View Full Version : Defensive shooting and sight picture discussion.

December 30, 2006, 04:59 PM
HI, yestarday i was out shooting with my brother in law, at his fathers house. They have 80 some acres of uninhabited land which we use for target shooting. We were out shooting our gun gong(sounds cool lol when it gets hit.), when we started a conversation on what a real self defense shooting would be like.

My brother in law stated that,in the army, his friend(a army ranger) was tuaght to quickly point shoot instead of aquiring the full sight picture. He described it like this. They had a series of pop up targets, and they were told to fire 2 bursts at the target that poped up. The targets that popped up were controlled by the instructor.

So, we tried something similar, we went to our ski hill(and conveinent backdrop) and he drew a circle, a square, and a triangle. the rules were, only fire at the target that was called for by the person standing behind the shooter, and only 2 round bursts.(we both wore safty equipment, and didnt stand to close to each other.)

At first it didnt go so well, but soon we figured out how to quickly go from holster to firing with out using the whole sight picture. WE bascily just pointed the front sight at the center of what ever was called. Now alot of the time we didnt holster the gun for each run, we kept it in a low ready stance. after about 40 some rounds we got pretty good at quickly pointing and shooting, and keeping the bullets in the target area. Now none of our shots were gonna be tack drivers but they were surprisingly accurate.

What is your oppinons on this, is this a viable method of drawing/shooting for me to practice? I found i could do well point shooting with my glock and with my s&w m15-3 .38.

I dont feel i described it well enough, briefly it goes like this. were standing in a low ready position, caller says, SQUARE( or what ever shape he feels like), shooter quickly raises pistol and fires a double tap as fast as he can while getting both bullets in the same area of the target.(with in the border of the shape). From my experiance this is done by simply using the front site as a aiming tool, were the front sight was is were i shot.

The whole time i completely ignored the rear white outline sight that comes standard on the glock, and i was consistantly placing the bullets, had the shapes been around the heart area of a human, in major organ hit areas.

So if anyone has any experiance with this type of training, and has any advice, i would love to hear it. sorry for the long winded post.

December 30, 2006, 05:40 PM
Probably if you do a search here or on google for point and shoot you will find many references.

Basically you have the ability to point at things with your index finger.

If you learn to point with a gun you can hit a target without using sights or aiming at all. Just point and shoot.

I have been able to hit targets using this methodology and I found that if I do a quick point and shoot a follow up shot using sights is very quick indeed. That is because your gun is already on target.

My plan, if I get in a gun fight, is to whip off a point and shoot followed by an aim and shoot.

The point and shoot will act as a supression round even if it does not hit. It HAS to cause the other guy to flinch/duck.

I understand that you can get real good at point and shoot. I have not had much practice and I am not an expert on this topic.

December 30, 2006, 07:38 PM
I have used/taught point shooting for over 40 years. It is very effective in those "sudden-death" situations. I don't have my library at hand, so I can't today give you book-name particulars, but a trainer for the Border Patrol has a club of point shooters which he calls the "Hole In One" club, using point shooting. Five rounds, one hole, 7 yards. Hundreds of members.


December 30, 2006, 08:39 PM
Basic references to point shooting may be:

Shooting to live by W.E. Fairbarn

Kill or get Killed by Rex Applegate

The Pistol Shooter's Book by Charles Askins

Quick or Dead by W. Cassidy

There are several other authors who covered the subject, though.

I cannot claim to be expert in the field, I practice it because it's fun and is an alternative to target shooting. I used point shooting once to eliminate a misterious running (toward my legs) animal in a dark room, it turned out to be an hand sized spider, hardly combat experience.


December 31, 2006, 01:22 PM
well, the reason i wish to study this further is, that, i just dont see how under that kind of stress and needed speed for survival one can line up the sights? i spent a few hours quick drawing from my holster and firing at the targets trying to line up my sights as fast as i can and it takes me around 4-6 seconds to get both shots off accuratly. But when i do my point shooting i get both shots in the area i need them to be in around 2 secs?!

I would hate to go to a shooting academy like gunsite and be denegrated by the instructors for using this technique. Cuase i really want to go there and learn more.

December 31, 2006, 01:58 PM
You didn't say how far away you were but if it was in the 3 - 7 yard range, you should be able to use the "point and shoot" method effectively. Beyond that, you should revert back to using the proper sight picture. That being said, I would doubt any instructor would degrade you for shooting like that. He may, however, explain why doing it the way he is instructing is a better choice. Just my 2 cents.

