Gunfight in a Car | Shooting Around a Vehicle

Contrary to what you see in the movies, you don’t want to shoot while your vehicle is moving; you’re just wasting ammo. Think about it; you are only carrying a few magazines; why waste them shooting from a high-speed vehicle at another high-speed vehicle? Fight with your vehicle. The best weapon you have is your vehicle and your driving skills. Don’t have “Combat Driving” skills? Well, sign up for a High-Threat Driving Course with us. We’ll teach you defensive driving and, brother, in combat the best defense is a strong offense! We’ll teach you high-speed vehicle dynamics, threshold braking, off-road recovery, Ramming & Pitting, and all the other great tactical skills so you can make the most out of fighting with someone else’s car or truck. Again, first fight with your vehicle; save that ammo for when your vehicle dies. However, once the vehicle has stopped, there are still things to consider when shooting around a vehicle. Armor, egress, angles, wounded, and so forth all come to mind right off the bat.

VIDEO – This week’s video is by Rob French, showing how to shoot around a vehicle. Rob French is a Weapons & Tactics Instructor at Tier-1 Group LLC, down in Memphis. Besides being a world class training facility, T1G has some of the greatest instructors that I have ever worked with. All are combat vets, and all are subject matter experts in their area of expertise.

In this video, Rob goes into some of the techniques that T1G teaches its students; focusing on initial presentation forward towards the threat. He then covers using that vehicle for cover towards enemy to your flank. There are certain things that will catch your eye, such as shooting through the windshield and where he says “bullets will change angles,” that have been covered in other videos on our video archive. You can search for them in our YouTube Tactical Rifleman Video List. 

Cover V.S. Concealment

This is not magic. It is just using the vehicle for Cover & Concealment, and knowing techniques to make best use of the vehicle while delivering effective fire back on the threat. It is better to have tried and learned ahead of time in a training environment, then to try making it up as you go in the middle of a gunfight. What is Cover vs Concealment? Concealment basically equates to anything that keeps the enemy from seeing you but wont stop bullets (example: a bush). Cover is anything that will stop bullets (example: a brick wall). In reference to Cover & Concealment, all vehicles are not created equal. Without even considering armored vehicles, a heavier vehicle will provide better ballistic protection than lighter vehicles. Rob mentioned the engine block over the trunk, which is obvious. However, he also mentioned the wheel hubs, which many people overlook. Bottom line, all vehicles are different. Judge it case by case. Yes, the trunk normally does not provide much cover, but if you know the trunk is filled with sandbags or other heavy material, it will offer better protection than normal. Remember, the engine isn’t magic either. It is very easy to skip bullets under a vehicle, raping people hiding behind the engine block. So, stay behind the wheel hubs, front or back.

Staying Off the Vehicle

Rob also mentions “staying off the vehicle.” He is referring to how bullets change angles when they skip off of the hood or trunk. Again, we cover this in another video, but it boils down to: Bullets do not skip off the hood like pool balls on a pool table, matching angles. Rather, as they initially touch, bullets push a wave of metal in front of them, like the bow of a boat. Then, once the wave builds up, they either penetrate and enter down into the vehicle, or they angle upward at a steeper angle. Because of this steeper departure angle, it is actually safer to stay several meters off of the vehicle in a two dimensional gunfight. By two dimensional, I mean that all the enemy threats are down at eye-level with you. If there is a threat of enemy being located above, like in second or third story windows, then staying closer up on the vehicle will provide more protection from direct fire. Again, it’s not magic; it is just about being able to read the situation and having the knowledge to assist in rapid informed decisions on the battlefield.

 How to Survive a Gunfight in a Car Part 2

 Video: In Part 2 of How to Survive a Gunfight in a Car, Rob is going to take you through what to do when you have to shoot from within your vehicle. He covers shooting through the windshield, shooting while exiting the door, and shooting while bounding back from the vehicle.

I hope you enjoyed the video. We put out a new Tactical Rifleman video every Friday. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

Strength & Honor, TR

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