Anyone that carries a gun, the concealed carry holder, those that keep a firearm for home defense, to those in the armed services should be aware of Target Indicators and recognize if they are violating any of them, and be able to identify the bad guys when they violate them.
The first Target Indicator we will explore is SHAPE. Nearly everything that is man made looks different than things that were made by nature. Nature *rarely* creates anything in straight lines, or right angles, or true cylinders. Here is an example of a SHAPE violation.
There is obviously nothing made by mother nature that looks like an AK, an AR or any other military assault rifle (or any of the civilian equivalent clones). We know they are man made and they are target indicators. We want to eliminate that for ourselves (painting works well) – and we hope our enemy keeps his rifles “black”. Note that even portions of the firearm are target indicators – it doesn’t take the whole thing. Just the upper barrel as it is sticking up above a wall or a vehicle can be a SHAPE violation. Notice that anyone can tell what is hiding behind that vehicle – someone with a rifle. TARGET INDICATOR.
Note that be simply painting the longarm it disguises the shape to large degree. Some people think that you should only paint your rifle if you use it out in the woods, or desert or something. However notice how well a painted rifle’s shape is disguised when in a cement “urban” background. That is why I paint all my rifles. It reduces the Target Indicator potential.
It is not just our tools that can violate the SHAPE target indicator characteristic.
Our face and head can be huge violator too. The SHAPE of the human head and face is very distinctive. Therefore we need to be aware of that and if the situation warrants it, we need to do something to mitigate the fact that our face can give us away.
One of the simplest things to do is to wear a boonie or floppy hat. The wide floppy brim helps break up the shape of the head. Adding a mosquito net disguises the shape even further. The Israeli’s have taken that one better and use a large floppy camo net on the helmet that totally disguises the shape of the head and helmet.
Camo face paint can also be used to good effect in breaking up the shape of the human face. Be sure to adhere to the proper principles of applying camo face paint. It isn’t necessary to look like a tree, it IS necessary to “flatten” the face. This is accomplished by putting lighter camo paint around the eyes and other areas that are sunk in, and putting darker colors on the nose and eyebrows and other areas that stick out. By doing this it will flatten the face and help disguise it.
It is also not necessary to have to visibly see the object in order to have a SHAPE target indicator violation.
SHAPE violations happen all the time with people that carry concealed handguns, particularly those that carry “appendix” style. Appendix style is where you carry your handgun just off center on the front of your body, sort of where your appendix is, hence the name. However, if you have an ill fitting holster, or a large handgun, or a too tight of shirt, everyone will witness your SHAPE violation. Here is an example, note the SHAPE near my appendix area. This is an obvious Target Indicator violation.
There are plenty of people that carry concealed handguns in other areas besides the appendix carry that violate the SHAPE target indicator.
In the concealed carry world this is called “printing” – but in reality it is a SHAPE violation. Care must be taken with whatever carry method you choose to minimize the odds of violating the SHAPE target indicator.
The goal is to develop your mindset so you are aware and cognizant that you are not violating the SHAPE target indicator, and be situationally aware to the point where you will pick-up and recognize when the bad guys does violate the SHAPE target indicator.
If you have any questions or comments about the SHAPE target indicator, please post them below, or hit me up on any of the social media linked on this page. It is my passion to help you develop your Warrior Triad.
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Thanks for taking the time to read this, and take care until next time.