Primary Arms

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Cover, Concealment and Vehicles

It is important to have common definitions of common terms or further debate is senseless. Below are the definitions for cover and concealment taken from FM 21-75 COMBAT SKILLS OF THE SOLDIER:

COVER- Cover gives protection from bullets, fragments of exploding rounds, flame, nuclear effects, and biological and chemical agents.
CONCEALMENT-Concealment is anything that hides you from enemy observation. Concealment does not protect you from enemy fire”

Below are generally accepted definitions-

Obstacle- any item or thing that blocks one’s way or prevents or hinders progress
Terrain- the physical features of a tract of land
Vehicle- A device or structure for transporting persons or things; a conveyance
***From a tactical perspective this is only true when it is moving. If static, a vehicle is an Obstacle and can be either Cover or Concealment. ***

From RTC 350-1XX (Ranger Regimental Training Circular) at the unclassified level.
Close Quarters Battle (CQB)- As per 75th Ranger Regiment “Close Quarter Battle is a planned or well-rehearsed surgical small unit tactic, technique and procedure which encompasses the 4 principles of surprise, speed, violence of action and a fail-safe breech on a built up or enclosed structure.” This is separate and different from a vehicle ambush where the vehicle once stopped is dealt with tactically no differently than other terrain.

The concept of a vehicle as some special item is often misplaced. From a tactical perspective it is only a vehicle when it is moving. When static it is part of the terrain and may offer cover, concealment or just function as an obstacle. Overwhelmingly in engagements around vehicles the best option is to move from it. A non-armored vehicle affords different and inconsistent levels of ballistic protection based on the angles of engagement and the weapons system being employed against them. Since a vehicle sits off the ground, aside from upward or downward sloping terrain, high curbs or other manmade features on the threat side, they do not protect the feet and lower legs. Injuries to the lower extremities will cause what the military calls a “mobility kill”. Once mobility is lost the likelihood of success is slim without outside intervention. The experienced combatant i.e. military member, LEO or trained citizen for that matter must understand that a vehicle, except in the narrowest of circumstances does not afford cover as defined. There is no such thing as “pretty good cover” or “partial cover” there is “cover” or what I will call enhanced concealment which means you can hide behind it but it may or may not stop incoming fire reliably. If it cannot definitively stop bullets, then by definition it is not cover… that’s just a fact. With that established, anything between you and the threat is better than nothing, so I am not saying a vehicle can’t protect you in some ways. What I am saying is that a vehicle should not be viewed overwhelmingly as cover nor as some special item in the scope of tactical considerations. Another topic I hear talk about is the idea that glass can be cover in some instances. If we teach people to shoot out through glass at threats, then I think that neuters the argument right there. The concept of pillars being points of cover is patently false as well since one cannot claim that pillars though they may afford a level of enhanced ballistic protection will keep you from being shot. They are too narrow and are surrounded by either glass or open air if the windows are down or have been shot out. If you can’t hide your entire body behind it, then it’s not cover. Outside of luck and bad threat marksmanship, hiding behind a 3”-9” wide pillar for any length of time will likely leave you injured or dead in a combative engagement. For those that shoot pillars and say “see, it stopped x or y round” here is my 2 cents; bullets generally don’t come at you in ones and twos but by the magazine. There is not enough area covered by a pillar to make it worth loitering behind as though it is genuinely safer.

From the tactical perspective there are 6 principles I adhere to in open air engagements around vehicles. These should be common sense:

  • A vehicle is terrain unless it is moving, then it’s a vehicle again.
  • Fighting around vehicles is outdoor fighting and uses standard basic infantry tactical principles. THIS IS TRUE NO MATTER WHO SIGNS YOUR PAYCHECK, WHAT UNIFORM YOU WEAR OR WHERE YOU ARE i.e. RAMMADI IRAQ OR RICHMOND VIRGINIA. This is too often conflated with Close Quarters Battle (CQB) which is a more refined form of fighting “on a built up or enclosed structure”. It requires much more training, specialized equipment and detailed rehearsals when possible.
  • Anything is better than nothing but very little on a soft vehicle is cover.
  • Use every bit of ballistic protection that the vehicle may offer but don’t assume it is cover.
  • Keep the biggest chunk of metal you can between you and the threat as long as you can and be looking for the next best piece of terrain. As the threat moves you move keeping the vehicle as close to directly between you as makes tactical sense.
  • Move as soon as you can, move before you get pinned in a spot from which you can’t move.
  • That’s why the second of the first three steps of the SOF targeting methodology F3EAD is (Find) Fix and is followed by Finish. If you fix someone in place, then the finishing part is only a matter of time. If you were attacked in a certain spot more than likely it’s for the distinct advantage of the attacker. By moving and changing the angles you are disrupting the plan and can regain the initiative. If it is chance contact and you are losing the initiative, again the best course of action is to change the angles on the threat to regain it.
  • Don’t fight from the ground unless it is the last option you have. It is too easy to lose track of an adversary and across the hood or around a car it’s really just “who gets seen first gets shot first”. If an adversary rushes the vehicle you will not be able to counter his actions in a timely manner while trying to get up. Know how to do it but understand that fighting from the ground is a last resort.
  • A vehicle that is not in motion is terrain and should be treated as an obstacle with enhanced concealment that provides an unpredictable level of ballistic protection. The best course of action is to immediately return the best suppressive fire you can to blunt the attack and then move as soon as is tactically prudent to regroup and counter-attack or withdraw. Changing the angles changes their plan and changes the fight.

