Point Shoot Practice
This is a discussion on Point Shoot Practice within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; How fast.... can you point your finger at a moving car ? Do you aim your finger ? Why not ? Because you don't need ...
June 5th, 2010 02:01 AM
How fast.... can you point your finger at a moving car ? Do you aim your finger ? Why not ? Because you don't need to, that's why. You are pointing your finger.... with a gun. For me, consistency in the manner in which I hold the gun was very key.
June 5th, 2010 05:57 AM
It is very hard, when you first start out. Not to go for speed. The best thing to do, of course, is to slow down to a crawl. The first 500 hundred times that you draw and fire should be in slo-mo.
Concentrate on placing your hand in exactly the same place every time. There is a sweet spot on your gun where you put your trigger finger. Find it using the sights. Then make sure your trigger finger is on that spot every time you draw. It is very true that slow is smooth and smooth is fast. After 500 times you will become comfortable with it. After 5000, it will be instinctive.
Concentrate on the target. Not the whole target, but a one inch square on the target. I began shooting bowling pins, not the whole bowling pin, but the top of the bowling pin.
Do not try to do it in one session. You will get tired and begin making mistakes. If you continue, the mistakes become imprinted in muscle memory.
June 5th, 2010 07:12 AM
This is good stuff here. Any more info on this subject on the internet or print?
"Everybody's got a plan, 'til they get hit".
June 5th, 2010 07:37 AM
Here is a point shooting home study course that I wrote some time ago:
June 5th, 2010 09:17 AM
June 5th, 2010 10:32 AM
Spot on, on the need to be able to shift from point shooting to sighted shooting seemlessly. If all someone can do is yank and crank and shoot zippers at 3 yards then what do you do if confronted with a BG at 7 yards and a background populated by your friends or relatives? You'd better have another tool in the box for that.
Originally Posted by HK Dan
It is not an "Either this or that"....it is "All of the above" when it comes to shooting.
June 5th, 2010 08:56 PM
June 6th, 2010 03:41 AM
"If all someone can do is yank and crank and shoot zippers at 3 yards then what do you do if confronted with a BG at 7 yards and a background populated by your friends or relatives? You'd better have another tool in the box for that"
Point shooting is not just for three yards. Three, six, or twenty yards, makes no difference to me. My finger has already acquired the target.
If the background is populated with my friends and relatives; the mutant had better surrender, unconditionally, and right now.
June 6th, 2010 06:23 AM
I followed up with hogdaddy's comment and practiced point shooting with my 22, which takes most of the firearm grip/control/recoil out of the equation and wallah I was in a 1-2 inch area at 3-5 yards. Staying with you experts, any hints (and, of course practice is a given) on upping the ante on my ability to effectively control my 380 and 38 with their longer and stronger trigger pulls and recoil?
June 6th, 2010 09:46 AM
The Grip/Trigger Continuum
Originally Posted by kelcarry
From my experience the grip/trigger continuum varies seamlessly from my long range precision grip, to my mid range standard marksmanship grip, to my "behind in the reactionary curve" combat shooting convulsive grip, to my "OH NO!" death grip.
Each section of the continuum has its perfect grip that gives you the very best accuracy, with the very best speed on the trigger (recoil control.) That is in line with the physiological response dictated by the urgency and distance of the encounter.
What is nice is that when I have time the body knows it and gives me a marksmanship grip. When I do not have time the body knows it and gives me a combat grip.......and it is a seamless continuum.
The very best way to look at the grip/trigger continuum is from the typical physiological effects of a life threatening encounter. Distance equals time....time equals urgency.....urgency equals the level of activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) of the fight or flight response.
It is the SNS that will dictate how tightly you will grip the gun and how hard and fast you will work the trigger.
What is very cool is how well these varying physiological effects work with what is the very best solution to the problem. We are talking about a very natural, instinctive, and reflexive "sliding scale" approach here.
If the urgency is very high (due to distance and time,) the more we are physiologically likely to crush the gun and work the trigger hard and fast. This in perfectly in line with the combat proven "convulsive grip" and perfectly in line with the balance of speed and accuracy that is necessary for the specifics of the encounter.
