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Old May 13, 2012, 11:54 PM   #1
swopjan
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Do you practice point-shooting?

About a month ago I was on the rifle range for annual qualification. At one point a few of us were afforded the opportunity to go through some combat scenarios on the IZMIT (sp. unknown, a training tool that uses CO2-filled magazines to simulate recoil and tracks shots with lasers).

I hadn't used iron sights for over two years, and not much before that. During the scenarios I found myself looking just over the sights and hitting enemies with good accuracy, only using the sights for enemies that were farther away or required more than two controlled pairs. One scenario sticks out in my head where I fired 19 shots at 5 enemies and dispatched 4 of them with 3 misses, sighting in only at the last one who took 7 hits before he stopped firing back. The guy I was shooting with had 16 shots and something like 3 hits total that scenario; our coach told him "you've been laying down suppressive fire the entire time."

My question is, does anyone practice point-shooting to where they feel they could hit a man-sized target 90% of the time under 100 meters with a rifle? I woul be interested to know how you practice and with what, as I am in a location that renders it literally impossible to obtain a rifle, ammo, and place to try it out. The IZMIT provides immediate feedback, showing red or yellow hits and green misses. Do you practice with steel plates or other reactive targets, then move on to something that wouldn't provide immediate feedback?

I'm also interested in handgun techniques and ranges too, as I might like to compete in CAS with a pair of 1851 revolvers whose sights leave something to be desired. Thank you for any input.
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Old May 14, 2012, 09:07 AM   #2
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I don't tend to do this with rifles because of the itty-bitty amount of movement it takes to bring the bullet off target and because it would be prohibitively expensive to train enough to get good with anything other than a .22. I did used to be able to reliably hit a plastic army man with my BB gun at around 40 feet, though, without sights, so what you're asking is probably doable with enough practice.

Handguns are an entirely different animal; I practice point-shooting with them a lot... probably 50% of my shooting. The reason for this is that in an emergency situation it's not unlikely that pointing will be more practical than aiming, and the ranges of engagement for handguns lead to a fair amount of forgiveness of small movements.
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Old May 14, 2012, 09:33 AM   #3
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With rifles and probably shotguns, there is such a thing as snap shooting. Not quite the same as point shooting, it does involve using the sights but so does point shooting sometimes. In all types of aiming, presumably there being no such thing as unaimed shooting, familiarity with the individual weapon is probably what counts the most. I would also suggest that snap shooting is possible only with iron sights but I'm not so familiar with optics.
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Old May 14, 2012, 09:59 AM   #4
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All shooting is kind of point shooting, even if there are sights on the gun.
Except for very deliberate shots on very small targets, the sights are more for reference.
Especially for any kind of fast shooting.
As any shotgunner or traditional archer can verify, it's good form that brings the weapon on target.
It's also true for handguns and rifles.
Sights just tell if the form was good or not.
Anyhow, that's how I see it.
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Old May 14, 2012, 05:16 PM   #5
CountryUgly
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Every fall....I squirrel hunt a lot and those things don't sit still enough most days to let you line up a good shot. That being said if I can kill dozens of squirrels running up trees (great reactive target btw) with a .22lr I don't see me having much trouble getting in a good snap shot with the 'ol AK at something as big as a person.
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Old May 14, 2012, 06:52 PM   #6
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willikers is right.

Pointing is pointing. In fact in the Navy the devices aiming the guns were 'Pointers'.

The trick is index. Once you perfect your index, usually using sight and some form of stance that allows a quick index of the sights, then you can get away from depending so much on the sights.

You see that alot in high level IPSC shooting. They have done their presentation so much and so well they don't depend on sights so much.

Oh, and BTW, Jeff Cooper and the 'Modern Technique' stressed his stance and presentation so much cause the flash sight picture was not to be adjusted, just verified.

Hence, a kind of quick pointing.

Nothing is really all that new.

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Old May 14, 2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Relying on the sights is still important in IPSC, it's just that the sights line up automatically. It depends on the degree of focus you need that determines how clean a sight picture is required.

Brian Enos has some great "Awareness" exercises. Basically, the first exercise that must be mastered is that you should be able to line up your sights anywhere at nothing in particular, then lower your gun. Then you close your eyes and raise your gun again to the same position. Upon opening your eyes, your sights should be aligned without any adjustment. These exercises progress to a point where you practice this from a cold draw while closing your eyes and having your sights perfectly aligned on a target once you open them.

Of course a prerequisite to even trying his most basic exercise is that you must be able to pick up your gun and have the sights aligned instantly with your eyes open. You should be able to turret your index for target transitions without needing to clean up your sight picture, regardless of the number of degrees you cover.

It's amazing how much stuff a person can practice without even dry firing their gun once.