    – Mike Pannone


    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

    CTT Solutions

    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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    133 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

    1. Noner Boner says:

      Spot on. No gimmicks, no made up bullshit, just the truth. I can’t believe this had to be written in the first place, but the amount of dangerous crap being taught is at the point where it’s going to get someone killed.

    2. Derek says:

      Well written, well cited.

      However I’m sure we can expect the training group that has hitched their wagon to the “wonder (reserve) cop” will probably tell Nonner how he’s doing it wrong and how they teach SOF & SWAT.

      • Tactical Reality says:

        I agree 100%. No one should ever listen to a (reserve cop). It is apparent they could not possibly no anything and will always no less than someone who gets paid for their services rather than someone who volunteers to do it. Plus, it is impossible for someone to have served actively and then moved on to other things where they now hold a reserve commission.

        God knows NO OTHER “respected” instructor currently holds a reserve commission because by default how could you possibly take them seriously?

        Likewise, anyone who has done anything overseas OBVIOUSLY knows more about law enforcement than someone who has done law enforcement.

        It doesn’t matter if you are sucking the Noner Boner or the Petty Peter; it does not matter the flavor of kool-aide… it is still a dick in your mouth washed down with cool aids bro.

        Try to make an actual argument from a place of intelligence and leave out the bashing of men and women who volunteer their time, often after years of paid service, to their community.

        • Tactical Reality says:

          no, because knowing is half the battle and Syri does not know it.

        • Reality's a bitch says:

          Reserve cop or not, he’s dangerous, to himself and others.

          • Tactical Reality says:

            Which class dates of his did you attend?

            • Reality's a Bitch says:

              I don’t need to hit myself with a hammer to know its going to hurt.

              Only an idiot would watch any of his self-promoting videos and think that giving that cat any money would be a good idea. He’s the tactical equivalent of the traveling medicine show.

              • Tactical reality says:

                Riiigghhttt. But until you learn how to use a hammer in a carpentry context, some of it will not make sense. You draw your conclusions without the most important element… Context. I can see why you are confused as you are viewing from a position of true ignorance having no point of reference that is a factual about what is presented instead choosing to pronounce your “obvious” conclusions from the outside looking in.

                • Realty's a bitch says:

                  I’ve seen this trainwreck before. You say context but the reality is bullets don’t have a context. Someone shoots at you and you do dumb shit, you get shot. Bullets don’t care that Will Petty says that pillars work like Wonder Woman’s bracelets.

                  There’s a point of reference and it’s the same position as always, vehicles aren’t cover. Even armored vehicles aren’t cover because if something was big enough to stop it, that means the vehicle isn’t safe against that weapon and they’ll keep using it.

              • Tactical reality says:

                I agree. Heaven forbid a man n business release a self promoting video. Why a horrible thing to do. Lord knows no one ever rights self promoting articles or anything like that.

        • Derek says:

          Actually the reserve cop crack wasn’t anything other than a smart ass comment. Because reserve cop, or full time L/E the only difference is time on the job/in the streets. Both are noble positions of service. But teaching “Vehicle CQB” with cursory experience would be about as prudent as a jailhouse lawyer representing himself because he’s watched enough Matlock reruns.

          Watching old Magpul DVD’s, mixed with Dukes of Hazzard stunts, and imagination is not a safe foundation for teaching people the fundamentals of not getting shot.

          But what Panonne and others have laid out previously would be a good start… Because science and facts and shit… Not IG/Facebook followers.

          • Tactical Reality says:

            Fair enough, it is kinda pet peeve of mine when people on the same team start claiming or inferring elitest status because of how much they get paid or other arbitrary situations. I have seen a larger percentage of reserve cops squared away in classes i have been involved in than paid guys. We can get into the psychology of that, but seems to stem from a lot of reserve guys are ther because they want to and have a slightly different mindset than some of the FT guys who see it as a job. Different topic for a different day as I also know a lot of reserve guys who are fucked up like a football bat.

            Something tells me Petty has more than “cursory experience”, however, those extolling his courses has dangerous probably have less than cursory experience about him, his FULL curriculum on the topic, and the context that this is presented in.

            Actually, his VCQB course is kinda “facts and shit” You actually physically see what various elements of fire will do to a vehicle. That modular experience for the student, compared with his much large population of doing it, is a MUCH more valid “test” of vehicle ballistics than what we have seen from isolated and often skewed “tests” sone by government entities.

            Fact is, when you have shot and seen shot probably a couple hundred varied vehicles, you can make certain statements that the guy who was maybe shot at a few times in a few vehicles or shot at others in a few vehicles cannot make.

            It is a data issue not a resume issue.

            • Seeing is believing says:

              I just watched a video here in the comments that show what happens when you try to hide behind that door pillar. I wonder if you, or will petty for that matter, would be willing to try that nonsense if someone was actually shooting at you.

              Come on, take the pillar challenge. If you really believed in the methodology, it shouldn’t be a problem.

              • Tactical reality says:

                Nice. I expected much more from the average SSD viewer than “then let me shoot you with a .22lr then bro.”

                I see we have reached your threshold.

