The Mozambique Drill, also known as the Failure Drill, Failure to Stop drill, or informally, "two to the chest, one to the head," is a close-quarters shooting technique that requires the shooter to fire twice into the torso of a target (known as a double tap to center of mass), and follow up with a more difficult head shot that, if properly placed, will instantly stop the target.
According to anecdotal history, the technique originated with a Rhodesian mercenary, Mike Rousseau, engaged in the Mozambican War of Independence (1964-1974). Fighting at the airport at Lourenço Marques (modern-day Maputo), Rousseau rounded a corner and encountered a FRELIMO guerrilla, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, at 10 paces. Rousseau immediately brought up his Browning HP35 pistol and performed a double tap maneuver, a controlled shooting technique in which the shooter makes two quick shots, to the target's torso. Rousseau hit the target on either side of the sternum, usually enough to incapacitate or kill outright. Seeing that the guerrilla was still advancing, Rousseau attempted a head shot that hit the guerrilla through the base of his neck, severing the spinal cord. Rousseau related the story to an acquaintance, small arms expert Jeff Cooper, founder of the Gunsite Academy shooting school, who incorporated the "Mozambique Drill" into his modern technique shooting method.
The Mozambique Drill was incorporated in the Gunsite curriculum from the late 1970s. In 1980, two Los Angeles Police Department SWAT officers, Larry Mudgett and John Helms, attended pistol training at Gunsite and received permission from Cooper to teach the technique to the LAPD, and to rename it the Failure Drill (concerned that "Mozambique" might have racial overtones).
Theory and techniqueEdit
The Mozambique Drill is intended to ensure that the target is immediately stopped, by first placing two shots into the larger, easier-to-hit mass of the upper body, then, if the target is still active, following with a third, more precisely aimed and difficult head shot. Due to factors such as body armor, the bolstering effect of drugs, or failure to hit vital organs, the body shots may not be immediately effective, necessitating the third shot. To guarantee instant incapacitation by impacting the brain and central nervous system, the head shot must be delivered to the area between eyebrows and upper lip, otherwise, various bony areas of the skull could deflect the bullet.
In popular cultureEdit
In the 1984 episode Hit List (a.k.a Calderone's Return Pt I) of the television series Miami Vice, actor and firearms expert Jim Zubiena plays a hitman and delivers a Mozambique Tap to a handyman of one of his victims. Jim Zubiena later performed the technique again in a 1998 episode of Nash Bridges.
In the movie Heat (1995), the Mozambique Drill or Mozambique Tap is also used by Tom Sizemore's character (Micheal) to finish off one of the guards that were inside the armored car robbed by his crew during the first robbery shown in the movie. It is also used later in the movie by Robert De Niro's character (Neil) to take out Waingro
In the fourth episode of Season 2 (2007) of the television show Dexter, while investigating a crime scene, Sgt. James Doakes sees the style in which a victim was murdered and comments that "she was Mozambiqued."
In the second episode of the first season of the series Southland, named Mozambique, the technique is mentioned and explained.
John Wick (2014) employs this technique in the Red Circle night club.
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