Thursday, February 08, 2024

...until it is.

So on the Bookface the other day, several of the self-identified "Old Timers" got ahold of the phrase "It's bullet placement" as though it were some ideal rebuttal to everything from the importance of projectile design to the necessity of fast and accurate shooting.

I really hate the way that aphorisms replace thinking when it comes to personal protection. It's like the term "combat mindset". I've heard dudes at the local range talking about how they'll be fine should they ever have to yank out a handgun because they have some special mindset, when I know for a fact that they couldn't hit a barn from the inside with the door closed if you gave them all day to do it because I've seen them shoot. 

Just saying "it's bullet placement" doesn't actually, you know, place the bullet.

Further, using statements like "it's bullet placement" when used to pooh-pooh thoughtfulness in ammunition selection completely ignores the fact that bullet placement is three-dimensional. To take it to the reductio ad absurdum, it doesn't do you any good to place a bullet right in the dude's snotbox if it only penetrates a half inch.

John Hearne explaining that bullet placement is three dimensional

Marty Hayes, a well-known retired firearms trainer, mentioned that he had hosted the famous Jim Cirillo, victor of numerous gunfights, and that Cirillo's mantra was "use of cover and shot placement". That is true, as far as it goes! Yet in Cirillo's own book, Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights, he spent twenty-five pages... roughly a quarter of the book ...nerding out over bullet design and the various projectiles he'd helped develop to reduce the likelihood of round-nosed lead and FMJ bullets skidding off the curved bone structure of ribs and skulls.

Resist the urge to think about this stuff like it came out of a Chinese fortune cookie, that there's one magic concept, such as "combat mindset", "bullet placement", a "fast draw", or whatever, that's going to save the day.

No single aspect of this stuff is important by itself... until it is.

I love .44 Special... unless it's a 165gr FTX hollow point that only penetrates 8" or so.