Mozambique Drill

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The Mozambique Drill [1] is a close-quarter shooting technique in which the shooter fires twice into the torso of a target (known as a double tap to the center of mass), momentarily assesses the hits, then follows them up with a carefully aimed shot to the head of the target. The third shot should be aimed to destroy the brain or brain stem, killing the target and preventing the target from retaliating.


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.[2] Rousseau was later killed in action in the Rhodesian War.

Media References[edit]

  • This maneuver was referenced in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down.
  • On Dexter, an American cable television crime drama series on the Showtime network. The character sergeant James Doakes mentions the action in the episode See-Through (season 2, episode 4; first aired in the United States on 21 October 2007).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Handgun Drills, Standards, and Training Page". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  2. ^ Boatman, Robert (2004-02-26). "Jeff Cooper’s Mozambique Drill". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 


  • USMC manual CMC-37R of 8 February 2006: Method of Target Engagements

External links[edit]