You shoot someone to stop him or her from doing something harmful toward you, your teammate or an innocent bystander. What’s your goal? To stop their actions as quickly as possible. Shooting someone in the torso—even a heart shot—simply means that you’re bleeding him to death. So what are your options?
Shooting them in the face instead of the body — if you can.
The logic is simple—you shoot a person in order to stop him from doing something. The goal is to stop their actions as quickly as possible. Shooting someone in the torso—even a heart shot—simply means that you’re bleeding him to death, and that takes precious time. During those moments a person can do a lot of damage.
I’ve witnessed white-tailed deer with their heart blown out and they run for hundreds of yards, even miles, trailing blood the whole time until they die from blood loss—a sort of natural loss of hydraulic pressure. (I guess they weren’t conditioned to fall when hit — they’d never watched TV!)
Similarly, an attacker can keep functioning before he dies from blood loss. Sure, it depends on where he’s been hit—hit an artery and it gets pumped out faster; give him a head wound but miss the critical part of the brain and it will take longer because of the smaller, spread-out capillaries, which don’t carry a ton of blood volume.
He could continue firing, set off a bomb, run you over in a car, stab you, or even beat you to death with your own gun—all of which has happened before. To make matters worse, if he is wearing body armor and you’ve just shot him in the body, you will now have one pissed-off attacker moving with even more of a purpose—a much harder shot to make.
But if you shoot someone in the teeth or the nose, the bullet goes straight back, basically unhindered, except for a few teeth and soft tissue in the back of the throat, into the brain stem—the medulla oblongata, as the medical folks call it. That’s the critical, essential area that controls motor functions. If that’s hit, all activity stops. It’s like pulling the power cord.
Blood loss isn’t a factor because you’ve just made a CNS hit—the central nervous system. In other words, that guy’s CPU just took a bullet and his computer just shut down. From the side? Shoot them in the earlobe. From the back? Hit the base of the skull. All this is called proper shot placement. You can kill someone with a .22-caliber, a twelve-gauge, a .50-cal, a BB, your fist, or even theoretically with a needle if you hit this spot precisely and with the right amount of velocity behind it.