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Old August 9, 2008, 01:43 AM   #17
Join Date: June 21, 2008
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by pax
Originally Posted by ???
We can't be sure the victim even did that, since point shooting entails bringing the gun to eye level and at least using the sights for a reference.
Not so true. There are different ways to index the gun on target, but many of them are simply a felt index or a geometric index as opposed to a gross visual index or a flash sight picture.
PAX is right about point shooting...

I don't think the story is a "case for point shooting" in the sense that the fellow's attempt at point shooting was wildly successful; however, it may be a case that some people should practice Point Shooting along with their regular regimen.

Originally Posted by Nnobby45
Hard to make a case for a method of shooting that resulted in no bullet holes in the adversaries.
I submit that depends on whether or not the person doing the shooting was supposed to be "good" at point shooting. By comparison, the fact that the fellow in the story was unable to use his sights to score a hit in no way "hurts" the case for using sights...

You probably shouldn’t pooh-pooh "point shooting" until you've seen someone who is really good at it. Most people can become passable with appropriate practice; the most important thing is a reliable presentation. Some people (unfortunately, not me) can do considerably better than "passable."

For example, I can consistently hit a milk jug at fifty feet; but, that’s about the limit of my "pointing" accuracy. My Dad, by contrast, was nothing short of phenomenal. He used to say it was the same basic skill as driving nails with a hammer -- some people (the "sighters") have to line up the nail, the hammer, and their eye to make it work; some people can drive nails at all sorts of weird, contorted angles and do it better than the people who get positioned "just right." (Dad also used to drive 6 penny nails with one blow --he'd flip them against the wood so they landed point first and strike them just as they made contact.)

When I was but a kid, Dad had a matched pair of nickel-plated Colt's revolvers. I don't know for sure, but based on later family conversations I think they were .38s. Regardless, when he came home from WWII he was pretty banged up and he spent about 20 years on crutches as a result. It wasn't until '65, when a fractious colt took him unexpectedly over a chalk rock slide, that something "popped" in his back and he started walking better -- eventually putting away the crutches…

Unfortunately, about a year before that ride, he decided that the Colts were a luxury he could no longer afford. Money was tight and twin holsters, while fine for riding, didn't work well when a fellow was gimping along on crutches. One of the neighbor fellows won some sort of pistol shooting competition that year (sorry I don't remember the details; I was six at the time) and my Dad sort of took a shine to him. After getting to know him a bit, he sold him the Colts for, I think, about $50 or so (that was 2-1/2 months of groceries for our family in 1964).

Anyway, it wasn't but a day or two and the fellow was back complaining that "neither gun was accurate." My Dad's response was, "Well, it's been awhile since I shot 'em, but they were good when I put 'em up. Let's go out back and you can show me the trouble."

As I recall, Dad went out to the trash bin and picked out a dozen tin cans. (We didn't recycle in those days, but we did "hose off" the cans -- it kept the trash from smelling between bi-monthly dump runs.) He had me help carry them to the fence on the South side of the yard where he set a couple on posts and the extra ten on the top rail between them. He and his disgruntled buyer set up a card table in the shade of a tree up next to the house so they had a place to set the firearms and the ammo. (When, years later, I thought to measure it, it came out at 73 feet -- give or take the width of the card table.)

Dad then suggested the fellow shoot the two big cans off of their posts while he watched to see where the bullets hit in the dust out behind. The fellow stepped up to the table; picked up one of the Colts; and, holding it in both hands, sighted on the first can and squeezed the trigger. The bullet went well wide of the mark. Setting that gun down, he picked up the other Colt and repeated the process -- with essentially the same result. Then he turned to my Dad and said, "See, the sights are off. I don't know how you could have hit anything, much less told me the guns were accurate, with sights like those."

I don't think it was just what he said as much as the tone of voice he used, but my Dad got a bit put out. His response was, "Well, son, I don't think you are using the sights right. If I may borrow your guns, I'll be happy to show you why I thought they were accurate."

Mr. 'Pistol Expert' said, "Sure Pops, go ahead" -- which was like pouring gasoline on a flame. I don't think, at 65, my dad liked being called "Pops"; I remember thinking, "Gee, I can tell my dad is mad; I hope he doesn't give him a spanking." In a way, as it turned out, that is pretty much what he did.