December 31, 2006, 02:55 PM
the range we were shooting at was around the 7-10 yard range, I really hate the fact that northern Indiana dosent have any good shooting academys for people to attend. I would really like to know a good way to draw, and aquire my full sight picture and fire. But untill i get the needed $1500 to attend gunsite accademy, ill just have to keep training the way i am now.

January 1, 2007, 06:03 AM
The Boone County Sheriff Department in Indiana often sponsors nationally known instructors to conduct training at their range. These instructors include Louis Awerbuck, Pat Rogers, and traveling instructors from Gunsite.Classes are held at at the Boone County Sheriff Firearms Range in Lebanon, IN.

Requirements include either a valid Indiana Firearms Permit or Criminal History Report verifying the student as a "Proper Person," eye and hearing protection, a suitable pistol, and the ammunition and tuition required for each training course . (As there is no fiscal impact on the Department for the course, all costs relating to the course must come from the student tuition's.)

Persons requesting additional information are requested to contact Sheriff Ken Campbell at (765)483-3359 or via email at [email protected]

January 1, 2007, 06:07 AM
You might also check out:

The Midwest Training Group, who does most of their training in Bloomington, Illinois.


or Tactical Defense Institute in West Union, Ohio


January 1, 2007, 09:54 AM
The effective range of unsighted fire is put between 4 and 7 yards, depending on the author. Personally, I do not find sight picture so slow to acquire anyway, a crude sight alignement can be obtained very quickly. I still prefer to aim anytime I can.


January 1, 2007, 09:58 AM
For several reasons.
In our city police do tactical training, entering rooms and shooting bad guys, other officers are the bad guys and there all armed with paint guns. They taught the same shooting style, don’t sight, shoot where you look. One of the problems that they found early on is that every one was getting shot in the hand most of the times, and although they had protection from the paint balls they didn’t have much for the hand. It hurt like H--L!
Some one studied the problem and what they found is that when going into a room with several people and only the bad guys were armed they looked first for the weapon. When they saw the weapon they shot at what they were looking at, and since most of there attention was on the hands of the bad guy that was what they shot. A hand is a very small target and easy to miss, and could be a wasted shot, and get your self killed.
You tend to shoot where you’re looking if you use this type of shooting. Its reaction, not action.
I have found that most people doing quick double tap or rapid second shot problems were caused by having only one eye open looking down the sight. This reduces your field of vision and the ability of your brain to gage distance.
What I found is that using a proper sight picture and teaching your self to open both eyes when shooting will work much better than garden hose shooting.
“5 rounds one hole 7 yards” That is a wonderful thing if you can do it, but my guess is that they could have done it with there eyes closed, but why would you want to.
You’re not using one of the simple tools that come with a gun.
It’s a good training aid and I don’t want to sound like I’m putting any one down for using it, for I have too, but before you start shooting blindly, look at what your shooting at and make sure of your shot placement.
Remember, you tend to shoot how you train your self,,, so train how you shoot and use all the tools at your disposal, all of them.

January 1, 2007, 10:15 AM
Consider the use of the sights in defensive shooting to be on a continuum:

The closer you are to the target, or the larger the target, the more coarse your sight picture/sight alignment can be.

The farther you are away from the target, or the smaller the target, the more precision is required in the use of the sights.

The same thing is true of trigger control.

Practice at reasonable sized targets at a variety of distances. Inside about 5 yards, point shooting/stance directed fire/unsighted shooting will usually work. Between (roughly) 5 and 10 yards, just getting the front sight on the target is usually enough to get a hit on target (as long as you don't terribly jerk the trigger or something). Beyond 10 yards, you will have to pay more attention to conventional sight picture/sight alignment.

The more practice you get, the quicker you will be able to achieve an acceptable level of sight picture/sight alignment and trigger control, depending upon the shot you need to make. Use only that amount of precision required to make that shot.

January 1, 2007, 02:09 PM
well i didnt close both of my eyes, i kept them both open. I have been trying and trying and trying, and it still takes me almost 5 seconds or more to draw from holster to get a good sight picture and fire. And thats just one shot. ITs damn near impossible to try and get a good sight picture and fire 2 quick shots. Your probably right about shooting what im looking at, but i dont want to die in a sd situation because i took 5+secs to align my sight.

ozzie you said that im ignoring the simple tools supplied by the gun. IM not, i just dont see how one can line up the rear outline and front dot fast enough in self defense situation to survive it.

