Reach out

Tactical World - - Special Section -

Rob Pin­cus Ice­train­

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.

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