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KLRANGL
April 7, 2009, 09:36 PM
So I know you are "suppose" to focus on your front sight while pistol shooting, but for some reason my natural instinct is to focus on the target. Sometimes I try really hard to stay focused on the front sight, but when I do my groupings dont really change. Have I just taught myself the wrong thing, or is focusing on the front sight not as important as it seems? Im not looking for perfect groupings, just practical SD shooting techniques. Ideally I'm going to take some classes this summer, but we'll see if that happens...
I practice pretty often, and currently shoot rapid fire groupings a bit smaller than the 9 ring on a B27 target at the 7 yard line... Slow aimed fire I can keep in the X ring at the same distance with the occasional flier.

Jim March
April 7, 2009, 11:46 PM
Target-focus IS the way to go - but the trick is, you need iron sights that were designed to be used target-focus.

See also ALL of my comments in this thread:

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=51194

...and this one:

http://www.arizonashooting.com/v3/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=69648

In this fashion I'm breaking away hard from the front-sight dogma handed down from Cooper, Weaver and the rest.

David Armstrong
April 7, 2009, 11:50 PM
"Target focused" shooting is a perfectly viable and acceptable form of self-defense shooting at close range, and as you have found it doesn't take much training to be able to use it. During a real fight that puts you under sudden stress the odds are you won't be able to focus on anything except the target anyway.

AZAK
April 8, 2009, 01:35 AM
For self defense type training, hitting the target is what counts; if you do this focusing on the target, great!

I personally find that considering reasonable self defense distances that I can also shoot pretty much equally well with focus on target or front sight. Quick draw and getting at least two shots on target ASAP. Slow fire on the other hand, for me, is much better using sights.

Longer distance target shooting is really aided by using the sights.

So I train mainly depending on distance and speed. The more speed and the less distance, target. The slower and longer, sights. And in-between a little of both. (For the most part I can focus on the target and still see if the sights are aligned anyway.)

One way that I have looked at it, pun intended, is if I am to the point of pulling the trigger on a threat, I want to know where that threat is... right now... stationary or moving... doing what... etc... which I would know by focusing on the target.

kraigwy
April 8, 2009, 07:40 AM
You look at you front sight, ITS GONNA MAKE YOU GROUPS SMALLER.

Shooting fundamentals is habits. Good habits make for good shooting, bad habits dont.

It takes practice, lots of dry firing, concentration. A trick I teach is:

Pretend your front sight is on a lever connected to the trigger, As you squeeze the trigger you are slidding the front sight to the rear of the pistol. The more you squeeze the closer the front sight moves toward your eye.

If you practice this, it will look like the front sight is acctually moving to the rear of the gun.

Of course we know the sight isnt moving, but it appears to be because as you concentrat the sight gets clear and sharp, looking closer.

9s on 21 feet, will be misses at twice that range. Using the front sight at 21 feet is possible and just as fast. A HELL OF A LOT MORE CONSISTANT AND ACCURATE.

Shooting takes work, start slow, concentrate on the front sight, as the groups get smaller, you can speed up and move farther back.

YOu have to want to, you'rn not just gonna wake up one morning and find you are a shooter, it dosnt work that way.

It takes hard work, and it depends, like everything else in lifle, on what you want.

It dosnt have to be fancy target sights, you can do it with simple little guns like the 5 shot 2 in pocket revolvers. It helps if you take a cigarette lighter and smoke (blacken) your front sight.

We can be lazy and say we only care about SD shooting so there is no need for anything but close, muzzle blast range. But be honest with your self, do you want to learn to shoot? Are you willing to put in the time and effort?

Only you can answer those questions.

KLRANGL
April 8, 2009, 08:11 AM
Kraig, thats the mantra Ive heard from pretty much all the shooters these days and I totally respect it. Its just to me it seems flawed for anything other than target shooting, which is why I was asking for opinions.

We can be lazy and say we only care about SD shooting so there is no need for anything but close, muzzle blast range.
I dont see it as being lazy, but as in redirecting your priorities. IE larger groupings for better threat assessment.

One way that I have looked at it, pun intended, is if I am to the point of pulling the trigger on a threat, I want to know where that threat is... right now... stationary or moving... doing what... etc... which I would know by focusing on the target.
Yeah, this is where I was coming from. Just made more sense to me this way.

I'd definitely like to hear opinions from both sides of the fence...

maxkimber
April 8, 2009, 08:52 AM
When I was an instructor, I could tell when a student was focusing on the target, because all the holes were right around the bull, but not in it - we called it "chasing the bull." I would instruct them to focus on the front sight and the groups would tighten up into the bull - and I looked like a superstar instructor.:D

Moral of the story, if all other fundamentals are good and you focus on the target, you will hit it, just not where you are 'aiming,' but fairly close; but you can take the X out of the target if you focus on the front sight...

David Armstrong
April 8, 2009, 01:06 PM
Using the front sight at 21 feet is possible and just as fast.
Not really. Lots of tests out there that show focus on the target does give a slightly faster shot without any significant loss of accuracy.
We can be lazy and say we only care about SD shooting so there is no need for anything but close, muzzle blast range. But be honest with your self, do you want to learn to shoot? Are you willing to put in the time and effort?
That is the key, IMO. One can learn to shoot with target focus rather quickly and without a big investment in time, and be capable of an adequate response for msot SD situations. Lots of folks don't have the time to put in the effort for some of the techniques out there. Doesn't mean they are bad techniques, but target focus will allow you to handle most attacks with a relatively small investment of your resources.

