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Old December 14, 2007, 06:28 AM   #1
rbrgs
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Point Shooting

I've read several articles about civilian gunfights, and seen a couple of videos from Stop & Robs, and one thing I noticed is that in the real world, people look at the threat and not their sights. I practice point shooting regularly...anyone else?
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Old December 14, 2007, 09:24 AM   #2
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As practice I usually point shoot close target, aim at a farther target.

Up close you won't have time to aim anyway.
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Old December 14, 2007, 09:56 AM   #3
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I too practice Point Shooting, as well as sight aimed firing. I also shoot from retention for those real "up close and personal" moments.

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Old December 14, 2007, 01:20 PM   #4
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Point shooting is a great tool. So is aimed fire.
The problem is most people think if you do one, you can't do the other.
I feel you also need to shoot one handed, and weak handed.
( We will never know when, where or how an encounter may go )
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Old December 14, 2007, 01:39 PM   #5
BikerRN
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Quote:
Point shooting is a great tool. So is aimed fire.
The problem is most people think if you do one, you can't do the other.
I feel you also need to shoot one handed, and weak handed.
( We will never know when, where or how an encounter may go )
+1

Very well said NDN-MAN The more "tools" we have in our toolbox the better prepared we are.

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Old December 14, 2007, 01:44 PM   #6
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I also point-shoot at close targets, in the sense that I don't look at the sights, but I don't "practice" it. I save the time it takes to change my focus from the target to the sights, but the gun is in the same place, at the same time, as it would be if I were going to use the sights. At close range, I just don't need to confirm that the sights are on, but they are.
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Old December 14, 2007, 02:29 PM   #7
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I tend to have shaky hands so the technique that I've been using since childhood seems to work best for me at up to about 30-40 feet. That is I treat every target like a moving target and the pistol like I would a shotgun at a trap range and fire as the sights bear. It's very fast and accurate for me but I've been doing it that way for well over 40 years. Now that I have a super tack driver coming I'm trying to steady down and get good at conventional long distance aimed fire.
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Old December 14, 2007, 07:10 PM   #8
Erik
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I advocate practicing shooting using sighted shooting, retention shooting, and point shooting.

With the enphasis on training corresponding to that order.
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Last edited by Erik; December 15, 2007 at 01:23 PM. Reason: changed "from" to "using"
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Old December 14, 2007, 07:24 PM   #9
Hard Ball
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"I practice point shooting regularly...anyone else?"

I do and have for many years. It has saved my life teice.
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Old December 14, 2007, 08:54 PM   #10
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Sure Hard Ball, I point with my sights.

Just cause people in the stop-n-rob videos stick their guns out and fire does not mean everyone should. And no, not everyone does fails to look at their sights. And keep in mind there are many ways to 'see' the sights from hard focus on the front sight to soft focus to 'shooting out of the notch' to flash sight picture.

Guys, practice using the sights and bringing the gun up to the same place each time, sights or no, and after a while you will see at closer ranges you can get good hits even if you can't see the sights. I really don't care how you focus on the sights, as long as you do use them.

It's all a matter of memorizing your forearm, wrist, and grip angle (and it's easy, just bring the gun up to eye level and look at the relationship between them.) Even one handed you will have that angle.

The only other type of fire you need is a retention/hip method for ranges that are so close you risk having the gun grabbed.
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Old December 15, 2007, 12:06 AM   #11
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rbrgs,

Those types of observations, combined with experiences teaching people to shoot first with unaimed and then with sighted fire are what lead to the development of the approach we take in Combat Focus Shooting. The Balance between Speed & Precision is what determines the amount of deviation control needed for any given shot.. one hand, two hands, sighted, etc....

One of the recent CF Podcasts covered the idea of the BoS&P.

-RJPa
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Old December 15, 2007, 12:26 AM   #12
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Twenty five years ago on my second occasion shooting a handgun and first qualification session we were told to crouch and "instinctively point" at the 7 yard line firing two shots and re-holstering. I will never forget how my first shot aimed at center mass hit center head.

It seemed so easy until you started pulling the trigger. Of course the early production Taurus copies of the model 10 didn't help, but nothing would have really.

I lived out in the country so I bought some ammo and practiced. When I could put them all inside the 8 ring at seven yards called it good enough.
Then I tried it with my left hand only one day. Good thing it was out and away....

Over the years this technique seemed to disappear when it came time to qual.
The flash sight picture at five yards or slide indexing was taught or front sight or notch only depending on who was talking. I never gave up practicing point shooting at close range. Two handed, speed rock, whatever the RO will allow.

Also agree on weak hand practice. Shot the whole modified ppc (7 to 25 yards) weak hand unsupported today. Perhaps humbling but like they say you never know....

I have had a ccw instructor to tell us to always try and bring the pistol up to eye level in a two handed hold and aim. He was an LFI graduate.

