View Full Version : Point Shooting vs Flash Sight

Rich Lucibella
October 15, 1998, 08:59 PM
OK, guys. We're barely a week into the life of The Firing Line. So let's start off with something non-controversial ;-).

What are your thoughts on the use of these two techniques at noncontact ranges; say 3 yards out to 15 yards?

Rob Pincus
October 15, 1998, 09:45 PM
At three yards, I am a point shooter, no question.

At 15 yards it becomes a little more situation dependent. I would opt for using the sights almost everytime.

IF we are talking about a combat scenario, at a distance of 15 yards I would play shoot and move until I was behind some cover. Then use the sights, escape, or whatever.

October 15, 1998, 11:24 PM
I think this topic is way too complicated for any forum. There are several good books, Shooting To Live, Fairbairn & Sykes, Kill or Get Killed, Applegate, Sharpening The Warrior's Edge, Siddle, and Siddle wrote an excellent article for the Firearms Instructor #25. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated by the perception of a threat or fear ( fight or flight, or startle reaction ), it becomes impossible to focus on the front sight due to changes in the eye ( pupils dilate and near vision goes away). I would guess that all of the answers we will get here will describe what a person does in practice. In order to find out what one does in an actual situation, you would have to be that person, and I have not( thank God ) been so blessed. The best single source might be NYPD's SOP 9 started many years ago by Frank McGee. There is a question about sights, on the form that is filled out on every shot fired. GLV

Rich Lucibella
October 15, 1998, 11:30 PM
I'm not so sure. There are a number of cases where the shooter remembered nothing *but* the front sight....right down to the serrations.

I agree it's an expansive topic. But let's take a stab at it. You already have by posting some excellent resources. Thanks.

October 16, 1998, 12:26 PM
Shooting To Live certainly advocates point shooting, but he also advocated carrying in Cond 3, totally negating the concept of the pistol getting in to action quickly by point shooting with a single hand (ala No Second Chance). A much better source and technique IMHO is The Modern Technique of The Pistol by Morrison & Cooper. Front sight every time so when things go bad you do see that front sight and make your first shot count.

October 16, 1998, 01:31 PM
Rob is right. You return fire and seek cover. You cant put a blanket method for every thing, range, target, enemy, terrain and time all play a consideration even in a fast and furious gun fight.
As for the light thing - I like my rechargeable Stinger. Puts out good white light, and I havn't bought batteries in over a year - adding up the costs... that light payed for its self about to months ago... and I am now saving money on it every time I put it back in the charger. Rechargables are the way to go. 6 Volt lithium batteries are very expensive for only an hours worth of light.

October 17, 1998, 09:04 AM
Rob and Kodiac are right as long as it is accurate fire. To quote from John Farnam - " The accuracy requirements do not change" if it is 1 yard or 25 yards. We who carry weapons are responsible for every round we send down range. Whatever we hit, we now become the proud new owner of. Of course we should return fire and move as quickly to cover as we can but not at the expense of accuracy. This sighted vrs flash sight picture topic can and probably will open up alot of views and each have their reasons for using it..

October 20, 1998, 11:59 AM
Never having fired a shot in anger, I still practice both point shooting and aimed fire. Both are practical. One is for very close and fast encounters and the other when there's distance and you should have aimed fire.

Bruce Siddle addressed this issue in the latest issue of The Firearms Instructor.

October 31, 1998, 10:44 AM
Roger, Rob. http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/biggrin.gif.

GLV, as Rich pointed out, training can negate or lessen that "tunnel vision" response, as well as other pertinent effects such as fine motor skills degradation. After several years of martial arts training, I find that punches are "slower" than they used to be. Good preparation and cool heads sometimes cause the brain to speed up so dramatically that big game hunters have calmly "taken their time" setting up shots on charging big game with only a second or two of life potentially left. Bears some thought.

