View Full Version : Pointing shooting works .

August 19, 2006, 07:14 PM
Well I was on the range and was as always , trying my hardest to stick as many holes in the shootNsee as possible .Maybe Because Im Just starting off in the pistol game but I find I really have to apply all the steps to be any way accurate .Front sight ,Target blurry , sight alignment ,trigger squeeze ,grip ,foot position and all those other tasks that nearly everyone on T.F.L probably does automatically .

Just before packing up time I decided to try one quick mag at seven yards , rapid fire .I just naturally pointed the pistol to the target and ripped through the mag .I was amazed to find that nearly the full mag was pretty tightly clustered in the five inch shootNsee .I Know I was only at seven yards but what I usually shoot at is 10 yards so there isnt that much of a difference .I found at that by instinctively pointing the pistol ,I was far more accurate then I ever was when I squinted down the barrel and lined up the sights .I also found that by pointing the pistol at the target and fireing ,I didn,t even notice the recoil ,whereas when I was line up the sights I could feel the gun snapping .

Well to make a long story short Im going to stick with point shooting . I find it much more acurate .I just wanted to know if the was any techniques anyone knew regards to point shooting .Are you meant to get a flash sight picture or are you meant to just concentrate on the target and point the gun directly at the target ,not looking at the target ?

Also What type of gun would be best suited to this type of shooting . ?

Thanks in advance

August 20, 2006, 01:03 PM
Bob, start here. This is complete PDF of "Shooting to Live" By Fairbairn and Sykes.


I am a point shooting instructor and I run courses out of Vegas. Here is the last course review from a course I ran in July. There are some very good insights from the student and plenty of lessons inside this review.

Last month I met up with Roger in Las Vegas for some private instruction
under his threat-focused training curriculum. I've taken several "modern
technique" defensive pistol courses, and was looking for something fresh.
The reason being that after a few force-on-force sessions, it became obvious
to me that when I came face to face with a living, moving threat that could
run and fight and shoot, my focus was steadfastly locked onto that threat.
After each encounter, I had no recollection of seeing any kind of sight
picture, but I could distinctly remember seeing each airsoft pellet land on
its target, making it clear to me that that's what I was focused on the
whole time. What I also noticed was that the vast majority of those pellets
were making good, thoracic cavity hits on the target. It occurred to me
that I (like most people) just have an instinctive tendency to hit what I'm
looking at.

Let me digress briefly here and mention that the my first love is
snowboarding (don't worry, this really is relevant :). I've taught it
professionally, and have also dabbled in mountain biking, dirt bike riding
and race car driving. What all of these activities have in common is a
high-adrenaline, fast-paced environment where split-second decisions with
extreme consequences are routinely made on instinct alone, with no time to
think. Sound familiar? There is also a single fundamental philosophy that
underpins all these activities: "Look where you want to go, NOT where you
DON'T want to go." Your body will instinctively, subconsciously steer you
to where you're looking, so when you focus on that rock or cliff or tree
that presents a danger to you, your body will invariably guide you right
into it. Splat! This is the single biggest mistake even experienced
snowboarders and bikers make. But if you focus on that little spot in
between the rocks or the trees, even if it can barely fit you and there's no
margin for error, your body will instinctively thread the needle. So it is
with shooting, I believe. Your shot will go where you focus, instinctively.
The advantage shooting has over these other activities is that our natural
instinct to focus on the threat now works for us, not against us, as long as
our training takes advantage of that instinct.

That brings me back to Roger's course. His training is all about taking
advantage of those two natural instincts (our instinct to aim where we
focus, and our instinct to focus on our threat). Aiming where you focus was
refined by a combination of finding your visual centerline, body index
positions, and hand-eye coordination. Focusing on the threat was refined by
placing a small piece of red tape in the center of the target's thoracic
cavity. Dozens of drills were run to refine these instincts in many
different scenarios.