                • Seeing is believing says:

                  .22lr? No wonder you clowns think this cockamamie scheme will work. No, I’m talking an actual threat like 5.56 or 7.62×39.

                  It sounds like a great idea while you’re fleecing hard working cops and civilians but it’s really not a sound plan at all when your own ass is on the line now is it?

                  • Tactical reality says:

                    I see the hyperbole was lost on you. I see why. How long you been a cop?

                    • Seeing is believing says:

                      Long enough to smell bullshit, and boy do you stink.

                      The offer still stands, put up or shut up buttercup. Was a time when guys who sold Kevlar vests would shoot themselves to show people how confident they were in their vests. I see that you like touting the idea for other people but lack confidence to use it yourself.

                      • Tactical Reality says:

                        Where do you see that? Are you really ignorant enough to think your logic is valid? Seriously?

                        Come on man, I am sure you are better than that. If you are a cop, start acting like one and less like a petulant child.

                        My whole point to this is that the articles, the videos, all have one thing in common…. they are taking the information out of the intended context.

                        Using Ranger, Green Beret, etc TTP’s and thinking they transfer over 100% is simply not accurate. Using that logic to justify misrepresenting information either intentionally, which is wrong, or through ignorance because you are not aware of it because of a refusal to witness it is lazy. That is all I am saying.

                        To think you understand what an instructor is all about without even taking a course i like thinking you know what all cops are about because your sister banged one in college.

        • Noner fan says:

          I’m pretty sure Noner is a reserve LEO so we can stop that ridiculous pissing match. One thing I can attest to is that everything Pannone teaches is meticulously vetted, most often through force on force training.

          • Tactical Reality says:

            Great. Now can you equally attest to the fact that everything Petty has stated IS NOT meticulously vetted?

            Probably not… therein lies your fallacy.

            • Just A Guy, eating popcorn while Petty Apologists Crash & Burn says:

              Vetted by whom?

              I happen to know that the TTPs referenced in this post are vetted by the US military, a huge bureaucracy. On one hand you can say that it’s slow and plodding, but in the other, some goofy “the pillars will save you” bullshit isn’t going to make it past the betting process.

              These same TTPs are used daily, all around the world by the military. They save lives and have helped ensure that we have the most lethal armed force ever known to man. That’s not a boast, it’s a fact.

              • Tactical reality says:

                By the military…. You don’t get it do you?

                • The popcorn eating guy says:

                  So you’re saying that the US military has vetted and approved the Will Petty VCQB methodology? Once again, who?

                  • Tactical reality says:

                    No, you don’t get that “vetted by the military” does not necessarily mean anything, especially when we are not talking about a Military application, but don’t let those variables affect your yapping.

                    • Mmm, popcorn! So tasty! says:

                      We’re talking about the use of arms in a gunfight and only the US military has a mission, nay a duty, to get themselves into gunfights. So they are the pros from Dover on this.

                      • Tactical Reality says:

                        So the Army knows the best way for a patrol officer to engage in a gunfight on a traffic stop?

                        The Marines know the best way for patrol guys to clear a mall with an active shooter?

                        The SEALS know the best way for a cop to engage a vehicle driving through a crowd of people at a parade or demonstration?

                        You cannot seriously think that the US militarym even the special operations community, have the final, if even much, authority on what domestic law enforcement in a patrol capacity do?

                        If so, then I sincerely apologize for wasting your time as we are on two totally different stages of this discussion.

                        Have you ever served? If so, outside of the SPECIAL (as in specialized) Operations Community, the firearms or even tactics, of “The US Military” is scary and only eclipsed by the average police officer.

                        It makes as much sense as thinking the guy who pulled you over for no seatbelt is the best guy to set TTP’s for infantry on how to deal with a dismounted patrol.

                      • Paul Harvey says:

                        Tactical reality has implied that he served in the military. Unless he hid out the war in a hospital or comms center at the pentagon he should know the difference between cover and concealment. Okay, maybe he was in the Air Force or Navy, but still, anyone with any sense is going to acknowledge that the military knows how to employ arms. They’ve got large formations of troops that practice for and do just that. Why would you want to learn how to react to ambush from a guy who used to be a glorified meter maid?

                      • Bill says:

                        I can’t tell if you are being satirical or not. If I get a gun run and decide not to respond, I’m out of a job and likely facing at least civil charges of misfeasance and criminal charges of dereliction of duty in office. And the one guy or gal who might back me up may be a hour away, or off-duty asleep at home.

                        I don’t know where I fit into the age range here, but some might benefit from re-examining the information exchange between LE units like LAPD SWAT. LASO SEB, NYPD ESU and Metro Dade SWAT when the military was trying to develop hostage rescue and limited engagement tactics and SOPs. Not preceding every room entry with a frag grenade is a relatively new concept, from a .mil institutional knowledge standpoint.

            • Noner fan says:

              No I cannot, and I never made an argument to the contrary. I simply posted an apologetical response with regards to Pannone’s tactics. The “fallacy” lies with your assumption that any post made in support of one instructor, is in criticism of another. If you had taken the time to follow your own advice “Try to make an actual argument from a place of intelligence and leave out the bashing of men and women who volunteer their time, often after years of paid service, to their community” rather than quickly resorting to straw man arguments, you would have seen this. In fact, my initial comment supported your assertion that an instructor’s competency could not be judged by their status as a reserve LEO.

