Rob Pincus Icetraining.us
discuss it, I remind you that there is no guarantee that a bad guy won’t shoot through an upheld hand, a purse or vehicle glass, but human behavior is a strong thing in the heat of a dynamic critical incident. Before you peer out around a vehicle, or solely focus on the outline of a car looking for a threat to reveal themselves, remember that you can look through the vehicle and potentially gain a huge advantage.
03 Deploying a Rifle from the Trunk
Traditionally, law enforcement officers kept their long guns in the trunk of their patrol vehicles. While it is more common these days to have patrol rifles and shotguns staged in quick-release locks inside the passenger compartment, many civilians stage their guns in the trunk, or simply keep them there when travelling to or from the range.
There is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind aspect to having your firearms secured in the trunk that makes sense to most people who leave their cars unattended while there are firearms in them. Even for police officers with long guns in the vehicle, many other tactical items, such as over-vests or tactical medical kits, are often still staged in the trunk.
When you are retrieving those items, remember that the trunk lid and large windows of your car are very unlikely to serve as reliable cover. Furthermore, it is generally pretty easy to see a person’s position clearly from the front of vehicle when they are centered behind the trunk.
Positioning yourself behind the A/B/C/D pillars and tires regarding a known threat’s angle of view, or at least not being centered over the trunk behind glass and visible under the car can give you an advantage.
With the stronger parts of the car providing additional cover and the tires concealing your feet and legs, you
may be able to avoid being shot at or hit while you are retrieving vital defensive tools.
04 Cover AND Concealment
A typical vehicle is going to be composed of many different materials. You could burn a laser hole through 20 different vehicles and encounter 20 different sets of materials, thickness, angles and gaps. Shift the laser line an inch in any direction, and you’d probably have a completely different set for each vehicle. For this reason, it is important to remember that vehicles are both cover and concealment. And, this is even before we factor in what type of bullet is being fired into the vehicle. I have shot scores of vehicles in controlled environments with the most common types of defensive pistol and rifle rounds to educate myself, my students and my peer instructors in what actually happens, so that we may formulate some best practice-type advice for people who would be fighting around them.
In I.C.E. Training’s Armed Defense Around Vehicles class, we spend an entire day shooting and dissecting a vehicle from the inside and out. In the morning before class starts, I warn the students that the behavior of the bullets will be “predictably unpredictable.” I’ll have a good idea of what they will likely see with each round of experiments, but there is never a class that doesn’t offer some anomalies. Those anomalies are often able to be attributed to some unforeseen aspect of a particular car's design or a student’s shot that doesn’t land precisely where it needed to. Given that we are trying to apply the lessons learned to a dynamic and chaotic environment, it is important to remember that there is no 100% in this realm. One of the summary lessons of those courses is this: Assume that a vehicle is cover for your threat, but only concealment for you. Whenever possible, get your sights on your threat’s body to increase the chances of stopping them, and never think that you are safe just because you are behind or inside a vehicle. TW
Bullet behavior is predictably unpredictable. When retrieving firearms or other gear from a car trunk, remember that the trunk lid and large windows of a car are unlikely to serve as reliable cover.
Maintain a mindset that a vehicle is cover for your threat but only concealment for you. Stronger parts of the car include the tires; they can provide excellent cover.