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Old September 11, 2008, 10:27 PM   #1
Saab1911
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Pointing

I'm sorry. I know that a lot of people think that pointing with the finger
is inherently accurate, but I think it's just a bunch of hooey.

darkgael made a good point on the grip angle thread. He pointed out that
free pistols are made such that the barrel is designed to line up with bones
of the arm and thus you can point the barrel like it is your finger.

That's well and good. darkgael had a good point. The rest of what I'm
going to say does not discredit what dargael has said.

For finger pointing to be accurate as aiming with sights, you'd have to have
your arm growing out of your eye. That's the only way pointing your finger
will line up the sights on your pistol.

Try pointing at something, anything. Try it right now. Now look at your
finger. Imagine sights on your finger. Do the sights line up with your eye?
No, the imaginary sights on your finger line up with your shoulder or your
elbow. That would be great if your eyes were on your shoulder.

Now, take a pistol in your hand and aim it with the sights. Now look at
your arms. The hands are tilted. This is required to line up the axis of
the sights with your eyes. You are not pointing your hands like you
would normally point. When pointing naturally, your finger lines up with the
bone in your forearm. With practice you have taught yourself how to point
your pistol such that the sights line up.

Also, this myth about pointing being inherently accurate is just that. I
for one do not have a thunderbolt that shoots out of my finger. I don't
know that pointing is accurate, and neither do the people who swear that
pointing is accurate.

Instinctive shooting such as in cowboy action shooting (shooting from the
hip) takes practice practice practice and in my opinion has nothing to do
with inherent accuracy of finger pointing.

What do you think?

And if you practice enough with a pistol, any pistol, you'll be able to quickly
acquire sight picture. This is practice and has nothing to do with superior
pointability of a pistol. If a pistol doesn't point for you (i.e. takes you longer
to acquire sight picture) you just need more practice with that pistol.

And shooting without at least acquiring flash front sight picture is a recipe
for a quick miss. If you are able to acquire sight picture more or less
quickly with a given pistol, you should only let that fact affect how quickly
you can shoot that pistol and not how accurate you are with that pistol.
If it takes you longer to acquire sight picture, you wait until you have the
sight picture before you shoot, unless you have practiced instinctive shooting
extensively.

Cheers,

Jae
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Old September 11, 2008, 10:45 PM   #2
Striker071
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ok then I want you to also try this exercise. using your periferal (not sure if I spelled that right) vission point at a door knob and then look down your arm and see how close you would be to hitting the door knob if you finger was your sight picture...
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Old September 11, 2008, 10:56 PM   #3
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Pointing is ok at extremely close range, but nothing beats using your sights from about 15 ft to 1000 yards plus.
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Old September 12, 2008, 07:42 AM   #4
Saab1911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker
ok then I want you to also try this exercise. using your periferal (not sure if I spelled that right) vission point at a door knob and then look down your arm and see how close you would be to hitting the door knob if you finger was your sight picture...
Pretty close, but I don't really see your point.

My point is that anything that requires hand eye coordination has to be
practiced and practiced a lot. Shooting an arrow. Throwing a ball. Catching
a ball. Touch typing on a keyboard.

Please don't tell me that touch typing skill is somehow encoded into our DNA


By the same token, saying that somehow the act of pointing at something
is somehow inherently accurate is as much a myth as the one we just
debunked regarding just racking a shotgun and thereby making a perp go in his
pants and cry out for his momma

If you point with your finger, the tip of your finger will be aligned with
your eye. And if the finger is a gun, you'll badly miss anything at which
you're shooting because the imaginary sights would be pointing at an
angle to line of sight.

Hooey I tell you. A bunch of Hooey!
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Old September 12, 2008, 08:02 AM   #5
Keltyke
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Nothing beats sights at ANY distance. No one has ever said that. However, Saab1911, you are wrong to discredit "pointing". When I first learned to shoot, it was two-handed from a low ready position. With a S&W Model 19, I put 50 in the COM to qualify for a security guard position. Yes, it DOES take a little practice, but it's more instinctive than you might think.