November 1, 1998, 12:08 AM
What training does is to make you more aware of what happens when the adrenalin hits. That is the reason I compete. I know I can shoot when my hands start to shake, when 20 other guys are watching me, and ready to laugh, and when, in a tactical exercise, I have to shoot over my partners head as he reloads. Bruce Siddle's book Sharpening The Warriers Edge is tops. I was doing some reactive shooting today, and found that when in covered position, sights were always used, while when on the move, more of flash picture was used. It is not anything I concentrate on. GLV

November 1, 1998, 07:08 AM
Excellent article by Siddle in the IALEFI magazine, the FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR, and borne out by OIS incidents at my agency. Our training philosophy and, repetition and drill outside of contact distance has been in modern times: when the weapon clears leather, two hands together; assess; if necessary then sights, press.

But we've had a number of 1-handed, no recollection of sights, engagements. To include, some time back, one of our best assistant instructors (fully qualified but not fully credentialed).

Does this mean we will change our philosophy and R&D? No, because speed is fine but accuracy is final and the need is to shoot carefully very quickly.

November 1, 1998, 10:30 AM
Just as an additional data point. Jim Crews teaches "front sight all the time, every time." This was really something new for me. I had to really concentrate to break the older habits.

What suprised me was my shot placement. I kept feeling very lucky. Kaos everywhere. People screaming and yelling. Targets moving at a rapid pace. Heart about to jump through my throat. Rear end puckerd up in stress. I would focus on the front sight and not really feel like I was on target. Yet when the smoke cleared, the hits were right were I wanted them. These drills were done at 3 and 7 yards. Anytime I went back to pointing under the stress, my shots went wild. Staying on the front sight kept me in the black almost every time.

Understand, this was my first formal training class. I had lots of old bad habits to break. I have found these skills improving as I have practiced them. The old habits are fading. I am now a firm beliver in getting as much training from different sources as possible. I am a much better marksman today and I continue to improve every time out.

I'm staying with what Jim taught me; stay on the front sight. Fast is not important... if you miss.


4V50 Gary
November 2, 1998, 10:30 AM
Whatever system or stance one uses, only hits counts.

Isn't KAOS the organization Max Smart use to combat?

November 3, 1998, 12:12 PM
Yep. And was there ever another show that repesented the KeyStone Cops / mass disorentation any better? http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif

I'm glad somebody caught the reference.


November 20, 2005, 03:37 AM
As a beginner I am always using my sights. And I think I should for some time or until I at least get some more intermediate or advanced training.

Double Naught Spy
November 20, 2005, 08:36 AM
There are a number of cases where the shooter remembered nothing *but* the front sight....right down to the serrations.

As much as I want to trust other shooters, what shooters do and do not remember and the significance of what they remember seems to be highly variable. During stress, with high heart rates, time dilation, auditory exclusion, and tunnel vision, folks remember some strange things and seem to not recall some obvious things.

So while some shooters may recall the front sight is detail and others not, we don't know if the ones who didn't recall it actually saw it or not. As for those that remember nothing but the front sight, you have to wonder at what point the fixation started and ended and how that influenced the firing solution.

I think a lot of folks try to deconstruct shooting platforms a little too heavily and try to delineate aspects that may not be critical in real life. No one method is perfect. After reading countless threads debating isoceles versus Weaver, I find that I tend to improvise quite a bit with Iscoelitic Weaver and Weaverinian Isoceles stances as the situation dicttates. Similarly, I can 'point' shoot out to 5 yards pretty darned well, only I am not doing it properly but in the manner I have come to see as my own mutation of it. Personally, I don't like the idea of point shooting beyond the need for retention. I want to be able to use my sights and think it is prudent to use my sights, situation and time permitting.

I'm staying with what Jim taught me; stay on the front sight. Fast is not important... if you miss.

I just love these sorts of absolutist mantras as they are far from absolutist. This quote assumes that a missed shot will have zero influence on the bad guy. That may or may not be the case. In going through video after video of shootouts, the vast majority of people do tend to react to shots, even missed shots, if they think the shots are oriented toward them. In fact, the who purpose of suppression fire is to get a reaction that keeps the opposition from being able to return fire. Everyone would like suppression fire to magically hit the bad guys, but the fact of the matter is that the goal isn't hitting the bad guys, but keeping them suppressed.

At Thunder Ranch, one of the mind-numbingly repeated misquotes over the PA system was "Fast is fine, but accuracy is final." This is a misquote from Wyatt Earp who said something like, "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."

