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Old November 14, 2011, 01:01 PM   #1
sigcurious
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Point Shooting: How to get eyes away from the front sight?

I tried some point shooting the other day, and to my chagrin I couldn't really do it. In the sense of being able to bring my pistol up with precision and have it aimed where I wanted it, but an inability to not focus on the front sight as soon as it was up. I even tried bringing the pistol to bear with my eyes closed then opening them and still instead of being able to focus on the target my eyes were drawn to the front sight. Any tips for forcing/training my eyes to not immediately seek out the front sight when it's presented in my field of vision?

FWIW, I push the pistol out from my torso into firing position whether trying to point shoot or not.
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Old November 14, 2011, 01:41 PM   #2
pax
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Put a piece of tape over your sights.

Problem solved.

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Old November 14, 2011, 01:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Any tips for forcing/training my eyes to not immediately seek out the front sight when it's presented in my field of vision?
My most recent acquisition is a short-barrel GI 1911A1.

Sights are straight GI, no dots, no troughs, nothing but parkerized metal - so unless I really focus on the sights, I end up point shooting.

I was considering using some fingernail polish on the front, but I'm getting so used to not having any real focal point other than the target, I'm figuring this might screw me up so i have left it alone.

Several pulverized pumpkins in the backyard to attest that I'm getting pretty good with point-shooting it
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Old November 14, 2011, 02:04 PM   #4
briandg
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tape works. I had the people when I was working as a trainer in a point shooting class tape a piece of thin cardboard between front and back sights; it gave a solid plane of nothingness to keep the sights from distracting them.

You might try a long flat wooden stir stick taped on.
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Old November 14, 2011, 04:02 PM   #5
sigcurious
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Thanks for the ideas guys, Ill have to try the tape next range trip. If that's not enough Ill move on to the something taped between the sights. Have you guys found that once practiced in that method its easy to transition to uncovered sights and still not have the eyes drawn to the sights?
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Old November 14, 2011, 04:59 PM   #6
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Practice with airsoft...........a lot.
The slow moving bb can usually be seen on its way to the target.
And that really helps develop the hand-eye coordination necessary for point shooting.
At the range, have a gun with the sights removed.
I use a .22, that normally has a dot scope and no sights.
Without the scope, it's an excellent trainer.
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Old November 14, 2011, 10:12 PM   #7
Deaf Smith
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sigcurious,

Just look THROUGH your sights at the target. Let the sights blur.

You will be amazed at how you can see 'see' the sights enough to make out the alignment while still focusing on the target.

Don't worry about the darkness. Just keep memorising you hold as you fire. The way you index the gun. Then even if you cannot see the sights, bring the gun up as IF you could see the sights and fire.

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Old November 15, 2011, 11:53 AM   #8
doofus47
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When I did it, the instructors taped over the sights.
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Old November 15, 2011, 10:38 PM   #9
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Wait 30 years -- you'll have no trouble not seeing the front sight!
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Old November 15, 2011, 11:01 PM   #10
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hehehe
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Old November 15, 2011, 11:09 PM   #11
sigcurious
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heck I don't need to wait, I could just take off my glasses lol
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Old November 15, 2011, 11:18 PM   #12
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heck I don't need to wait, I could just take off my glasses
Lol Me too, but then I have to shoot by braille and the other people complain about me being down range touching the target to find the center when they are trying to shoot.
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Old November 16, 2011, 10:33 AM   #13
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Point shooting

Different people define point shooting differently. So, it could be we're not all on the same sheet of music. For me, point shooting means looking over the sights for approximate sight alignment. In bullseye shooting, focus is on the front sight with both the rear sight and target out of focus. In point shooting, it's the target that's in focus. Anyway, in a real-life encounter, your body will automatically exclude all that isn't essential to your survival and you will focus on the threat.

