The Mozambique Drill,[1] also known as the Failure Drill, Failure to Stop drill, or informally as "two to the body, one to the head",[2][3] is a close-quarters shooting technique that requires the shooter to fire twice into the torso of a target (known as a double tap or hammered pair to the center of mass), and follow up with a more difficult shot to the head that, if properly placed, should kill or otherwise stop the target if the previous shots failed to do so.[4][5][6]

History edit

According to anecdotal history, the technique originated with Mike Rousseau, a Rhodesian mercenary taking part in the Mozambican War of Independence (1964–1974).[7] While engaged in combat at the Lourenço Marques Airport in what is now Maputo, Mozambique, Rousseau rounded a corner and encountered a FRELIMO fighter armed with an AK-47 at ten paces (7.5 m (25 ft)) from his position. Rousseau fired two rounds from his Browning Hi-Power pistol[8] into the fighter's upper chest, usually enough to incapacitate or kill outright; however, seeing that the fighter was still advancing, Rousseau attempted a head shot that hit the fighter through the base of his neck, severing the spinal cord and killing him. 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.[1][5][9][10]

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 racist overtones).[5]

Most special operations forces (SOF) were trained in the technique during the 1980s. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the changing nature of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency threats, and the chance of encountering suicide bomb vests, led to it being largely replaced by other techniques, within SOF units.[11]

Theory and technique edit

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.[5][10]

In popular culture edit

The alley shooting scene in the 2004 movie, Collateral, starring Tom Cruise, is considered iconic in the gun community, as an accurate, elite level execution of the Mozambique Drill. Cruise trained for months to perfect the shooting skills demonstrated in the film.[12][13][14][15]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Oldale, John (2012). A World of Curiosities: Surprising, Interesting, and Downright Unbelievable Facts from Every Nation on the Planet. Penguin. ISBN 9781101580400.See section on Mozambique.
  2. ^ Wilson, Jim (18 May 2017). "The Mozambique Drill: A History and How To". Shooting Illustrated. National Rifle Association. Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  3. ^ Nash, David (2011). Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense: What You Need to Know. Looseleaf Law. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-1608850259.
  4. ^ Burleson, Tony Lee (2012). The Survival Code and Situational Awareness: Teaching the Instructed. Trafford. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-1466929104.
  5. ^ a b c d Wilson, Jim (10 November 2011). "Failure Drill". Shooting Illustrated. National Rifle Association. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Lesson Plan: Immediate Target Engagement (CMC-22 Combat Marksmanship Coaches Course 08/12/2008)". United States Marine Corps. 21 February 2008. p. 12. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  7. ^ Sadowski, Robert (20 March 2022). "History of the Failure Drill: Mozambique Revolt Roots". The Armory Life. Archived from the original on 19 May 2022. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  8. ^ Thompson, Leroy (2020). The Browning High-Power Pistol, p. 55. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781472838100, 1472838106. Google Books. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  9. ^ Boatman, Robert (26 February 2004). "Jeff Cooper's Mozambique Drill". Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  10. ^ a b Mann, Richard A. (29 March 2017). "Shooting Skills: The Mozambique-Failure Drill". Gun Digest. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  11. ^ Neville, Leigh (2016). "Chapter 1: Combat Pistols: Tactics and Techniques". Guns of the Special Forces, 2001–2015. Pen & Sword Books. ISBN 9781473881013, 1473881013. Google Books. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  12. ^ Beschizza, Rob (1 November 2016). "Gun fight from Collateral explained shot for shot". boing boing. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  13. ^ Vickers, Larry (20 March 2015). "SHOT FOR SHOT: "Collateral" Alleyway Gunfight Breakdown". Vickers Tactical. Retrieved 6 August 2023. Overall, excellent scene. Tom Cruise put a lot of time in to master it. In my opinion, probably the best handgun gunplay scene in movie history.
  14. ^ "Collateral Tom Cruise training". nkingman. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  15. ^ Nealen, Pete (19 August 2021). "Throwback Thursday — The Mozambique Drill". GunMag Warehouse. Retrieved 6 August 2023. Collateral alley shooting: a great Mozambique drill. Tom Cruise (Vincent) draws and puts two bad guys down in 1.38 seconds from concealment with a USP 45.