From what I had read about this training from previous attendees, I had
arrived expecting to make solid, accurate unsighted hits immediately upon
beginning training. That was pretty much what happened. What's the point
of the training then, if we can already make unsighted hits naturally?
Consistency and confidence, that's what. Throughout the course of the day,
there were several times where my shots were not up to par. This is
precisely what I was concerned about before the training, and what led me to
take it: "How can I be sure that my shots will be good all the time?"
Fortunately, Roger is a good instructor and diagnostician. For example,
there were times, especially in multiple-target scenarios, where my shot
would appear at some random spot within the paper, not a good hit. Roger
would say "Where's your focus?" I would then focus on the small red tape
for the next shot and the hole would appear within a couple inches of it. I
had let my focus slip from where I wanted my shot to go to just focusing on
the target as a whole. In those situations, my shot would simply hit the
target as a whole, not necessarily a good hit. Same thing would happen when
I lost track of my gun in my visual centerline. The shots would stray off
to one side and Roger would say "Find your centerline" and the next shots
would be right on target. Regardless of how easy and natural this stuff is
to internalize, it still needs to be practiced regularly if it is to be
depended upon under stress. Bad guys in real life aren't going to be
wearing red dots on their chests to help you focus. These skills, like any
other, require practice. The advantage of them is that they work in
conjunction with natural instincts, and Roger's entire instructing style is
about training and practicing to take advantage of those instincts.

The second part of the course was all about shooting on the move. This was
a very challenging section, worthy of an entire course on its own. To add
to the stress, the temperature was beginning to climb past 100 degrees
towards 110 and beyond. There was a lot of material presented here that
will require a fair amount of practice to master. What wasn't presented
though, was any kind of flashy Hollywood moves that are so unnatural that
your body doesn't have a chance of pulling them off under realistic gunfight
conditions. These were dynamic, explosive, natural moves made while
shooting. My feeling is that I'd have gotten a lot more out of this section
if I'd already mastered the first section. Naturally, in a one-day, two-day
or even four-day course format, there's not enough time to master each
portion before moving on to the next. What I did take away from it were
lots of drills to practice on my own. I'm confident that if I find myself
hitting a wall where I'm not improving, I wouldn't hesitate to contact Roger
and pick his brain and/or schedule additional training.

Roger is an excellent trainer and host. He took care of all of the details
like sunscreen, shade, water, food, even cloth bandages to wrap my finger to
prevent "Glock knuckle". I went through 1800 rounds in a nine hour period,
on a day where the temperature went up to 114 degrees. You don't go through
that much ammo by listening to lectures, and you don't hang around in that
kind of heat if you're bored (I live at 6200ft altitude, 85 degrees is hot
for me). This course wasn't about theories, legalities, or doctrines about
where to put your feet or which geometric shapes to make with your arms. It
was about zippering, hammering, and otherwise shooting targets "to the
ground." I would recommend it to anybody with an open mind who wants to add
a new set of skills to their toolbox.

I should note that nothing in this course served to discredit or discourage
sighted shooting when the circumstances called for it. Naturally, this
being a threat-focused course, it was uncalled for most of the time, but
several drills emphasized the transition from threat-focused to
sight-focused shooting. Sight-focused shooting is an important but
incomplete skill in itself, just like threat-focused shooting is. The
difference is that there are a hundred places that'll teach you
sight-focused, but only a few that'll teach you threat-focused, giving
people the impression that the one is more important, or complete, than the
other. Anybody who has threat-focused or force-on-force training knows that
this type of training is absolutely essential, and hopefully its appeal and
necessity become more widely apparent in the near future.

August 20, 2006, 07:30 PM
I permanantly "loaned" my copy away.:confused:

August 20, 2006, 08:45 PM
A fellow that trained with F&S (can't recall his name) has added an interesting technique to the standard point-shooting method. I saw it on a show that was called "shooting gallery" or something simmilar.

You take a standard isocolese stance and then bring the pistol in as close to your lower chest as you can, keeping the angle of your arms equal to form a compressed isocolese stance. When you do this you hit whatever your body is pointed at with uncanny accuracy. Your upper body becomes a sort of stable, rotating turret in this position. It looked so odd on TV that I just had to try it out. Let me tell you, it works like a charm.

