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Interesting blog piece... "The Law of Averages"

breamfisherbreamfisher Senior MemberPosts: 13,493 Senior Member
This is from the Military Arms Channel, who I first heard about on Facebook. He tends to evaluate SD and military-styled weapons. It's an interesting piece on how not to plan your SD/HD encounters based on the average encounter. Of note is that the idea that it'll all be over in 2-3 shots might not be true, as that's based on police shooting data, not on what non-LE shooters experience. Why? Because the crime report data is of LE shootings only.

http://militaryarms.blogspot.com/2012/10/fighting-with-averages.html
Overkill is underrated.

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I'd like to ask the author of that article one simple, direct question- - - -"How many times have you, personally, had to empty your 15+ round bullet hose in a real-life self defense scenario?" Unless he can give me a definitive answer, with times, dates, facts and figures, he's just another internet keyboard **** with a good line of BS!
    Jerry
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    The way I see it (as much as my opinion matters) is, if you can't avoid the encounter or talk your way out of it, you really shouldn't expect ANYTHING else in this whole conundrum to go as planned, either.

    The way my bad luck seems to come all at once, if I actually do have to draw my gun, the sights are probably going to fall off, the barrel is going to turn sideways, and the whole damn magazine is probably going to fall apart.

    Which is why I carry a double stack polymer 9mm or .45 and a spare magazine on my off hand side.




    There's also the whole "pack" thing to consider. The cops don't show up immediately after a shooting and if you try to leave the area you're probably going to get in trouble. What if Mr. Leaky had friends with more loyalty/testicular fortitude than brains, and they decide that you're no longer welcome among the living?

    Paraphrasing Zee here, but.................. whenever I get through doing whatever it is that I did, I want to have enough rounds left to do it again.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,988 Senior Member
    :sniff:
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,161 Senior Member
    Eli wrote: »
    The way I see it (as much as my opinion matters) is, if you can't avoid the encounter or talk your way out of it, you really shouldn't expect ANYTHING else in this whole conundrum to go as planned, either.

    The way my bad luck seems to come all at once, if I actually do have to draw my gun, the sights are probably going to fall off, the barrel is going to turn sideways, and the whole damn magazine is probably going to fall apart.

    Which is why I carry a double stack polymer 9mm or .45 and a spare magazine on my off hand side.




    There's also the whole "pack" thing to consider. The cops don't show up immediately after a shooting and if you try to leave the area you're probably going to get in trouble. What if Mr. Leaky had friends with more loyalty/testicular fortitude than brains, and they decide that you're no longer welcome among the living?

    Paraphrasing Zee here, but.................. whenever I get through doing whatever it is that I did, I want to have enough rounds left to do it again.

    I would call 911 immediately, but I am not sticking around.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    There will be an initial armed encounter that may determine the outcome. The encounter may only last a few rounds and be over. I'd say this is the average scenario, but the encounter can easily go into a longer mode of retrurned fire to extend the firefigt. this can happen in police or civilian situations. It could go either way.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 3,962 Senior Member
    This is from the Military Arms Channel, who I first heard about on Facebook. He tends to evaluate SD and military-styled weapons. It's an interesting piece on how not to plan your SD/HD encounters based on the average encounter. Of note is that the idea that it'll all be over in 2-3 shots might not be true, as that's based on police shooting data, not on what non-LE shooters experience. Why? Because the crime report data is of LE shootings only.

    http://militaryarms.blogspot.com/2012/10/fighting-with-averages.html

    A long winded yak-yak to state the obvious, no one knows how a defensive situation is going to go down!

    A defender doesn't get to pick and choose his scenario, the fight picks the defender and every "stage" is a "blind stage".

    Similarly, you cannot walk around prepared for every situation either so all your choices are a risk assessment decision. In the Phillipines we carried a light load of 180 .223 rounds and 21 rounds for a 1911, but that's not a choice for the law-abiding CCW holder.

    Here's a fun thing to do to test your luck, take out a penny/nickel/dime/quarter and pick a side (Heads or Tails) and flip it 10 times. Averages say 50/50 so you should get 5 out of 10, Heads or Tails, just about every time you try it, but it doesn't work that way does it.

    If you study numbers you'll know exactly why this is. Anyway, a lot of words to state something obvious.

    Carry what makes you feel good, afterall, it's not my neck you're risking.

    JMHO
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    If you study numbers you'll know exactly why this is. Anyway, a lot of words to state something obvious.
    1. I don't think a lot of folks study numbers.
    2. Because of 1, I don't think it's that obvious to a lot of folks.

    I've heard multiple times at gunshops and occasionally here, that a small handgun (like a J-frame) will be all that's needed in confrontations because the armed encounter only has 3 rounds expended. Likewise one needs only practice in close because the average range for confrontations is 21 feet. If you know what an "average" is, you'll know that just as many encounters have more than 3 shots expended, and likewise just as many confrontations happen at 21+ feet as happen inside of 21 feet. If you base things on averages, you're only betting on 50-50 odds.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bream, you're making good points, but I still think it depends on the personal lifestyle and situations of the ccw person. And here, I'm speaking only about civilian non-LEO self defense.