              It’s my belief that if someone wants to spend their hard earned money to take a class from a specific instructor, then they should go for it. Who is anyone else to say otherwise. Then you can all stand around in a circle while jumping on your loaded guns and shooting out truck tires. It’s up to each individual shooter weigh the merit of what is being taught.

              • Tactical reality says:

                I have said nothing derogatory about Mike at all. You have not taken the class. Your comments demonstrate a lack of understanding about what Petty actually teaches… That is gnorance. Nothing straw man about it. Though I do appreciate your hypocrisy.

                • Noner fan says:

                  Show me where I made any comment about anything Petty teaches. My first post clearly states that the “one thing I can attest to…”. The implication here, is that there is no other thing I can attest to with regards to these two instructors outside of my statement with regards to Pannone.

                  You want to sit atop your high horse while spouting acusations of ignorance and hypocrisy, when your very basis for that accusation stems from an argument that I never engaged in.

                  • Tactical reality says:

                    Sorry, I thought you were smart enough to understand and/or had the integrity to acknowledge the j defended your comments were making. That was my mistake. My apologies.

                    • Tactical Reality says:

                      Sorry, should have said “…the integrity to acknowledge the inference your comments were making.”

      • Max says:

        “Well written, well cited.

        However I’m sure we can expect the training group that has hitched their wagon to the “wonder (reserve) cop” will probably tell Nonner how he’s doing it wrong and how they teach SOF & SWAT.”

        Doing a free class for a buddy at NYPD and a Reserve Special Forces group only makes you Instagram famous. Calling them “Contract Classes” is nothing but show.

    3. Joe says:

      More gunfighter moments like this!

    4. Keld says:

      Preach it!

    5. Steaming Cup Of Reality says:

      Have you seen this?

      • Bill says:

        Whoa, something on YT that’s actually worthwhile.

        • Tactical Reality says:

          LOL. Not really, but totally cool vid. I like paintball in the woods too. This would be huge for cops who do traffic stops, which is the context of the Most Hated Instructor in America (after Yeager, Zero, Suarez, and that VODA guy).

          • Samuel says:

            That’s the best you can come up with? Paintball in the woods?

            Epic fail!

            • Tactical reality says:

              No my best would be how telling it is that someone writes an article(or several) and makes video (or several) that focuses more on bashing another instructor (out of context) than attempting to persuade the reader/viewer of the benefits of their preferred method. I expect it from this Johnny come lately paintball kid, not so much fm the more mature people in this community.

              But hey, let’s definitely spend all this energy eating our own over a specific technique we either don’t fully understand, or even worse, do understand but choose to misrepresent out of context rather than doing positive stuff or focusing on the ND’s, liars, valor thieves, etc.

              It is amazing how intimidated such warriors become when their institutionalized Dogma is challenged, and by their vitrol, apparently very effectively so.

              • SSD says:

                Who’s the paintball kid?

                • Tactical reality says:

                  I was referring to the “Guerilla” guy who made the less articulate videos exposing the same basic idea as Mike. I was trying to make a hyperbolic point and should not have done so at his expense since I have never trained with him and only know what he has posted in his videos, which was more “I am special forces, petty is wrong. I am special forces. We don’t do it that way in special forces, and petty is wrong.”

                  My apologies.

                  • SSD says:

                    So, you mean the former Special Forces NCO named Aaron Barruga? A guy who writes under his own name and doesn’t hide behind an alias?

                    Didn’t I just read where you went on and on about how special it was to be a reserve cop and yet you think it’s OK to belittle a veteran?

                    Nobody likes a hypocrite.

                    • Tactical Reality says:

                      I am not belittling a “veteran”, as if he gets some special armor against criticism because he wore a uniform like so many of us here, some several uniforms. I said nothing about his service. I belittled HIS logic and the manner in which he presented his videos, veteran or not. Furthermore, I apologized and stated I should not have taken the crack at him in the way I did since I had not taken his course yet. SO no, not a hypocrite.

                      Regardless, he made 2 videos where the focus seemed to be more about extolling the negatives of a person and class he has never experienced instead of using it to actual speak positively about himself and what his curriculum offers.

                      I recognize that there are some things taught and/or sold in this industry that are so heinous that they require collective ridicule of the highest order. However, taken a technique, misrepresenting it and jumping on the bandwagon based solely on the “This is not how the XXX, or YYY guys do it it silly.”

                      I just don’t see how they don’t see the differences in context of the materials presented, even WITHOUT having been through the course. That only leaves it being intentional, which I really hope it is not.

                      PS… the reason for the alias is that one of the main sticking points of this whole thing is “resume” or background of the instructor. No reason to give those who only see that another appeal to expertise or strawman argument when they have so many.

                      • Tactical Reality, you’re a coward.

                        When I take shots at methodology, I use my full name and own the target I place on my back for the opposition to aim at.

                        Your veiled shots from behind the protection of an alias only disenfranchise the parties you’re attempting to support.

                      • Timothy says:

                        Kind of funny that you claim he “made 2 videos where the focus seemed to be more about extolling the negatives of a person and class he has never experienced” when, to my knowledge, he never states the name of any instructor whose tactics he’s criticizing.

                      • Tactical Reality says:

                        Exactly Timothy… yet he calls me a coward. If he is gonna man up and call someone out, then do it. Don’t dance around the topic. But I am just a coward because I use a screen name.