Shooting like this I can quickly put rounds on a torso-size target out to 20yds, while with the standard, one-handed F&S style I'm only really satisfied with my results inside of 10yds. It also seems like it might be better for weapon retention as you have two hands on the pistol and it is in tight to your body.

Try it out, you'll like it...

August 20, 2006, 09:00 PM
No problem Rimrod, it is my pleasure.

old bill, that is an excellent techinique and is part of my course. I call it "shooting from the count three." The turret for multiples is an outstanding skill.

I teach the ability to get hits anywhere throughout your drawstroke, both one handed and two. I also cover the ability to get hits from any position and from any angle. If you can see it, you can hit it, at logical distances.

August 21, 2006, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the replys guys :)


August 21, 2006, 05:02 PM
great link

August 21, 2006, 05:23 PM
ive had a similar experience with a 9mm glock of sorts, dont like them much.
i was shooting at a wooden post roughly 1.5 inches wide, it was vertical at the time. i loaded up the mag with 10 rounds, and tried hitting the post with slow, aimed shots. for the life of me i couldnt do it, i may have grazed it, but most likely just scared it. i loaded up another 10 rounds and decided to try point shooting. i hit it within 4 shots, wasnt dead centre, but it did fall over, and some splinters went flying most satisfactorily. if i had my 1911 that day, the post would have been very dead, multiple times over.

edit: forgot to mention, the distance was apporx. 12 meters

August 21, 2006, 07:35 PM
Bob and Dre-sa

I am convinced that point shooting "fits" certain people better than sighted fire. My personality and makeup just makes point shooting an excellent tool for me.

Sighted fire took so long and so much work to excel at, pointshooting came to me so naturally and was as easy as can be. I understood it instinctively and excelled at it immediately.:cool:

tony pasley
August 21, 2006, 07:52 PM
Point shooting is one good method of training, but don't forget that it is important to learn and practice others. No single shooting style is the answer and the more you know the better prepared.

August 21, 2006, 08:13 PM
Absolutely right Tony!

The question is, what do you learn first. I feel that for most people, it is best to learn sighted fire first. But, if you are struggleing with sighted fire, find that you have a natural gift for point shooting, and you carry daily it may be best to learn point shooting first.

As Tony said, you need to know both, but you also need to become proficient as soon as possible if you are carrying on a daily basis.

tony pasley
August 21, 2006, 09:47 PM
I learned sights first, then several different stances,then point shooting,then cover shooting, then my uncle sam got me to learn running shooting.

August 22, 2006, 07:03 AM
Time for my two cents: I love the book, "Shooting to Live," and think it has most of what you need if you are armed with a handgun. Yet at the same time, it isn't everything to all people. For one thing, it is about gunfighting but mainly from the standpoint of a large organization. Also, while he clearly believes in certain things and not in others, he manages to avoid sounding dogmatic about anything. He mentions both automatic pistols and revolvers, for instance, and he was decidedly unsure about what we all call stopping power and said so. He in fact says his uncertainty was based on his knowledge and experience in that respect. The more he learned, the less sure he was about what stopping power was.

He apparently was focused on training large numbers of men who probably had little prior experience with firearms and not a lot of time for the training. Though he was evidently successful and his methods were later used for exactly the same purpose, that is really where he comes up short and he would probably quickly admit it. Elmer Keith was almost the opposite.

Admittedly, Elmer Keith had zero first hand experience in gunfighting, though he comes close on about every other page of his biographies, but then, neither do I. Anyhow, I have suggested in other posts that the better gun handler (not necessarily the better gunfighter) is one who is more familiar with his gun. That means constant practice with the firearm, something the average policeman is unlikely to be able to do. Most other people can't either, for that matter. But the sort of familiarity can't be gained quickly (not "in a hurry, like Arthur Murray) but will be the result of years of frequent handling of personal firearms. Hardly of any practical value to new people, is it? But in theory, frequent, short shooting sessions should result in an intimate familiarity with your guns that you won't get any other way. It would probably help if the shooting were not on a formal range where you would be expected to follow formal rules and so on (because there are no such rules off the range) but that just makes it harder to accomplish. I believe that was largely the sort of shooting Keith did.