While I certainly feel hitting the target is important, what I learned at Thunder Ranch is that a lot of people get trained to take the perfect shot. That half or three-quarters of a second they spent lining up the accurate finality shot is way to long. It matters not just how good your shot could have been if you had managed to pull the trigger, but since you were too slow, the bad guy just riddled you with poorly aimed but suprisingly effective shots. If you think about it, especially at very close distances where point shooting can save time and where the bad guy has a good chance of hitting you simply because of proximity to you, do you really think you have enough time for a Wyatt Earp shot?

November 20, 2005, 10:13 AM
Yup, when it comes to close CQB (close quarters battle) training, I have always been taught that (if the situation calls for such response) that you draw and aim at the general area of the person you wish to hit from the hip, as fast as possible, fire a few rounds then raise to eye level and to focus on the person you wish to hit and not so much the sights, keeping your focus on the target, allows you to better react to an attack, plus it helps lessen tunnel vision...

Now this was told to me by 3 trainers, at 4 different classes. All at different ranges. Only once was I told to keep your focus on the sights, and this was by a cop, who was also at the training class with his wife, he then was corrected by the instructor.

Perfectly aimed fire is for when you have the time to do so, not when in a gun fight, the other guy is trying to KILL you, he is trying to kill you before you kill him.

I am not advocating totally unaimed fire, I can pretty much keep it in centermass without using the sights at 10 yards with my p99 (my ccw pistol).

Jamie Young
November 20, 2005, 09:07 PM
OK, guys. We're barely a week into the life of The Firing Line. So let's start off with something non-controversial

Am I on Candid Camera?:eek: ;)

Garand Illusion
November 21, 2005, 12:26 AM
It's funny how people used to talk about shooting before the turn of the century. Wonder if any of the old timers who posted to this originally are still alive? :D :D

Still an interesting thread ... my answer would be that I will flash sight if I can, point shoot if I don't have time.

I usually practice shooting triple taps (phrase?). One from the hip to COM as I bright the gun up. One to COM from a quick flashsighting. One to the head with a more careful flash sighting. All 3 shots are off in about 2 seconds (which is actually a long time if someone is close and charging at you).

November 21, 2005, 09:34 AM
I was reading a very formal study performed by researchers (may have been FBI) who interviewed a number of individuals who shot cops. They asked them several questions and among them was this question: "who wins in a firefight." Most of them responded: "the guy who gets the first shot off."

November 21, 2005, 10:07 AM
I have a different solution to this problem. My eyesight is really screwed up from about 20" out. Nearsighted with severe astigmatism. I am able to shoor Rifles and Shotguns with corrective lenses, but handguns pose a real problem.

My prescription lenses are useless at the 36" distance I normally have to focus on to see the front sights of handguns. I can see the sights but not to a fine focus. I have tried every conceivable type of sight. Red dots work for bullseys but are impractical for carry guns.

A retired NYPD type suggested lasers. And I installed a Lasermax in my G30. It works but the laser is awkward to turn on when drawing from a holster, not good for CCW although it definitely helps accuracy WITHOUT MY PRESCRIPTION LENSES!!!

I recently installed a Crimson Trace laser on a Colt Commander and it works so well I intend to install more on other guns. At normal combat distances I can shoot accurately without my prescription!!!

I get better groups at 25 yds with the laser than with special prescription lenses!!!

With more practice the Crimson trace laser is the best answer to my vision problems. It goes on instantly when I grip the commander and can be adjusted for accuracy.

I believe it can improve anyone's gunfighting marksmanship and speed. No need to bring up and align the sights, which I cannot do anyway.

Hard Ball
November 21, 2005, 03:50 PM
Nathan Bedford Forrest (General CSA) was once told that some of his tactics were unfair.
"Remember General. twice armed is he whose acts are just!"
Forrest replied "Maybe so Sir, but thrice armed is he who gets his shot is first!"

November 21, 2005, 04:08 PM
Its my turn to be the person who is just as annoying as the person who actually commited the "offence" by pointing it out.

You realize this thread is from when TFL first starte in 1998....right?