Rob Pincus
January 1, 2007, 06:54 PM

There is a lot of info on the Combat Focus intuitive shooting program on our website and the newsletter archives, Valhalla Training Center. (http://www.valhallatraining.com)

Combat Accurate hits are easily attainable at realistic distances on realisitc targets by trusting what your body does naturally, focusing on the target and pulling the trigger smoothly with the gun in and parallel with your line of sight.

Combat Focus stresses the understanding of the balance between speed & precision that determines the need for sighted fire when appropriate. The only reliable way to develop an intuitive discrepancy is to train as realistically as possible.

Many police departments and military units are utilizing this program.


January 1, 2007, 08:38 PM
Hi Mordis,
in my opinion, from what I read, you belong to the shot shy shooters class, the kind of shooter who contemplates the sights in order to spot the magic moment of perfect alignement in order to pull the trigger.
Try to concentrate on trigger pull, that really deserves conscious effort, sight alignment should be achieved automatically, with little conscious effort on your part. Besides, imperfect sight alignment still keeps you in the black of the bullseye, whereas jerking the trigger throws you in the white easily.
I had several people telling me they got better hits without aiming (this on a mini bullseye used in air pistol tournsments, simulating a standard bullseye at 50 meters), they just paid no attention to trigger pull and got hypnothized by the sights.
When we were preparing for air rifle matches, my master stood behind us, when we announced we had mounted the rifle, he started saying "Go, go, go", because he wanted us to take the shot with fresh eyes and mind.
I got the attached 6 shots cluster during such kind of training.
Try to concentrate on the trigger, try to shoot one handed (this improves your trigger control, confidence and is very usefull in many senses).
Point shooting can be useful, but being able to use the sights in due time is applicable to a wider array of situations, try also the alternative sighting methods developed by master Jim Cirillo (read Guns Bullets and Gunfights).

Hope this helps


Deaf Smith
January 1, 2007, 09:46 PM


40S&W DPX/G23 involved in fatal shooting today:

"I can hardly put into words the events that occurred this afternoon in my life! I responded to a 'man-with-a gun' call. I was not in uniform, but one of our uniformed sergeants and I arrived on the scene about the same time.

I was first to confront the suspect (not known to us before today). He was
standing on a street corner. No gun was visible. However, the instant our marked car arrived, the suspect produced a pistol (brand/caliber unknown at
this writing) and fired one round at the vehicle. He then immediately pivoted around and fired several rounds at me! Neither our sergeant nor I were hit.

I drew my G23 from concealment and fired two shots (Cor-Bon 140gr DPX, issued by our department, starting in June of this year) at the suspect. R ange was eight meters. My front sight was on his body midline. To my great relief, the offender abruptly dropped his pistol and straightaway collapsed where he had been standing. Additional shooting was unnecessary. He was DRT. Never took another breath!

Evidence techs reported both of my rounds struck mid-chest, within three inches of each other. Both bullets expanded perfectly, caused massive inte rnal damage, and came to rest just under the skin on the opposite side of the suspect's body. Neither bullet exited.

I continue to live and breath this evening because of our department=80 s excellent training, my G23, and your ammunition technology. I thank you, G lock and Cor-Bon. Our entire department thanks you!"

Comment: Competent training, personal decisiveness, and superior technology combined to preserve this young officer's life. Oh, that it were universal!


Deaf Smith
January 1, 2007, 09:55 PM
The way I look at it, you first learn sighted fire. You learn good trigger control. You learn how to draw and use the weapon with either hand. You can use Weaver, Iso, Chapman, whatever for your two handed 'stance', and just plain bladed body, one handed fire for either hand. Sights? Use'em. It can be front sight focus, soft focus, shooting-out-of-the-notch, flash sight picture, etc.. but in some form, USE THOSE SIGHTS. And then learn a form of retention/hip shooting for 1-6 ft range.

If you master those above, you really don't need any other type of shooting methods. Zero. Point shooting can be dropped.

BUT, and here is the but... if you then, after mastering the above, want to expand your abilities, sure learn point shooting. Heck, I do it. But I also know it is a 'nice to have', not a 'must have'. Learn the must have first, and then if you want to learn more, well the sky is the limit.