There is also a gulf between simply being a good shot, very familiar with your guns and being a gunfighter but that's another story.

August 22, 2006, 07:50 AM
My personal point shooting experience has been mixed.

Being involved in some competition shooting (2 years and going strong for IPSC), I tried both sighted and non-sighted shooting and here are some observations. For shooting man sized targets under 9 yards - and using a thumbs forward style grip - just point your thumbs to target and unload - I get 9 out of 10 in the target, 6 out of 10 in the Alpha.

For more precesion shooting and targets beyond 9 yards - I guess I have not trained enough of point shooting, because I cannot miss fast enough.

Transitioning between point shooting and sighted shooting is one of the skills I am trying to develop, and as echoed in some of the responses - multiple shooting skills are probably needed - not just one style -

After all if your loved one is being held hostage by a BG, are you really going to point shoot? Or use your sights? (If you really had to take him down....):eek:

August 22, 2006, 10:28 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head. Point shooting with precision and distance is tough. I am sure there are people that can do both well point shooting but I haven't seen it.

7 yard COM shots probably work fine. 7 yard headshots with point shooting . . . I need to be convinced. Perhaps some of the more experienced folks on the thread can comment.

Texas Ron
August 22, 2006, 11:34 AM
BlueTrain, I think you got it pretty much right. I was a Texas cop from 1968 to '82, and me and the boys had several occassions to be involved in gunfights. Wnen it happens it's the training or lack of that takes over. I practiced both sighted and point shooting coutinuously, but when the real thing happened I always looked for my sights. At least I think I did. I'm still here and some of them aren't. I do know that when I went for my gun and had to use it that it felt very familiar in my hand and I knew what to do with it. I stress practice often, because your trained reflexes will automatically take over in times of great stress. You won't think about it, you will just do it. Point shooting and sighted shooting are both important to know.

August 22, 2006, 12:02 PM
A fair analogy might be the manual transmission in a car. Assuming you are driving the same car every day, it doesn't take long for the coordination and manipulation of the levers and pedals to become automatic. Switch cars and you may have to learn where things are before you feel comfortable. But remember how hard it was when you were learning?

The gulf I referred to between just shooting and gunfighting (and also game hunting, which is also a different thing) is partly a phychological thing, which is overcoming the natural reluctance to kill something, which I am assuming is a natural thing. It may not be for some people! There is also considerably more to gunfighting (and hunting) beyond the things that happen on the range but clearly good shooting is a prerequisite. Overall, good training or preparation beforehand is necessary to have a proper reaction when the time comes. Since actual shooting incidents are fairly rare for most people, it makes the training that much more important.

It is also important to have the proper mental attitude as well if success is to be achieved and I suppose that applies to any endeavor. This may be the hardest part.

August 22, 2006, 12:50 PM
7 yard COM shots probably work fine. 7 yard headshots with point shooting . . . I need to be convinced..
It's possible and it works - although most people just need to be shown, or convinced, like yourself.
There are quite a few people out there who are significantly more skilled than I am at point-shooting, but I can consistently hit the head on a B27 target at 7 yards from the draw. If I can do it, so can others.

Some clarification:
There are fundamentally three variants of point-shooting. The first uses body-indexing to "aim" the weapon, the second uses peripheral vision, and the third uses the much-maligned "point AND shoot" method where you pull the trigger with your middle finger and "point" your index finger along the weapon towards the target.

My personal preference is to focus on the first two; number three just doesn't fit my style, background, or experience.

COM hits at 7 yards are easy using only body-indexing. Headshots at 7 yards using body-indexing is reasonable, but you need to practice quite a bit so that you always have that "awareness" of where you're rounds will strike. I can make headshots at 7 yards using body-indexing but if I don't practice for a couple weeks or so then I'm going to be off. Take that FWIW.

