Shooting from the hip
I've found myself in the enviable position of having a private place to shoot that has a huge backdrop down range. I've been using clay birds at different distances and doing really well.
While shooting one day last week I thought I'd work on my draw from an OWB holster. It became apparent that in a gunfight I'm not going to want to wait for my sights to come into play so I drew and shot from the hip (a little in front of my body). I was pleasantly surprised at the results I was getting. I didn't hit the clay with every shot but I did get several hits. The misses were kicking up dirt all around the birds close enough to hit a BG.
Does anyone else have experience at this? Are there any mechanics involved that I should be aware of?
Thanks in advance for any replies.
Do a search here on 'point shooting' - there was a very interesting thread about it recently. I'll see if I can dig it up.
I actually found it by searching for 'Brownie', I thought after that point + shooting were both too all encompassing to be specific.
It is worth reading other threads by these same guys, a lot of good stuff here.
Lucky dog! I need to find an outdoor range around here that allows point shooting.
Check out posts by AzQkr (Brownie) and Sweatinbullets.
Also, try some shots from retention position. At one of his classes in WV, Pat Goodale had us do firing from retention; then firing one handed from retention while hitting the target about the head area with your weak hand.
Just be careful not to shoot your weak hand. :gah:
The first few times feeling the muzzle blast that close to my body was weird. But its another good skill for the toolbox.
I agree with Paul, shooting from retention. The key here is to have the gun in a position next to your body which would make it difficult to nearly impossible for someone in H2H range to take it from you. If you're holding it at the hip -- even if it were not extended -- it could more easily be taken from you or at least you couldn't operate it safely any longer. Develope the muscle memory to draw and smoothly move the gun up your strong side to retention position. Then bring your weak hand over to support position. From there you can push the gun straight at your target, or if necessary, shoot from that retention position. Go slow at first, breaking down the movements into three phases and back two to holster. And shoot from the retention position when the target is close up, say about 2 feet to maybe 6 feet, starting close in until you get the feel of the exercise.
It would be better to use a paper target, too, so you can see where the bullets are going. Clays are more dramatic to hit, but you sacrifice the feedback necessary to improve your shooting skills, IMHO.
Just give me a shout we'll head out there. It just has to be dry enough for me to be able to drive in. Not a problem lately. Hopefully my leg will have mended some by next weekend. My casa su casa or something like that.
Originally Posted by PaulG
My uncle is a LEO and instructs a good bit of firearms classes. He teaches to shoot from the hip.
The "norm" if SHTF, from what I've been told, is to draw and immediately fire two from the hip. I didn't believe him, but I watched him empty his Sig 226 into a target from 15 yards (all good hits), rapid fire, from the hip immediately after drawing.. It was impressive.
I'm going to keep at it. I will use paper targets so I can get a better idea of accuracy. I just did it on a whim to begin with, but if it works out it's going to be a great defensive tool.
Originally Posted by Ryan H
Just practice and instinctive shooting. Just learn to keep your wrist straight
You could also do a search for posts by Sweatnbullets. He's another of the board's prominent point shooting advocates.
Shooting from retention is an important skill, but I also think it's useful to be able to shoot from partial extension. Basically, instead of pushing the gun all the way out, stop your draw sometime after you get both hands on the gun, but before you reach full extension. Some instructors divide this up into different positions like half extension (upper arms vertical, lower arms and gun horizontal) and three-quarters extension (upper arms at about a .45 degree angle, lower arms and gun horizontal). Really, though, it's more of a continuum, rather than a series of positions. You learn to aim the gun through a combination of body mechanics and noting the position of the gun in your peripheral vision. In close, in retention or half extension, you may not see your gun at all and aiming will be all in knowing how the gun is aligned with your body. The further out you get, the more of a role visual alignment plays and the less of a role body mechanics do.
Basically, a good shooter ought to be able to fire from the moment in the draw where they get the gun horizontal all the way out to full extension.
What you call shooting from the hip is commonly refered to in LEO circles as the "Bent Elbow Position". It is taught for close range, within arms reach and just a little beyone. The key is to keep you forarm locked, elbow tucked deep into your ribs and in my case the weapon canted just a little away from the body the closer I have the weapon to my body. It is effective and you can easily hit pie plate targets, but it takes practice, as it relys on hand eye cordination.
While I have not found a range or even area that I could practice this method on, I often practice drawing and dry-firing from what other's have described as the retention position and what I personally call "from the hip."
In honest it's probably somewhere between the two methods.
In a close, CLOSE, quarters confrontation, you are right, you are not going to be able to use your sights. Within arms reach, even within 3-5 yards, if your attacker is moving toward you, you are not going to get to your sights.
Your sights are ALWAYS your ideal, and if possible you always want to get to them, but life is far from ideal, isn't it? That's why we practice for the less than ideal.
A man sized target, at three yards should not be to horribly difficult to hit "from the hip" or from the "retention" position.
Good jobs on the area you have found to shoot at. You have now become the envy of this forum. :smile:
When I got my J frame the range I often go to recommended picking it up from the bench (fast) and also from the hip point shooting at 3 to 7 yards. It was made clear that this may be the situation you find yourself in. Silhouette and bad guy torso paper targets for practice is fun stuff. The groups may not be the prettiest, but effective…couple in the chest and couple in the head with one left over….fast.
Let me heal a bit, too. Just finished my second workout at Team Ruthless in Manassas and I can hardly move.
Originally Posted by dls56
Looking forward to fresh air and gun powder.
Sorry about the leg. . . .umpiring is dangerous work :image035:
I don't practice any other way than point and shoot anymore. At least not with handguns these days.
I am even messing around a little with a short rifle caliber type firearm that is technicaly a pistol but only out to about 30 yards.
You get the hang of it pretty darn fast. Assuming the addage that the most likley winner of a gun fight is the one who shoots first and reasonably effectively then you should at least give it a try.
There are variations of point and shoot and its all adaptable. You just have to be consistent and practice a lot.