Rob Pincus
January 1, 2007, 10:01 PM
Actually, we've proven over and over again that it is easier (read: more efficient and faster) to teach people how to shoot effectively in a non-mechanical way and THEN teach sighted/mechanical shooting principles for times when greater precision is needed.

Email for further discussion.



January 2, 2007, 02:38 PM
Edited Rob pm sent

January 2, 2007, 03:59 PM
Some comments.

If your target appears larger than your front sight, then the target is within range. -- Col. Jeff Cooper on handgun shooting.

Post shooting interviews with police officers who survived a shooting encounter indicate that they can recall seeing their front sight on the middle of the target, but not the rear sights. Repeated tests show that a highly visible front sight is all that is required up to about 10-12 yards to score hits, as long as it is close to COM.

My own experience, especially lately as I need a new eyeglass prescription, is that focusing on the front sight alone is usually sufficient to reliably score good hits up to 10 yards.

For "point shooting", the gun should be low and out from the body, almost like an old-west gunfighter. Think of your elbow just forward of your stomach (or against it if you have my paunch! :D) so that your peripheral vision picks it up. This is for shooting between near-contact distance to about 4-5 yards quickly. With practice you can quickly make COM shots at different angle to your body without ever bringing the gun above your upper chest.

January 2, 2007, 05:49 PM
Hi Bill,
your comments on point shooting would sound somewhat strange to the old school guys.
The Shangai OSS legacy stressed using a stiff arm at eye level, Askins himself used hip shooting but admitted best results are obtained from eye level (see George Parker demonstrating "double action shooting position" in The Pistol Shooter's Book).
I find that, with high visibility sights, point shooting technique allows me to see the sights, with small black sights this doesn't happen, anyway what differentiates point shooting from sighted fire, in my understanding, is that in the former you focus on the target.

January 2, 2007, 07:09 PM
After reading some of the others here, it made me think a little more about just the sight picture that I use when doing rapid shooting or double taps. What I have found works best for me and it was with years of practice, I use the front sight to line on the target and the back sight is in soft focus and when the two are close in line and the combination of the two are within the kill zone of a silhouette target is when I fire the round each time.
The only way I have been able to do this and do it fairly well is practice and practice. With the gun pointed down and with my eyes on the target I can bring the gun up and place 2 rapid shots and can consistently keep them within the kill zone. Using a helper and a buzzer I can usually get the two rounds off in less than a second.
Another point is the sights, for me, it matter a great deal what the sights are. With a black front and rear sight in a normally lit range on a black silhouette target I can’t hit squat consistently.
But with a wide White vertical bar front and ether two white dot or white outlined rear it works well. I have found that the correct sight makes the most difference, it’s the ability to pick up both sights, the easier it is to pick them up the quicker and better the shot placement can be.

January 2, 2007, 08:38 PM
I just ordered Rob Pincus' COMBAT FOCUS SHOOTING book. I look forward to reading it with great interest.

January 2, 2007, 10:52 PM
Just to clear up a couple of things.

I teach a point shooting course out of Vegas. I was taught by a few of the most prolific internet point shooting advocates. I was taught Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate (FSA) point shooting by Matt Temkin (who trained with Applegate himself.) I was taught Quick Fire, Reflexive fire, and FSA by 7677, who learned these skills in the military, at FLETC, and from his father. He used these skills on the street and in Desert Storm. I was taught Quick Kill by Robin Brown who learned it directly from Lucky McDanials.

These are all established point shooting system.

I want to warn against confusion with "Point and Shoot." "Point and shoot" is a term put on to a technique where you pull the trigger with your middle finger while keeping your index finger straight along the frame. This is absolutely an unnecessary technique and should be avoided at all costs, IMHO. Do not google or search for "point and shoot" unless you want an inferior techniqe that is built around the marketing of a "finger shelf" that attaches to your gun.

Let us all please not use the "point and shoot" term unless you want to pull the trigger with the middle finger.:confused: What we are talking about here is "point shooting."

Armedandsafe, you are trying to remember Jim Gregg. His book can be found here. Jimgregg.net

mordis, go ahead and start here. These are complete pdf's to "Shooting to Live" and "Killed or Get Killed."



January 3, 2007, 01:54 AM

Take a look at any photos from FBI training in the 1930's and 40's. At that time they taught the "FBI Crouch" position -- knees flexed, gun arm extended about chest level, weak-arm over the center of the chest. Yes, this is an 'obsolete' technique and just about any aimed firing will outscore it. However, in tight quarters or close encounters, it is exactly the kind of shooting you will end up doing when countering a close-range threat.