Brian Pfleuger
April 8, 2009, 01:16 PM
I don't think there's a single answer, especially for those with limited training time and funds.

Sure, we'd all like to be honored graduates of SD shooting schools but it's not always possible.

I was practicing speed draws from concealment the other day. I noticed that it was very easy to draw the gun and "point" at the target but have the gun aiming off to the right, I assume because I'm right handed. I'm sure that over time I'll be better at getting the proper grip on the draw and my aim will be better. In the mean time, the front sight is the best reference I have for knowing where the gun is actually pointing. Basically, I don't think you can or should ignore either the sight or the target.

KLRANGL
April 8, 2009, 01:32 PM
That is the key, IMO. One can learn to shoot with target focus rather quickly and without a big investment in time, and be capable of an adequate response for msot SD situations. Lots of folks don't have the time to put in the effort for some of the techniques out there. Doesn't mean they are bad techniques, but target focus will allow you to handle most attacks with a relatively small investment of your resources.
The big thing for me isn't because its easy. Ive been shooting since I was 8 and can keep a good sight picture, it just doesn't seem natural to me.

Do any big name trainers teach target focused marksmanship?

David Armstrong
April 8, 2009, 02:44 PM
Do any big name trainers teach target focused marksmanship?

I guess it depends on what you consider a big name trainer, but yes, certainly some well-known trainers teach it. Some teach it almost exclusively, some teach it as one part of the overall package.

NRAhab
April 8, 2009, 03:28 PM
That's a loaded question. Example: Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, and Blackwater (the big 3) all teach you to use the front sight.

Robb Pincus uses "threat focused" shooting as part of ICE training, and it's an excellent package.

Louis Awerbuck says "use the front sight", but he does in a way that's way cooler than I could ever do it.

Off the top of my head, I cannot however think of any tier 1 instructors that teach threat focused shooting at the exclusion of other techniques. I know as mentioned above that Robb teaches what is probably the "best" flavor of it, and integrates it into an overall defensive training package.

There are many, many more instructors than just what's listed here obviously. Since I sadly lack encyclopedic knowledge of all the 2nd tier and lower gunschools in the country, I can't tell you what or how their train their people.

ranburr
April 8, 2009, 03:51 PM
I have had instructors teach front sight focus while others have taught target focused. My answer is that it is situationally dependent. If you have the time to use the front sight, you would be stupid not to. If you don't have the time, or you are moving, you need to be target focused. I have noticed that a lot of the sight focused instructors don't advocate shooting while moving. Personally, out to ten yards my hits are pretty comparable whichever method I use. Beyond that, my groups are obviously better with focus on the front sight.

Zak Smith
April 8, 2009, 05:07 PM
Practical shooters use a variety of aiming/focusing techniques depending on the speed vs. accuracy required in the situation. Often a target focus (or some type of body indexing) can be faster-- however, it is more likely to cause misses if everything isn't going just right for whatever reason.

Using the front sight always works. It is the fail-safe method to make hits. You can have any stance, any grip, and position, even hold the pistol upside down in your hands. If the sights are aligned and the front sight is on the target as the trigger is pressed, the bullet will hit the target.

-z

Nnobby45
April 8, 2009, 05:27 PM
During a real fight that puts you under sudden stress the odds are you won't be able to focus on anything except the target anyway.

That's very true. Most people have never trained enough to use their front sight under stress.

Those who do, tend to win gunfights.

Jim Cirillo, after a shooting, remembered, very clearly, the front serrations on his front sight. And I suspect during all the shootings he participated in thereafter.

Nobody who ever used a front sight in a gunfight ever questioned it's effectiveness or superiority over other methods. At least I haven't heard from any.

We don't hear from as many of the "focus some where else" shooters, since, no doubt, fewer survive.

Those of us who frequent gun forums but never participated in a gun fight, of course, often have different opinions.

Want to prove it to yourself? Do a rapid fire drill (paper plates are good) while focusing on the target. Now do it with a sight picture for each shot. With a little work, you won't shoot any slower, and you will count considerably more holes in the target. Or at least, your groups will be much tighter. Make it easy on yourself. Three to five yds.

Archie
April 8, 2009, 05:41 PM
The original post mentioned a couple specifics:
Target at 7 yards or so, and 'rapid fire groups'. Shot groups don't really change between sight focused fire and target focused fire.

One can become rather proficient at point shooting rather easily. Especially with the technique of shot strings.

Now. Next time, first, see if you can find a target with a surface that makes the shot holes hard to see; so you cannot see your hits and correct. Draw from your holster and fire one shot and one shot only. Holster and repeat for three or four shots and check your target. See how that goes. I'm sure you'll find the groups are rather looser than the burst fire strings.

One of the things you must understand if you plan on defending your life with a handgun is the first shot counts far more than subsequent shots. Especially if you encounter multiple opponents.

Another observation: If your groups do not change between front sight focused fire and target focused fire, you aren't very good at sighted fire. Even at seven yards, sighted fire should deliver a much tighter group than pointed fire. (Even though point shooting can deliver very reasonable groups up close.)