Capt. Charlie
November 21, 2005, 06:14 PM
Roughly at the time this thread was started, this question was one of current events. Law enforcement agencies around the country were kicking this question around and training was gradually shifting from emphasis on points and tight groups to combat tactics and speed shooting. I was big into PPC shooting, and was consistently one of the top shooters in the valley. Then they switched to instinct shooting, and both my scores and morale went to hell in a handbasket. It was really hard to make the switch because it was like starting all over again, and, of course, it hurt my ego. But I rolled up my sleeves, set my jaw, and became determined that I would become proficient at it. And just like bullseye or PPC shooting, I learned that you can learn to get good at it (although I have one hell of a long ways to go before I could be termed "good".) Scores don't count for squat in a gun fight, but the combination of speed, accuracy, and good tactics does. Without all three, you might as well bring a knife to a gun fight. I still shoot some PPC, but that's mostly to keep my ego from deflating completely :p :D .

November 22, 2005, 05:43 AM
gdeal, have you ever considered paleontology as a career? You seem to have a talent for digging up fossils. :cool:

I do indeed love my sights, but it depends on the situation. If a cannibal came running at me with the intention of sucking my brains out through a specially designed cannibal's straw, I think I would find it more instinctive to point shoot. If, on the other hand, the threat presented itself in the form of a zombie who wanted to eat my brains in a manual fashion, I'd use the sights, because zombies are slower and usually require headshots.

November 22, 2005, 10:38 AM
A fine day to ye , Being a neophyte to defensive shooting, would someone please explain for me what point and flash shooting means. Thanx, Slainte

November 22, 2005, 12:54 PM
gdeal, I think you won. This is the oldest thread I've seen someone bring back from the dead.

I'm just curious, did you realize this thread was over 7 years old when you posted in it? At least it wasn't a thread asking "what gun should I buy?" or "who's going to the gun show this weekend?" or something along those lines. :)

Garand Illusion
November 23, 2005, 02:21 AM
I'll post this just to see if I'm right ... or if other people's definitions are the same as mine.

Point shooting is basically just point and shoot without visually lining up the sites. Someone's charging at you ... you don't take time to aim, you just point the gun at them and pull the trigger. Some people are surprisingly good at this. Firing from the waist (as though from a quick defensive draw as I raise the weapon) I can usually get a round on COM.

Flash Sighting means you take an extra half second to at least half-assed line up the sights. the rule I was taiught is that if the front blade is somewhere between the rear sight blades, at defensive ranges you'll be well on target. This appears to me to be true.

November 23, 2005, 06:41 AM
Less than aimed fire is very common in combat. It is very hard to replicate the effect of fear and adrenaline in anything other than combat. By far the most stressful time in my life was while under fire. Neither competition, qualification nor hunting can even come close to it.

Hard Ball
November 23, 2005, 10:21 AM
"Less than aimed fire is very common in combat. It is very hard to replicate the effect of fear and adrenaline in anything other than combat. By far the most stressful time in my life was while under fire. Neither competition, qualification nor hunting can even come close to it."

STLRN is absolutely right. Practicing techniques which will not work in actual combat is futile and may well be fatal.

Capt. Charlie
November 23, 2005, 12:58 PM
Point and instinct shooting are basically the same thing, different names. The term "flash shooting" though has me stumped. Only thing I can think of is using muzzle flash to align sights during night fire. We used to do it every qualification, but they dropped it as it just wasn't practical in any but a very few situations.

November 23, 2005, 09:47 PM
The historical definition of pointshooting is "shooting without the use of the sights, the visual focus is on the targeted area/threat, not on the sights."

GI is correct on the flash sight picture. It is also commomly called "shooting within the notch."

Here is a reveiw of a course I took last month. I would be happy to answer any questions that might arise from this reveiw.

Sightless in Tucson

Here is a review I posted on another forum about the pointshooting course I took last October with Matt Temkin, 7677, and Robin Brown in Tucson.

First off, Robin Brown did an outstanding of putting this together. The facilities at Desert Trails Gun Range and Training Center were perfect for the course. Our range was out in the back away from everyone else. The class room, training room, and bathrooms were all clean and air conditioned. Rick the owner or the range was an excellent host and unbelievable shot. While we were working on elbow up/elbow down at the three yard mark, he was shooting next to me. From the hip, in well under one second, he was shooting a one hole drill. When the hole got to the size of a quarter he started on another hole. At the end of the drill he put about forty rounds through two perfect quarter size holes. I want some of that!

