Real Analysis of Close-Quarters Gunfighting: 3 Tips To Stay Alive In A Criminal Ambush!

Real Gunfight Analysis: CQC Gunfight Criminal Ambush Survival Tips for Concealed Carry
Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

It's a harsh but very real fact of actual gunfights:

If you stand still while someone is shooting at you, you will get killed.

Some instructors call it “getting off the X.”

It is the practice of getting out of the way so you don’t get run over.

Are you actually training to hit somebody while on the move?

I talked to expert CQC instructor Chris Fry about this issue, and here is a summary of what he told me.

Close-Quarters Gunfighting: 3 Tips To Stay Alive In A Criminal Ambush!

Real Gunfight Analysis: CQC Gunfight Criminal Ambush Survival Tips for Concealed Carry
Real Gunfight Analysis: CQC Gunfight Criminal Ambush Survival Tips for Concealed Carry
Chris Fry

When they picture real-life gunfights, a lot of shooters think they are going to be able to move as fast as they’re humanly capable of moving…

…and shoot accurately at a moving, hostile target the same time.

Everybody in the movies always hits what they shoot at, right?


In a real gunfight, the skills you learned shooting at static paper targets will NOT be enough.

So why is there so much of that type of shooting training out there?

It's because we put too much stock in immediate feedback in the United States.

We like the idea that we can shoot at a paper target and see a bullet hole appear.

But that's not realistic training for accurate shooting under threat!

Here are some things to consider:

1. The Drawstroke Is Critical

You probably think of actually shooting when you think about shooting in close quarters gun battles.

Would it surprise you to learn that just pulling your gun out of its holster is just as important as shooting it?

Getting your gun out of a concealed holster and into action is a critical skill.

You've got to be able to do it consistently…

…and you've got to train to do that while you're in motion.

If you don't, you'll fumble the gun.

You'll fail to get a good grip on it, fouling your shots, or you won't able to acquire your sights, causing your return fire to go wide.

If you can't draw, then shoot, and move while you're doing these things, you will not survive a CQC gunfight.

Remember: Movement is survivability.

2. Lateral Movement Is Critical

You can't afford to fight on railroad tracks, dumbly moving forward or back.

You've got to be able to move off the attacking line.

This means you've got to move laterally, or side to side.

It has been shown repeatedly that offset or lateral movement, just a little bit to the left or to the right while drawing, can cause an adversary to pause while trying to track you.

If you just back up, from his perspective, you're still right where you were — just a little farther away.

If you move to the side, though, he's got to reacquire you.

That split-second in which they try to relocate you buys you just enough time to clear your cover garment and get your own gun on target.

That fraction of a second could save your life.

3. Aimed Fire Or Point Shooting Depends On The Scenario

It takes time to use the sights and deliver aimed fire.

If you don't have that time, you'll have to point shoot.

Can you point shoot when it matters?

Can you also aim and fire at great distance to hit a target accurately… such as the face of a man holding a gun to your child's head?

If you're three feet from your target, do you really need to aim with your sights?

Maybe you do, and maybe you don't; it depends on how much time you have to react.

If you're fifty feet away and trying to pick out a target among non-combatants, however, that's a DIFFERENT story.

It all depends on distance and just what the adversary is doing.

Take all these factors into consideration… and train accordingly.

If you can't both point-shoot and take accurate aimed shots, your training is very much lacking.

Do You Train To Point Shoot, To Fire With The Sights, Or Both?

Please Share Your Training Tips Now…

Shooting Under Stress: 3 Ways To Prepare For A Close-Quarters Ambush

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

How do you practice your handgun, rifle, or shotgun?

Do you do it at the shooting range?

Most people do.

It’s a relaxing, recreational atmosphere where people punch holes in paper, trying to get the holes close together while hitting bulls-eyes..

That’s great for trigger time and marksmanship… but it leaves out a LOT of what you need to know to fire a gun when someone is trying to KILL you.

I talked with Garrett Machine about this recently, and here's what he had to tell me about improving your gun handling under stress.

Three Tips To Prepare For A Close-Quarters Ambush

3 Tips For Shooting Your Way Out Of An Ambush
If You Don't Do These 3 Things, You Could DIE In A Real Gunfight
Garrett Machine

Do you “enjoy” shooting?

You might like target shooting… but what about learning to fire a gun under threat?

Shooting becomes a whole different ballgame when a trainer says to you, “Okay, sprint 50 meters as fast as you can, do 10 burpees, then draw your gun from cover, hit this target as fast as you can, change magazines, hit a second target as fast as you can, and when it pops back up, shoot it again.”

When under stress, your shooting skills go to HELL.

Scenario-based firearms training addresses things like physical exertion (the closest way to simulate stress) and rapid fire to center of mass.

Adding in these layers of complexity catapults the shooter much closer to the conditions he or she will face in reality.

It also reveals, very quickly, the need to have hand-to-hand training to back you up when you are clearing your home with a weapon.

Here are three things to keep in mind when shooting under the stress of a real attack, when somebody ambushes you at close quarters.

1. Weapons And Empty Hands Are Both Necessary

Shooting or hand-to-hand skills alone are not enough; you must have both.

Too many shooters just buy a gun and think they've got self-defense covered.

Some of these shooters even train in lots of different armed self-defense methods, including force on force scenarios, so they think they're well prepared.

If you're not actually training to fight WITHOUT a weapon, though, you're leaving dangerous gaps in your training.

How can you possibly shoot under the stress of a real altercation if you have to first fight off an ambush attack to draw your gun in the first place?

Integrating empty hand fighting with armed self-defense is therefore absolutely critical.

2. You Had Better Work On Your Physical Fitness

You also need to work on your physical fitness.

You can't afford to be out of shape and still consider yourself prepared for a real-life altercation.

How can you shoot and run and fight off an attacker if you don’t have cardiovascular conditioning and muscular strength?

The hand-to-hand training is arguably the more important of the two simply because you cannot be focused on the weapon.

The pistol, the rifle, the shotgun… these are just tools.

The real weapon is YOU, and you must excel at using whatever is at hand.

That means you can't afford to “gas out” and be completely out of breath when your family needs you, or when somebody is on top of you beating your brains out.

3. Drill Constantly

Training is perishable.

That means that the longer you don't practice, the more “rusty” you become.

You should always be training and drilling to keep your level of skill up.

Here’s a simple exercise you can do.

  1. Stand somebody in front of a door.
  2. Give them an airsoft gun or some other firearm simulator.
  3. Put the gun in a holster and just stand in front of that door.
  4. Then tell them you want them simply to react when the door opens.
  5. Maybe the first time the door opens, somebody is standing there with a rubber knife, and the second the door opens, they try to stab the defender.

Now in that scenario, if you try to go for your gun, you WILL be “killed” before your gun can clear its holster.

On the other hand, if you block and strike, take them down with hand-to-hand skills, THEN draw your weapon, you have a much better chance of controlling the situation.

See what I mean?

It's all about challenging yourself and constantly improving your skills, under realistic stress.

That way, when it happens for real, you'll be prepared to face it.

Do You Train To Fight To Your Gun? Could You Fight Off An Ambush To Do It?

Please Share Your Thoughts And Experiences Below…