Should you ever have to shoot further than fifteen yards, or make a deliberate shot on a a restricted target, you must learn proper sighted fire.

The very experienced pair Fairbairn & Sykes - famous for training the Shanghai Constabulary during the pre-WWII period when Great Britain was in charge of Shanghai - taught a two prong approach to gunfighting. They taught pointed fire out to about three or four meters and sighted fire beyond that. Shooting to Live is an excellent primer for defensive shooting, and written by W. E. Fairbairn and E. A. Sykes who survived Shanghai as members of the police force in the 1930s.

So, whereas point shooting is valid and useful for close range defense, sighted fire is a required part of pistol craft.

David Armstrong
April 8, 2009, 06:14 PM
We don't hear from as many of the "focus some where else" shooters, since, no doubt, fewer survive.
We actually hear a lot from the "focus somewhere else" shooters, its just that some folks fail to hear them. Lou Chiodo reports plenty of successes and survivors with point shooting. NYPD's SOP9 reports a high percentage of officers who survive gunfights and say they did not use their sights. In fact, the available evidence seems to suggest that, at least for LE, agencies that move away from strict sighted fire and incorporate target focus shooting into their training tend to do better than when they just used sighted fire.

Shane Tuttle
April 8, 2009, 08:46 PM
We don't hear from as many of the "focus some where else" shooters, since, no doubt, fewer survive.

You have sources to this claim or is this an observation on your part?

I do actually have doubts that "fewer" survive. But I also believe sighted fire is more effective overall. No matter what position, stance, movement, techniques, kind of gun, etc. are used, I know without a doubt the bullet's going to go there.

I see point shooting to be reliant on muscle memory too much. There's infinite possibilities with positioning of your eyes to a target when factoring in distance, height, and obstructions (i.e. body armor). In the extremely rare case the assailant is going to be the same height your practice target is and is standing right in front of you not moving any direction but straight at you, I can see foregoing using sighted fire and use target focused shooting.

People can dismiss Cooper, Awerbuck, Cain, and countless others that teach sighted fire as your primary tool. But if you think about it, why are most of THE TOP instructors have this philosophy? These guys aren't brainwashed and they're not idiots. Their technique has been proven to work for the majority of folks.

If target focused shooting is so effective and is thought to be the primary technique, then why don't we just toss the sights? They cost money and protrude as such that they pose a possibility of snagging on the draw anyway...:rolleyes:

Sometimes I try really hard to stay focused on the front sight, but when I do my groupings dont really change.

Are you sure you're using your dominant eye?

Nnobby45
April 8, 2009, 10:01 PM
You have sources to this claim or is this an observation on your part?


Just an observation. Sighted fire wins gunfights. At spitting distance point shooting works also. Never heard a gun fight survivor claim that point shooting was superior to sighted fire.

When I rapid fire at 3 to 5 yds with a sight picture for each shot, they all go into the target (a paper plate) and into a group about the size of my hand. When I forget my focus for an instance by coming off the sight, group size increases.

Quote:
We don't hear from as many of the "focus some where else" shooters, since, no doubt, fewer survive.

We actually hear a lot from the "focus somewhere else" shooters, its just that some folks fail to hear them.

Hey, David, a little tongue in cheek here, ok.:p

KLRANGL
April 8, 2009, 10:41 PM
I was under the impression that point shooting didnt use the sights at all. I still use the sights, they are just not the point of focus. Is this point shooting or am I just special?

Are you sure you're using your dominant eye?
yes 100%
I haven't done a proper target focus vs sight focus test, so I really shouldn't say that my groupings dont improve. Just that they don't appear to improve...

Nnobby45
April 9, 2009, 12:27 AM
I was under the impression that point shooting didnt use the sights at all. I still use the sights, they are just not the point of focus. Is this point shooting or am I just special?


It does get a little confusing. I think what many, if not most, refer to as point shooting, is actually focusing on the target and using the sight as a reference. That's still a form of sighted fire.


A lot different than "real" point shooting where sights aren't visible at all. Some have referred to that as "instinct" shooting.

Maybe we've just been disagreeing about the degree of sighted fire. Focus on front sight vs on target. Both methods allow for seeing both target and sights.

bogieb
April 9, 2009, 05:16 AM
Using the front sight always works. It is the fail-safe method to make hits. You can have any stance, any grip, and position, even hold the pistol upside down in your hands.

Well, that's good - as long as you can actually see the front sights. For those of us whose arms aren't long enough anymore (they shrunk with old age), that is problematic. Sure, I can get special glasses for use while at the range, but in SD circumstanses, odds are those glasses will not be in my nose, so I practice the way I will actually be seeing in the real world. :cool:

cavymeister
April 9, 2009, 08:09 AM
So, is the answer: "Both have their place"? I mean, if you can't see your front sight, then you can't sighted fire, but sighted fire is the most accurate. I have read that you fall back to your training and as such you should practice with the weapons and way you will shoot in a SD situation. That being said, you should practice to be as accurate as possible for your particular limits.