As we gain distance and time incrementally, we lose urgency incrementally. We lose the physiological desire to crush the gun and work the trigger fast and hard incrementally. We begin to shift "the balance of speed and accuracy" more towards the accuracy portion of the equation incrementally. The grip lightens and the trigger is worked with more finesse incrementally.
This is a seamless "sliding scale" approach that allows us to be the very best that we can be from one inch to two hundred yards.
And it fits perfectly into what is natural, instinctive, and reflexive.
To me the grip is all about the speed on the trigger. When we connect the "distance" to the "urgency" it is clear that the closer you are the faster you are going to want to be on the trigger. The faster you are going to want to be on the trigger, the more recoil control you are going to need.
For a precision shot at distance all I want is that "one perfect shot." Now I may string a few of "the one perfect shot" together, but it is not about being fast and accurate. It is all about being accurate. Recoil control is low priority compared to trigger control. Relax, focus on the front sight, and prrrreeesss.
At mid range we are looking for that perfect balance of speed and accuracy. We are looking to get back on the sights as quickly as we can, as we recover from recoil. The grip tension is what gives us our quick “sighted shooting” follow through.
When behind in the reactionary curve and the activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System, the physiological response is to squeeze the gun tighter (convulsive grip) than we do on the range. This is perfect because we need excellent recoil control and the extremely quick point shooters follow through due to the higher urgency.
Way behind in the reactionary curve with extreme activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System. Death grip on the gun....working the trigger as fast as you can.....making the gun “sound like a machine gun.” The recoil control and the point shooters follow through comes out of the death grip.
June 6th, 2010 12:14 PM
Sweatnbullets --- "From my experience the grip/trigger continuum varies seamlessly from my long range precision grip, to my mid range standard marksmanship grip, to my "behind in the reactionary curve" combat shooting convulsive grip, to my "OH NO!" death grip."
What about Muscle memory? I have worked long and hard to build the memory into my muscles. I want to be unconscious about my grip, no matter the situation, and I am.
One grip, no sliding scales, One grip, No thinking. One grip to rule them all. (With A Hat Tip To J. R. R. Tolkien)
What is Muscle Memory?
"Muscle memory thus becomes an unconscious process. The muscles grow accustomed to certain types of movement. This is extremely important in different types of training for sports. The more often you do a certain activity, the more likely you are to do it as needed, when needed. If you’ve kicked thousands of field goals, exercise physiologists assume that the likelihood of being able to kick one during an American football game is pretty good through muscle memory. You don’t have to think, “I need to make this kick.” Your body already knows how to do it."
June 6th, 2010 05:11 PM
Muscle memory does not mean that you do it the exact same way every time. Do you think that field goal kicker uses the exact same kick for a fifteen yard field goal as he does for a fifty yard one? He' going to adjust for his position on the field, the wind, and myriad other conditions. A good shooter does likewise.
Originally Posted by Black Oak
June 6th, 2010 06:08 PM
I find muscle memory to be an entry level to point shooting. For advanced applications it goes way past just muscle memory. If you want to progess as quickly as you possible can, work the eye/hand coordination route. The muscle memory route is slow and inefficient, IMHO.
What about Muscle memory?
The Limitations of “Muscle Memory” Compared to the Versatility of “Eye/Hand Coordination.”
In my years of trying to get people to re-examine the world of point shooting, I am constantly bombarded with the myth that muscle memory will give you everything that you need to be successful in a life and death encounter with a gun. In other words, if you practice your stationary, two handed, high pectoral, linear, default drawstroke, the muscle memory of that will cover 99% of the life and death encounters with a gun. Even if the physiological effect of not being able to bring the focus back to the sights is present, your muscle memory will facilitate the ability to make the hits. These statements are commonly made by the “Modern Techniques Only” crowd. This seems to be an attempt to convince themselves that their chosen “gunfu,” has successfully covered all of their bases.