                      • Paul Harvey says:

                        Sounds like this Guerilla guy is going after bad info. It’s just that there’s only one instructor putting it out.

      • Paul Harvey says:

        Here you have the rest of the story, what happens when you hide behind a narrow strip of metal. You get shot.

    6. Ed Hickey says:

      Thanks! I now understand the mistakes I’ve made in the past with cover & concealment.

    7. NCO says:

      Sir, that was just good. I wish our guys would train with this kind of approach.

    8. Joe says:

      The first time I heard the term “Vehicle CQB” I pictured a team of American G.I.’s Breaching and clearing a Nazi Maus tank circa 1947 in some alternate history/sci-fi novel.
      If I get in a gunfight in amy open field with shrubs and termite mounds….. do I need to practice shrubbery CQB and insect dung mound CQB? As a former USMC CQB Team Member I find the term disingenuous and an unflattering attempt to boost class participation.

    9. Joe says:


    10. Bill says:

      Somewhere in the fed archives is a video of a car being driven onto a range, a couple targets being placed inside, and then half a dozen guys unload on it with everything imaginable. Then the car is driven, under its own power, off the range, and a couple targets have some hits, some good, some peripheral.

      • Bill says:

        My first rule of “Vehicle CQB” is that if bad guys are shooting at you, Drive Somewhere Else.

    11. ^this says:

      He gets it, but when that doesn’t work, don’t hide behind the doors or the A frame.

      • Geoff says:

        I think there is a reason he put ballistic panels in cruiser doors nowadays. Cuz regular doors don’t stop bullets.

        • Bill says:

          I’d LOVE to know how many agencies are doing that. Given the average size and budget of the average agency, I’m thinking it’s the huge mega departments, like NYPD where they spend 2,000 a piece for lightbars that retail for 4,500 when you don’t buy in bulk. From a guy in fleet management at LAPD – they have 70 K invested in each car before it hits the street. Mine is a donation from another agency with over 200,000 miles on the clock.

    12. Ed Hickey says:

      Haters gonna hate! Take what you can from the man with his experience & move on! No one is perfect!

    13. Joe says:

      Jeez people! Why can’t we all hold hands, sing kumbaya, and sling feces at ISIS?

      • Tactical Reality says:

        Only if we sling it with the right hand in an overhand fashion… because the other way will get you killed. LOL. I agree. Learn from all. Period.

    14. FrontDeskFocus says:

      The “context” crowd are usually the coperators in full Crye kit, with PVS-15’s and Bearcats, policing the mean streets of Anytown, USA. So the context exists to wear all of the CDI kit that makes you look the part, but when it’s time to apply some basic tactical principles that will keep you alive (unlike the center pillar on a Crown Vic), then it’s a completely different “context.” Well, if Skill Level One tactics don’t apply within the LE context, then perhaps cops should dump the SBR’s and plate carries, and go back to Barney Fife policing with a revolver and a D-cell Maglite.

      • Jester says:

        From my experience with cops, you’re describing a pretty damn small minority of them. Most can’t afford and/or don’t want to fool with all the cool guy gear.

    15. Max says:

      How does being a cop, SF, armed civilian make any difference when using a car for “Cover”?

      I’ve never understood the “Cops should not be listening to the SOF guys” sales pitch.

      • AlexC says:

        I don’t understand either. A 7.62×39 fired through a car door pillar in Afghanistan is just as deadly as a 7.62×39 fired through a car door pillar downtown LA.

        They are both going to kill you.

        • Jim D says:

          In the states the norm is for LE to be shot at with handguns, OCONUS it is the norm for soldiers to be shot at with rifles. Exceptions occur, but lets not pretend the 90% doesn’t exist.

          If anything thinks that knowing that parts of a vehicle can stop handgun rounds is a bad thing, then I don’t know what to tell you.

          If my choices are to put a few inches of metal between me and incoming rounds, or thin air… I’d take the few inches of metal.

          • Jim D says:


          • Steaming Cup Of Reality says:

            As has been pointed out, get away from the bullet sponge. Why do you carry a carbine in your car? Why do you train with it? Because your concerned about adversaries with rifles. The vehicle isn’t cover, so find it.

            • Jim D says:

              Wow, great advice for a cop on a traffic stop, alone, with no other cover around, being shot at with a handgun. They should totally take the time to un-rack their carbine and then run away to the wood line.

              • Paul Harvey says:

                We have now gotten down to brass tacks.

                By your comment, this is only useful in a traffic stop, maybe, if the stars align, and the perp’s window pillar will hold as he unloads his .22 pimp gun at you.

                You’re spending an awful lot of time defending a dubious technique that only works in a narrow window of circumstances. Worse yet, people are spending money on it.

                • Jim D says:

                  Paul, are you now the internet Better Business Bureau for training now? People waste their money on a lot of this far less meaningful than ballistic information and FOF reps.

                  Go shoot some parts on the car with .45acp, .223, 7.62x39mm and report your findings… because that was done in Will’s video, and vehicles are stopping and deflecting these rounds with ease.

                  I would hardly call a violent traffic stop with a handgun threat the unicorn of dangerous events in the course of an LEO’s career.

                  If you want tactics to take on a squad of AQI guys with belt-feds, then take a different class. It doesn’t mean you have to dismiss/denigrate any information not relevant to that application.