Last edited by Gerry; May 14, 2012 at 08:29 PM.
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Old May 14, 2012, 11:09 PM   #8
swopjan
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Great input everybody, thank you. I'm going to try with some steel plates when I get an opportunity, see if I can duplicate my previous success on something other than a screen.

I'll have some other things to try out now too, like lining up the sights with my eyes closed. Never would have thought of that myself.
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Old May 15, 2012, 05:45 AM   #9
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I think that you will actually be using the sights (almost) no matter how you are shooting your rifle or shotgun. If you are, as they say, indexing on the sights, then that's using the sights. The question is, is that sufficient or not for your purposes, which is presumably always the same, no matter what: to hit the target. However, part of this is that your form will probably always be the same with a long gun. You will have it on your shoulder, left hand up front somewhere and your head down a little. It is a perfectly natural stance and easy enough to get into quickly.

It can be different with a handgun and there can be a form of point shooting that does not take into consideration the sights. That would be any style where the handgun is significantly below eye level, including what is referred to as hip shooting. Just when you should shift from one form or stance to another is a rather grey area.

Some pistols have always been referred to as "natural pointers." I don't know if there's any truth to that but it usually includes the Luger and some would include the Colt Single Action Army revolver and so on. Generally speaking, a heavier barrel (that is to say, with relatively more weight in the barrel) will make a handgun seem to point better. The same can also be said for rifles that have longer or heavier barrels. Not only do they point better, or at least seem to, they will be steadier to hold on target. They will also kick a little less but the bullet's already out of the barrel by then.

The critical factor is speed, of course. With no speed requirement, there is no reason not to take your time with lining up the sights. In those cases, the target will usually be paper. With everything else, time is an element you have to take into account.
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Old May 15, 2012, 12:15 PM   #10
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SD practice...Always!
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Old May 17, 2012, 04:46 PM   #11
mete
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Point shooting from the hip ? It takes only a very small bit of time to bring the gun up to the eye --but that Doubles the hit probability !!
Those tests were done years ago but it seems that most never heard about them !
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Old May 17, 2012, 07:07 PM   #12
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I always use the sights - faster at close range than at longer range.
I never want to be on the stand, trying to explain how I did not use the sights, and that errant round was "unaimed". That can handily lose a civil case.
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Old May 18, 2012, 05:57 PM   #13
Deaf Smith
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Quote:
I never want to be on the stand, trying to explain how I did not use the sights, and that errant round was "unaimed".
And so how would it look if you were on the stand explaining how your 'aimed' shot was errant? Either way you shot someone else inadvertently.

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Old May 18, 2012, 10:41 PM   #14
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Deaf, it will look better than saying that I did not aim, and thus "recklessly" and "without due reguard for the safety of others" fired the shot that was addressed 'to whom it may concern' and struck someone else.

My testimony will be, and I have records to show, that I trained extensivly and exercised every caution to avoid, to the extent possible under the circumstances, injury to others.

I have tesitfied in over 100 felony trials, and have been sued for wrongful death (I won). I know how lawyers can twist your words, and make you look as if you had no regard for the safety or rights of others.

Thus I do not practice 'point shooting', or any other form of unaimed fire.
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Old May 19, 2012, 10:25 PM   #15
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Subconsicious sight picture. Focusing on the threat, seeing the sights in your peripheral vision (You see the sights without looking at them). This is a standard technique taught at our school for combative rifle and pistol shooting for close to medium range.
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Old May 20, 2012, 12:23 AM   #16
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Many, MANY years ago, I used to point shoot with a BB gun (rifle)--I wouldn't call it practicing though--just having fun. I could consistently hit a chain-link fence pole (2" diameter steel pipe about 4' tall) from the hip at about 10-15 yards. I haven't done anything like that for decades.

I got pretty good at being on for windage but elevation was always very sloppy--it was really hard to index the muzzle accurately in the vertical direction when shooting from the hip.

If I were going to take the time to get the gun all the way up to my shoulder (or into a normal firing position) I'd definitely use my sights although I might not try for an extremely precise alignment if time was critical and the range was short.
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Old May 20, 2012, 08:15 AM   #17
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JohnSka: Many, MANY years ago, I used to point shoot with a BB gun (rifle)--I wouldn't call it practicing though--just having fun. I could consistently hit a chain-link fence pole (2" diameter steel pipe about 4' tall) from the hip at about 10-15 yards. I haven't done anything like that for decades.

I got pretty good at being on for windage but elevation was always very sloppy--it was really hard to index the muzzle accurately in the vertical direction when shooting from the hip.