Point shooting -- where the gun is not at eye level and the sights aren't used -- is a rapid response to a close-range threat, such as in a parking garage, hallway or other place where you are close to your attacker (i.e. under about 15-20ft). This is especially important in near-contact distance shooting where raising the gun to eye level with arms extended could result in a slap or grab of the weapon by your opponent. At slightly further distances -- say between 10 to 15 feet you should be able to drill your attacker without using the sights. One can easily imagine an attacker standing at your garage door as you have just stepped out of your car.

Aimed shooting is much preferred and more accurate, regardless of whether you are using just the front sight or both front & rear sights. Time, distance and circumstances, however, can dictate the need for rapid, single handed shooting without bringing the weapon up to eye level. Knowing how only requires some practice at those closer distances.

January 3, 2007, 02:21 PM
Bill, I see, I just tend to class the FBI crouch as hip shooting.
For a matter of curiosity, if anyone happened to see Jan Boger's "Combat Training", there is a unique mix of FBI crouch isosceles arms position and a "Weaver hold" (actually a simple two handed hold), this was appearently the basis of pistol training in West Germany. A German policeman I met confirmed it.


January 3, 2007, 03:11 PM
Having read the original post several times

I would not call what you were doing "point shooting"

I would call it sighted fire

Where a LOT of PS discussions get derailed is in the definitions

In my book, you were using the sights...maybe not a real precise sight picture

But I am with BillCA on what constitutes PS

January 4, 2007, 12:26 PM
My appologies for the confusion, i am using the sights, just the front sight. I just didnt know what to call it and point shooting sounded about right. What im doing and take yo ur guns and try it.(empty and in a safe place of course)
Find a target(something to point at) and aim the front sight at the middle of it, with the top of the front sight in middle of the target. Then with out moving the gun or sights, move your head down to the rear sight and check the alignment. From my experiance it is usually lined up pretty good with the front sight.

January 4, 2007, 12:43 PM
So...front sight...press....

Some would call that modern technique

January 4, 2007, 07:27 PM
It all depends on where your focus is. If the focus is on the threat or the targeted area it is point shooting. If the focus is on the front sight it is sighted fire. Either way it is aimed fire and just part of the sight continuum.

Deaf Smith
January 4, 2007, 10:00 PM
And tell me guys... what do you classify soft focus? Or type 2 focus. Or Shooting-out-of-the-notch? And if you are Shooting-out-of-the-notch with soft focus?

And what about if you cannot even see the weapon (hip shooting?)

January 4, 2007, 10:06 PM
deaf, you know me, I use the historical definition of "point shooting."

Both type two focus and hip shooting are point shooting if your focus is on the target/threat. Every aiming method that puts your focus on the target/threat is point shooting.

January 4, 2007, 11:33 PM
In my book (and probably ONLY in my book)

If the sights are used it is sighted fire

Even if they are not perfectly lined up (in the real world are they ever?)

Body index alone...be it from the hip or otherwise is point shooting

PS occurs in my toolbox at very close contact distances where I cannot bring the gun to eye level

But if you raise the pistol to eye level (and you do not shut your eyes)then it is sighted fire...as in you are using your sights

Even if you have no sights on the weapon you are aligning it (pistol)...not just "pointing it"

January 5, 2007, 12:00 AM
Obiwan, we do the exact same things. You call it one thing, I call it another....no big deal.:)

The point is that there is a sight continuum and there is a height and extention continuum. "See what you need to see" is the bottom line. Freezing it or labeling it accomplishes nothing. My goal is to be able to make solid hits, from contact distance out to 400 yards in the shortest amount of time as possible. To be able to make these hits from any angle, from any position, anywhere in my completly versatile drawstroke, with whatever movement necessary....all with in the logical context of the fight and the situation.

Situations dictate strategy, strategy dictates tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.

Techniques should never dictate anything ......except for the complete beginner.;)

Deaf Smith
January 7, 2007, 09:50 PM

"Historical"? Who's history book? If you use the sights, then you use the sights. If ones sight is not in focus, or one of the sights are not in alignment with the other, but you still see the sights and the relationship with the target, well you are still using the sights.

With a peep sight one does not focus on the rear sight, so are they using point shooting on M16s? Or at NRA leg 600 yard Leg matches? Is that point shooting?

I don't buy it.

