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Old September 6, 2012, 04:09 PM   #1
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Short range 1911 techniques

I read somewhere on TFL about using the back of the firing pin for a rapid fire index at short range, as opposed to attempting to align the sights.

I tested this today; out to 5 yards, it works pretty well.

Seemed to work about as well as the Ayoob technique of looking over the sights and forming a sight triangle at similar distance.

What other short range techniques do people find effective for reasonably accurate rapid fire at short ranges?
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Old September 6, 2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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I was taught instinctive shooting, basically, like point shooting; point where you look, shoot where you look/point. The method we were taught in the army was forget the small sights on the 1911, superimpose your target over the rounded top of the slide.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:30 PM   #3
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In general, you learn to focus on the front sight out of habit. In a real life close range self defense situation, you most likely won't use the sights at all.
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Old September 6, 2012, 10:17 PM   #4
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back of the firing pin for a rapid fire index
That's a new one on me. I don't get it, because trying to look thru the slide at a target seems a bit, ah... counter-intuitive.
I'd be willing to try it, but to be honest I'll probably stick with what I've done for the past 40 years: "front sight!, front sight!... front sight! - stupid!"

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Old September 6, 2012, 11:33 PM   #5
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I might give it a try, but I can't help wondering why, if I'm going to look at the back of the firing pin, I don't just use my usual flash sight picture. Let's all remember what "flash sight picture" means. Here's how Greg Morrison describes it (Morrison, Gregory, The Modern Technique of the Pistol, Gunsite Press, 1991, pp 87 - 88, emphasis added):
...The flash sight-picture involves a glimpse of the sight-picture sufficient to confirm alignment....The target shooter’s gaze at the front sight has proven inappropriate for the bulk of pistolfighting. However, the practical shooter must start at this level and work up to the flash, which becomes reflexive as motor skills are refined. With practice, a consistent firing platform and firing stroke align the sights effortlessly. This index to the target eventually becomes an instantaneous confirmation of the sight-picture.

...Using the flash sight-picture programs the reflex of aligning the weapon’s sights with the target instantly....There is good reason for sights: one needs them to align the barrel with the target reliably....
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Last edited by Frank Ettin; September 7, 2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old September 7, 2012, 12:27 AM   #6
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If I learned anything in 30 years of casual shooting, and six years of competition-it's "Front Sight".

It's just too easy to lose focus and drop a shot into a low D, or a miss, even on close targets.
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Old September 7, 2012, 01:39 AM   #7
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I also don't see the use of utilizing the back of the firing pin as a sight. If the gun is at that height, I will use my sights. It is much easier for me to get a quick sight picture, and it (getting a quick sight alignment) is done almost subconsciously if you practice it a little bit. It would take way more effort to try to retrain my brain to use the back of the firing pin, and I would become less proficient with using my sights in the process.

For an actual close quarters encounter (i.e. no time and/or space to bring the gun to a natural firing position), point-shooting would be a much better thing to train for.
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Old September 7, 2012, 03:21 AM   #8
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At 6ft-ish, I will sometimes use the back end of the slide, so I guess that makes some sense.
If you have time to look at the firing pin, don't you have time to look at the sights? They are both relatively small objects.
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Old September 7, 2012, 05:01 AM   #9
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Gotta agree with Ruark to some degree, real life you will do one of two things depending on stress level and amount of training:
- not use any sights
- do what is instinctive

Unless you plan on only shooting by looking at the firing pin or other technique, I don't think it will happen. Likely won't use any sights if its close quarters.
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Old September 7, 2012, 05:37 AM   #10
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Inside 15yds, putting the front sight between you & the target will usually get you effective hits. I don't even bother with the rear sight unless I'm shooting farther than 15yds or smaller groups than 4".....
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Old September 7, 2012, 11:26 PM   #11
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I can find my sights faster then I can find the firing pin.
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Old September 8, 2012, 12:07 AM   #12
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I suspect I can, too. But, having read about the firing pin POA, thought it would be interesting to try it out.

However, I am more interested in hearing about other techniques that people have found effective, than in focusing on the firing pin in particular.

I am by no means knocking flash picture or front sight. Just thought I would ask for more esoteric stuff that people have actually tried.
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Old September 8, 2012, 11:42 PM   #13
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check Jim Cirillo/NYPD.

He advocated using the rear outline of the top slide when sights are hard to see.

If it's really close in(arm length or less), you simply draw and as you draw toward the target, fire as your elbow line up with the ground/floor.
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Old September 10, 2012, 02:56 AM   #14
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If you do your 4 part draw-stroke, but stop with the pistol in both hands, with your wrists against your chest (under your dominant eye), it is not hard to get hits on a 1/4th sheet of paper from 10-15 feet (aim with the upper torso). I don't know if it is much better from a speed perspective, but it's darn tough to lose the pistol from there!
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