That is what I did at the range yesterday, firing some with my S&W 625-5 45 Colt and my S&W 38 Airweight. We had four targets where I would draw the gun, or grab one and fire when my trainer I use, would call out the target. I managed to do pretty well. I did not aim, but did pull the gun up arm extended, not from the hip. One may not always have time to aim, use both hands. So I try to shoot one handed. I was shooting fairly close range. I do not practice much at long range. Did encounter a malfunction
with the S&W 625-5 revolver. Pulling the trigger slowly in locked up so
am having that fixed.
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Old May 20, 2012, 05:36 PM   #18
Deaf Smith
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it will look better than saying that I did not aim, and thus "recklessly" and "without due reguard for the safety of others" fired the shot that was addressed 'to whom it may concern' and struck someone else.
Sleuth,

NYPD regularly miss most of their shots as in the stats below. Now when they fire 90 rounds and hit the intended target a few times do they say they used their sights for EVERY shot? Even here at TFL there are numerous post of cops firing lots of shots and missing. Do they all swear they saw their shots for every shot?

Now there will be times due to darkness you just cannot see the sights (but as I have posted above there are ways around this) and to still then say you used your sights, well ok.

But Sleuth, you are not saying you did not 'aim'. You are just saying you did not use those two knobby things on your gun to guide the bullet. That's kind of different.

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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/o...#ixzz1vS4OmFLv

Over the past 10 years, city cops fired 4,702 bullets, accidentally pulled the trigger 323 times, and missed 78 percent of their intended targets, according to data The Post culled from a decade's worth of NYPD annual firearm-discharge reports.
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Old May 21, 2012, 06:22 AM   #19
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If I were in a gunfight, heaven forbid, how am I supposed to know if I'm actually hitting the target, which we assume here to be another human? These things are going to be as dynamic as they can possibly be and I rather doubt I'm going to have the presence of mind to observe hits on a clothed target that for sure won't be standing stock still.
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Old May 21, 2012, 05:04 PM   #20
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"Deaf", you are certainly welcome to avocate for point shooting. But when you hear the Judge ask the defendant to 'Please Rise", and he is talking to YOU, things look different.

And in todays' world, you can expect to have every post you have ever made on any forum presented, and the content twisted, to "prove" that you 'wantonly and recklessly endangered' the public by not aiming you handgun.

Best of luck to you.
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Old May 22, 2012, 03:54 PM   #21
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I've been practicing the maneuver most easily seen in the Tom Cruise movie "Collateral." (Hit man goes out on the town doing hits. Encounters 2 punks who try to rob him...)

Draw and fire two shots at arm's length or closer while keeping your gun arm elbow pinned to your side. (This to prevent just thrusting the gun to your assailant where he can remove it from your grasp. ) Free arm must remain planted on your belly so as to stay out of harm's way.

Then, when you've stepped back a pace or two, move the gun to a proper 2-handed sighting hold and continue shooting and backing until the target stops threatening.

In my drill, I continue applying double-taps until the gun runs dry. I can cover a lot of ground in reverse before all 15 rounds are gone.

The draw and pivot is a point shooting maneuver and took a small amount of practice to learn how to align it for best hits.
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Old May 22, 2012, 06:53 PM   #22
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Sleuth,

While I am not a huge proponent of point shooting (go read all the debates here and at GT about that and you will find that out), but even the California Highway Patrol train with it. You need to read about Lou Chiodo (he was a CHP instructor for many years, well known.)

http://www.gunfightersltd.com/

So it's not some mumbo-jumbo.

I'm a sighted fire and retention shooting advocate but I do see there are skillful people who do use it well.

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Old May 22, 2012, 10:40 PM   #23
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I've been practicing the maneuver most easily seen in the Tom Cruise movie "Collateral." (Hit man goes out on the town doing hits. Encounters 2 punks who try to rob him...)
They had already taken his property before he arrived on the scene and he called them back.

If you watch the scene in slow-motion you can see that the second gunman had to bobble his draw in order to make things work out well for Tom's character. Drawing against multiple armed opponents at close range is not a great recipe for success.
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Old May 23, 2012, 12:07 PM   #24
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first post

Interesting thread. I have a bit of military service and used, what I thought, was a common training technique. We taped line levels to the top of the various weapons and forced muscle memory to make it comfortable. It became natural to keep the weapon level while moving and pointing. With consistent practice and a good stock weld I can still do two to the targets chest while moving room to room. As distance increases to the targets the sights come into play. Not for everybody, but it works for me. jus sayin
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Old May 23, 2012, 01:01 PM   #25
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FWIW I sometimes practice drawing my S&W bodygaurd .38+P from a pocket holster and fire from the hip at a target 10' away. In my opinion this would be employed only as a last ditch attempt to survive a lethal encounter. At present between 70%-80% of my shots are inside the eight ring of a combat silhouette target. I would certainly employ the sights if time allowed.
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