Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

History of the Mozambique drill for pistol shooters or, as it’s now called, the Failure Drill.

Some of the hot-shot commenters don’t understand the reason for the break in shooting between the second and third shots.  Why not keep shooting until the target is down?

Lawyers.  You are only allowed to shoot so long as the attacker continues to pose an immanent threat to you.   If you shot twice in the chest, the attacker drops his weapon and raises his hands to yell “Don’t Shoot Me, Bro!” but you continue firing until you’ve emptied your weapon, there’s a good chance some prosecutor will charge you with murder.  You were no longer in danger when you executed an unarmed man.

That’s why the Failure Drill name is important, it reminds us we only take the third shot if the first two fail to accomplish the task.  Bang, Bang, pause to assess while holding the gun on him, then Bang only if necessary.

How long is the pause?  As long as it takes to decide you’re still under attack.  Half a second seems like the bare minimum to me.  In the original Mozambique drill, you lowered your weapon to the ready position pointing at the ground after the second shot and raised it again to fire the third shot.  That cannot be done in less than a second, probably more like two seconds to reacquire the sight picture.  Since we’re not lowering our weapon, we can act more quickly but it still will take about a second to wait, assess, acquire a sight picture on the head, fire the third shot.

That also gives us a better story for the witness stand.  “I only shot him because I was under attack.  And when he persisted, I had to shoot him again.  It’s entirely his decision to continue the attack that ended his life so I am innocent of murder.”

In contrast, this guy is doing it completely wrong.

Joe Doakes

Learn from others’ mistakes.

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