I’m no brain surgeon. A guy shot through the head with a .308 round should be dead. Especially dead when a quarter of his skull is missing and some funky looking stuff is seeping through the ragged remains of his head wrap. Though, as I stood next to this life less looking body while watching members of my platoon search for a 2nd guy’s tracks and blood trail and the company clerk throwing up behind me, it came very shortly as a shocking surprise just how much the body intends to live despite injuries that occur.
The man, whom our sniper team had placed a round slightly off center of his dome, lay so still and lifeless that everyone had completely disregarded him. That was until I stopped to soak in the scene about two feet to the side of him. Without warning, this man kicked his arm and leg straight up into the air and scared the fuck out of me. The company clerk threw up again. He lowered his appendages back down, kicked up once more, lowered again, and then began to snore. Of course, I called for the corpsman and our LT, cause it was some freaky shit. Doc said the dude was done; there was nothing he was going to be able to do to fix the brain soup coming out of his skull. The LT still wanted to try and treat him. Meanwhile I’m just sitting there like, “Let me pump a burst into him and put him out for good”. Doc won. He was eventually picked up by a local ambulance and taken to the town’s morgue. Doc later explained to me what had happened in terms my dumb grunt mind could grasp. Since the bullet didn’t go through the medulla oblongata or the brain stem, his autonomic responses didn’t turn off. Part of the guy’s brain was still trying to tell him to breath, to bleed, and to move (reflex).
Why is this important? Just another story about how some Iraqi dirtbag got shot, right? He still wound up dead, yes, but what happens if that man had a hostage? Or a detonation device? Yeah, you kill him, but who and what does he take with him if he can still twitch the fuck out? That’s where a simple anatomy lesson and some precision shooting can make the difference.
Before I delve into shot placement and some serious brain anatomy, I’ll give you another case to back up what I’m rambling on about. We had tasked a few guys to go work with the Iraqi National Guard guys. They stayed on their compound, lived with them, and trained them. The ING characters were all given brand new glocks to go along with their fresh out of the box AK-47’s. Of course, brand new weapons, everyone wants to play with them. That’s the story turns bad for one of our guys. To this day, no one really knows what had happened to where the guy accomplished this, but from what other people said, he was cleaning the glock the last time anyone noticed him, then the next instant there was a shot. The bullet had entered centered, under his jaw, traveled through his tongue, through his sinus cavity, missed the cords attaching his eyes to his brain, and passed between the two hemispheres of his frontal lobe and out at his hairline. The guy, who we revered as a badass, WALKED into the aid station. He lived, and now lives a normal life with a wife and kids. It just goes to show you that shot placement can be the difference between life and death.
Over the years I have heard less and less people talk about the “T Box” and even less who can accurately describe the dimensions, location, or reason for it. It seems to be a dying art, even among snipers. The “T Box” is a “T” shaped box on the face. If you shoot someone within this box then you will effectively hit the parts that control the autonomic reflexes of the body. Basically, think of it like, if you get hit with something and cringe then you had a reflex. Shooting this spot of the brain would be comparable to just flipping a light switch; one second you’re there, the next you are just falling in a slump on the floor. Lights out.
Here is a cross section of the parts of the brain. The area you are trying to hit is basically the stuff that isn’t blue. Putting a round in that area will do, then just let terminal ballistics take it from there. As you can see, shot placement above the level of the eye isn’t really going to do much, same as forward of the ear. If you are aiming from the side, a shot slightly behind the ear will do the trick. If by chance you happen to be facing your opponent from the rear, you are looking to aim just below the knob where the skull round back over. However, getting back to the “T Box”, your aiming dimensions are roughly 3 inches wide at the top, by 1 inch tall, and then 1 inch wide by 3 inches tall in the bottom portion of the “T”. Which gives you something like this…
Too much emphasis as of late has been put on just hitting targets. Hitting them is great, but when it comes to precision shooting, hitting them and putting them down for good is much better. Take your shooting from being on the level of a kindergartner’s finger painting, and really turn it into an art.