Now I can see once the sights are totaly out of view, OR are being ignored, and thus are not in anyway used for alignment, well that's pointing the weapon itself at the target, and thus point shooting.

But once one is aware of the sights and uses them to form a relationship with the target, then that's a form of using the sights. There are several forms of sighted fire, just as their are stances. Just as there are forms of point shooting (half hip, 3/4 hip, etc..)

January 7, 2007, 11:29 PM
We have been through this before deaf. I will stick with the historical definition of point shooting.....you are free to do whatever you like.....you always do.

We have agreed to disagree for about three years now....why would you think that is going to change tonight.

Deaf Smith
January 8, 2007, 08:00 AM

Were do you get this 'historical' definition? What is the source?


January 8, 2007, 09:32 AM
Not this game again deaf?

How about you stating your source for your defintion. You have been asked to back up your statements literally dozens and dozens of times and you never do.

You have asked me to cite my sources on two occasions. The first time I ripped you to shreds with your own quotes made at another forum. The second time I reminded you of the first time and you balked.

Seems like a one way street on the source thing deaf.....why don't you show everybody here something that you could not show at the other forums.

January 8, 2007, 05:11 PM
"labeling it accomplishes nothing"

Actually my only real complaint with the point-shooting crowd is their inability to define it so that we can have an intelligent discussion:rolleyes:

I am with DS on this one

I practice "Point-shooting" as in firing from retention at very close ranges

As the range opens up I start using my sights...depending on the situation I might be more or less accutely aligning the sights....but I firmly believe in sighted fire outside of contact disatnces.

We start to get into urinary competitions over what is sighted fire and what is point shooting and we never even agree on what we disagree about:barf:

January 8, 2007, 08:24 PM
Obiwan wrote: Actually my only real complaint with the point-shooting crowd is their inability to define it so that we can have an intelligent discussion

Stick tha gun out at eye level upon a stiff arm, look at the target and blast shots into the target.


Deaf Smith
January 8, 2007, 09:21 PM
So let's see Sweats...

"Shooting to Live" by Capt. W.E. Fairbairn & Capt. E.A. Sykes.
Page 20. on training recuits in point shooting.

"(c) Raise the pistol (pistol arm still rigidly strait and pivoting from the shoulder), keeping in exactly in line with the virtical centre-line of the body until it covers the aiming mark on the target (Fig 4). Both eyes are to be kept open and the recuit simply sees the target surrounded by the pistol, making no attempt to look at or line up the sights, or to let the master-eye control the aim.

he goes on to expain the method of pointing ones finger and letting the gun barrel (not the sights at all cuase he also talks about bad light not even being able to see the sights) be the finger.

"Kill or Be Killed" by Col. Rex Applegate
Page 106
"In close combat work, the sights will not be ordinarily be used, due to lack of time, darkness, or poor light conditions, enemy fire, or other considerations. TO shoot without sights, consider the frame of the gun as merely an exension of the hand, and the barrel as an extension of the forefinger which you are able to raise and point instincctively, accurately, and naturally at any close object. In other words, all that is being done, is to add a gun to the hand, the barrle being an extension of the forefinger."

He also goes on to talk about not using sight in any way for point shooting, in fact he said it was bad to do so.

Also in "Bullseye's Don't Shoot Back", by Col. Rex Applegate and Michael Janich, page 13, he pretty much says the same thing as Applegate said in 'Kill or Be Killed". He also talks about TAPING OVER THE SIGHTS so as not to even think of looking at them.

So, from the 'Histoical' books here, and I might add authoritive books, point shooting was to not, in any way, use sights but to use the barrel as a kind of super index finger.

All three books said in practice to not look at the sights cuase while you will shoot better groops, you will then become dependant on sights, something you won't have for many reasons (according to them.)

And yep, Sweats, I have all those books and a bunch of others on combat shooting.

The only funny thing I found was their admonishment to not use 'stances' but then give their 'crouch', balancing with the other hand, and squarring to the opponent (which I would say is a 'stance'.)

January 8, 2007, 09:32 PM
Absolutely Carlos, that was established around 1930.

Just as there are forms of point shooting (half hip, 3/4 hip, etc..)

That would be Fairbairn and Sykes point shooting, established around 1930. You fail to mention the line of sight point shooting called "point shoulder." That would be on page 23 of "Shooting to Live." The discription of this point shooting technique is on page 20 of "Shooting To Live."

