Mozambique Drill

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The Mozambique Drill,[1] also known as the Failure Drill or Failure to Stop drill, is a close-quarters shooting technique that requires the shooter to fire twice into the torso of a target (known as a double tap to center mass), rapidly assess whether the target has been stopped, and follow up if needed with a more difficult head shot that will instantly incapacitate.[2][3]


Rhodesian Mike Rousseau was serving as a mercenary in the Mozambican War of Independence. While engaged in fighting at the airport of Lourenço Marques (modern-day Maputo), Rousseau was armed with only a Browning HP35 pistol. As he turned a corner, he encountered a FRELIMO guerrilla armed with an AK-47. Rousseau immediately performed a "double tap" maneuver, a controlled shooting technique in which the shooter makes two quick shots at the target's torso. Rousseau hit the target on either side of the sternum, usually enough to incapacitate or kill a target outright. Seeing that the guerrilla was still advancing, Rousseau made an attempt at a head shot that hit the guerrilla through the base of his neck, severing the spinal cord. Rousseau related the story to an acquaintance, Jeff Cooper, who incorporated the "triple tap" or "Mozambique Drill" into his practical shooting technique. Rousseau was later killed in action in the Rhodesian War.[2][4]

In popular culture[edit]

  • This technique was referenced in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down.
  • On Dexter, the American TV crime drama series, Sergeant James Doakes mentions the technique in See-Through (season 2, episode 4).
  • This technique was referenced as "International Mozambique Pattern" by Jonathan Higgins in the American TV series Magnum, P.I. in "Mad Buck Gibson" (season 2, episode 9). However, as the character "Mad Buck" fires repeatedly on a human outline on a wall, he actually does so in a different pattern: one head shot, followed by two shots at the torso.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Handgun Drills, Standards, and Training Page". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Sheriff Jim (10 November 2011). "Failure Drill". Shooting Illustrated. National Rifle Association. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Lesson Plan: Immediate Target Engagement". United States Marine Corps. 21 February 2008. p. 7. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Boatman, Robert (2004-02-26). "Jeff Cooper’s Mozambique Drill". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 

External links[edit]