Headshots at 7 yards (and further out, actually) can easily be accomplished using the peripheral vision methodology, and it doesn't take an insane amount of practice once you get there.

Many people have voiced interest in point-shooting but are concerned about the 'transition' from PS to Sights. I'm not a point-shooting instructor, but I am a weapons and tactics instructor who teaches elements of point-shooting....if that makes sense.

Good luck!

August 22, 2006, 09:43 PM
It is not "either or" .....it is both. Point shooting is great for it's particular arena. When the action is fast and close and you are behind in the reactionary curve....point shooting is an outstanding tool.

Sighted fire definitely has it's place also. I believe that precision shots should be done with the use of the sights. I can get hits in the head out past 7 yards with pointshooting, but if I have the time to make a precision shot, I will transition my focus to the sights, especially in a hostage situation.

Integrating pointshooting and sighted fire is very simple to do. It just takes a little time to nail down your limitations.

My goal is to use my sights, that is my default....but I will not die trying to get to something that just may not be possible or logical.

August 24, 2006, 05:54 AM
I'm a recent convert to point shooting, but I certainly agree that it's not for every situation. I was sceptical, until I was instructed in it.

Personal Opinion? If you're within 7 or 8 metres when it all goes pear shaped, I'll take point shooting every time. Outside that distance, you've gotta be able to use those sights.

Different people will find that different options work better for them, but I think that whatever the style or technique, we need to be competant at it, and make sure we're comfortable with it, before we find that we need it.

the possum
August 24, 2006, 11:00 AM
I've used point shooting for a long time, and it came in handy last night.

I surveying some of the tornado damage in our woods and came across a smallish possum. I pulled out my .45 and lined up the sights on his head, since I had the time. Later examination showed the slug entered just at the top of his nose and exited behind his right eye. He tumbled out of the tree and took off running across the ground toward the corn field- I thought I'd somehow missed him at the time. So since he fell down behind a bushy sapling, I had to move around just to get another shot, and started slinging lead.

Now mind you, this is shooting at a small running target, while moving myself- running/stepping over a bunch of downed branches, ducking under and through more branches, shooting one handed in the dark, as my other hand was busy with the flashlight, within one second. I don't know how anyone expects to get a good sight picture under such circumstances. At least, I didn't bother, because point shooting worked just fine. I think it was my third shot that finally landed him, with several more just to make sure. (and the bowie knife.)

There are fundamentally three variants of point-shooting. The first uses body-indexing to "aim" the weapon, the second uses peripheral vision, and the third uses the much-maligned "point AND shoot" method where you pull the trigger with your middle finger and "point" your index finger along the weapon towards the target.

I suppose we'll have to name a fourth then, because I often use yet another version in addition to the peripheral vision one. I know where the bullet will go just by the way the gun feels in my hand. I know where my wrist is pointing. I don't need to "index" it off my body, and I don't need to see it at all. (well, at least back when I was in good practice.) I used to practice by blocking my peripheral vision with my left hand, and just holding the pistol out in all sorts of positions.

7 yard COM shots probably work fine. 7 yard headshots with point shooting . . . I need to be convinced.
Back when I was practicing regularly, I could keep nearly all my shots in a nickel sized group at 7 yards, taking my time, shooting from the hip. Going faster, they were more like soda can sized groups. I could do better with the peripheral vision technique.

matthew temkin
August 25, 2006, 07:56 AM
Point shooting home study course.....


Free of charge.

PS....point shooting is just one of several skills that should be mastered.

August 26, 2006, 11:21 PM
Close-up point shooting with peripheral vision is great fun, but in a real self defense encounter it must be remembered that we will all threat focus.
But, there's a glitch; threat focusing suppresses peripheral vision and leaves us with just tunnel/central vision. Peripheral sighting will not be there.

