Tactical Principles

Tactics are an art, not a science. However, there are some tactical principles that you should know.

Failure to understand these important principles will get you killed.

Here they are …

Tactical movement is simply moving from Point A to Point B, without getting shot.

Why on earth would you do this? Not because you want to, but rather because you have to. If you are a police officer your job will at some point require it. If you are a not a police officer, then you would only consider it in the defense of your own or someone else’s life.

Often, tactical movement is not necessary at all. In fact,it may well be the WRONG move. For example, if someone breaks into your home and you are the only one home, the best tactical plan would be to grab your gun, stay put and let the bad guy come to you. Get on the phone, call 911, and make use of cover and concealment.

By the way, concealment hides you but does not stop bullets. Cover hides you and stops bullets. Look around your house, you will find lots of concealment but very little cover.

However, there may come a time when you need to go to the defense of someone else. You may hear your child screaming. For a reason like this, we teach you how to move tactically. How to get from Point A to Point B without getting shot and if needed, being able to shoot and hit.

At Front Sight we do this by teaching you in the following step-by-step (no pun intended) manner:

In this report I will give you some of the principles you must follow to tactically move from Point A to Point B without getting shot and if needed being able to shoot and hit.

There are Seven Principles. We’ll discuss each one briefly.

  1. Keep the Element of Surprise on your side.
    • This allows you to control the pace of the engagement.
    • You ACT forcing your adversary to REACT which gives you the advantage of delivering the first accurate shot. (If you miss, the playing field is now level and he who hits first and most wins.)
    • Maintain your noise discipline. Be quiet as you move. Don’t rub up against the wall, watch where you step, keep your equipment quiet.
    • Do not lead with the muzzle or a body part as your opponent would see you before you are prepared to deliver a shot. As you slice the pie of a corner, your body should be planed at an angle so as not to expose any part of your body other than your eye and muzzle, which move as one. The first thing your opponent would see is just a piece of your eye and the muzzle sighted in on him —or the muzzle signature with a bullet destined for his chest — depending on the decision you make.
  2. Cover and Concealment
    • Concealment hides you, cover stops bullets.
    • Use cover and concealment whenever possible.
    • As you move, pick your next spot of cover and concealment and move to it.
    • Don’t crowd cover.
      • Ricochets tend to travel along the surface of your cover.
      • Stay back from cover a little bit.
  3. Slicing the Pie
    • Maintain good use of cover and concealment and take a slice of a corner at a time.
    • Distance is your friend. You are trained, your opponent is likely not trained. The more distance you have the more likely he will miss while you can hit at any distance.
    • Maintains the element of surprise.
  4. Inspect Everything
    • Visually, we tend to search in horizontal bands which creates problems in that you don’t see what is in the foreground and background of the horizontal band you are searching.
    • Instead search in vertical bands.
      • Tips of your shoes to the horizon.
      • Move over a little bit (slice a little bit more of the corner).
      • Back to your shoes.
    • May not see entire person. Look for anomalies.
      • Toe.
      • Elbow.
      • Brim of hat.
    • Use all your senses.
      • Smell (cigarettes, alcohol, B.O., bad breath).
      • Hearing (noise discipline).
      • 6th sense (if it feels odd, there may well be a problem).
  5. Movement
    • Take your time.
    • Don’t be in a hurry to get killed.
    • Move no faster than you can guarantee good hits.
    • Always maintain your shooting platform. If you can’t shoot, you are just an observer to a gun fight, and you will lose.
  6. Maximize Your Distance
    • Distance favors the trained shooter.
    • You can hit out to 25 meters.
    • Any idiot with a rusty piece of junk can get hits at 3 meters.
    • Don’t crowd cover, concealment, or corners.
  7. Avoid the Fatal Funnel
    • The fatal funnel is an open doorway or T-intersection that you must move by or through. Don’t stand in it!
    • Bad guy expects you there.
    • If you must move by it or through the fatal funnel, do it dynamically as you move to a point of cover or concealment.

Again, in every Four Day Course at Front Sight we spend a significant amount of time on tactical movement and to teach you in the following step-by-step manner:

You will also challenge yourself in our live-fire shooting houses.

In our Advanced Tactical Courses, the entire course is focused on live-fire tactical shooting house drills. In our Tactical Scenarios Courses you actually go up against other students and instructors using real guns that shoot paint bullets for the ultimate experience in force-on-force training.

In my next report, I will answer some of the most commonly asked tactical questions we receive. The answers may surprise you as they will dispel some long standing misunderstanding in the proper use of tactical movement.


Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Front Sight Founder and Director
Four-Weapons Combat Master
Your host of Front Sight Challenge Reality TV Series

P.S. All the high speed, low drag best SWAT tactics in the world don’t mean a thing if you can’t hit with your first shot. All tactics do is place you in a position where you get the first shot and your opponent must react to your first shot. If you hit, your advantage increases dramatically. If you miss, the playing field is now level and your opponent gets his turn — so don’t miss your first shot … If you have not purchased our dry practice manuals you should do so right now because PERFECT dry practice will enable you to hit with your first shot! Order your manuals today.