The thickest part of the skull is the forehead. A head shot, even from a sniper rifle, may not penetrate. If you need a head shot because the threat has body armor or cover, make sure it counts.
Image from medicinenet.com
An ISIS sniper gets a pretty good head shot with an SVD sniper rifle. For some reason, maybe cenematic effect, the sniper chose to shoot 7.62x54R Tracer. In the screen shot below and the video, you can actually watch the round bounce off the skull and fly away.
His target doubles over for a second and the sniper takes another shot which goes high. Our target then recovers his wits and gets off the X and out of sight.
Conventional wisdom and Hollywood would have use believe that a head shot with a sniper rifle is game ending. This video shows there is a lot of biology resisting that head shot.
To instantly incapacitate, you need to damage the brain stem. This structure is very small and difficult to hit. A rifle bullet with sufficient energy will open the cranial vault. Even with a rifle, there needs to be a solid hit. The outside of the skull will deflect and divert a peripheral hit.
There is no miracle technique or magic bullet. If you have to respond to protect yourself or others, you will be as good as your training. Don’t ever assume any one shot or technique will be a fight stopper. You may get a nasty surprise.
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