When you "point", you're usually looking over the top of the slide or barrel - or your finger.

It's a natural platform to shoot from. A gun that "points" as your index finger does will be easier to line up the sights on. If you don't have to work to sight it, it will be quicker, too.

In a PD situation, you may not have the time or position to properly bring your gun up and sight it. You may find yourself shooting from a low ready position, or even from the hip. You may be lying flat on your back with the BG towering over you. You may have to shoot one handed.

Your gun may not be conducive to using sights. Most snubbies have about a 3" sight length, and simple fixed blade and groove sights. Sighting one takes a while. It's a "point" gun. Ultra compact semis are the same way. They have simple, short sights. Look along the top of the slide and fire. You ever try to actually sight a Keltec P-32?
You actually do better "pointing".

How about at night when you can't even SEE the sights? Not everyone has tritium on their guns.

Theory goes out the window when reality comes in the door.

Don't discount "point shooting". It works.
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Old September 12, 2008, 08:25 AM   #6
Saab1911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keltyke
Nothing beats sights at ANY distance. No one has ever said that. However, Saab1911, you are wrong to discredit "pointing". When I first learned to shoot, it was two-handed from a low ready position. With a S&W Model 19, I put 50 in the COM to qualify for a security guard position. Yes, it DOES take a little practice, but it's more instinctive than you might think.
You and I are not too far apart on this point.

We both agree that point shooting takes practice. If one is willing to put
in the time to practice instinctive point shooting without benefit of sights,
there are no objections.

And I submit that pistols which point "naturally" for a person may be simply
a pistol that one is used to. For example, the free pistols that darkgael
uses have grip angle that is 135 degrees No service pistol ever has
had grip angle that extreme. And one gets used to a pistol through
practice.

Practice practice practice.

I'm not discrediting point shooting. That would be like discrediting free
throw shooting in basketball. Both require a lot of practice.
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Last edited by Saab1911; September 12, 2008 at 08:42 AM. Reason: 90 + 45 = 135, duh
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Old September 12, 2008, 09:52 AM   #7
Scattergun Bob
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Saab1911

You said "For finger pointing to be accurate as aiming with sights"

I don't mean to be difficult but I don't really understand your point. Correct alignment of the bore to the target to deliver a perfectly placed shot requires BOTH aiming and sighting.

Aiming= grossly placing the bore in vertical and horizontal alignment with the target.

Sighting= verifying and correcting sight picture on the target as you squezze thru the sear break.

The idea of using your firing finger as a guide to point your muzzle in the direction of the target AND THEN accepting a flash sight picture is generally accepted as a truism of weapon deployment.

As the two GREAT proponents of point shooting Bill Jordan and Elmer Keith both said; pushing the gun out from your waist and pointing will get you close enough in a up-close and personal gunfight.
Neither of this folks advocated never using sighted fire.

So basically you are correct, however, at close contact fighting distance, sights may not be necessary to get hits!

Good Luck and Be Safe
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Old September 12, 2008, 09:59 AM   #8
Saab1911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scattergun Bob
pushing the gun out from your waist and pointing will get you close enough in a up-close and personal gunfight.
Close only counts in horse-shoes, hand grenades and shotguns. So, if
you're not armed with hand grenades, shot guns or horse shoes, you better
use your sights.

Or practice practice practice instinctive point shooting.
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Old September 12, 2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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Saab1911

Can you please explain to me at CONTACT distance how YOU will use your sights? when your enemy 3 feet away, you go right ahead a try using your sights, I will save the gun and look for the opportunity to point shoot the SOB.

Also I published
Aiming= grossly placing the bore in vertical and horizontal alignment with the target.

Sighting= verifying and correcting sight picture on the target as you squezze thru the sear break.

So that you would become educated and not confuse terms.

Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old September 12, 2008, 10:43 AM   #10
Saab1911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scattergun Bob
Can you please explain to me at CONTACT distance how YOU will use your sights? when your enemy 3 feet away, you go right ahead a try using your sights, I will save the gun and look for the opportunity to point shoot the SOB.
You've got me there. At contact distance, one cannot employ sights unless
you have the presence of mind and opportunity to increase distance from
attacker.

You can push off with one hand, get flash sight picture and shoot the SOB
(what if it's a DOB )

The thing with contact distance shooting is that you really can't practice
it. It's way too dangerous.

So, I would advocate somehow increasing the distance by backing up,
pushing off and getting flash front sight picture and shooting the SOB/DOB.

Flash front sight picture only takes 1/2 second, if you practice it.
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Old September 12, 2008, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Also, this myth about pointing being inherently accurate is just that. I
for one do not have a thunderbolt that shoots out of my finger. I don't
know that pointing is accurate, and neither do the people who swear that
pointing is accurate.
The ability to point at an object is one of the earliest stages of neurological and fine-motor skill development in humans. This skill goes hand in hand, no pun intended, with the ability to reach for and grasp at objects. To say that hand-eye coordination and the ability to accurately point a finger at an object "is a myth" is, yet again, another one of your off-the-wall claims.
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Old September 12, 2008, 11:16 AM   #12
Glenn E. Meyer
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The thing with contact distance shooting is that you really can't practice
it. It's way too dangerous.


If you shoot at targets, or opponents with sims or airsoft guns - with proper clothing, you can practice this quite well.

Sometimes, you don't have time to backup or there is no place to back up to. FOF - space is complex.

Even at IDPA matches we shoot close up retention position.

At the NTI, I've been in several close up 'gunfights'.
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Old September 12, 2008, 12:37 PM   #13
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What?
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:00 PM   #14
Saab1911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
If you shoot at targets, or opponents with sims or airsoft guns - with proper clothing, you can practice this quite well.
That's a good point. I hadn't thought of that.

But I shudder at what the targets look like during life fire practice from
close retention position (maybe something like toilet seats at a Truck
stop after the last cleaning lady has left for the night )
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:25 PM   #15
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That's why we train with knowledgable folks. Many internet conjectures are asked and answered.
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Old September 12, 2008, 02:18 PM   #16
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I would tend to assume that the reason for the OP's disdain is a dislike for "point shooting".

I'd recommend you learn something more about it before attempting to convince yourself that it's all bunk.

It's simply a matter of innate eye-hand coordination. You can point your finger pretty accurately without visually "sighting" over it, and you can learn to point shoot with adequate accuracy for close range self protection too.

It does require use of a gun that "points" well for the given practitioner, and that can be grasped in such a way that the grip is always the same.
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Old September 12, 2008, 02:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Close only counts in horse-shoes, hand grenades and shotguns. So, if you're not armed with hand grenades, shot guns or horse shoes, you better
use your sights.
Or practice practice practice instinctive point shooting.
Sorry, but that is just not correct. Close does count in gunfights and many other things. You don't have to hit the pupil of the right eyeball, hitting the head will suffice. You don't have to thread a round between the 4th and 5th ribs on the left side, a hit CoM will suffice. As for the practice practice practice, you are right in concept. But you miss the idea that it doesn't have to be practice with point shooting. We spend most of our lives developing and practicing eye-hand coordination, and point shooting builds upon that lifetime of skills development. As Creature said, this idea is far from a myth, it is well-researched and recognized by plenty of folks. For that matter, one can just look at the number of successful shootings where the shooter was not well trained in using sights or point shooting, but was able to succeed by pointing.
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Old September 12, 2008, 02:57 PM   #18
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Saab1911

You said "Flash front sight picture only takes 1/2 second, if you practice it. "

Again, I am confused by your statement. Verifying the sight picture as you are pulling thru the sear (what you are calling flash sight picture) , better NOT take 1/2 second. If practiced properly, the whole act of aiming, sighting, and firing, should take no more than .5 seconds. If your are taking 1/2 second to recognize a sight picture, no offense but you need to seek some good training.

