Index points aren’t always aim points

Over on the Facebooks, Phil Wong posted a link to this article: “Don’t count on a head shot“.

I commented on Phil’s post, and felt it’d be a good repost my comment here.

While I agree with the premise, I disagree with the proposed solution.

It’s saying things like “from the front, aim at the eyes”; from the side” aim at the ear”. Well… maybe. The trouble is that with such index points we start to rely upon those index points. What happens if those points don’t present themselves to us? Also consider that those points are on the perimeter — the actual target (brain stem) is somewhere else. So now we’re trying to connect dots: muzzle to brain stem — and it’s well possible that the actual line from muzzle to stem does NOT intersect with those index points. Thus if you do line up muzzle to index point, as the line continues it may totally miss the stem!

This is not what we want.

How could such a thing happen? Well, how often are you perfectly square to your target? Was told a story of a hostage situation, police sniper on the 2nd story roof, was taught to “aim at the ear” and so he did, but from that altitude the angle created [hit the ear but] totally missed the brain stem. While it did take down the bad guy, the bad guy also wound up having involuntary muscle reflex as a result of the less-than-optimal shot, pulled his trigger, and killed the hostage. Undesirable ending.

So, angles matter, and thus points of aim/targets matter.

It is useful to use those cranial index points to help you learn where the brain stem is within the skull — triangulation, basically. But when you actually go to line up and aim, aim at the actual target, not some relative index point.

Thanx to Tactical Anatomy Systems LLC for some teachings on this point.

Think about it.

It’s easy to line up two points (that’s essentially what defines a line). Trying to get a third point along that same line is more difficult. Muzzle and target, muzzle and index point — if you just line up those two points, it’s easy. But trying to hit the stem by aiming for an index point, now you’re lining up three points (muzzle, index point, stem) and THAT is harder to get right.

So, just pick the two points.

And again, if you have to use index points to help you triangulate and learn where the deeper point is, that’s ok — that’s about locating the target, which is a good thing to do too.

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