The C.A.R. system is a brutally effective CQB technique used to improve the hit rate. Normally at 10 yards a person during a time of duress only has an 18-20% target acquisition rate. CARs will allow a person to achieve a 95% plus hit rate.
The Center Axis Relock System (CAR) features a bladed stance (the shooter's weak-side shoulder facing the target), a close-to-body firearm hold, and sighted or non-sighted fire as the situation dictates. This differs from other shooting styles such as the Weaver which feature a more squared stance (i.e. facing the target directly) with the pistol held far out in front of the face and some form of sighted fire.
"I am a master instructor in Center Axis Relock. CAR is not a stance, it is a system. It is not what I would use out of the holster during a spontaneous attack but it is what I use when "looking for work" IE covering down on someone or clearing a building. IMHO there is nothing better for out of the holster weapon retention than the CAR position.
The interesting thing about CAR is that it is very hard to understand by reading or looking at pictures, but you can pick up the basics with a little first hand instruction very fast."
- Mercop @ Defensivecarry.com
From Saber Tactical:
CAR is a gun fighting system, not just a range shooting stance. In truth anybody can be trained to stand on a range line, and punch holes through paper. Those involved in a real world gunfight know the difference between the range and the street, and make no mistake, the C.A.R. system is designed for the street, and deadly force threats. I think for me one of the most frustrating things I hear is the Bladed Stance V the Facing Head On to the threat debate, and the absolute failure by these so called ‘Experts’ to face up to the obvious truth. If the traditional stances were so effective, why is the gunfighting hit rate so bad. This is a typical statement I hear from the Gun Guru’s,
“We need to stand face to face in the Isosceles position because Our body armor will protect us. If you are bladed your body armor has a gap down the sides, and that is why C.A.R. and Weaver are not good stances. That is why we do not use them”
This statement has been used to dismiss the C.A.R. system, even though it has been evidenced that the C.A.R system works where Isosceles does not, i.e. in CQB, Closed Spaces, such as a Vehicle, or an Aircraft scenario, and with a weapons retention system second to none.
1. Body armor is an equipment issue not a technique issue. Body armor does not enhance your capability to shoot, run, or drive better. For body armor to work properly in every situation we would have to wear body armor 24/7 for it to be a constant, and continual factor in our shooting techniques. All ammunition being fired at us would have to be the same, and not have the ability to penetrate the integrity of the vest lining.
2. Every human being would also have to be of the same make up, and gender, for a shooting system to have the same consistency. Again an equipment issue. No human is of the same size, or force, as the next one. Therefore we need a common denominator for everyday use, no matter what age, size, shape, gender, or dominant side.
No matter whether on or off duty, wearing or not wearing body armor. The truth is that if the armor is the correct size, the sides are the only place where the armor is double wrapped. That would actually support the “bladed stance” or “Weaver over Isosceles” argument. With the C.A.R. system you are less of a target, the armpits are not open and exposed, and you can generate power to use the pistol punch, or move faster, and shoot on the move.
Ask the so called Gun Guru’s this :
• What if you are off duty, and wearing no vest at all.
• What if you are on duty, and wearing no vest due to being undercover.
• What if you are facing a rifle round, with extra penetrative effects.
In my humble opinion if you think your body armor is going to save you as a matter of course, you may be under a false sense of safety. You are off duty more than you are on duty.
• Moving off target line, and firing as you move.
• Hitting the target with multiple rounds.
• Moving to hard cover quickly, is the real world answer.
Any ‘Expert’ who resists looking at the C.A.R. system seriously, because of the so called body armor issue, should be questioned as to why they are prepared to overlook all of the other advantages, which are evidenced time and time again during training sessions. Look at the source and motive. My motive is to keep you alive and fighting back. Sometimes we get killed because of an unlucky shot, that happens, and we have to accept it. But to deny yourself the ability to use the C.A.R. is bad tactics. Learn the system, and make your own mind up, that is all I ask of you.
While holding a pistol in the "High" shooting position, the muzzle is not in front of the left bicep (for a right-handed grip) and isn't even beyond the lungs in shorter-barreled handguns. This practice is potentially very dangerous as it can easily lead to self-inflicted gunshot wounds. It also violates the 2nd rule of gun safety and therefore if this method is practiced at most shooting ranges it would be a violation of their rules. For this reason it is not recommended to use or even attempt this position unless the shooter has trained properly under expert supervision.
The "High" position is also not suited to handguns with very powerful muzzle blasts, which can cause burns on the adjacent skin, and to many types of revolver because the lateral release of gases from between the cylinder and barrel can cause serious injury to the chest.
In the "Extended" and "Combat High" position, the weapon is very close to the shooter's face. In the hands of a person lacking upper body strength and sufficient experience, a firearm with a powerful enough recoil can hit the shooter in the face. It leaves your side exposed(less body armor if it doesn't fit properly--thus increasing the chance for multiple organ damage if a round does find its way to you. Properly fit body armor shouldn't matter though.
Here's a few videos of instructors teaching the CAR system