If you’ve been around defensive pistol shooting for a while, you’ve likely heard of the Mozambique Drill (AKA, failure to stop drill). I came about after Rhodesian mercenary Mike Rousseau told the story of an encounter he had in combat at an airport.

Rousseau—armed onyl with a pistol—turned a corner and encountered an enemy soldier carrying an AK-47. Rousseau fired two quick shots that struck the enemy soldier in the chest, but failed to stop him. Rousseau then aimed for the head, and fired the shot that finally put the enemy solder down. Rousseau relayed this story to Jeff Cooper, who then began employing this failure to stop drill in his teaching at Gunsite.

The failure to stop drill is a great drill… but it is only a drill, and one of many. It is not the only way to do things, and was never intended to be taken as the “one true way.”

Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics takes a look at the Mozambique Drill and puts his own spin on it, suggesting for argument’s sake to try firing all three shots to the head instead of two to the chest and one to the head. Frankly, I don’t know of many shooters who maintain the level of skill to pull this off consistently at 3-5 yards.

While I’m no gunfighter and there isn’t any (sane) person who wants to learn gunfighting from me, I’d offer another alternative that might be more slightly attainable to more people, and which is suggested by our own Stephen Wenger based off of his decades in studying armed self-defense.

People have an annoying habit of wanting to move  around when you are shooting at them. How rude!

I’d argue that if the two shots at (and hopefully in) the chest of an aggressor fails to convince him to break off his attack, then you’d be better to drop your aim to fire the third shot (and perhaps fourth and fifth shots)  at the pelvis next. The pelvis does not move as erratically as the head or shoulders, and should be an easier target than a bobbing and weaving head.

Of course, we have to be careful of adhering to dogma, no matter where it comes from.  It is vital to mix up your training, firing different numbers of shots into your targets, at different locations, because you never know if your first shot or your fifteenth is going to be the one that stops the threat.

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