Dad stepped up to the table, ejected the spent shells, then thumbed in new ones. He also rotated the cylinder on each revolver and put a live round in the "empty" under the hammer. After placing them on the table facing the fence, hammers to the center, he turned and squared up with the table and the fence, then braced himself on his crutches, leaning forward slightly, so he had what you might call a "four-point" stance. Reaching out and scooping up the revolvers, he started shooting "from the hip," arms bent at his sides -- but outside of the crutches, alternating left and right between the revolvers. The outside cans disappeared from the top of each post, then he "walked" the rounds towards the center of the rail, picking first a can off the left side, then a can off the right side.

The two center cans were nearly touching and the last shot from the left-hand gun knocked its can slightly sideways taking the twelfth can with it… So, Dad shot that one with the right-hand gun... in the air as it was falling…

The whole process took three, maybe four, seconds. When he was done, Dad turned to the fellow and, best as I can remember, said, "I think you were using the sights wrong. But, I've never cheated a man in my life, so if you still want your money back, come on inside and I'll write you a check right now."

Years later, after I came to appreciate the event more, I wished the fellow had followed us inside and gotten his money back; he didn't. He gathered up his guns and ammo and left without so much as a goodbye. He was long gone by the time I got sent back outside to gather up the cans and fold up the table... In fact, I don't remember seeing much of him after that…

As for my Dad, lest you think it a fluke, he made a better hip shot some years later…

We were out fixing fence on the North line one hot summer day when a stray dog wandered into the pasture. It was staggering and acting strange and we figured it was suffering from the heat -- until it got close enough that we could see it "foaming at the mouth." We immediately thought "hydrophobia" (what you would probably call "rabies"); so, Dad sent Mom to the house to "get the gun" -- and Mom came back with the '94 Winchester.

Now I have to explain that, while we had tons of space between us and our nearest neighbors to the South, on the North side our pasture fence was, maybe, a hundred-fifty yards from the neighbor's house. My Dad was upset that Mom brought a rifle instead of a shotgun because "the rifle wasn't safe to use in such close quarters." While he was telling her to go back and get a shotgun, she pointed out that the dog had wandered to a point where there was a good, solid bank behind it and a rifle shot would be safe.

So Dad raised the gun to his shoulder to sight on the dog; but, without his glasses, he couldn't see the sights on the '94 (its an old model Winchester; the notch in the rear sight is .002" wide); so he lowered it to his hip and drilled the dog through the right eye (he said he was aiming between the eyes) at about 30 yards. Our veterinarian told us afterwards that he should have shot it "anywhere except the head" because they needed brain tissue to test for rabies and there wasn't much left of that...

Dad was 74 at the time…

Anyway, I'm not nearly that good; I don't have the natural coordination and talent necessary; but, some people do. (I also require at least two hits to drive a six penny nail; though I did bend a lot of nails trying to master his "flip and drive" trick.)

Don't assume that sights are "always" necessary; don't assume that point-shooting can't work...

Originally Posted by kraigwy
Back when I was a LE Firearms instructor, I was a student of Bill Jordon. (read NO SECOND PLACE WINNER, Bill Jordon). He recommend, or LE officers to do most of your practice drawing and firing one shot. Most of the time, in LE thats whats gonna happen. You see a threat, you draw and fire.
I absolutely love Bill Jordan's work!

I do have one slight difference when it comes to his practice philosophy. He was a "champion" of wax bullets for practice. Those are good, but if you are point shooting there is another trick (again, one my Dad taught me) that I think is even better.

I use a full length mirror. If you are intending to draw and "point-shoot" at an adversary, the full-length mirror gives you a "live" target against which to practice your presentation. It has several advantages also. If you have a large space (we're blessed with a large barn), you can "double" even that by using a mirror. If you are, say, twenty feet from the mirror, your target image(yourself) is forty feet away. Further, you don't need to expend a round, wax or otherwise, to check your aim. If you are pointing right between your "adversary's" eyes, you'll be able to see "down the barrel" in the mirror image. When every draw and point produces a "clean" image of the firearm's bore, change distances. When you are consistently getting the "bore picture" on all presentatons at all distances, take it outside and try it for real... It does work (though, I find I sometimes shoot "right over" the Milk jugs, because they are sitting lower to the ground than the reflected image of my head).

So now you have my thoughts on this topic -- which are worth exactly what you are paying for them

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