Here is the complete pdf of Shooting To Live....check out the picture and the description. I am sure that this will do not do any good, because it has been posted over and over again and the proof and the source has been ignore over and over again. Very common tactic I might add.


Point shooting was developed to take into the consideration of the physiological response to lock the focus on the person that is trying to kill you. Which makes perfect sense. When a man is charging at you with a 20" machette screaming at the top of his lungs like a wild animal, you are going to lock your focus on that threat. It is a basic physiological response. Why would you stare at a couple of bumps on your gun.....those bumps are not trying to decapitate you.

Since point shooting was developed to deal with this physiological response...... that is what defines point shooting.....where is your focus? If it is on the sights it is not point shooting.....If it is on the person trying to take your life, it is pointshooting. That is why point shooting was developed

But this has all been laid out before numerous times and it will continued to be ignore.

There is one of my sources...I have more.

How about deaf and obiwan step up to the plate and post their references to the definition of point shooting.
And as a historical defintion it needs to preceed 1930.

I challenge you!;)

Deaf Smith
January 8, 2007, 10:12 PM
"Bullets Don't Shoot Back" Copyright 1998.

Not exactly 1930s.

And I fogot to mention, most of the other books, which detail such as shooting-out-of-the-notch, type 2 focus, front sight focus, soft focus, all do NOT call their stuff point shooting.

January 8, 2007, 10:51 PM
Your right, not very historical......unless your nine years old. You have to be able to do better than that deaf....come on!

Actually posting the defintion inside of the book would be helpful.

Most current books will not have a "historically" accurate defintion of point shooting. And we all know why. People have avoided admitting to using point shooting like it was the plaque. Well you see I do not have that problem....I call a spade a spade. I am not afraid to point out the obvious and admit to what it is.

I am a tried and true pure Modern Techniques Kool-aid drinking son of a gun. I have over 40 course in the Modern Techniques. I was taught to hate point shooting and point shooters. Yet at the same time these Modern Techniqe courses were teaching me point shooting.

One thing that I can not stand is hypocrisy. Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.:D

January 9, 2007, 10:16 AM
I've been a bit generic in my definition because I wouldn't ant to be source specific. I give credit to Askins as much as I give credit to Fairbarn and Applegate and, in fact, I point shoot from Fairbarn's crouch, from Askins' "leaning into the gun" and several variations of the good old duelling stance.
I would suggest not to get tied to the definitions and quotes game, this brings nowhere. I know from experience in the historical swordsmanship field that it's better to explain the essence of a source (how it is done), other than to get entangled in the quotes comparation. Shooting is about shooting, if definitions are similar among different traditions or different, it all boils down to how it's done, so definitions are just means of communication.


January 9, 2007, 03:22 PM
"so definitions are just means of communication"

Exactly my point

When I say that I don't support PS at ranges of...say 20 yards I am not saying that I precisely line up the sights for every shot at 20 yards

That is where the confusion comes in...some might say I am point shooting, but I would not

To my way of thinking the whole "focus" thing clouds the issue

It is based on the idea that you cannot focus on both the sights and the target....but if you take that to its logical conclusion, you cannot focus on both sights either....so then we have to question why we have both front and rear sights

Because it is more precise...even though you are not focusing on both sights AND the target all at one time it is still more precise....

don't believe me...put the target at 50 yards and watch how precise everyone gets

But if you can still make that work then you can obviously adjust your "focus" to take in more than one object and at that point we are arguing about what you are watching more closely

So..for me...PS will always refer to shooting without the weapon in the visual plane...

I don't feel you are PointShooting even if you pistol does not have sights....if you are "indexing" on the weapon

Deaf Smith
January 9, 2007, 09:53 PM
I agree OBIWAN. All the books I have on point shooting, from Askins to Applegate, all talk about using it when you cannot see the sights. They expect you to 'point' the barrel by just focusing on the target and letting your finger point.

You all know my view on this. I'm pretty good at point shooting and hip shooting, but I feel that the core is using a form of sighted fire and a form of hip/retention shooting. The point shooting can be dropped if you master those two. Once you really understand the use of sights, from flash picture to soft focus to front sight focus, to whatever you can hit very fast from 2 yards on out. And anything inside of that can be dealt with retention shooting. But once you do get competent with those two, well if you want to branch out to point shooting or whatever, it's perfectly fine. But point shooting is the extra, not the necessary basic.

