Combat Safety: The Importance of ‘Short Bounds’

Coming Soon: MVT 556 Patrol Rig
May 11, 2016
Student Review: “Working the Night Shift at Max’s……”: Barry
May 16, 2016

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but I have been busy with classes, which is of course a good thing. I’m currently up at a CTT class, for the second weekend in a row, and then next week I head to Idaho, so it’s now or never for the post.

This is a related follow up to my post ‘Gunfight Safety: How to not kill your Team/Family Members‘ but is more concerned with the specifics of moving under fire.

Please note that the diagrams in this post have been knocked up quickly on my computer and are for illustrative purposes only.

I was in two minds about this post, because something on the absolute vital nature of Short Bounds cannot be properly expressed without training in the particulars of actually DOING IT. You can read this and nod sagely in agreement, but unless you have experienced live fire tactical training, such as the Combat Team Tactics Class (CTT) or the Force on Force Team Tactics Class, you probably won’t really get it, in the sense that you won’t know what it looks like practically, if you went out in your backyard and tried it right now. So let this whet your appetite for when you show up to your next class somewhere.

You have probably all heard of the saying “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” which is used to judge the length of a bound / rush under fire. So that works out at about 3 – 5 seconds or perhaps 5 – 7 yards. Don’t be too quick to rush to your death! You cannot move simply mechanically, you have to ensure that you are conducting effective fire and movement, by suppressing the enemy to allow your buddy to not die when he does that rush. So the other side of that piece is that as your buddy moves, you have to effectively suppress the enemy, and vice versa when you move. To effectively suppress, you have to put sustained accurate fire onto the enemy position in order to achieve a behavior changing effect: kill him, wound him, or make him take cover (become suppressed).

Now, you can find out all about that by attending a live fire class, preferably with reactive targets, and even more about it if you attend a Force on Force Team Tactics class. But this post isn’t specifically focused on the conduct of fire and maneuver, but more on the angles and mechanics of bounds and spacing. There are two things (among many) that are very important within the conduct for fire and movement, whether that be going towards the enemy in the form of an assault, or away in the form of a break contact. These are:


Read the full article on the MVT Forums:  Tactics & Leadership Small Unit Tactics – Combat Team Tactics (CTT).


  1. Robert says:

    BTW: this May marked 3 years in operation for the Velocity Training Center (VTC).

    Hell to the yeah!!!! Congrats! I’ve trained a lot of places and NONE deliver the quality of training nor have the excellent training facilities you all have there.

  2. Brian from Georgia says:

    Great explanation on safety angles.

    Congrats on 3 years. The facility and courses have evolved nicely since my first visit in Aug 2013. I’m looking forward to FoF this year.

  3. […] More on how not to kill your teammates, either directly or indirectly (through failure of suppressiv…. […]

  4. I was once shown a trick for determining your left and right lateral limits; extend your arm in front of you at eye level, make a fist, and then extend your thumb and pinky finger to the left and right, and the ends of those fingers are your left and right lateral limits. To me, it seems a little narrow at 100 yards or farther for your firing angles, but it does help to give a visual of your actual lane.

  5. Norman says:

    Great post Max. Having taken CTT-Texas, reading this with the illustrations and reflecting back to the live-fire field training really brings home the importance of short bounds.

    Hope to be at Patrol-Texas in 2017.

  6. […] balk-worthy was the concept of short bounds. Since I was a kid, it’s been beaten into my skull to respect the firing line, to never cross it […]