What is the Mozambique?

"Two to the chest and one to the head."

This phrase surely sounds cool and has become undeniably ubiquitous in the English lexicon through its prevalence in the media. And while Hollywood loves throwing it out there, just because, there's actually purpose behind this action, which in training application is called by a few different names such as the Failure Drill, or Failure to Stop Drill, or more commonly, the Mozambique drill. So how did this drill get its name and why is it such an important drill for the shooter community?

First, let's explore how the Failure to Stop Drill got its moniker, "Mozambique Drill."  Anecdotal history tells us that the origin of the drill dates back to the Mozambique War of Independence (1964-1974). Armed with only a Browning High Power Pistol, Mercenary Mike Rousseau rounded a corner at an airport in Maputo and and found himself face to face with an enemy combatant armed with an AK47 rifle. Rousseau discharged a controlled pair to his adversary's chest cavity but for whatever reason, this didn't neutralize the threat. In mere fractions of a second, Rosseau re-evaluated the situation and attempted to discharged a third shot to the head. In the heat of battle, the third shot that was meant for the T-zone, landed a bit low on the target's neck, but it still got the job done. Years later, Rousseau shared this experience with Colonel Jeff Cooper of Gunsite Academy who incorporated the engagement into a drill. 

(Source: https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2015/9/1/the-failure-drill/)

A controlled pair to your target's chest is intended to maximize bleeding around the most vital-est of organs. So then, what situations may dictate that a third round to the head is necessary? A prime example may be in a situation where your target is wearing body armor; unless you live in the state of CT, body armor has gotten cheaper, lighter and more accessible in recent times. Aiming for center mass first is always recommended but being quickly able to assess the situation for the need of a follow on shot due to your target's wearing of body armor has absolutely become a necessity in the modern tactical environment.

Another situation in which two shots to the chest may not drop an imminent threat may come from your target's use of controlled substances. Mark Bowden recounts in his book Black Hawk Down, that just about all of the members of the Somali militia were high on a naturally sourced stimulant called Khat. Other drugs that are commonly found Stateside such as PCP and methamphetamine or sometimes even just good old adrenaline may prevent your assailant from dropping even with gaping holes in their chest cavity.  

Because of these types of real world applications, shooters of all experience levels commonly execute the Mozambique drill as a part of training regimen. So what makes this drill so special? Well for starters, it's an incredibly simple drill that can be executed at even an in-door range by novice shooters.  However as you become more advanced, you can add variations to the drill, such as integrating retention shooting, or executing it while on the move, etc. Like a golf swing, there will never be a perfect execution of the Mozambiqe drill. We can always be faster and we can always be more accurate, which is the beauty behind this simple drill.

Hopefully this Blog has convinced you to incorporate the Mozambique drill into your shooting regimen due to its practical applications, but we didn't want to part without sharing an incredibly tacticool clip of Hollywood incorporating the concept of "two to the chest and one to the head" for absolutely no reason at all.


1 comment
K Coe July 19, 2019

When I was in rookie school they called this the “body armor drill”.

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