Robin Brown, 7677, and Matt Temkin were all very knowledgeable and each had the ability to pass on their knowledge. Each were excellent teachers and very passionate about what they were passing along. Not only were they great to learn from they were just plan good guys. The times that we had outside of the training environment were a lot of fun and was like hanging out with old friends. They all went well beyond the call of duty and gave and gave and gave.

We got into town at about 10:30 PM on Friday and put a call into brownie. He was down in Bobby's room going over the knife. Yeah, that's right, the course had not even started and we got about two hours of knife work in. Brownie trained for eight years under James Keating and really seemed to know his stuff. Brownie loves passing along his knowledge and would have trained in knife all night if we would have let him. He is also one tough SOB and as hard as a rock. I accidently caught him with a stick in the head, did not even blink and eye or hurt me..........seriously.

Saturday morning Matt Temkin started Fairbairn/Applegate/Sykes (FAS) form of PSing. It was divided up into two seperate forms, Applegate first and Fairbairn and Sykes second.

Matt is an absolute expert when it comes these two forms of PSing, let alone the historical context of the two systems. He started with the Applegate method first due to the fact that it was less involved. Applegate did not teach shooting from the hip as Fairbairn did. Applegate taught the three quarter hip and the point shoulder.

The three quarter hip is shot one handed, with a bent elbow, with the HG about 6-10 inches below the line of sight, out of a crouch. The accuracy with this technique is quite (amazingly would be a better word) good and I was making good hits out to about ten yards with it.

The point shoulder is done with the same crouch, shot one handed, with the HG held with the arm locked and up in the line of sight. This is very close to what I have been doing in FOF while moving and shooting to the firing side. The accuracy once again is quite good. I was making good hits out to 17 yards (51 feet)

Many of you know that I had been studying this form of PSing well before this course. The truth be told is that I was pretty damm good at it even before the course. Matt took that skill level and made me twice as good as I was before. He did some minor tweaking, but what really made the difference was the "convulsive grip" and the "making your HG sound like a machine gun."

You really have no idea what is possible with these PSing systems until you have been trained in them. There is no way that you will believe the things I saw and did, until you do them yourself. For instance, do you think it is possible to use three quarter hip (see above) and empty your 17 round magazine, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into a fist size group, from five yards?

The rest of Saturday was spent with the Fairbairn system. The biggest difference between the two systems is the shooting from the hip in the Fairbairn system. This skill is by far the most amazing part of FAS PSing.

The position is called half hip and the description of the draw is EU/ED "elbow up/elbow down." The elbow comes up as you clear the holster, then the elbow is crashed down into the ribs. The trigger is pulled as soon as the elbow hits the ribs. This is by far, the fastest way that I have seen to get hits on target as soon as possible. We did not have a timer but we put it to the test in FOF. My training partner, who has always been better and faster than me, and probably always will be was to do a standard flash sight picture and I was to go EU/ED. At the buzzer we drew and shot. I was consistantly able to get two hits on him before he got a hit on me. Everyone was amazed at how fast he was (hell, he's always been that fast) but there was no way for him to beat EU/ED down. Remember this was a Modern Techniques/competition guy with 15 years experience going against a guy that only had 15 minutes of formal training in EU/ED. I had spent a couple of hours playing with EU/ED before the course, but found out that I had been doing it incorrectly.

Once again, the convulsive grip and the "make your HG sound like a machine gun" made this technique remarkable. The accuracy was VERY GOOD out to three yards and the speed of the technique from the draw to emptying your magazine is something you are just going to have to do and see to believe.

My Modern Techniques buddy knew about my fascination with threat focused shooting and he came to this course on my recommendation. I was a little worried about what he was going to think about the FAS PSing. He came with an open mind with a "I'm just going to do whatever they tell me to do" attitude. After this segment of training his quote was "This is amazing!" Yeah, "No -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- Sherlock!"

FAS PSing is an excellent addition to my Modern Techniques tool box. I admit that I have such a big investment in my tool box that FAS PSing will only be an addition. Now if I had it to do all over again, or if my son was going to become a Police Officer, FAS PSing would be the very first discipline I would train myself or my son in.

BTW, FAS does cover two handed sighted fire, but this was a threat focus course.

