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Mastering the Mozambique: Running the Failure to Stop Drill


An easy drill to shoot, the Mozambique Drill is one everyone should master.

Picture this with me if you will. You are out shopping with your significant other and need to stop at the bank. All of a sudden you hear gun shots behind you and a man in a mask pushes his way into the bank. Pushing your significant other to safety, you get behind cover and draw your firearm. Quickly assessing what is going on, you realize that the masked man is about to shoot a bank teller because he won't give him the money he demands. You line up your sights and do a perfect double tap on the bad guy, but they don't do anything. As he turns, you can see he has body armor on under his vest. You double tap him again and then raise your pistol to aim for his head and put one more round to use. This finally stops the man and he falls.

While this scenario is purely fictional and the chances of a bad guy having armor is slim, it is still something that we need to train for. The Mozambique Drill, also known as the Failure to Stop Drill, trains us that if the threat is not neutralized with the first two center-mass shots, then we need to transition to the head for a third shot. This drill is good practice for quick accurate shots, evaluating the target and then, if needed based on that evaluation, transitioning to a smaller and harder-to-hit target while slowing our shots down to make sure we make contact.

The Drill

The drill itself is very easy to set up and run. Place a target that has a "body" zone and a smaller "head" zone above it out at between seven to 10 feet (approximately six to eight yards). A typical silhouette target or an IDPA/IPSC/USPSA target would work well for this drill.  If you are able to draw from a holster at your range, do so, otherwise start with the pistol either on the shooting bench in front of you or at low ready. On your go signal, raise or draw your pistol and fire two rounds to the center mass of your target and then transition up and put one round in the head of your target.

Keep in mind that just simply, "Two to the body, one to the head" oversimplifies what you are trying to accomplish. After putting the two rounds center mass, you need to quickly evaluate your target. Did that stop the threat? If it did you can stop shooting. If not, then transition and complete the third shot to the head.


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The Mozambique Drill was created by Col. Jeff Cooper after talking to acquaintance and former student, Mike Rousseau. Rousseau was a mercenary fighting in the Mozambican War of Independence when he was caught in a fight at an airport armed only with a pistol. When he came around a corner, he saw an enemy guerrilla armed with an AK-47. Rousseau quickly double tapped him in the chest. Quickly realizing that had done nothing, he attempted a head shot and was successful in stopping the man from advancing.

After hearing that story, Cooper developed a drill for use in his practice he called the triple tap technique, what we know today as the Mozambique Drill.

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Mastering the Mozambique: Running the Failure to Stop Drill