Ignore the X-ring

I read about Bob S. ringing in the new year with some range time. Seeing his targets reminded me of something I’ve wanted to post about for some time.

Ignore the X-ring.

Here’s a B-27 target:

(target images courtesy of pistoleer.com)

Note that it attempts to be vaguely human shaped, then a traditional bullseye set of rings is placed over it. So what do people tend to do? Aim for and shoot out that X-ring. It makes sense. It’s very traditionally target-like; we like to “hit the bullseye”; and when you consider this is the target used on shooting tests like the Texas CHL shooting test, you want to ensure you pass and score well so you aim for the X.

What’s the trouble with this?

On an actual human, there’s nothing vital behind the X.

If you are shooting at targets like this because you’re working on your bullseye shooting skills, that’s one thing. If you are shooting at targets like this because you are training for self-defense shooting skills, then shooting at the X is the wrong place to shoot. When SHTF you will descend to your lowest point of training, and if you’ve trained/conditioned yourself to shoot at the solar plexus well, it’s still going to suck to get shot there but it won’t be as effective as hitting your attacker in the vitals.

Let’s look at the TXPT target:

This was the original target used in the TX CHL shooting test and is much more accurate in terms of vitals placement. I don’t know why Texas changed the target.

Where do you want to aim?

(image found via Google Search, but you can see it’s owned by Plasticboy Anatomy Models)

Vertically between the tracheal notch and the solar plexus. Horizontally between the nipples. Some say to make a triangle connecting the tracheal notch and the nipples and aim within the triangle. Some say when you put your front sight on the target, the top edge of your sights should be in line with the armpits. However you choose to index, the bottom line is to know anatomy, where the heart and lungs are as that’s where you’re going for. That’s why I chose the above image, because it shows the exterior structure (armpits, nipples, etc.) as well as internal structure, so you can see how everything on the inside lines up with everything on the outside. Thus when you are using any sort of “realistic” target, your point of aim should be over the vitals, even if it means you’re not aiming at the printed target’s designated bullseye.

Thus if you’re using a B-27 target, aim at the target where the upper “8” and “9” are printed.

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9 thoughts on “Ignore the X-ring

  1. Pingback: Testing is for testing « Stuff From Hsoi

    • Thanx.

      Yeah, this is something worth talking about and yes, after the qualification part. I could see how with some people if you did this beforehand it’d just confuse them and wind up causing more problems during qualification. So get them qualified, then discuss the realities of things.

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