Why? Because the rods of the eye which give us our peripheral vision and much of our motion vision and night vision....become suppressed by 'real' threat focused-tunnel vision and we become visually handicapped, especially in low light and darkness.

What to do??

Learn to superimpose the handgun on the target and/or use the silhouette or slide technique. In a real deal, you'll end up doing it anyway, so just practice that way. It's as natural as the combat crouch.

August 26, 2006, 11:30 PM
Hello Skyguy,

On the most part, I agree with you. But, there are those rare individuals that are not effected by the physiological effects of a life threatening encounter. I have met a few and have a couple as friends.

I do agree to be more well rounded than just one technique. "See what you need to see" is the best way to train, so all of the bases are covered.

the possum
August 28, 2006, 09:24 AM
Peripheral sighting will not be there.

What to do??

"I know where the bullet will go just by the way the gun feels in my hand. I know where my wrist is pointing. I don't need to "index" it off my body, and I don't need to see it at all... I used to practice by blocking my peripheral vision with my left hand, and just holding the pistol out in all sorts of positions."


Not trying to belittle your advice, 'cause using the gun's outline does work too. But that ain't the only solution. There are times when it sure is nice to just know where the gun is pointing without even seeing it at all. Takes practice though. The possum I mentioned above was between 5-7 yards.

August 28, 2006, 11:47 AM
there are those rare individuals that are not effected by the physiological effects of a life threatening encounter. I have met a few and have a couple as friends.
If so, they're stoned SnB...they're stoned. :) Getting shot at has a way of focusing one's attention, not to mention a speedup of the heart rate, etc.

"See what you need to see" is the best way to train, so all of the bases are covered.
I agree in theory, but what 'exactly' does that mean in the context of self defense shooting? Do you mean tunnel vision, inattentional blindness, periphery, awareness, motion, low light?

Not trying to be contentious, just curious.

August 28, 2006, 04:36 PM
Then according to your claim, a person should not be able to punch and/or effectively block a H2H assault because of the loss our peripheral vision? While the scope of vision does narrows and becomes focused on the threat, however mine has never narrowed to the point where I could not fight effectively with hands and/or firearms be it with or without sights.

August 29, 2006, 12:49 PM
Then according to your claim, a person should not be able to punch and/or effectively block a H2H assault because of the loss our peripheral vision?
Never said that. In a fight we 'will' have tunnel vision which suppresses our peripheral vision. But we compensate for the loss of peripheral vision by 'extremely fast' movement of our central vision. We are then looking to punch, block, counter, sweep, etc...but alas, we don't see the punch that knocks us out. It's always the punch that we don't see!

While the scope of vision does narrows and becomes focused on the threat, however mine has never narrowed to the point where I could not fight effectively with hands and/or firearms be it with or without sights.

That's good, but everyone is capable of fighting with tunnel vision. It's nature's way. Plus, your enhanced ability is a result of years of practice and the benefits of emerging yourself in 'scenarios' which ordinary folk don't access.

Central vision is a cone of about 10-15% of our sight. It is concentrated vision and sees only one thing at a time, but in serial fashion.
To compensate for the suppression of peripheral vision, central vision looks very quickly at many points in space and in essence gives us the bigger picture.

Remember, it's the punch that you don't see that knocks you out. :)

August 29, 2006, 07:23 PM
Sky Guy,
If I do not ask the hard questions no one will learn. :)

Remember, it's the punch that you don't see that knocks you out. :) That is very true regardless of tunnel vision.

The point I was trying to make is that tunnel vision generally reduces the scope of vision to the size of the object the person is focusing on. The smaller the object the tighter the tunnel becomes. However, with, H2H and/or shooting the tunnel tends to surround the person you are fighting/shooting and other threats are not seen. Which when you think about it, the size of a person would be roughly equal to 15% to 20% of your vision. The real problem occurs when person becomes fixated on the other person's weapon. The tunnel becomes even smaller and is the reason why people are injured in their weapon hand or they do not see the other weapon. The amount of peripheral vision available depends on the size of the object the person is fixated on.