We got to blow shit up!!!
Gotta love it when our Fearless Instructor tells the class to bring their favorite defensive ammo to class. That would be four boxes of .40 S&W Cor-Bon 165gr. JHP and two extra boxes of Winchester Silvertip in 155gr. Too bad I only shot one round all night. I was looking forward to blowing holes in melons, a la Gunny Ermey style.
We did, however, learn a couple of interesting lessons regarding vehicles and defensive ammo. Did you know that a shot against a car window moving away from you will just glance right off? Even more so if the window is tinted. Reason being the glass is treated for saftey, and is stronger because it is also shaped differently.
Each of us took turns putting steel to target with different calibers and looking at the results. We all came to the same conclusion: Bigger gun equals bigger hole! We shot everything from a .380 to 12 ga. slugs.
Shooting a pistol at a moving vehicle is an effort in futility really. As most of you know, pistols really don't have the oompf needed to stop a 2 ton moving hunk of metal. Ideally, the best way to stop a car is to aim for the driver. It is the same mentality that the VC used to bring down helicopters in Vietnam. Why try to take a potshot at some machine, when you have a better chance of hitting the operator and really rendering the vehicle ineffective?
Safety glass needs a couple of rounds to poke through, especially the windshield. Hit it just right and you can do some damage. Getting through the metal of a car is a completely different matter. A lot of different things can go wrong. Newer vehicles have special crossmembers to reduce collision damage. There are also special plates to prevent slim-jim access. Don't forget about the soundproofing insulation, electrical wiring, and upholstery. We witnessed first hand how a bullet can travel and get deflected through a car door. High caliber and high speed help push the bullet through the door and into flesh. You lose a lot of energy getting through that door, however and are better off aiming about a foot higher.
We also test fired the Springfield SOCOM Rifle in .308 and a DPMS AR-15 A3 in .223. What can I say? To all the boys and girls running roadblocks in the sandbox right now, get some bigger guns. If you wanna stop a blockade runner in a beat up nitro-laced Opel, level that Ma Deuce on 'em and raise hell. Your piddly .223 service rifle is no match for anything .30 cal and above. If he is presenting a head on target aspect to you, forget the engine block unless you are going to get in a chase. Put those .223 rounds into the windshield and I can promise you that the car will come to an eventual stop. If you absolutely must disable that car, ventilate the radiator. Cars running at high speed need to stay cool. Put a hole in the radiator and you will ruin Ahmed's day.
Another lesson learned regards tires. Use a big caliber. All that crapola you see in movies is nothing but junk. Baretta using his Beretta cannot disable a car with a 9mm to the tire. Just doesn't happen that way. We put two rounds into a fully inflated tire. The first was a 9mm, and it only poke a small hole in the car. At speed, that vehicle could gain another couple of miles before that tire caused problems. The next round was a .45 Auto. Deflated the tire almost instantly. Another lesson learned out of all this, if you don't use the right size bullet, the hole can close up on you. Remember, when cars are travelling at high speeds, the tires get nice and warm. The rubber compound can and does become gooey. Yes, I said gooey. As one LEO in our class put it, the hole can and will close up as long as the conditions are right.
So what did we learn today? Shooting car doors and tires at the range is a lot more fun than punching holes in paper. Also, to disable any moving vehicle, aim for the operator. Remember that the upper torso is only protected by glass in most cases. Another note, the strongest and most protected place in a car happpens to be the A column. You know, the center door post. Why do you think cops always stand to the rear of you during a traffic stop? More protection from idiots with bad intentions. Don't forget, bigger guns mean bigger holes (12 ga. slugs especially). Thirty caliber and above is better than defensive pistol and .223 ammo.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Tuesday's class. I focused more on "Big Gun, Big Hole." Chances are that you will not have a need for shooting through a car to get at an adversary. I also figured out that this is what an adversary has to get through to come after me in my car. Shot angles, bullet placement and impact and caliber size v. stopping power are things that we paid close attention to. These are just some more tools to keep in that toolbox of defensive preparedness.
Another thing Instructor Greg taught us was that the thug-a-licious vermin coming after me and my fly ride will normally be carrying the cheapest and most readily available/concealable piece of crap he can get his hands on. Twenty-two cal. up to maybe a 9mm will be the order of the day for him. They can still cause death and mayhem, but with regards to your vehicle, you stand a better chance of getting out of Dodge when the fecal matter flies.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: From Instructor Greg, "What's my favorite type of weapon? One that requires three people to operate!"