I hear your answer of "making distance", and I am in favor of the M&M's, I think you are wise in using them. However, it will be your enemies job to deny you that opportunity. Think about adding new tools to your tool belt all of the time, learning other contact distance tools besides gaining distance will ONLY help you be better.


I keep saying; The other guy will detacate when, where, and how far away the gunfight will be. We will respond as best we can.


Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old September 12, 2008, 03:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
If you shoot at targets, or opponents with sims or airsoft guns - with proper clothing, you can practice this quite well.
Absolutely, and its very good practice.

I routinely practice my close range/contact distance draw, by myself against a 4"x4" clothes line pole in the yard using an airsoft P229. At those distances, the number of hits are far greater than the misses. The number of misses on a live target are pretty much nil, even while moving off line.

Pointing is definitely a useful tool and skill to have and use, as long as you know when and do move into something else as things progress or are necessary.
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Old September 12, 2008, 05:46 PM   #20
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I have a far better way to show if you can point with your finger and hit. Just get a laser pointer with a pressure switch. Tape it to your index finger and 'bore sight it'. Then, with your eyes blocked so you cannot see your hand nor finger, point at a distant object and see how close you are once you trip the pressure switch.

And then, just to make it more interesting, notice when you hold your carry gun, is the finger in alinment with the bore? If if isn't, then it makes you kind of wonder.

With all that said, you can still use point shooting. You just point with your forearm. But you must have a very good consitant grip on your gun or else it will shoot low, or high, or right, or left..... and any combination thereof.
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Old September 12, 2008, 10:03 PM   #21
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I have 3 targets that is use for draw and fire drills. they are 6'x3' with life size targets on them. The distances vary from day to day, but at 10' or less I point shoot, 10' to 25' I front sight only, beyond 25' I use both front and rear sights With the drills I have it to where I can draw double tap COM every time no matter which method I am using.
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Old September 14, 2008, 10:30 PM   #22
Sweatnbullets
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Quote:
What do you think?
I think that you have no training in point shooting and have no clue that you do not know what you do not know.

I feel that it is best to comment on the efficiency and effectiveness of things only after you have actually developed a decent knowledge base and put in the work.

"Lots of practice" is what a person says that has no idea what he is doing.
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Old September 14, 2008, 11:12 PM   #23
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Proper training while working with an experienced instructor can often resolve quite a number of hypothetical dilemmas and answer many questions.
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Old September 15, 2008, 12:46 AM   #24
.300H&H
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Point shooting is great, but there's no free lunch; it requires 'practice practice practice...' It's kinda like Golf ie. the art of learning a proper swing and
practicing it enough so that your body<as well as your mind>remembers it.
Good to practice with both eyes open and to know your dominant eye.


Here's a good test: Do you easily hit the target each time? Well, when you do - you're making some real progress.
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Old September 15, 2008, 12:15 PM   #25
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Jerry Miculek, fastest revolver shooting in the world, USES THE FRONT SIGHT. (per his CD, Ultimate Advanced Revolver).

He dosnt point, he uses the front sight. It dosnt appear to slow him down.

You spend hours, weeks, and years, getting on the front sight, and the time comes, In "panic must shoot situation", YOU'RE GONNA GET ON THE FRONT SIGHT, wheather you realize it or not. AND YOU'RE GONNA BE BETTER THEN IF YOU POINT SHOOT.

That is the whole purpose of Training, and Practice, to develope (GOOD) habits that your sub-consicence is gonna revert to.

Even as a LE firearms instructor, we had to qualify like everyone else (though we had higher standards to keep our instructor status). Even at 7 ft. I used the sights where the Chief Instructor keep scream POINT SHOOT, POINT SHOOT, I said why, I was well with in the time limit, and I had the groups to show the Fundamentals worked.

There no subsitute for training, using established fundamentals.
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