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Old August 17, 2005, 07:00 AM   #1
Join Date: June 23, 2004
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Combat Shooting

This may sound a little far fetched maybe not. I was watching this newest bad ass cop show Wanted, and right before they went into a shootem up, one cop says to the lady cop, "Point and shoot" she says, 'What?' to which he replies, "Don't try and aim, just point your weapon at them and shoot".

Now we're talking about handguns here. So in my military mind, pointing and shooting is not an effective tactic. Of course, I was never professionally trained to clear a room with a handgun or arrest bad guys. Any thoughts on this? The more I think about it, the more it intrigues me. First in a firefight at close range, how would you have much time to aim your weapon. On the otherhand, Wild Bill Hickok was not effective for being the fastest draw, but keeping his head during a shoot out and aiming at his target. He also said, 'you can out shoot me all day on paper, but in real fight, I won't lose' (or something to that effect).

All opinions are welcome.
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Old August 17, 2005, 08:37 AM   #2
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Typically Goofywood dialog. Professional officers are trained to aim their weapons and select their targets. There is too much liability to sling lead around randomly by "shooting from the hip".

That said, there is a technique called "hip shooting" or "point shooting" which is similar to the "old fashioned" method you've seen in old cowboy movies. This is where the gun is drawn from the holster, the shooter moving into a crouch with the gun either held close to the body or slightly extended at waist level and fired with one hand. This technique is for close quarters or use against someone who has already started to draw a weapon or has it in his hand. It demands lots of practice to hit a target reliably however.

A version of this technique was taught to police & FBI agents up through the 1950's, often with the weak side arm held over the heart. Accuracy is usually not as good as more "modern" techniques using the sights.

In CQB you may be engaging targets not much further away than contact distances in which case the handgun is the original "point & click interface".
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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Old August 17, 2005, 09:18 AM   #3
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Heres some links for you.
Point Shooting - Colonel Rex Applegate
AIMED Point Shooting or P&S For Self Defense
Applegate Point Shooting Course
Aimed Vs. Point Shooting

Now my opinion:
Point shooting is effective for getting that first shot at close distances into your enemy. Once he is reacting from that, your follow-up shot should be a Flash Sight Picture. Even if you miss your enemy with the first point shooting shot, you have placed him on the defensive and perhaps saved your life.

Accurate point shooting is a skill that must be practiced and practiced to become good at. You cannot learn it overnight, and proficiency is easily lost if not constantly honed at the range with the same pistol. I would not use point shooting myself, unless I felt extremely confident in my abilities to point shoot with the pistol on my hip. I would FSP instead. I swap carry guns depending on the climate and what I am wearing, thus it's most likely going to be FSP for me. If your carry gun never changes, point shooting may be an option for you. Don't count on it until you can do it though.

This is when shooting becomes more tactics than accuracy. Target shooting is about accuracy. Combat shooting is about tactics. The first shot fired is often the key. Is it your's or his? Are you reacting to it, or following it up?

An analysis of the conversation you saw....... I bet the male cop telling the female cop to point shoot was going to aim his own fire. She was going to be the unwitting distraction to allow him to do this. Even poor shots are useful in combat.

I'm not disparaging the female cop here. she could just as easily have been male. If someone is telling you how to shoot before you enter a room to apprehend a fugitive though, that speaks volumes about your ability.
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Old August 17, 2005, 11:02 AM   #4
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"Point shooting" is enjoying somewhat of a resurgence in the LE field, for whatever reason. It hasnt impressed me as much better than the modern technique.

Training trends come and go. This one came, went, and now came back again. After a while we'll pick a new fad, and it'll go again.
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Old August 17, 2005, 11:21 AM   #5
Para Bellum
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I practice point shooting and aimed shooting. up to 4 meters point shooting works very well for me. I place the first shot at 0,82 to 0,92 seconds and two (into the A-Zone of an IPSC-target) in 1,10 secs total at 4 m point-shooting from the hip. I can't beat that aiming (1,4 sec for two A-hits).

If the distance is over 4m I'd aim or at least "shilouette-aim".

I try to avoid misses as hard as I can. In a real life scenario misses are what I fear the most. A miss could mean a dead innocent bystander...
Si vis pacem - para bellum
If you want peace - prepare for war
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Old August 17, 2005, 11:24 AM   #6
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Just a guess here but isn't the same theory used in point shooting as in useing a double tap?
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Old August 17, 2005, 11:37 AM   #7
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Recently I've been experimenting or practicing with some forms of "point shooting". Having been a bullseye shooter for a long time, I have accuracy pretty down. The problem being that those tight little groups can actually hold one back. After practicing accuracy and getting targets with one ragged holes, it's hard to see those shots open up.
This could be detremental to my new combat training. So I decided on a new "technique". I use a cutout in a cardboard target. I cut a 6x8 inch hole in the COM target. That way, any shots going through are fine, but I am not focused on the "tight group" snydrome. This has enabled me to practice speed shooting and point shooting without sacrificing accuracy. Only shots hitting the carcboard outside of the cutout are noted and remembered for jerked shots or flinch.

I practice "point" from 7 yards, and flash picture from 7 to 15 yards, then focus on the sights for head, accurate and any further out shots. Standing from 7 yards I was able to pull the trigger as fast as I could and keep all shots inside the 6x8 cutout. No time for sight picture or even flash picture. The key was to point and hold, and with the tight hold, the gun would center from recoil every shot.

From shooting instinctive archery, I know believe there is value in instinctive or point shooting, especially in combat situations and in close quarters. The main difference between what i call flash picture and normal accurate shooting is the emphasis on focus on the target rather than the sights. I focus on the target and the sight alignment is in my subconscious.

I normally shoot with reading glasses as my age is now where I can't see the sights clearly. Last time at the range I decided to wear regular sunglasses with the though that in an encounter, I probably wouldn't have my reading glasses on. The "flash picture" technique worked great. Since I have good long distance focus, focusing on the target and sight the sights as a blur had little effect out to 15 yards.

I was happy with the results of this new technique. After fire about 200 rounds with various exercies from draw and double taps to walk and fire, accurate shooting from 50 yards, etc. I managed to only have less than a dozen holes outside the 6x8 inch cutout, and all shots on the torso size cardboard.

I highly recommend this cutout target drill.
From the sweet grass to the slaughter house; From birth until death; We travel between these two eternities........from 'Broken Trail"
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Old August 17, 2005, 12:01 PM   #8
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Another viewpoint

First - I am not a LEO, nor have I ever played one on TV or anywhere else. However, I did attend a course on Instinctive Point Shooting at the S&W Academy last spring. That was as close to an epiphany as I have experienced in many years.

Second – my understanding of point shooting is that it is not about “spray and pray” shooting, but anticipating our body’s ‘fight or flight’ fear reaction (tunnel vision, loss of fine motor control, losing ability to focus on near objects, etc.) and training to be able to consistently place COM shots in spite of that. Typically this is within a 7 to 3 yards (or less) zone, and is equally effective in even in low light or no-light conditions. Point shooting is not the same as a "hip shot", although one can utilize point shooting from almost any position.

All this being said, that doesn’t mean that I stop practicing sighted shots, but after an hour or two at the range, I will usually finish up by practicing point shooting. You would be amazed at what you can do after some training. I sure was.
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