Try keeping your handgun pointed at the ground, maybe 20 feet in front of you. Focus on the target. Now start raising the gun until the front sight has entered your periferal vision. Try a few shots.
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Old November 28, 2011, 06:12 PM   #14
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"Point Shooting" low

In a class I took, the 32 year instructor discussed this but it sounds as though there was an additional element. In his recommendation, instead of trying to place the gun where it would normally be when you aim, that is at or slightly higher than shoulder level, you draw and quickly place it in front of you where it's most comfortable, which is about three or four inches lower than this. This allows you to draw quickly and have the gun in a comfortable position. You're also prevented from focusing too much on the front sight post because you have to lower your head slightly IOT see down the barrel. The idea is that your hands naturally point where your eyes are looking. I haven't tried this enough to be proficient but so far it seems relatively accurate--at least within 6-8 inches at 21 feet. Not amazing, but given the realities of a SD situation, this might be what you're likely to end up doing. As always, more practice is better.
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Old November 28, 2011, 10:03 PM   #15
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When point shooting, I pick a very small target within the target, like a button or another bullet hole or whatever that is an identifiable, discreet and small target and I focus on that.
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Old November 29, 2011, 03:27 AM   #16
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Well, if I bring the gun up in front of me where I can naturally see the sights, I am going to use them. It has become automatic for me too, though it is more of a "flash" sight picture when I'm drawing and shooting for speed. If I'm holding the gun in a bit tighter to my body and a little lower for better retention, that is when true point shooting kicks in for me (generally 5 yards or less). YMMV.
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Old November 29, 2011, 03:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
I tried some point shooting the other day, and to my chagrin I couldn't really do it. In the sense of being able to bring my pistol up with precision and have it aimed where I wanted it, but an inability to not focus on the front sight as soon as it was up.
OK, so you weren't born with the natural ability. Few of us are. But you can learn it just like you learned to ride a bicycle after you fell off the first few times.
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Old November 29, 2011, 07:16 AM   #18
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I have found that practicing dry with my crimson trace really helps a lot. It's not cheap but definitely a excellent training / defensive addition to any gun that supports one.
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Old November 29, 2011, 07:33 AM   #19
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Instinctive shooting.

I think I see nobby's problem. He tried to "bring his pistol up with precision." That is just what instinctive, or point shooting does not teach. Try just trusting that you are on tarket. How tiny is your car key and yet look how close, if not exactly in the keyhole, you are when you 'instinctivell' bring it to the keyhole. You 'instinctively aim' all day long without realizing it. You just have to be comfortable being uncomfortable for a bit. I started researching and applying the concept about twenty years ago with Lucky McDaniel's book because I am cross dominant and when I 'trusted' more and 'tried' less I began to become very accurate - not quite able to hit a BB with a BB though
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Old November 29, 2011, 09:00 AM   #20
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Longfellow wrote :
Quote:
I think I see nobby's problem. He tried to "bring his pistol up with precision." That is just what instinctive, or point shooting does not teach. Try just trusting that you are on tarket. How tiny is your car key and yet look how close, if not exactly in the keyhole, you are when you 'instinctivell' bring it to the keyhole. You 'instinctively aim' all day long without realizing it. You just have to be comfortable being uncomfortable for a bit. I started researching and applying the concept about twenty years ago with Lucky McDaniel's book because I am cross dominant and when I 'trusted' more and 'tried' less I began to become very accurate - not quite able to hit a BB with a BB though
If I may, . . . allow me to add the one other element in what he says: practice. That one word makes all the difference in the world. In his example of the car key, . . . we usually have to look at it for the first week or so, . . . after that, . . . we tend to call it "instinct", . . . but what it really is, is only muscle memory.

Practice will get that point shooting "muscle memory" to work as well as those arthritic old fingers still do when you tie your shoes. How many of us have looked down and : "Let's see now, . . . right over left, . . . pull tight, . . . use left thumb and forfinger to make bow in right string, . . . loop left string around right bow.........................."?

We don't think about it, . . . we just do it, . . . muscle memory, . . . produced by practice.

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Old November 30, 2011, 01:34 PM   #21
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I am primarily a bullseye shooter. I converted to action shooting some years back but the ingrained Bullseye training remained.

When I was action shooting regularlly, I noticed that I was point shooting from the 15 yrd line in. I did not try to point shoot it just happened.

Focus on the target (X ring) watch the bullet strike the target and adjust subconcusly. Do not think about adjusting the weapon.