David Armstrong
April 9, 2009, 09:33 AM
If target focused shooting is so effective and is thought to be the primary technique, then why don't we just toss the sights?
Because, unllike some, target focus proponents don't try to claim that one-size-fits-all. Target focused shooters and trainers, AFAIK, will ALL say one should use the sights whenever possible, but that one needs target focus skills for those times when focus on the sights is not possible, which seems to be quite frequent in close-range personal defense situations.

David Armstrong
April 9, 2009, 09:38 AM
I was under the impression that point shooting didnt use the sights at all. I still use the sights, they are just not the point of focus. Is this point shooting or am I just special?
Traditionally sighted fire referred to focusing on getting a sight picture to aim the firearm and target focused/point shooting meant focusing on the target itself rather than the sights. In point shooting you can have the sights in the sighting plane or they may be out of the sighting plane, but if your focus is on the target you are point shooting in the traditional sense.

David Armstrong
April 9, 2009, 09:42 AM
Well, that's good - as long as you can actually see the front sights.
Right, and that is the main flaw with sighted fire, IMO. It ignores the reality that often, due to physical or psychological issues, it is literally impossible to see the sights, much less use them to any effectiveness.

Jim March
April 9, 2009, 10:19 AM
Question: if you're focused on the front sight, how do you tell if a guy just pulled out a cellphone versus a 380?

Bartholomew Roberts
April 9, 2009, 01:03 PM
NYPD's SOP9 reports a high percentage of officers who survive gunfights and say they did not use their sights.

Did not use their sights or don't recall using their sights? On a related note, when after the shooting was this statement made? Many agencies now wait at least 24 hours to debrief officers involved in shootings because the statements made immediately after the shooting are often not the best.

I've read speculation from psychologists that your brain continues to process information during a high-stress event but will "discard" stuff that doesn't appear critical to life or death survival. This information will be "lost" but will be recalled several hours after the event as the body/brain slows down and has time to process the "non-critical" information that the brain ignored during the event.

I ask because as a competition shooter, I've definitely had runs where I don't remember using my sights; but based on the results, I was clearly using them. I've also had runs where I only remember using my sights because I would be missing a bunch and think to myself "slow down, front sight" and start picking up hits. If I can forget that under relatively mild stress like competition, then I wonder how much of the "I didn't use sights" is actually "I don't recall using sights because I had so many other things rushing through my head at that moment."

Mike Irwin
April 9, 2009, 01:14 PM
I use the front sights on my S&W revolvers as back scratchers.

VERY effective. :)

David Armstrong
April 9, 2009, 01:58 PM
Did not use their sights or don't recall using their sights?
Does it matter? Everything is a matter of recall. One asssumes in doing research that the person is accurately relaying information to the best of their ability. If a shooter says they saw or they recall seeing their sights, we assume they used their sights. If the shooter says they didn't see or don't recall seeing their sights, we assume they did not use their sights.
I ask because as a competition shooter, I've definitely had runs where I don't remember using my sights; but based on the results, I was clearly using them.
And thanks to video we definitely have cases where a shooter "remembers" using their sights but it is clear they physically could not have done so.
I understand your points, but given the state of science at this time it appears we pretty much just have to take the individuals word for what happened, barring some actual evidence to the contrary.

Jim March
April 9, 2009, 02:55 PM
Does it matter? Everything is a matter of recall.

BZZZT! Wrong answer!

If you'd been in a situation where you life was really on the line, and the whole world slowed down and all that funky stuff, you'd know that your memory afterwards was very screwed up. To save time, your brain starts routing data past your short-term memory, or doesn't fork it over there, or something. It's an emergency boost system. You're still 100% functional, you've just crippled your memory circuit to boost speed to the max.

Most of my incidents of this sort involved near-motorcycle-wrecks. I was very, VERY functional but I also did things I cannot at ALL remember.

BillCA
April 9, 2009, 04:06 PM
I use the front sights on my S&W revolvers as back scratchers.

VERY effective.
The Patridge sights are best! :D

During my training days and especially at the academy we went over the fundamentals quite a lot. Besides that, we studied the Newhall reports (it was only a couple of years prior) and two decade-long studies - one from LAPD and one from KC, Mo. In the two studies, officers were asked questions about what they did and what they saw. Some specific questions (Do you remember using your sights? What do you remember about using your sights?) brought up some good points for training programs.

Officers who survived uninjured or with only minor injuries all recalled using their sights. Some of them vividly. One officer shooting in the early dawn light recalled seeing his red-ramp front sight so clearly that he could see a bit of holster leather caught in the 3rd serration. He still bullseyed the suspect with his 2nd round. Other officers reported similar results.[1]

Officers who were injured in shootouts did not recall using their sights by a 3.5:1 ratio. For every injured officer who used his front sights, 3.5 others did not. One officer who was hit in the side and had fragments hit him in the forehead fired five misses and retreated to reload. With blood in his eyes, he calmed down, wiped at his forehead and re-engaged. He said he focused on his front sight and took the first shot he had. Five misses between 2 to 7 yards and one solid hit at 16 yards.

Almost none of the officers reported being able to determine if they'd made a hit unless the suspect showed a reaction to it (clutching the area, bending over, turning or falling).[2]

The lessons learned were that focusing on the front sight provides the best accuracy in a gunfight. And it reinforces the axiom: Speed is fine, accuracy is final. One may succeed at close range by "point shooting" where the front sight is in the peripheral vision (with practice). One can also succeed at close range if the eye can see the front sight is on the target, with practice. But one will almost certainly succeed if focused on the front sight.


