Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Team Tactics Geometry

Working with an armed partner provides us with an exponential tactical advantage, but at the same time requires special techniques to insure we’re fully maximizing the benefits of a partner while at the same time not creating a dangerous situation by getting crossed-up with our teammate.

As with many techniques for fighting with firearms – using cover, angles of attack, clearing and searching buildings – a big factor to success is geometry. We need to have the widest field of fire possible, covering as much of the threat environment as possible, but insuring that we don’t run the risk of firing in the direction of our partner. As we discuss these tactics remember there are always exceptions; the perfect solution to your problem may require bending or breaking the rules. Just remember these situations are exceptions, and shouldn’t be considered common practices.

When teaching team tactics I enforce the 90-degree rule. At no time should your muzzle break the 90-degree angle between you and your partner. This decreases the chance of muzzling our partner. Since fights are very dynamic with everyone moving you and your partner must constantly be in motion, maintaining the 90-degree safe area between the two of you.

We’re also moving in order to maintain a position where both muzzles are in alignment when pointing at the threat. This alignment allows you to cover a wider area of fire and assist your partner with threats located in other directions with a minimal amount of movement. For example if we are together in alignment and my partner has a threat at his 10 o’clock by taking one step I’m can engage the threat too. This alignment also decreases the possibility of stepping or stumbling into your partner’s muzzle, or vice-versa, creating a very dangerous situation. There are teams that work other tactics, but they also practice and employ them constantly. We’re talking about a team of consisting of husband and wife, patrol officers, or other two-person team.

There may be times when you may have to split apart from your partner, moving to another location, but the closer you are to your partner the wider area of fire you have and the less chance there is of the threat getting between the two of you. Working with a partner allows you to split areas of concern, covering a 360 degree radius, without physically separating.

In a two man team normally one shooter will start engaging before the other, making one shooter the “primary” and the other the “secondary.” The primary shooter will likely be firing to the center mass of the upper body, so shooter two, if they have a shot, should engage an alternative zone such as the pelvis. Hitting them in two areas at once should result in a quicker stop time.

And while it doesn’t have anything to do with geometry, as always communication is a necessity. Having a partner may not do much good if you’re not coordinating tactics, and if you’re not familiar with working together it can actually put you at a disadvantage.

An armed partner can provide you with serious advantages, but it also takes more training, practice and mental focus to make it work. Work is required, but the results are amazing and life saving.


November 23, 2010 - Posted by | General Training

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