I am looking forward to another class next November. The instructor I want to study under is over yonder on assignment. Pretty curious as to the state of point shooting in his world. (teaches for Blackwater and others in the high risk field but also offers civilian classes)

All in all, have talked to people who have missed at arms length range. So perhaps practicing point shooting at least out to 10 feet or so is a good idea.
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Old December 15, 2007, 01:45 AM   #13
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Aimed fire is the way to go...

...until you're in a situation where you can't do it. Real-world shootings often happen under circumstances where the sights aren't used (dark, quick, close, stress, etc.), so, yeah, you need to be a point shooter, too.

Does anyone have any good point shooting drills? Someday, I hope to live somewhere I can go out in back and shoot until I develop Ed McGivern - type powers, like shooting tin cans multiple times in the air, but right now, I have to practice on public ranges where that type of thing is very constrained.

The one drill I do is to tape up the rear sight, then shoot from the ready into a sheet of paper at 7 yards. Because of range safety constraints, I can't rapid fire, nor shoot from the holster.
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Old December 15, 2007, 02:01 AM   #14
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My Beretta 92 has dingy brown sights that i can't see even in daylight. But it's considered my backup and not my primary. So my work won't replace them. So I've always shot and qualified without using my sights. I don't score as well as the lucky guys on my team with night sights but I'm the first one done everytime. It's a great technique for stressfull situations or moving targets, and should be learned and used more than it is.

And by the way, when is having to use your backup not going to be a stressfull situation?
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Old December 15, 2007, 04:13 AM   #15
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in simunation training (paintball replaces bullet, used in regular gun with just primer used) i'll use sights (if i'm playing the bad guy) and wait for my target to get within range to engage, but when they are close or i'm not able to be stealthy it's more point shooting as I don't have time and can't focus on sights, moving target and the whats around me. If I do subconsiously notice anything it's the front sight. On range, In low light situations when they put flashing lights on, it's point shooting since our range is 180 degrees. At all other times I practice using sights and that helps keep you on target. Muscle memory is learned through 1000's of rounds.
Enough rounds through your choosen firearm and you'll be able to hit center of mass more then the average. Not bull's eye's, but close.
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Old December 15, 2007, 08:33 AM   #16
matthew temkin
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R1145--I consider point shooting to be the most vital skill that a shooter can own.
Shoot me an e mail at temkinmatthew@yahoo.com and I will send you a lesson plan that includes about 20 drills or so.
Meanwhile here is some interesting reading to whet your whistle.
http://www.gutterfighting.org/jellybryce.html
PS..I disagree that point shooting takes "thousands of rounds of muscle memory" or that it requires constant practice to maintain.
Interesting that Rob Pincus teaches point shooting before aimed fire.
Col. Applegate felt the same way and I have had some classes where virgin shooters were in attendence and things worked out very well for them.
PS..anyone else who wants the lesson plan has only to ask
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Old December 15, 2007, 12:45 PM   #17
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Slightly off-topic but in line with more information on Jelly Bryce is mention of Ron Owens' biographical book, Jelly Bryce, Legendary Lawman, for those interested in this unusually-gifted shooter.

Lightning-fast draw, point-shooting, deadly accuracy; such stuff as hasn't been recently emphasized or taught in any comprehensive sense until just very recently, and then only by a very few.

I like seeing the sights, if and when there's time and assuming you actually are able to see them. I also like extreme precision in shooting. I nonetheless also recognize the need for fast, adequately-accurate point shooting at close quarters, with no reference whatever to the sights. While the innate abilities of a Jelly Bryce are indeed rare, most folks steeped in the doctrines of The Modern Technique of the Pistol could and should usefully learn point shooting techniques too, IMNSHO.
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Old December 15, 2007, 02:02 PM   #18
rbrgs
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Here's one drill I use (at our NRA affiliated club range where we can do anything that's safe--shooting at a public range sounds like a bummer):

Crush a couple of aluminum cans and toss them on a dirt berm at about chest level. Step back two paces, draw and fire, watching the target. You'll see where the bullet hits the dirt; as soon as you see it, shoot again. Trust the force, or your subconscious, or whatever. As soon as you can reliably hit the can, take a step back and repeat. Then I'll try two cans, alternating; this teaches you to hit it rather than just walking your shots in.