[1] One officer was wounded because he switched from his S&W to a Colt Python with a yellow insert on the front sight. In the fight, he expected the red-ramp sight and couldn't see the yellow one until being hit in the thigh jogged his memory. That's an important lesson right there.
[2] An officer said that he could see the suspect's clothing "dimple" from bullet impacts but the suspect didn't react to them until he was hit in the throat. But most officers said it was difficult to determine if a hit was acutally made.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 9, 2009, 04:08 PM
Yes, I'd say it matters. I have no specific memory of using my brakes on my drive to work this morning; but if based on that lack of memory I tried to drive home without using my brakes, I bet I would have some problems - however effective downshifting might be in slowing the car down in some circumstances.

David Armstrong
April 9, 2009, 04:12 PM
If you'd been in a situation where you life was really on the line, and the whole world slowed down and all that funky stuff, you'd know that your memory afterwards was very screwed up.
BTDT, doesn't matter. We are discussing what someone reports after an event, and the reports are based on recall, barring some other evidence. One can certainly argue about how accurate the recall is, and I agree with that, but until something better comes along that is what we are stuck with.

David Armstrong
April 9, 2009, 04:16 PM
Yes, I'd say it matters. I have no specific memory of using my brakes on my drive to work this morning; but if based on that lack of memory I tried to drive home without using my brakes, I bet I would have some problems
Of course, but that proves my point. We report based on recall, but that recall can be contradicted by factual evidence. Personally, I'd bet if you thought about it you would remember using your brakes as you drive. I know I certainly do.

Shane Tuttle
April 9, 2009, 07:52 PM
Question: if you're focused on the front sight, how do you tell if a guy just pulled out a cellphone versus a 380?

My firearm is at low ready to keep from obstructing my field of view until I've decided to carry out safety rule #2.

gwright
April 9, 2009, 07:55 PM
It ignores the reality that often, due to physical or psychological issues, it is literally impossible to see the sights, much less use them to any effectiveness.
BINGO! Especially for us old folks who wear bifocals. To focus on the front sights requires putting your head back at a high angle. Not very good for self defense.

Nnobby45
April 9, 2009, 10:15 PM
In point shooting you can have the sights in the sighting plane or they may be out of the sighting plane, but if your focus is on the target you are point shooting in the traditional sense.

In what sense do we put hip shooting, ala Bill Jordan, where hand eye co-ordination takes the place of sights completely? Sounds like point shooting in the traditional sense to me.

If so, target focusing with sights as a reference would be moved to the sighted fire context, but outside the "traditional sense" which would be front sight focus.:confused:?

It can become a confusing discussion when we're advocating techniques on the one hand and disagreeing with the definition of those techniques on the other. It's probably not as important which definition should prevail as it is to be aligned so we're speaking the same language.

David Armstrong
April 9, 2009, 10:58 PM
In what sense do we put hip shooting, ala Bill Jordan, where hand eye co-ordination takes the place of sights completely? Sounds like point shooting in the traditional sense to me.
When hip-shooting Jordan's focus was on ther target, so that would fall into traditional target focus/point shooting.
If so, target focusing with sights as a reference ...
Traditional point shooting/target focus does not use the sights as a reference. The focus is on the target. Frequently when teaching we will tape over the sights or remove them entirely.

Nnobby45
April 10, 2009, 06:13 AM
When hip-shooting Jordan's focus was on ther target, so that would fall into traditional target focus/point shooting.


That's why it's hard to discuss a subject when we don't agree on the definition.

Who cares what you call it. Except at near contact distance, you focus on either the sights or the target with the other being out of focus, but still visible.

Unless, of course, you're Bill Jordan who's extraordinary hand eye co-ordination was matched only by his hundreds of hours of practice.

To some, blury sights are point shooting, to others it's a form of sighted fire.

Incidentally, when you tape up your sights, that's not point shooting either, since the rear silhouette of the GUN becomes what you cover the target with and that requires even stricter adherence to bringing the gun to eye level, and I'd hardly call that point shooting.
Even Cirillo, who popularized the technique, admitted that he saw the sights "subliminally" when using that method. The taping of the sights was for training purposes only. The method has it's place.

David Armstrong
April 10, 2009, 10:40 AM
That's why it's hard to discuss a subject when we don't agree on the definition.
I agree, which is why I always try to use the defeinitions that have been promulgated for decades, used by the NRA, the FBI, the military, etc. , which are very clear, and is defined by the focus of the shooter. Anything beyond that tends to cloud the issue, and has only become popular recently by former "front sight only" supporters who realized that their doctrine was indefensible.
Except at near contact distance, you focus on either the sights or the target with the other being out of focus, but still visible.
Not necessarily. A lot of target focus shooting does not require the sights to be visible at all.
Incidentally, when you tape up your sights, that's not point shooting either, since the rear silhouette of the GUN becomes what you cover the target with and that requires even stricter adherence to bringing the gun to eye level, and I'd hardly call that point shooting.
Given that it has been used for decades to teach point shooting, given that the military uses it to teach point shooting, and given that one cannot focus on the sights when they are covered, I'd say it certainly fits the traditional and commonly accepted definition of point shooting. And again, you don't have to bring the gun up to eye level for point shooting.

