SHOOTING FROM A BARRICADE
BY DAVID NASH
Firing from a barricaded position is an essential
part of combat marksmanship. It is a relatively straightforward skill,
and easily acquired. As all shooting techniques, however, mastery
only comes from extensive practice. Contrary to what is seen on movies,
most shooting incidents do not happen at high noon on main street.
Common sense dictates that when being shot at the reasonable person
will try to find cover from incoming rounds. If withdrawal from the
scene is not practical and returning fire is justified, then knowledge
of barricade position firing is essential.
The most important part of the barricaded
position is being behind the barricade. While this seems a simpleminded
thing to say, it is amazing how many times while coaching this technique
one sees shooters positioned beside the cover they should be behind.
As this is a combat skill it is important
to become a small a target as possible. A good strategy is to adopt
a kneeling position behind the item of cover. The kneeling is a good
position because it allows quick adoption from standing and it is
also quick to get up from. As a general rule the closer your center
of balance is to the ground the more inherently accurate a position
is. Therefore, the kneeling position is a two-fold better position
for return fire than standing, not only for making yourself a smaller
target, but also for making your shots more likely to hit your aggressor.
The adaptations from a normal two handed shooting
position are simple. The shooter does not use the off hand to give
support to the weapon by muscle tension as he would in a traditional
manner. Instead the off hand is pressed against the covering object.
A much used method to accomplish this is to make a fist with the thumb
extended, in a "thumbs up" sign. Press the pad of the thumb
and the last knuckle of the support hand into the barricade. Cradle
the firing hand and weapon in the support hand. Make sure that no
part of the firearm is touching anything other than your flesh. Contact
by the weapon with solid objects causes the weapon to bounce and the
round to go off target. The only portions of your body that should
be exposed beyond the barricade are your firing hand, and only the
amount of your face that is needed to obtain a clear view of the sights,
target, and situation. Your arm should be raised enough so that the
weapon is brought up to your face, not your face lowered to your sights.
It takes practice to enable you to be able to quickly judge the distance
needed between your body and cover to allow you to quickly assume
This article is based on the strategies for
using a pistol behind a barricade, but long guns can also use this
tactic with superficial modifications. Instead of using the knuckles
of the support hand against the wall the hand should be extended as
if making a "stop" sign. Extend the thumb away from the
hand. Press your hand against the cover with your index finger flush
against the barricade edge. Your thumb should extend past cover like
a shelf. Rest the forearm of the firearm on this shelf. All other
aspects are similar.
It cannot be stressed how important this technique
is in a lethal force situation. It is equally important that this
technique is practiced so as to allow a seamless transition into this
About the Author:
David Nash is a State of Tennessee Certified Security Gaurd Trainer
firearms instructor. He works as the chief of training for Shepherd
Inc. More articles written by Mr. Nash can be found in the Archives
section of his site at http://tngun.com/archives.php