    Someone owning a farm or other fairly large property should indeed practice longer distance shooting for self defense. The extent of the property requires this.

    Myself, living in an apartment w. my car parked about 20 feet from the front door, no extensive property, and therefore not having extensive lines of sight to defend, will tend to concentrate on quick, close range defense.

    For example, if I'm attacked from, say, 30-40 feet distance, that's across the street from my front door. I'm better off inside and on 911 to expect the cops within 3-5 minutes (they have fast response in this fairly affluent city neighborhood). I also can't envision someone attacking me from that distance -- what reason behind it? A home invasion, they invade, which means that they come inside or try to. If so, the vast majority of the time, I'll be in reach of a loaded .45 XD and this is the sort of quick, close range attack I've practiced for.

    I really cannot envision 3-4 baddies taking shooting posts across the street behind cars parked there, to zero in on my smallish apartment door that sits next to 4 others of similar size. A 40-50 foot assault like that would begin likely with rifles, then proceed inward, military style.

    Thing is, I don't present a suitable target for such a practiced long distance attack. Were I living in a large 3-story home in the deep suburbs, or a beautiful ranch/rural home holding plenty of goodies to steal, sure. But my 1br apartment doesn't offer the cash, jewels, stack of big-screen TVs, etc for such a major military-flavor assault at a distance.

    Anyone trying to hit my place (and yes, I totally accept the possibility of such a home invasion happening to just a modest dwellling -- happens all the time) will do so close and fast, starting with maybe a knock on the door to gain entry, or just a fast kick-in.

    You'd have to see my living situation to clearly understand... Upscale townhomes and apartments all around, continual foot and car traffic, very open neighborhood where homes are close together and all in good condition, some fancy, most average like mine. An armed group of more distant invaders who happened to choose my apartment from the others in my 2-story structure would be hiding behind parked cars or trees from across the street, full view of all the other neighbors, most of whom own guns (this is Texas) and have no problem calling 911.

    Yes, someone living in a widely spaced suburban area, or rural, totally different.

    But for me, any attack will be close and quick, such as while I'm pulling up in my car to park, or late night door kicks. Under those circumstances, yes, I am totally capable of having "the drop" put on me and I'd be looking down the barrel of a gun. Sure, it can happen. But I'm pretty vigilant. I'm always armed or have a pistol within reach.

    I never get out of my car before checking, always drive doors locked, always have a .45 (maybe .357) at hand in the car. I keep loaded .45s in the apartment within reach.

    Sure, I can be beaten. I'm not some video game guy. But I am a quick and accurate close-range shot and keep my large pistols loaded. Someone tries a kickin, they are very likely to get shot square on, 2-3 rounds of .45 SD ammo. I don't rattle easily either, having been in quite a few difficult situations in my life and have thus far been okay. And the next guy who comes in the door will also get shot, probably.

    Or they'll be faster and shoot me first. It can happen, sure. But most kick-in burglars aren't expecting to receive fire the moment the door swings open, either.

    Understand, this is just my personal environment and situation. Each person has a different scenario to prepare for. Either way, statistics are of little value. Individual planning based on the specific situation is what makes the diff.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I doubt personal defense, even if living on the Ponderosa ranch will include much long range shooting, by the time you identify a potential threat, chances are they are pretty close, you just can't shoot people because they trespassed on your property.

    And yes, the best defense is always stay inside, call 911, and do nothing, unless they start chopping your door down.

    The day may come when an attack is so fast and so sudden and so violent, even superior in numbers of attackers, that you will not have time to say goodbye, but it is illogical & pointless to worry about that or even try to prepare for such a scenario.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Correct, Doc. Disturbing trend, however, is how thugs have been lately kicking in doors of fairly average homes, something I've noticed on the news here -- anyone else see this trend?

    Usually, home invasions occur because the home is lavish and the owner has an extravagant lifestyle. We've had several pro basketball and football players invaded here over the past few years.

    Other targets are jewelers or other merchants who deal in lots of cash. They're likely to have money. I mean, prison time for invading and assault is the same for a small theft as a huge one, so why not pick the richest haul? And of course drug dealers and other mid-range crooks prey on each other.

    But in the past months, I've noticed some TV news stories where pretty average homes are broken into. I kinda doubt the owner is a crack dealer. Sometimes of course the attack is personal -- ex-hubbie or whatever -- but in quite a few cases, kick-ins have occurred at very modest homes where the crooks beat up the people and get: a 25" flatscreen and DVD. Big stuff it's not.

    This is contrary to what I had originally said here, that crooks won't bother with smaller hauls and pick only on large rich homes. Mostly that's still true, but it's changed now. So I'm in agreement with others here who earlier warned of this, to keep vigilant.

    That being said, for MY situation, a long distance (25+ft) shoot is almost impossible, because the crooks aren't gonna sit in my next door neighbors' front yard, dodge joggers and dog walkers and constant vehicle traffic, and take rifle shots at my front door across the street.