Jim March
April 10, 2009, 12:08 PM
Folks, I completely and utterly suck at real point shooting as Bill Jordan (with two hands) or Jelly Brice (with one hand) understood it.

Yet with target-focus blurry sights of the right type, I'm doing GREAT. So there's a big difference between point shooting and target-focus with target-focus optimized sights.

David Armstrong
April 10, 2009, 02:57 PM
Sure, just as there is a big difference between FS point shooting versus Quick Kill point shooting, Bullseye sighted shooting versus PPC sighted shooting, and so on. Both point shooting and sighted fire are big tents with a number of different techniques and styles available to them.

Nnobby45
April 10, 2009, 04:40 PM
Given that it has been used for decades to teach point shooting, given that the military uses it to teach point shooting, and given that one cannot focus on the sights when they are covered, I'd say it certainly fits the traditional and commonly accepted definition of point shooting. And again, you don't have to bring the gun up to eye level for point shooting.

The sights are only taped for training to teach the shooter to use the silhouette of the gun as a sight. When not in training the silhouette of the gun is still used, but the sights are visible "subliminally" as Jim Cirillo described it. To myself, the sights are just fuzzy like they'd be if I focused on the target.

Even if they weren't visible "subliminally", the superimposing of the rear of the pistol over the target meets most folks (but not your) definition of a FORM of sighted fire.

As I've been trying to point out all along, some consider any method where the front sight isn't focused on as "point shooting". Some don't agree.

Yes, David, in those instances where no reference to gun or sight is used, and only the target is focused on, that would be point shooting, indeed.:cool:

As would Cirillo's "geometrical point shooting" method, with no sights or gun visible, in which the body's position is used as a crude sighting method. But this thread is complicated enough without getting into that.:D

JN01
April 10, 2009, 06:02 PM
By my definition, many of the threat focused techniques (such as using the silhouette of the gun in your peripheral vision) are aiming techniques as opposed to sighted techniques.

NRAhab
April 10, 2009, 09:41 PM
Idle curiosity, which branch of the military allegedly teaches point shooting? I know for a fact it's not the Coast Guard, and I also know it's not the Army, since the Army's CQB and marksmanship programs are designed by the Army Marksmanship Unit.

I don't know about the other three branches of service.

Nnobby45
April 10, 2009, 10:11 PM
By my definition, many of the threat focused techniques (such as using the silhouette of the gun in your peripheral vision) are aiming techniques as opposed to sighted techniques.

I basically agree. All sighted fire is aimed fire, but not all aimed fire is sighted fire in the strict sense. I consider aimed fire only a rough form of sighted fire in the general sense.

BillCA
April 10, 2009, 10:38 PM
Question: if you're focused on the front sight, how do you tell if a guy just pulled out a cellphone versus a 380?

Is this an IQ test Jim? :p

If you have your gun in hand and pointed at someone, and you're doing everything right, you should already be in fear for your life. If not, whatindaheck are you pointing a gun at him for in the first place?

David Armstrong
April 10, 2009, 11:20 PM
The sights are only taped for training to teach the shooter to use the silhouette of the gun as a sight.
Sorry, but there are lots of instinct/point shooting/threat focus instruction that tapes the sights or removes them that do not use the silhouette of the gun for sighting purposes.
the superimposing of the rear of the pistol over the target meets most folks (but not your) definition of a FORM of sighted fire.
Don't know where you are getting that info. It doesn't meet the definition of any of the point shooting instructors I've worked with and trained with, it doesn't meet the NRA definition, it doesn't meet the Army definition, and so on. In fact I've never heard anybody make that claim before now.
But this thread is complicated enough without getting into that.
Doesn't have to be complicated, and it certainly shouldn't be. Sighted fire is focusing on the sights to aim the weapon. Focusing on the threat is threat focused or point shooting or instinctive shooting, depending on which terminology one prefers. It's been that way for years. The Army uses "Instinctive Fire": The firer concentrates on the target and points the weapon in the general direction of the target. While gripping the handguards with the nonfiring hand he extends the index finger to the front, automatically aiming the weapon on a line towards the target. (from FM 3-06.11)

David Armstrong
April 10, 2009, 11:27 PM
Idle curiosity, which branch of the military allegedly teaches point shooting?
U.S. Army was teaching it in 2003, and AFAIK it still is today. It is part of their Quick Kill/Quick Fire program. I understand that it has been somewhat absorbed into the current Reflexive Fire doctrine.

David Armstrong
April 10, 2009, 11:30 PM
By my definition, many of the threat focused techniques (such as using the silhouette of the gun in your peripheral vision) are aiming techniques as opposed to sighted techniques.
Right. Just because you are point shooting it doesn't mean you are not aiming the gun, it just means you are aiming it using some method other than using the sights.

NRAhab
April 11, 2009, 11:28 AM
There's a galaxy of difference it would seem between "reflexive fire" with a carbine and point shooting with a pistol though, both from a training and tactical standpoint.

David Armstrong
April 11, 2009, 12:13 PM
There's a galaxy of difference it would seem between "reflexive fire" with a carbine and point shooting with a pistol though, both from a training and tactical standpoint.
We'll disagree. Looking at the FM and such it appears the concept and principles are just the same, only the weapon differs.