Try this experment.

Fill a cup of coffee to the rim. Walk across the room. Conciously try not spill the liquid. You will spill it.

Fill another cup and walk across the same room. Do not think about preventing the spill. Just focus your eyes on the coffee. You will not spill the coffee.

The same is with point shooting. If you think about adjusting the bullet strike, you will over correct. If you maintain your focus on the target and concentrate on good trigger, your fine motor skills will make the adjustment.

A good exercise is to go to the 5 yd line and one handed shoot from the hip.
Use the technique described above and you will print a good center of mass group.
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Old November 30, 2011, 03:06 PM   #22
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Try dropping your pistol down a little farther in your plane of vision. Perhaps 10-14" or so below eye level.

Start a 3-5 yards and use some type of human silhouette target.

Extend the pistol in front of you with a two hand hold and focus on a spot on the target. If the sight distracts you lower it a little more.

Squeeze off a slow, smooth shot and note where it hits. Too high on the target, look at a spot lower, too low, look higher.

Practice drawing it from your holster, or raising it up from low ready and find the one and two handed positions that you naturally go to and that feel most comfortable. I don't believe there is one rote position thats the same for everyone and there is a whole continuum from waist level to eye level that one can practice. However, in sudden, up close, life threatening situations your natural one handed hold position is more than likely the one you will unconsciously assume.
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Old November 30, 2011, 09:17 PM   #23
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I think practicing point shooting is EXTREMELY important. Several years ago I read where an FBI firearms instructor said that if you go into a face-to-face gunfight, (1) you won't use the sights, and (2) you'll fire one handed. Probably true, when you sit down and think about it.

Most concealed carriers would probably do well to burn up some ammo point-shooting. What I do (we live on a farm) is tape a sheet of typing paper to a big tree trunk for a target, then back off 5-7 yards and point-shoot at it 3 rounds at a time, firing quickly. Shoulder level, straight arm, stiff elbow, eyes focused on the target, tight grip on the gun. Try it; it can be a real wake-up call.

One of the most difficult things to do under enormous stress is focus visually on a small point, so this is something to practice. Do NOT focus on the person: focus on a button on his shirt, or the tip of his nose, or whatever. This is a critically important habit to form. You can simulate this by using a black marker to make a 1/2" dot on the paper or target.

Just some notes.
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Old November 30, 2011, 10:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Several years ago I read where an FBI firearms instructor said that if you go into a face-to-face gunfight, (1) you won't use the sights, and (2) you'll fire one handed. Probably true, when you sit down and think about it.
Several years ago I did a shoot house drill in a 360 degree range (you could shoot safely in any direction). The instructor was literally attached to the rear of my belt so I could not physically turn around and shoot him. The drill involved pop up targets, loud noise, smoke, and other assorted mayhem. This drill was very, very, very, very, very far removed from an actual life and death shooting situation, but that being said it was stressful and chaotic to a much higher degree than anything I had ever encountered at the range.

At the end of the drill I found that I had misidentified and shot several innocent bystanders but generally had made good "kill" shots. The instructor asked me "Do you ever remember looking at your front sight?" I didn't. He confirmed that I wasn't even holding my pistol in my sight plane most of the time, in fact, he said the only time I actually held the gun in my sight plane and focused on the front sight was when a hostage target presented and I instinctively knew I had to make a precise shot and I put two in the BG's orbital cavity. The rest of the time I had been point shooting, which unfortunately was not what they were trying to teach me, I was supposed to be using the front sight. That being said, I made good shots for the most part, and the those "innocent bystanders"? What were they doing popping up in a window in the middle of a gunfight? Not so innocent if you ask me.
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Old December 1, 2011, 01:21 AM   #25
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A long time ago, in the Vietnam war era, some instructors started a novel way of training troops to be snap shooters, because of the generally close ranges and sudden events in RVN. What they did was to have troops train in a "jungle run" using BB guns with the sights removed. Turned out that most trainees got pretty good at it, and were able to translate it to their M-16 A1s. Obviously, success of a program doesn't guarantee its continuation in the US government.
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