Shots Fired…now what?

So much of what I see on the firing line is built to fail and by failure I mean not being applied. If there is no systematic approach to gun-fighting, there will be gaps left in your tactics and strategy.

Needs vs. wants

One of the biggest ones I see has to do with what needs to happen post shooting versus what you want to happen. Everything in life is a balance, including your needs and wants. In this case, you may want to perform an action such as ammunition management, but you need to check to ensure the timing/action is appropriate. It is difficult to understand on a flat range when, when the limit of your vision ends on a firing line. This is where checklists and procedures will benefit folks the most, if you don’t perform tasks frequently enough you need a system to help you stay on task.

Knowns and unknowns

It doesn’t matter why you had to employ your blaster, suffice it to say you were justified. What matters is what you do in the immediate seconds and moments after. The most important thing is going to be managing your battle-space and that means dealing with both knowns and unknowns. Once you have justifiably engaged a threat you need to evaluate your effects to determine if the results meet to your satisfaction. Your level of satisfaction will largely be dependent on where you are and what you are doing. If the threat continues to endanger you through actions or opportunity then re-engaging is your immediate response. If they have been neutralized you need to immediately be thinking next threat and this ends your target scan.

Think big, round world

Your next priority is looking for the next threat and that requires you to search your immediate area for additional threats. You need to think out of the box, look high and low. Through and around obstructions to your view to ensure you are clear. Anytime you shift your position you expose yourself to new dangers so this needs to be considered. Once this immediate threat has been completed it is now time to think big. You need to start looking for your next cover, last cover, new routes or escapes you may need to use if things continue to deteriorate. Then consider improving your position if you have nothing else available, but don’t exclude just hauling ass and putting a terrain feature between you and the attack site.

The law

At some point ammunition management will come into the picture. If you expended ordinance topping off in anticipation of future engagements is the smart play. I’m mainly addressing the needs of every day carriers so a big question is whether you even have spare ammunition. You may not because you decided to lightened your load-out to match the situation and environment. You may not have spare ammunition every single moment of the day so I would rather encourage you to have alternatives you consider now, versus then. This is the law; keep it simple, finish the fight first. Look for more fighting immediately, then improve your fighting position as you prepare to fight.

Use this checklist or come up with your own, the point is to think it through and have a plan for the aftermath of gun-fight. It is far easier to adapt to an existing plan to create on on the fly.

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