NRAhab
April 11, 2009, 03:27 PM
I'm not talking about "concept and principles", I'm talking about the actual mechanics of using a rifle vs. a pistol, which are radically different.

poposharpe
April 11, 2009, 03:31 PM
If I adjust the rear sight on my P22 to the left, which way will it make my bullet go

Jim March
April 11, 2009, 05:45 PM
Left.

David Armstrong
April 11, 2009, 11:52 PM
I'm not talking about "concept and principles", I'm talking about the actual mechanics of using a rifle vs. a pistol, which are radically different.

that is a little different animal than the previous post, which was "There's a galaxy of difference it would seem between "reflexive fire" with a carbine and point shooting with a pistol though, both from a training and tactical standpoint. " The training and the tactics are much the same. And as the concepts and priciples are used for firing both carbines and pistols, I'm not sure what the mechanical differences between the weapons would matter to the discussion.

matthew temkin
April 12, 2009, 07:19 AM
About 14 months ago I trained an 18 year current Army instructor in both rifle and handgun point shooting. ( It was at SouthNarc's range in Miss.)
His job was then to teach the current Army's close range rifle program to the infantry.
I commented that what he was teaching with the rifle was very similar to the WW2 long gun point shooting that my dad (who was a WW2 Ranger) taught me.
So I guess you can say that the Army is teaching point shooting, at least as an advanced skill.
He was very impressed with how easy, simple and accurate handgun point shooting was, especially that it only took a couple of boxes of ammo to get it down pat.
You guys can debate here all you want, but until you receive some hands on training, your debates resembles virgins talking about sex.
Once again, here is my home study course for those who want to explore this skill.
http://kilogulf59.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=handgun&action=display&thread=114

PPS..here is his review of our range time together:
http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?t=34500

I spent this last weekend with Matt Temkin, his friend Paul and Southnarc. Southnarc was a great host to all of us! Those of you who are still wondering about the Fairbairn-Sykes/Applegate PS concept, let me tell you: it is valid and it should be a part of any gunmans reportoire.

We worked on PS with rifle and pistol; going through the whole of what Matt has been talking about for a while now. For the close fight, which as we all know, is close, quick and violent, these are some of the best techniques I have seen for dealing with a situation of this type. My goal now is to work out for myself where they fit in my bag of tricks along with what I have in there already.

Matt also beat me up for a while using the WWII combatives out of "Get Tough" and "Kill Or Get Killed." Yeah, it hurt. But, I'll be showing it to my LTs when I get back to work in a few weeks. It is extremely effective, and isn't the watered down, PC crap that passes for fighting skills these days.

I want to thank these guys for letting me hang out with them, and pick their brains for a while. Train with Matt if you get the chance. Just bring lots of ammo, Matt likes to shoot...a lot!
__________________

Dragon55
April 12, 2009, 07:28 AM
was an Orkin man. He had been on the job 20+ years. I'm not sure how it applies and is probably off topic it's just that reading this thread made me remember. At 7yds he could drill the center with consistency. He said he really didn't 'aim'.

NRAhab
April 12, 2009, 08:35 AM
I'm not sure what the mechanical differences between the weapons would matter to the discussion

It's a lot easier to point shoot with a carbine at close range than it is with a pistol. At least, it is if you know what you're doing with a carbine. You seem to think I am disagreeing with you or something.

You guys can debate here all you want, but until you receive some hands on training, your debates resembles virgins talking about sex.

OH LAWL. I would not rush to judge other people's training so quickly, my good man.

Shane Tuttle
April 12, 2009, 08:51 AM
You guys can debate here all you want, but until you receive some hands on training, your debates resembles virgins talking about sex.

Well, that settles it. What was I thinking? I guess the next time I consider receiving instruction from Massad Ayoob on methods of combat situations, I'll just blow him off and go straight to the "BTDT Almighty Ones"...:rolleyes::barf:

matthew temkin
April 12, 2009, 09:03 AM
Not quite,Tutlle8
A better analogy would be if I was blowing off Ayoob's instruction without either training with the man, researching his written/video works or at least training with someone who trained with him.
In that case then my opinions on him/his system
would not be worth the ink they were printed on.
Or, in other words, like a virgin...

NRAhab
April 12, 2009, 09:21 AM
Which is precisely why I recommend to friends and shooters that if they're interested in learning about Combat Focused shooting, to check out Rob Pincus and ICE Training (http://www.icetraining.us/). Rob's one of the "top flight" trainers out there, and is featured on Outdoor Channel's The Best Defense on Wednesday nights. I'd reckon that if you're interested in learning about threat focused shooting, that you should skip all the internet experts and go train with the best.

KLRANGL
April 12, 2009, 10:15 AM
Rob's one of the "top flight" trainers out there, and is featured on Outdoor Channel's The Best Defense on Wednesday nights. I'd reckon that if you're interested in learning about threat focused shooting, that you should skip all the internet experts and go train with the best.
And it looks like Rob will be in VA Beach next month... guess i'll have to check it out.

Thanks for the insight guys...