    No, it will be a quick and close attack, maybe knocking on my door late night, to get me to open it, or trying to just kick the door in. Which is why I never open my door to anyone I don't know, and even then, I might have my XD in hand late nights. Which my friends know and always phone in advance.

    Or a door crash. It that happens, I may get my pistol up first, I may not. It's what I practice over and over, quick presentation and firing at 10 feet. Unless I live in an abandoned missile silo (they're all rented out for the 2012 thing anyway), not much more I can do, keep my powder dry and a pistol as close by as practical.

    Good points, Doc, thanks.
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,581 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    I'd like to ask the author of that article one simple, direct question- - - -"How many times have you, personally, had to empty your 15+ round bullet hose in a real-life self defense scenario?" Unless he can give me a definitive answer, with times, dates, facts and figures, he's just another internet keyboard **** with a good line of BS!
    Jerry

    NYPD does....
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    bruchi wrote: »
    NYPD does....

    Yep- - - -part of their training is to take out the bystanders so they can get a clearer shot at the guy with the toy gun!
    Jerry
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    The one thing I've figured out since I've been interested in this subject is that most civilians who make the decision to carry a lethal weapon have specific scenarios that they fear the most and spend most of their training time trying to prepare for. It doesn't seem to matter very much whether statistics back up whatever logic they used to settle on that scenario, because they are simply countering their fear.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    The one thing I've figured out since I've been interested in this subject is that most civilians who make the decision to carry a lethal weapon have specific scenarios that they fear the most and spend most of their training time trying to prepare for. It doesn't seem to matter very much whether statistics back up whatever logic they used to settle on that scenario, because they are simply countering their fear.
    Very true, Bisley. "Luckily" my little hamlet and the surrounding area has all sorts of wonderful things going on. Homeless folks stopping people in parking lots, dogs, armed home invasions, people shooting up stores because of a jilted love life... Makes it hard to pin yourself down to one scenario...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Very true, Bisley. "Luckily" my little hamlet and the surrounding area has all sorts of wonderful things going on. Homeless folks stopping people in parking lots, dogs, armed home invasions, people shooting up stores because of a jilted love life... Makes it hard to pin yourself down to one scenario...

    Actually, I categorize all those folks as fitting into the same general profile - people whom I have some chance against - because they are either on drugs, stupid,or mentally ill. None of these are desirable to be having to defend against, but at least they are probably not trained gunfighters or professional criminals. They may give a person who can stay relatively calm and use his head a chance to bring a weapon to bear, if necessary, and if he can then hit where he aims, he has a chance.

    The other type (trained gunfighters or professional criminals) will either not kill unnecessarily, or they will kill without giving their prey a chance. If they choose the latter, I'm screwed, because I won't be outdrawing anybody or making tactical moves.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    This reminds me of how safe it is to fly in airplanes. Cool stats until you happen to be on the one flight that may be going to crash outta millions and then my friends the stats are out the window and meaningless and then the oh crap pucker factor kicks in.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    The one thing I've figured out since I've been interested in this subject is that most civilians who make the decision to carry a lethal weapon have specific scenarios that they fear the most and spend most of their training time trying to prepare for.


    Thinking about it, this kinda applies to me as well.

    Around here, the most likely lethal threat is either going to be dogs or tweakers. Dogs run in packs and tweakers are too blitzed to know that they've been shot......in either case it's probably going to take quite a few rounds to get out of the situation.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,988 Senior Member
    History only tells us what has been. No one has been able to figure out how to accurately predict the future yet.

    So, contingency plans are all we got to go on.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Very true, Bisley. "Luckily" my little hamlet and the surrounding area has all sorts of wonderful things going on. Homeless folks stopping people in parking lots, dogs, armed home invasions, people shooting up stores because of a jilted love life... Makes it hard to pin yourself down to one scenario...

    bream, your situation is exactly the same as we have in the big city. Reading occasional stories here and there about violence, I think that maybe, a couple generations ago, living out in the country or small town was less risky, but nowdays it's about the same everywhere.
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    Hope for the best, plan for the worst. The "average" may be somewhere between these two, but in my world, Murphy puts me at the extreme (usually bad end) of the "average". Maybe just a statistical anomaly...

    I was asked at one point, shortly after acquiring my first defensive-capable handgun, why I practiced with it until I was able to hit a six-inch target predictably at twenty-five yards. "Isn't it 'good enough' to hit the center of a silhouette target? That should be good enough..."

    Granted, it might. But I wanted to be prepared for the worst case home-defense scenario, which for me would be some surprised or frustrated home-breaker deciding it would be a good idea to use my wife or my young children as human shield or collateral. Then, all I'd need was a shot at the brain-pan, and it would be "lights out".
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    gunrunner, excellent points, agreed.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,150 Senior Member
    Practicing/ preparing to the "Average" means that you are only really practicing/ preparing for the easiest half of the encounters (you geeks, stop it right now. I know the difference between average and mean. I'm talking in general laymans terms).

    I will prepare for worse than the average. Because if the unlikely event that I ever need to clear leather again in the defense of my life, it probably means that there is lots of other 'stuff' hitting the fan, and it could very well mean that it's time for battling immortal ninjas or something.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
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