Saturday night we worked with WWII Combatives with Matt and knife with brownie. These we introductory sessions where we learned a handfull of simple and effective techniques.

Both Matt and brownie are very good at what they do. These sessions made me very interested in training with these two men again, but this time with the focus on combatives and knife.

Sunday morning we started in on Quick fire. 7677 taught this block of instruction. I have been following 7677 posts on a number of forums for over three years now and have learned quite a bit from him. Only tackdrivr has given me more usefull knowledge on the net. I was always a bit pissed off that he was an LEO only instructor, and I swore that if I had a chance that I would train with him.

Quick fire is a two handed threat focus shooting system. It works within the Modern Techniques default drawstroke and seems to be a threat focused solution to a Modern Techniques problem. Shots can be taken throughout the drawstroke, from when the hands come together, all the way to full extention. This is where zippering comes in. Whether you hands come together at abdomen level or at chest level you start getting hits at the compressed ready and continue to fire until extension.

The first shot at compressed ready is the key and the most difficult to get to hit, but with a little practice and the use of the centerline with HG parrallel to the ground, you will be good to go in short order. After that just punch forward while firing. A good four-five shot zipper is opimal with the first two hitting before your first shot on your default drawstroke would.

November 23, 2005, 09:48 PM
Sunday afternoon we started in with brownie and Quick Kill (QK). Let me get this out up front. Matt and 7677 have been teaching their stuff for free for years. I believe that I can freely discuss or teach their stuff as much as I want (with the proper credit). Out of respect for brownie, I will not be going into the specifics of QK. Everything that you need to know about the technique is already on this forum, search it. That will get you the concept. But, the concept is based on confidence. Without hands on instruction you will never get the full potential out of this technique. As brownie says "the only limiting factor is your mind."

For those of you that followed along as I was trying to figure QK out, you are probably wondering if I indeed, had figured it out. The answer is yes, I did. But that was not enough. Since it is based on confidence, finding out for a fact that I understood the technique and receiving hands on instruction and refinement really makes this technique shine. I can do things with QK that I am not capable of with deliberate sighted fire.

The technique excels when speed is the key factor. Speed of the shot, speed of your movement, and speed of your opponents movement. All the while giving you excellent accuracy and possible the very best accuracy possible when there is dynamic movement.

For anyone that has followed my writings or seen me train with dynamic movement, you know that I want to go way past the crab walk or the groucho walk. I want to make hits "on the run." I believe that this is an extremely neglected part of the skillset. I have been trying to figure out what the mental block is with so many of the HS/LD students and instructors. The only thing I can come up with is that they just can not get the hits "on the run."

And in comes QK! IMHO, without a doubt, this is the very best way to get hits while you are exploring your limitations of dynamic movement. If for just this one reason, I would recommend, in the strongest way possible, that you learn QK. If you think that getting hits without being hit is important...see brownie. If you think that a confrontation may include dynamic movement or shooting on the run....see brownie. If you think that getting hits on the run is a skill that you may need......yeah, you get the idea.

Damm good technique! I got to put it to use in FOF with mutual dynamic movement. Dude, it is a no brainer, it is like just reaching out and touching someone. It is actually so simple it's scary. With this skill, I will put my ability to makes hits "on the run" as my "greatest strength." That is a very reassuring fact!

Sunday evening was spent with more WWII combatives with Matt and stick work with brownie. Good stuff! I have got to get more training with these two on this.

Monday morning we had to do some catch up on QK, due to strong winds on Sunday afternoon. We banged away on steel with multiples and with dynamic movement. Brownie covered QK from the hip, firing to the rear without turning. Matt covered PSing with long guns. 7677 ran some FOF and went over the "Sight Continuum." There was a lot of different things going on, more than I will remember to write down.

All in all, it was an excellent three days of training. I will not go as far as saying it was the best course I've ever attended, but I will say this. This course gave me the most beneficial information that I have ever received in a course. Threat focus shooting is a skill that we all should own. You can train and train to go to the sights, but when the action is fast, the urgency is high, and you find yourself behind the reactionary curve you will either use threat focused shooting or you will die trying to get to your sights (credit given to 7677 for these words of wisdom.)