And Sweats, say why did you have to take over 40 courses in the 'Modern Technique'? I would think a few would have, you know, been enough to figure it out. I mean, Weaver stance, flash sight picture, large bore SA auto, supprise break, speed rock, and that kind of stuff is pretty much well known (as I should know as I've got a copy of the 'Gunsite Orange' training manual.) Are you sure it was the 'Modern Techique' or just different forms of sighted fire?

January 9, 2007, 09:55 PM
Unless you have a very rare ability, with your two eyes working independently, you can only focus on one thing at a time.

The Modern Techniques teaches to focus on the front sight, knowing that this will make the rear sight and the targeted area out of focus or fuzzy. It is very rare (unless your eyes work independently from each other) to be able to focus on a target area at seven yards away and be focused on your sights. You may see the sights in your peripheral vision but there is no focus on it.

Shooting to Live on page 20 -23 proves that the originators of point shooting (you know the guys that actually define it) consider line of sights shooting with focus on the threat, point shooting. Can you name anyone before them that did this and called it something else. If not, then it is point shooting whether you like it or not.

Who are we to question the originators name for it?

January 9, 2007, 10:11 PM
All the books I have on point shooting, from Askins to Applegate, all talk about using it when you cannot see the sights. They expect you to 'point' the barrel by just focusing on the target and letting your finger point

Thanks deaf, I knew that if this went on long enough you would state my case for me. It is all about the focus, just as your quote states above.

Where is your focus during the Speed Rock...... it is on the threat.....that is point shooting just as your quote states above. Show me before 1930 where "focusing on the target" to shoot is called something besides point shooting.

Step up to the challenge and show me your references. I've showed you mine and you have not manned up.

Reference that predate 1930....still waiting.

January 10, 2007, 06:26 AM
Come on guys, Fairbarn is very clear in stating that he brings the gun at eye level and yet he doesn't use the sights as the target shooters do (front sight focus), but focuses on the target. This is what his shooting to live is about.
Over than arguing over definitions, try it out and see yourself in what it differs from the new technique. Ligning up the barrel etc... are all things that do not contradict point shooting.
Besides, Fairbarn's method, though put in print later, dates back to the 20'.


January 10, 2007, 08:11 AM
"you can only focus on one thing at a time"

Exactly...and yet you can somehow use the front/rear sights TOGETHER to aim a handgun at yet a third item....the target

So are we really arguing about which item is the least fuzzy in the process:p

If so then I would say it has always been the target and this new and improved approach is nothing more than semantics

"They expect you to 'point' the barrel by just focusing on the target and letting your finger point "

Fine.....if the sights are not in reference at all and if the pistol is not aligned in the visual plane then it is point shooting.

Being "less precise" with the use of your sights does not make it PS...not for me at least

But the speed rock (while not exactly my fav technique) is a great example of PS

The pistol is well out of the visual plane and indexed by body position

That...is PS

Deaf Smith
January 10, 2007, 08:13 AM

That is what I'm saying. I think Sweats expect a 'historical' definition going back to Doc Holliday or something. Strange, he wanted a 'historical' definition, which I did give going back to 1930s, then he wanted something closer in time, (and I gave to 1990's) now he wants something back farther in time. He just can't accept the fact that when one uses their sights, even in just peripheral vision, that is using the sights. One can focus on the target and still SEE the sights (just as you can focus on traffic and still see a red light turn green or a break light come on.) And that is what soft focus is about, same for shooting out of the notch.

I guess 40+ classes of 'The Modern Technique' didn't take.

January 10, 2007, 09:00 AM
Actually, I shouldn't be pointing this out, in the US you have Pat Cascio, Chuck Klein, Bradley J. Steiner, William Cassidy, John Mc Sweeny...
However, one thing is point shooting, another hip shooting, the speed rock is hip shooting. Point shooting has to do with pointing something that is in your field of vision, you normally don't indicate an item you want someone to bring to you using your finger as in the speed rock, right? You'll likely point at the item, looking at the item with your finger within your field of vision, you'll likely not focus on the finger but on the item, yet you can tell wether the finger is pointing to the item or not.
As I said, this sort of thing should be discussed by trying them out with a free (from the definitions problem) mind, once got how it is done, everything becomes clear.
As to the definition dating back to prior 1930, I can't give you one. Besides, in Europe we have been using pistols for 500 years, for most of this time defensive and service pistols often didn't have sights, yet the illustrations we have show eye level pointing most of the time...guess what I'm meaning?