                  • Paul Harvey says:

                    I’m just telling the truth. I’ve actually watched those same rounds punch right through vehicles. This can go on and on but Will Petty’s entire concept is predicated on the density of a vehicle’s door frame stopping a round. Something that is inches across, much narrower than your head or chest, where all of the vital organs are. What’s on either side of that door frame? Plastic, sheet metal, aluminum, glass or air, if the window is down. Those materials aren’t going to stop a round or even a ricochet. You are planning that the guy shooting at you will shoot at the doorframe instead of you, and consistently hit that instead of a chunk of you.

                    Betting your life on that is stupid. Encouraging others to bet their lives on it is sickening.

                    Get a better plan.

                    • Jester says:

                      I know Mike Pannone’s background. It’s better than 99.9% of the rest of the world. I don’t know about this Petty guy. I do know that common sense tells you it’s stupid to rely on a couple of inches of metal posing as a door frame as some sort of super cover.

    16. xpoqx says:

      WOW. Comments blowing up and I didn’t even have to say anything ridiculous or stupid.

      • Steaming Cup Of Reality says:

        The only ridiculous being said is that a vehicle is cover.

        • Bill says:

          But a vehicle makes a great projectile if you stomp on the right-most pedal. I’m not stopping to dismount and run somewhere else if I can do the Flying Ford Takedown. That brushguard does more than make deer burger.

    17. T.H.E. Man says:

      I’ve taken Petty’s VCQB class and I can attest to the fact that I personally saw a base model sedan take nearly 60 rounds of 5.56 in the B pillar before a hit could be scored on a target on the opposite side of the vehicle. Will Petty is not telling officers to plant themselves on a stationary point and hope that a car will stop bullet after bullet.

      What he is doing is showing officers a way to give themselves a little protection in an impromptu gunfight. Will Petty showed our class how to fire from a stationary point on a vehicle and how to move from pillar to pillar in order to offer some protection while trying to get to a better spot or even better, ending the gunfight decisively.

      The VCQB class also shows officers how to fire effectively and achieve the best protection while on the ground just in case the gunfight doesn’t progress in the most favorable way.

      What’s the harm in knowing those things? He just offers additional tools for the toolbox. Why? Perhaps because nobody is guaranteed that they will get to fight when, where, or how they would prefer. Life gives you lemons, you gotta know how to make lemonade.

      • Steaming Cup Of Reality says:

        Foolishness for the foolbox is all you’re seeing here.

        60 rounds in the B pillar would be great if your adversary was shooting at the B pillar, but he’s not, he’s shooting at you. Unless you are a toothpick you’re hiding behind a mirage.

        Read this article, gain an understanding of the difference between cover and concealment and realize that any vehicle is an illusion of safety.

        The “VCQB” class is a marketing gimmick, designed to take your money. It won’t stand up to any demonstrations by diinterested third parties.

      • Hope and Change says:

        Hiding Behind A Pillar Is Not A Course Of Action

      • Paul Harvey says:

        Once again, defying common sense. How many cars in the road that you will encounter as an LEO will be just like the one in the demonstration?

    18. DB says:

      My only question is which instructor has the Kung Fu Grip? This bullshit of ranking instructors based on their previous employment baffles me. I do agree that there needs to be a certain level of real world experience before someone can teach certain classes, but that does not mean that the person with the more “special” resume is always correct. Also, just because a guy is a great quarterback, doesn’t mean he will make a great coach. Both of these gentlemen are excellent instructors. Let’s keep the argument to the facts at hand. Seek the truth.

      • Fun D Mental says:

        Actually, yes, that’s how it works. The guy who has more experience and more knowledge is almost always right and I’d bet on that before I’d bet on being able to hide behind a car’s A-frame.

        Consider this, lots of guys are teaching what Mike Pannone has offered here. Only one guy, with no real experience in the subject, is teaching a different way. That’s called a clue.

        • Jim D says:

          Yep, and Kyle Lamb was written off as a gamer for years because he used techniques he saw in 3-gun out on hits. He got laughed at for running a forearm that wasn’t a quad rail too… now look where we are.

          It’s hilarious how resistant people are to new information. If there are spots (even small ones) on the car you spend more than half your shift in… isn’t that information worth knowing? How you use it (or don’t) is situation dependent. What is the harm in knowing more about the spots on an extremely common object that can absorb bullets?

          • Mike says:

            Wow..great history lesson…I didn’t know that 3 gun existed back then. You are probably confusing Lamb with The techniques learned from Letham who they hired for that purpose but don’t let facts change a good story

          • Paul Harvey says:

            While your story is dubious at best it makes the point of the majority of commenters here. In your own story,Kyle Lamb wasn’t some 3-gunner who said he could be an operator, he was an operator who adopted 3-gun techniques (whatever those are) to apply to gun fighting. The misunderstood protagonist in your story had made his bones, serving in an elite unit. He wasn’t some failed cop who made shit up as he went along.

            • Jim D says:

              A quote from a fellow Unit member who served along side Lamb: “There were a lot of Unit guys who went and shot competition. We used to joke that Lamb was a competition shooter who made it into the Unit, though.”

              My point is that just because someone is doing something different, doesn’t make it wrong. There are still LE firearms instructors teaching people to shoot Weaver. This industry takes a really long time to warm up to new ideas.