Sooo....You can either try to train away your natural reaction or except the fact that if someone is going to be trying to kill you, you will focus on the threat. Now if my front sight was trying to kill me, I would focus on that.

With that said, in a life threatening confrontation, there is nothing that I would rather see than a perfect sight picture on the threat. It is what I would want and what I would strive for. But if it ain't there......no problem!


November 26, 2005, 06:55 PM
Threat focus shooting is something that is best done without thinking about it. It is a technique that is best shown, then done. That is the truth of the matter, but because of this it is often seen as some sort of parlor trick or worse, something that is not accurate or dependable. I would like to take an approach to this that I have not seen before. That approach being, to try to break down why threat focus shooting actually works. By breaking it down to it's "bare bones" we could take some of the mystique away.

There are many elements that go into accurate threat focused shooting and by knowing exactly what those elements are we will see that we are actually using a very well developed aiming system. By knowing that it is a well developed aiming system, the confidence in the technique will soar and when the time comes that you need it, it will be there like a trusted friend.

First lets look at the elements of sighted fire.

(1)Kinesthetic alignment

(2)Sight alignment

(3)Sight picture

This is a very simple and highly effective form of sighting in. But it is also something that is, in the most part, done on a conscious level.

Now let us look at the elements of threat focus shooting.

(1) Understanding and ability to square up.

(2) Understanding and ability to use the centerline.

(3) Understanding and ability to draw "Parallel to the ground."

(4) Understanding and ability to use the nose index.

(6) Understanding and ability to use a body index.

(5) Kinesthetic alignment.

(7) Use of peripheral vision verification.

(8) Use of ones natural ability to point your finger at an object.

(9) Use of ones natural hand/eye coordination.

(10) Absolute confidence, knowing this all adds up to a very accurate system.

When broken down into it's elements it hardly looks mystical anymore. It seems to be a highly developed aiming system. Another thing to take into consideration is that almost all of this is done on a subconscious level. These are elements that you do not have to think about. That is why threat focused shooting is best done without thinking about it. Once you know the elements, trained with the elements, it all comes together in a micro second with zero conscious thought. This is why threat focused shooting excels in dynamic confrontations. It is a natural human response.

Thoughts, comments?

matthew temkin
November 26, 2005, 11:50 PM
I too am curious as to why a 7 year old thread was brought back to the top.

November 27, 2005, 12:53 PM
Last time I was in a shoot out The first 13 rounds were point shooting at about 10-12 yards while moving. I remember looking through the gun, like i trained. I utilized my sites after a reload. MY opinion from military and police experience is surprise engagements use muscle memory. situations in which u have a second to formulate a plan give u time to utilize your sites.

Keep in mind my memory of details only came after a few nights sleep, and talking to my partner and witnesses at the scene.

December 3, 2005, 11:25 AM
Mogsniper94, that is a very typical engagement. Your observations on reactive sighting methods are right on the mark. I appreciate you being willing to share your experience with us.

Here is an example on how easy pointshooting is to do once you understand how.

I have a friend that I shoot with, he is been back from Iraq for about six months now. He is a hard core sights only guy! We were messing around with my airsoft and he asked me to show him EU/ED.

I gave him a very quick overlook of FAS, mention the 10 elements of threat focused shooting, and had him shooting fast and accurate EU/ED at four yards in about three minutes.......yes three minutes! Fist size groups, COM, as fast as he could pull the trigger, from the hip, from a guy that has never taken an unsighted shot in his life.

In five minute he was making the same shots then transitioning to the head and putting the shot right where he was focusing on, in the cranial ocular cavity.....from the hip!

The first time he did it he turned to me with a look of amazement. He proceeded to do the same thing about ten times in a row. He went into my house and grabbed all of his equipment, basically the same stuff he wore in Iraq. His vest with all of his magazines and his AK. He put on about thirty pounds of equipment and tried EU/ED again. After we figured out exactly where he would "lock in" he was right back to shooting a beautiful, fast, and accurate EU/ED.

As we were finishing up, I asked him what he thought. He said "This definitely fits in my tool box, thanks!"

Five minutes is all it took to convince a naysayer.

With two opponents, with two reasonably close skillset, elbow up/elbow down, will almost always beat flash sight picture. The reason for this is economy of motion.