Shane Tuttle
April 12, 2009, 11:01 AM
That really made me a bit depressed, Ahab. We've had to travel every time we wanted to go to a training course. This year we're taking a break from course training to bolster our savings and frankly making sure we're prepared if we become affected by the economy. Then I check out your link to Rob's site and they have a course in Cedar Rapids. That's only just over an hour away. Guess we're going to have to keep a close eye on their course schedule for next year and only hope they come back around.

matthew temkin
April 12, 2009, 03:08 PM
If one is seeking hands on instruction in threat/target focused shooting then Rob Pincus is a good man to go to.

NRAhab
April 12, 2009, 05:25 PM
Tuttle: that's one of the neat things about Rob's classes is that they move them around the country. It makes it easier for shooters to get access to instruction. In the world of "threat focused" shooting instructors, it pretty much goes Rob Pincus/ICE at the top and then everyone else falls beneath them (some more distantly than others).

KC Rob
April 12, 2009, 08:09 PM
My first time in the 360 degree simulator at Front Sight (I think you know what technique they teach there!) I shot the course and afterwards the instructor (who was clipped to the back of my belt) asked if I had looked at the front sight at all during the firing drill. I couldn't remember and he said "You did once, the rest of the time you were point shooting". We scored my targets and I was appalled at some of my shots, marginal hits on targets I could have reached out and touched! Then we came to the hostage target, a bad guy holding a knife to a little boys throat. I had two bullet holes touching between the eyes. The instructor said "This was the only time you looked at your sights". He said because of the difficulty of the shot, with the hostage covering most of the target, I reverted to my good technique because subconsciously I knew I needed to make a difficult shot, the rest of the time I was just reacting to targets popping up, not aiming.

I can see a difference in my groups when I focus on the front sight, when focusing on the target I still can shoot pretty well, but there is no doubt I can be more precise if I focus on the front sight.

Question: if you're focused on the front sight, how do you tell if a guy just pulled out a cellphone versus a 380?

If you are drawn and pointed at a guy and you don't know what he has in his hand, I have to assume you are robbing him, not the other way around. I can't think of why you would be pointing a gun at somebody you didn't know was a threat.

When I train, and I am drawn on a target, the gun is up in my plane of vision or at the low ready but I am looking at the target, giving commands to stop or what have you. I would have a clear view of what the target was doing. When I decide it is now time to shoot the threat, my eyes change focus from the target and now the front sight is my focus, the sights are already lined up, and I take up the slack on the trigger while fine tuning my aim and the gun goes bang, all in a split second. That is what works best for me.

matthew temkin
April 12, 2009, 09:13 PM
There is also this guy:
http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?t=46506

KLRANGL
April 12, 2009, 09:24 PM
If you are drawn and pointed at a guy and you don't know what he has in his hand, I have to assume you are robbing him, not the other way around. I can't think of why you would be pointing a gun at somebody you didn't know was a threat.
Come on man, dont assume... Guy I know drew down on a kid who jumped out at him from behind a car as he was closing his shop late one night... Kid was just "messing around" but thats a good situation to know what his hands and not your front sight are doing...

Interesting about your 360 degree training results, but I find it hard to beleive you can say with certainty that your hostage kill was front sight. Possible yes, maybe even likely, but accuracy will always increase in that situation because you instinctively take your time (kind of like what the instructor mentioned).

David Armstrong
April 12, 2009, 11:56 PM
If you are drawn and pointed at a guy and you don't know what he has in his hand, I have to assume you are robbing him, not the other way around. I can't think of why you would be pointing a gun at somebody you didn't know was a threat.
Given the previous responses around here, you should draw down on somebody even if they have no weapon visible if they are breaking into a car, inside your house, arguing with you, walking toward you in a parking lot, and a whole host of events!:D

NRAhab
April 12, 2009, 11:57 PM
Don't forget to always carry while you're on the john, Dave. That way if the pizza guy turns out to be a "tango", you can nail him while using your tactical toilet for cover.

David Armstrong
April 13, 2009, 08:51 AM
Don't forget to always carry while you're on the john, Dave. That way if the pizza guy turns out to be a "tango", you can nail him while using your tactical toilet for cover.
Oh lordy, I forgot. All those warrior schools--
Get Off the Toilet!
Tactical Toilet Training!
Fighting Toilet Skills!
Defensive Toilet Training!
Introduction to Defensive Toilet!
Close Range Toilet Fighting!
Toilet Terrorist Interdiction!
Toilet Armorer!
Toilet Rifle!
Advanced Toilet Rifle!
Extreme Toilet Rifle!
Target Identification from the Toilet: Is it really the pizza dude or is it a terrorist?
:eek:

KLRANGL
April 13, 2009, 08:59 AM
Hahaha, thanks for the laughs Dave.

But would you say there are some circumstances where drawing on someone and watching them, not your front sight, is prudent?

David Armstrong
April 13, 2009, 11:12 AM
But would you say there are some circumstances where drawing on someone and watching them, not your front sight, is prudent?
I would say that watching the BG instead of your front sight is usually the more prudent course of action. The front sight is not going to hurt me, the BG is, so that is where I want my attention and my focus unless there is some compelling reason to change that. Needing a precisions shot, for instance, would suggest a shift to a good sight picture, whereas some of the examples I gave earlier (someone messing with your car, unknown person in house, etc. or the example you gave where someone jsut sort of jumps out at you) would tend to suggest focus on the person until you determine danger levels, etc.