Deadly force encounters are chaotic and fast moving. There is not a lot in your control, but rather than worry about what is not in your control your focus should be on what you can control.
Focus On the Right
In classes I talk about the importance of training with the right mindset. Like, don’t think about what you are doing wrong. If you are slapping the trigger then telling yourself not to slap the trigger will produce weak results. Instead, you need to focus the mind on what you need to do to correctly move the trigger. Thereby avoiding slapping the trigger. It may seem like semantics, but I assure you it produces results. If you are only focused on the negative outcomes, you increase the likelihood of seeing said negative outcome. The moment you shift your focus to what you can control the more likely you will see the positive results.
It’s All About Efficiency
When discussing combat marksmanship I talk a lot about time. The difference between basic and combat marksmanship can most easily be summed up in performing the minimum required movement with the greatest precision possible. This means only do what you absolutely must to complete the task. No unnecessary movements or actions. Then perform those movements as precisely as possible. Don’t settle for good when best is on the table. The outcome is efficiency, which to me is better than speed. It looks a lot like speed, but it is more resilient under pressure. Once you understand this concept, it opens up the discussion on skills, distance and target.
Marksmanship Is Marksmanship
Of these three factors; there is only one you have any control over. The only one you have the slightest bit of control is your skills. You either put the work into developing good skills or you didn’t. You cannot control the distance to the target. It could very well be close range as most date indicates, but it could be at extended ranges. While few and far between the question is do you have the skill to make the distance shot. Too many times people will cherry pick data points to support their position, but really to support their inability to develop the skill. Marksmanship knows no distance, you either have the fundamentals of marksmanship down or you don’t.
Available Target Zones
The target can be equally challenging in the sense of what do you have as an available target zone. The truth is you may not get the best shot at the vitals or you may only have a small portion of the vitals to engage. Not to mention the exposure time, these windows open and close so you may not have the luxury of taking your time to make a difficult shot. Since you cannot control the exposure to the target or what you will have available to engage on the target you will need to adapt to the situation. If the body is not available, then are you skilled enough to make a head shot. If you cannot make the head shot, what other options are available.
You cannot control the distance or target, you can only control your skill at arms. Do the work to build a well rounded skill set and then let the situation dictate.