Since the inception of the long gun, criminals and soldiers have killed, wounded, aimed at, threatened and kidnapped, escorted or otherwise controlled people with its ominous barrel. This project will study countering the rifle threat by scientifically identifying the probable confrontational positions and then problem-solving them. The long gun, as defined here, will be a rifle, shotgun, semi-auto and automatic firearm.
How does this happen to you? Soldiers, guards and police are captured, citizens are robbed, kidnapped, held hostage, all in the midst of urban and rural drama and terrain. Each factor in every situation must be weighed heavily against the action you dare undertake. The psychology of this mind game is the subject of a whole book, even a college degree, but here we are endeavouring to portray physical tactics only.
The Physical Problems
Physical Problem 1) Enemy Assessment Physical Problem 2) Range Physical Problem 3) Positioning Physical Problem 4) Carry System
PP1) Enemy Assessment. You must assess the quality and quantity of the enemy. What is the size, mindset, condition and skill level of the long gun holder? Are comrades nearby? In a worst case scenario you must decide to take action.
PP2) Range. The enemy will threaten you in three distinct ranges.
Range 1) Touch
This is when the end of the barrel makes contact with your body. All sorts of trained and untrained carriers have consistently done this barrel touch. The carrier may be in a hurry and shoves you periodically. He may be enraged and views the barrel contact as intimidating. The carrier may become over confident. As strategically unsound as it seems, it is done with regularity.
Range 2) Lunge and reach This is when the carrier holds the weapon near enough to you so that you might have a chance to suddenly reach out and grab it.
Range 3) Distance
This is when the long gun is trained on you from a distance ranging from just outside your lunge and reach range to literally sniper status.
All you have left is your psychological skills to save yourself.
PP3) Positioning. The enemy will present his long gun in four basic positions with three variations in each of the four:
Position 1) In front
Position 2 and 3) The sides of you (right or left) Position 4) Behind you
Variation A) Above you in some manner Variation B) Your height
Variation C) Below you in some manner PP4) Carry System. How is the enemy carrying his or her weapon? Is it merely held in their hands or worse secured by a sling? There are three basic ways your opponent will be holding the weapon. 1. Presented with hands 2. Presented with sling 3. Presented with secured harness Hand Carry
Criminals frequently use ‘civilian’ guns like hunting rifles and often they are stolen. Civilian criminals will often carry their weapons, making quick disarms more possible.
Military personnel have slings. The primary purpose of slings is to cart the weapon in both ‘stand-down’ and offensive manners. Later, it was discovered that slings could be used to support marksmanship efforts. The sling is grabbed at the barrel connection for quiet and safe carry during low crawl.
The slings allow for: across chest carrying under armpit carrying over shoulder carrying across armpit and shoulder carrying
I have been conducting an intensive study of military history, studying photographs of highly trained and sophisticated international troops, as well as untrained rebels. In taking note of some thousands of photos of armed military personnel, about half engage in the use of their slings, and half ignore the sling and it dangles below the weapon. To focus more on the subject, many of these photos involved prisoner acquisitions and escorts. A slung weapon wrapped around a body part of the enemy poses an obstacle to the disarming of the weapon.
In the last decade, vests and support gear such as lanyards have become very popular. These pose another problem to the disarming of the weapon.
These two obstacles, the sling and the vest clip are the most overlooked realities in martial arts, military and law enforcement training.
These incomplete systems may sport a few rifle disarming tricks but only in the area of a ‘slick’ gun with no carrying systems.
It is Time To Strike
Many victims have escaped while being escorted to questioning, eating, rest-rooms or sleeping quarters. Many have surprised a tired or untrained guard, have waited until a guard was left alone, or have known they were about to be executed and have decided to die fighting, and have won and lived!
So where the enemy stands, how he looks, what side of the body the gun is held and identifying their carrying method are the main observations you must make prior to taking physical solutions in this worst case scenario.
The threat (photo 1) Basic Physical Survival Solutions No matter what position the gun threat is and whether the barrel is touching you or within quick lunge and reach, your basic survival equation is…
Step 1) Clear the barrel (photo 2) Step 2) Control the weapon and strike the neck and/or head to diminish consciousness (photo 3) Steps 3 & 4) Hammer the arm and/or arms holding the weapon, (photo 4 & 5) Step 5) Take away the weapon, (photo 6) Step 6) Continue battering the opponent (photo 7) Variations on a Theme
Variation 1) Battle versus the unslung weapon This disarm is best achieved by bashing the arms holding the weapon and ripping the gun free.
Variation 2) Battle versus the slung and/or clipped weapon This requires a grab of the weapon and a pull severe enough to bring the stunned enemy to the ground. Strike again and again as needed. To attain a disarm you must then unloop the sling or disconnect the clipping that attaches the weapon to the man.
To unloop the sling you must have significantly diminished the enemy, enough to manoeuvre his body to unloop the weapon. Disconnecting a clipped on weapon also requires severe diminishment. Then you must be able to access the system and disconnect it by unclipping or cutting away the gear. You’ll need your or his edged weapon.
A tip worth mentioning is that if you pull on the weapon, you will help him engage & the trigger action. Many experts suggest pushing in on the weapon to stall such action. I have investigated several killings and shootings involving combatants wrestling over long guns, who were shot when they tried to pull the gun straight from the bearer.
Some poorly trained instructors over-emphasise a study of wrenching the rifle into joint lock positions, without so much as a first-strike upon the enemy. A human being will naturally seize down hard on his precious weapon, especially with his elbow and forearm. Unless you smash him, rolling his weapon around to facilitate arm and wrist locks is hardly likely. I have seen some instructors teach students to clear the barrel with their palm up. The palm up push merely allows the enemy to lift the barrel and point it right back at you. A palm-down push prevents this from happening. Other instructors would like to pass on to you a series of complicated ‘boy scout’ or maritime knots with the sling to tie up the opponent. Please evaluate the probabilities seriously.
After the Removal Action With a two handed grip, smash the enemy with the weapon if you need to. Once you attain the weapon, do not trust it to work. It may be unloaded, it may be a replica, it may be knocked out of battery in the struggle and with the great variety of long guns, you may not be qualified to get it back into operation. Plus the gunfire may draw attention to your success and bring his comrades. You may have to contain him with makeshift ligatures or even kill him if the situation justifies. Once secure, and if time permits, search him and confiscate all his weaponry and support equipment.
I could have shot and killed ol’ Harvey that day with my revolver, no one would have argued the point, certainly not the frightened on-looking neighbours who summoned us. Hell, he could have killed me! It’s a call we have to make in the police business. Harvey, minus the girl and the
Camera, lived to a ripe old age and died naturally in his sleep, as I hope you will too after learning these tactics and strategies in case you need them. Oh…and good night Sgt McKaskill…wherever you are.
According to research by police authorities, the use of rifles to assault and kill citizens and police officers is rising. Determined and calculating criminals have taken up the long gun. Many officers killed with rifles are shot when approaching an incident and while having close interaction with armed suspects. The largest proportion of officers killed with rifles were shot while serving warrants or executing traffic stops, many of which were shot before they exited their patrol cars. Most shot with rifles were hit from the front with almost half of them shot in the head.
Of course, the business of military action surrounds the long gun. Citizens in many countries of the world live in fear of rifle-bearing dictatorial, fascist and communist regimes and dread invading armies with an eye for ethnic cleansing, rape, robbery, maiming and murder.