. Probably the reason for the hits under fire and moving.

And training. And practice.
 

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There's the legal aspect too; some States require that you "retreat if possible" - even from your own home. Check the State laws first.

Retreating is sometimes a wise option; but attempting to retreat could place in further, or worse danger - such as being funneled into a trap. All a matter of individual case.
 
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