              And no, I’m not referencing Leatham… Bennie Coolie, Jerry Barnhart, and John Shaw were all teaching that community back then too. Most assaulters back then weren’t half as progressive as Lamb was, even given their direct instruction from the competition shooting community. Lamb was an outlier and that drew attention, regardless of his ability/ reputation to do the job well.

              That said, I don’t see Will’s time spent behind a badge being particular applicable to this discussion at large (I know nothing about it, and don’t really care). What I drew from his material was “there are way more spots on a car that will absorb rounds than you might think, here they are”.

              Will did the work/challenged what people think they knew about cars and bullets. That information is scientific in nature, not anecdotal. I wouldn’t care if he was nothing but a part time range officer who just shot up cars left on his range after his class. He just gathered the info and put it out there.

              If you want to dismiss the info, then go shoot up some cars yourself and put the info out there too. Gathering data isn’t “making shit up.”

              • Paul Harvey says:

                I’ll let you in a little secret that people who spend too much time on the internet can’t seem to comprehend. Just because someone shot a video of something doesn’t mean that it’s scientific.

                As far as your quote regarding Lamb, it certainly comes out much differently than the way you portrayed it. But you’ve got some odd obsession with getting it wrong when it comes to SOF guys, don’t you?

              • Bill says:

                “There are still LE firearms instructors teaching people to shoot Weaver. This industry takes a really long time to warm up to new ideas.”

                No, the industry takes a really long time to decide if new ideas are actually good ideas. Everyone has a “new” idea that are frequently rehashed old ideas, whether they know it or not. There is also a lot of circularity in LE training – what is old becomes new again.

          • Paul Harvey says:

            So this is only useful for YOUR car? What if you walk up on a car during a traffic stop and he shoots at you? What then? Oh shit moment?

            • Jim D says:

              Why do you say that? Back peddling and putting their B or C pillar, or moving forward and putting their A pillar between you and them in the drivers seat is using THEIR vehicle for some added protection while you draw/give commands/shoot as necessary.

              What’s your suggestion, stand out in the open and not even give yourself a chance of the car frame stopping the rounds?

          • Ed Hickey says:

            Wow! Never knew that with Kyle Lamb

    19. Please Enlighten Us says:

      Tactical Reality, please enlighten us. Tell us about your relationship with Will Petty and 88 Tactical.

      To quote old Bill Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

      • Paul Harvey says:

        I too would love to know the rest of that story.

        • Tactical Reality says:

          Have taken some classes with them, along with many other instructors. No business relationship. Personally consider those I have met and trained with friends within the industry

          . My comments are not so much in defense of them as an entity, but more about the logic of why so many are protesting. I am just amazed at the lack of understanding or acknowledgement that the variables present in fights around vehicles involving patrol cops are different than those involving most military operations, and as such, might warrant a different perspective.

          I find this desire to turn TTP’s into a “one size fits all” thing of course based on the background of the person exposing them) to be troubling. This time it just happens to be 88T. i felt compelled to comment because unlike most commenting here, I have actually taken some of the courses where these ideas are expressed, so I felt I had a position of first hand experience to speak from when I saw those techniques being misrepresented as a manner in which to justify other techniques.

          if we acknowledge that cops and mil have different missions and face different elements without over simplifying it, then perhaps cats and dogs can live peacefully together.

          • Fleur de lis tactical says:

            no class participation is needed because he put his video out…perhaps some of these fellows have seen it and because of that have commented.

            • T-Rex says:

              How is Mil/LE really “Cats & Dogs” on this issue. Its a threat shooting at you. Doesn’t matter if you are LE, Mil, Civy, or Luke Skywalker.

              • Jon Meyer says:

                People also seem to forget the military spent a lot of time in snap TCP’s and TCP’s dealing with threats from vehicles much in the same manner as LEO’s.

                • Jester says:

                  Call me crazy, but if a guy who spent time getting shot at tells me what to do or not to do, I’ll listen to him pretty closely. Doesn’t matter if we’re both military, or he’s military and I’m not, or I’m military and he’s not.

                  It’s ridiculous to think that civilian law enforcement cannot learn a whole hell of a lot from the military, especially with the conflicts in the military currently engages.

                  Bullets flying at you are bullets flying at you.

    20. Eric B says:

      I rather like the post from Pannone and I was unfamiliar with 88 Tactical or Will Petty until this thread took off. But in reading, I see Petty (and 88 Tactical) have been bandied about quite a bit in recent months…or rather techniques they use. Remember the “malfunction stick” hullabaloo post? And wasn’t there something about “88” relating to Hitler or Nazis? And now “use those pillars” is breeding a hot and heated thread. They sure seem to draw some heat, don’t they?

      In my experience, I agree with Pannone and Barrauga with respect to vehicles operations AND malfunction sticks. I have no opinion on the “88” business, but I imagine it isn’t so nefarious.

      On that note, I think it is disingenuous to complain about a short video posted by one instructor decrying a tactic used by another instructor…detailed in a short video posted by THAT instructor.

    21. Back spin says:

      I know of a shootout where suspect used his pick-up truck for cover. Cops shot close to 200 rounds at this guy. Vast majority were pistol, maybe some 5.56mm…

      Injuries were GSW to right arm and right leg. Also, glass frag to the right side of his body/face. THAT’S IT. He had body armor, but I do not recall his body armor taking any hits. The driver side of his truck was shot up. I’d say his vehicle was fairly good cover. That and the cops had crappy marksmanship. Dude survived to get life in prison conviction.