I taught a clinic on point shooting for club members several years ago; after a couple of hundred rounds, everyone could make COM shots from across the room distances without ever looking away from the threat.
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Old December 15, 2007, 04:36 PM   #19
David Armstrong
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Quote:
R1145--I consider point shooting to be the most vital skill that a shooter can own.
Matt is one of a handful of folks here in the U.S. that worked hard, often in face of lots of ridicule, to keep point shooting alive during the rise of competition-driven Modern Technique shooting. And although it took a couple of decades, folks are now returning to the combat proven discipline of point shooting. About the only ones that downplay the importance of it any more are those who have little real fighting experience or those who feel that success in a range environment is more important than than actual combat.
Quote:
Interesting that Rob Pincus teaches point shooting before aimed fire.
Col. Applegate felt the same way ....
I think that is where we started losing our way, Matt, when we began emphasizing sights first as opposed to target focus first. The old assumption, of course, was that if you could hit a target at 25 or 50 yards it would be easy to hit one at 15', so we taught the skills needed for the long-range shooting and figured the up-close stuff would take care of itself. Took a long time to learn better.

Quote:
Guys, practice using the sights and bringing the gun up to the same place each time, sights or no, and after a while you will see at closer ranges you can get good hits even if you can't see the sights.
Why would you do that for close ranges when you can get better results faster with point shooting?

Quote:
I have had a ccw instructor to tell us to always try and bring the pistol up to eye level in a two handed hold and aim. He was an LFI graduate.
I'd suggest that is good advice, as one should always try to get the best shot off that is possible. But that is the key, IMO. Frequently you don't have the time, or there are environmental or physiological constraints that are in the way. That is when point shooting shines.
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Old December 15, 2007, 09:09 PM   #20
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^^^^ amen!

Let them laugh if they must. I am perfectly happy to blast away at my 10' target ("speed rock") while the experts chuckle over me wasting my ammo.

We all know of scenarios where point shooting would have carried the day. And everybody knows about the north hollywood shootout where nobody could deliver the goods at range.

I will work on both. Getting too old and slow to go and do, my goal now is get good enough to teach. When I get there I will be teaching both.
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Old December 15, 2007, 10:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
I've read several articles about civilian gunfights, and seen a couple of videos from Stop & Robs, and one thing I noticed is that in the real world, people look at the threat and not their sights.
Have you also noticed how many people miss while not looking at their sights, even at very close range? Many of those folks don't look at their sites because they don't have proper training. Others know how to use their sights just fine, but don't know how to point shoot. Both types of shooting work can work very well, but tend to work best when implemented by someone who knows when to point shoot, when to use sights, and is appropriately proficient with the required method.
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Old December 15, 2007, 11:02 PM   #22
Deaf Smith
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Quote:
Why would you do that for close ranges when you can get better results faster with point shooting?
Cause it's no faster and may very well not give as good a 'results'. And it surely is no easier to learn.

david, you are assuming one adjust the sights before firing. You are assuming you pause before firing. You are assuming all sighted fire is the same.

Your sights are verified, not adjusted. You shoot just at the end of the extension with the sight verification being instantious.

Just like there are several ways to point shoot, there are several ways to use your sights.
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Old December 15, 2007, 11:08 PM   #23
rbrgs
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Several of the better IPSC shooters at our club have told me they point shoot the close targets, the modern technique doesn't always work even in competition. And IDPA? Sights? I don't need no stinking sights!
Seriously, the main thing that is needed to learn to point shoot is feedback; you have to see where your shot went. Dirt seems to work better for this than paper; easier to see a splash than a little hole, and previous hits don't distract you.
I once had to shoot a wild dog (the pack had been guarding a pig carcass on the route my 3rd grader took to the bus stop); I heard it coming before I saw it, I was waiting when it cleared the bushes 4' from me and a PPK. I looked at it's chest and watched the round hit almost before I could think. I also got a pig earlier this year with my H&K P7: walked up to it with a red light spotlight (this is in my garden--no I'm not poaching), the aimed shot at 10' didn't drop it, but I hit it 4 more times (1 handed) before it could get is s*** together enough to run, and then it only got about 50'. If I didn't know I could hit it, I wouldn't have had the nerve to walk up to a pig in the middle of the night. I'm glad point shooting is coming back; I sometimes feel like a voice in the wilderness.
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Old December 16, 2007, 08:20 AM   #24
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David..thank you for the kind words.
I have adjusted my lesson plan to include a lot of two handed point shooting for police, since I have seen that it is best to keep them in their comfort zone at first.
If I have enough time I will gently work them into the one handed methods, since at close range that is where it's at.
At a recent two day class for armed citizens by the end of the first day the 20 students were very eager to learn the one handed methods, such as close hip, half hip and 3/4 hip--combat proven methods that some may think to be unnecessary.
You have my utmost respect and I hope that you will not be drawn into a stupid debate with, "you know who".
Sometimes the best response is no response.
Double Naught Spy...I could not have said it better myself.
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Old December 16, 2007, 11:26 AM   #25
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I practice with an airsoft clone of my carry gun. Several hundred rounds per week. I try to not look at the sights and shoot from 21 feet to 2 or 3 feet. Strong hand, weak hand and two handed.
When I do get to the range, I have found much improvement in my live fire point shooting gained from practicing with the airsoft.
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