Editor’s Note: Originally posted in 2007.
The shooter was named Mike Rouseau(sp) and was using a 9×19, commonly referred to as a 9mm parabellum, or simply as a “nine” in the hood.
In Jeff Cooper’s words from an article in his “Commentaries,” Vol. 1, No. 1, June 1994:
As time passes we discover that there are a good many readers who have not been to school and who are puzzled by our reference to “The Mozambique Drill.”
I added The Mozambique Drill to the modern doctrine after hearing of an experience of a student of mine up in Mozambique when that country was abandoned. My friend was involved in the fighting that took place around the airport of Laurenco Marquez. At one point, Mike turned a corner was confronted by a terrorist carrying an AK47. The man was advancing toward him at a walk at a range of perhaps 10 paces. Mike, who was a good shot, came up with his P35 and planted two satisfactory hits, one on each side of the wishbone. He expected his adversary to drop, but nothing happened, and the man continued to close the range. At this point, our boy quite sensibly opted to go for the head and tried to do so, but he was a little bit upset by this time and mashed slightly on the trigger, catching the terrorist precisely between the collar bones and severing his spinal cord. This stopped the fight.
Upon analysis, it seemed to me that the pistolero should be accustomed to the idea of placing two shots amidships as fast as he can and then being prepared to change his point of aim if this achieves no results. Two shots amidships can be placed very quickly and very reliably and they will nearly always stop the fight providing a major-caliber pistol is used and the subject is not wearing body armor.
However, simply chanting “two in the body, one in the head” oversimplifies matters, since it takes considerably longer to be absolutely sure of a head shot than it does to be quite sure of two shots in the thorax. The problem for the shooter is to change his pace, going just as fast as he can with his first pair, then, pausing to observe results or lack thereof, he must slow down and shoot precisely. This is not easy to do. The beginner tends to fire all three shots at the same speed, which is either too slow for the body shots or too fast for the head shot. This change of pace calls for concentration and coordination which can only be developed through practice.
This technique is also commonly referred to as “Body Armor Defeat” and I can imagine a 9×19 makes like a BB gun against the stuff while a .45, though not penetrating at all, will often introduce sternum to spinal column yielding at least temporarily satisfactory results.
I have to add here that the ongoing century spanning experiment with handguns chambered for one .38 caliber cartridge or another of one is surely by now conclusive in the negative. With the possible exception of the .357 and .38 super.