      • Back Spin says:

        Also, FWIW, bad guy vehicle was a Toyota Tundra. Shots entered from the rear of the vehicle.

        • Jon Meyer says:

          I think you are embellishing on the story of those two ladies Tacoma getting shop up during that Dorner manhunt.

          • Back spin says:

            Uhhhh negative. Totally different story. Shootout w/ CHP on highway 580 back in 2010.

            Just using it as an example where a vehicle turned out to be good enough cover…obviously no guarantees.

            • Jon Meyer says:

              Any links to the story via news outlet? I would like to read about it.

              Appreciate it!

              • Jon Meyer says:

                BTW, those incidents of the completely wrong vehicle being shot to hell by LEO’s during that Dorner manhunt were crazy. I do not know how the women in the Tacoma or the person in the Ridgeline made it out without taking a single GSW. They lit those truck up!

    22. Fleur de lis tactical says:

      While it’s the easy/lazy way to bash Pannone’s LE perspective because of his military experience but what is over looked is that he has been training mostly LE for years. But you wouldn’t know that because he doesn’t post which LE and gov agencies he has training contracts with on his IG or FB page. Tactical Reality seems to be some sort of instructor perhaps you should take a Pannone class in order to critique it against your expertise. I would guess that you are one of the guys who took the cqb instructor class and are now teaching “his” stuff. Also it is a sure bet the the Army, the special ones, not the 19th group reservists, have and are shooting vehicles constantly as a matter of training and evolving those TTP’s. I would encourage you to take classes from those people with those backgrounds and it might suprise you the amount of overlap to LE that exists. So take your own advice and go seek different training and take something from everybody. That way you may one day figure out how much you don’t know.

      You can do it Bobby!

      • Jim D says:

        Go look at Pannone’s facebook now. There’s a picture of him posing with Border Patrol agents from a class this week. So, pretty much everyone is doing that.

        I’d much rather see a discussion about the merit of the information, and not just pot shots at everyone’s background/ resume.

        • Mike says:

          Yeah one photo not the laundry list of the others. Stick to the topic not their background? You guys are the ones that seem to be hung up on the mil back ground. Backgrounds or lack there off matter

          • Jester says:

            No shit they matter, you are right on the money. It blows my mind that people will ignore or claim the background of someone like Pannone doesn’t matter or doesn’t relate, but if a video is edited up real nice by someone we don’t know shit about, that’s all we need to sign up for his class.

    23. Aussie Tom says:

      A gunfight’s a gunfight! The principles don’t change. It doesn’t matter that’s in or around a vehicle, in a room or the Pech valley. Shoot, move and communicate. You cant argue with the truth and that what this article is.Solid doctrine that has evolved for decades by professional Soldiers who’s core business is fighting.The argument that Mil, SOF or other knows more about LE tactics is silly and childish. Once bullets start flying WE do know more and are better at it then a reserve LEO who’s only gunfight was a UD at one his classes.

      • Jim D says:

        And cover is relative to what you’re being shot at with, that’s what some people aren’t willing to acknowledge.

        For all the “screw that guy, he’s a nobody” comments, there seems to be a real shortage of alternative suggestions to using the metal frame of the vehicle for partial/momentary cover.

        • Fleur de lis tactical says:

          That’s because there aren’t alternatives. they aren’t consistent cover. LE agencies have been shooting cars in testing longer than petty has been on this earth and These pillars do stop bullets sometimes and are small and that makes them not cover. I guess because it was before the Internet it didn’t get out. No wait it did among le agencies it wasn’t spun Into a new look what I invented training system. Cars used to be better cover when they were made of heavy steel but still were not consistent safe cover. That’s where backgrounds and experience matter.

        • Aussie Tom says:

          If I take fire Im not going to stand up and PID the weapon then make a decision on what cover to use based off the weapon I see or don’t see and its ballistic effects , I’m going to return fire and move to cover, cover which will stop high or low velocity bullets. The alternative is to move away from the car, move to cover! thats the alternative, not use a 4inch wide piece of aluminum.

    24. lunch box says:

      This is one entertaining thread- everyones favorite instructor is their hero and everyone else is wrong or just plain stupid. Excellent points, I guess?? As much as I hate to throw this out here and run off- I have actual work to do. I will check in later to see what kind of new fireworks this thread has produced.
      But for the record- Petty stole almost all of his lesson plan for VCQB from another instructor who presents it better and has done so for many years- and this other instructor has always told his students that a car is not cover, it is concealment- the best it can do is to buy you a little time and it may not do that. Completely dependent on the type of weapon being fired at you and where it hits the vehicle- additionally, he teaches that the same round hitting the same spot will hardly ever react the same way- so in short- dont count on anything- if you are stuck behind a car- make use of what you have, return fire and a lot of it and then get to some real cover if the threat still exist

    25. Fleur de lis tactical says:

      Which instructor did he allegedly borrow it from?

    26. Pedro Destroido says:

      Hmmm, I just shot 7rounds, 6 of which hit a van, none punched all tje way through. 7th roumd I acuired a femur and shot…end of gun fight. (.223 sierra game king hollow points, 55gr, 16″ colt. I’ll stick to a vehicle provides “some cover” given certain variables.