Now this is true to some extent, but it is nowhere near the 99% that has been thrown around on the gun forums. Force on force has facilitated a break away from the 180 degree world and slapped us in the face with the 360 degree reality. As soon as we accept the 360 degree reality the muscle memory myth falls to pieces. I will give muscle memory the credit it deserves. It will facilitate accurate threat focused shooting at the “line of sight” from approximately the 10:30 around to approximately the 1:30. That is it! Even with the use of the “turret of the tank” concept it is still just a three hour position on the clock, until the muscle memory no longer applies. The changes in the arm position and the torque on the body that changes the ability to extend cancel out the muscle memory that many people are so fond of. Since there are twelve hours on the clock and muscle memory only takes care of three of those hours, the 99% myth is wiped out…..and this does not even take into consideration every shooting position that is below line of sight or that is compressed for proximity purposes.
The bottom line to muscle memory is that it is the very first step and most basic form of threat focused shooting. I know that there are point shooting experts that teach these forms and these forms only. In my opinion that is like teaching boxing only up to the point of a jab and a straight right hand. To teach only the most basic of fundamentals and then stop and say “that is all you will ever need” is wrong in so many ways. But that is just me and the way that I look at it from the perspective of an instructor that is and always will be…. a consummate student.
The only way to reach past the most basic of fundamentals is to understand the need to move past the extreme limitations of muscle memory. One needs to set their sights on the acquisition of the understanding of the all important eye/hand coordination. Eye/hand coordination is something that we are all capable of. Some will take to it faster and easier than others, but the bottom line is that if you are not physically or mentally handicapped you are capable of eye/hand coordination skills. Point shooting basics are all about basic body geometry. Eye/hand coordination is just a product off of this basic body geometry.
Eye/hand coordination opens up every single aspect of shooting that was not opened up by muscle memory. It will take care of every direction on the clock, from line of sight to below line of sight and all the way down to the hip, from full extension to compressed positions, and everything in between, with whatever movement is needed inside the encounter.
It is my belief that muscle memory takes care of approximately 10% of the skills that you need in a “visual threat locked” encounter. Eye/hand coordination takes care of 100% of the skills that you need in a “visual threat locked” encounter. Once you have these eye/hand coordination skills, they will be accessible at the subconscious level, with the very least amount of access time as possible.
Do not fall victim to the dogma of the past. Do not take someone else word as gospel. Everything that you have ever learned needs to pass the “common sense” test. It does not matter where or who you learned something from, question the common sense of it. Force on force is an absolute must to be in the position to make these informed distinctions.
Last edited by Roger Phillips; June 6th, 2010 at 10:49 PM.
June 6th, 2010 06:12 PM
1) What do we see in police shooting videos? (And I mention this only because we don't have a lot of civillian shooting videos to draw from). The cop, upon being shot at, flinches, hunkers down, starts moving, and returning fire more or less blind. This is why there is a 19% hit rate, and don't kid yourself, that would be true for any of us.
2) The level of deviation control (aiming) that you need DEPENDS ON THOSE 3 FACTORS. There are times when using the sights will be faster than using point shooting, because one or more of those factors is not present. I have the shot timer. I've run the course, and I know it's true. Aimed fire CAN be faster than point shooting if one of those 3 elements is suspect (target difficulty, confidence level, and perceived consequence of a miss).
3) Enos defined 5 levels of "Focus". He did it very eloquently, but here is a boil-down:
1--point shooting, used in no-brainer shots. Close target, no consequence for a miss, fast hits required.
2--Flash sight picture, target focus with sights "ghosted", superimposed on it. Rudimentarily align the ghost sights, surround with target, fire. Good for close-medium, easy targets.
3--Most common--aqcuire target, switch to front sight. Break shot, acquire new target. Probably 75% of shots in USPSA take this type of focus.
4--Focus on the front sight, target blurry.
5--Eyes focused on the front sight, brain focused on the trigger. Use this for the most difficult shots--either extreme long range or with a high consequence for a miss.
In USPSA you will switch focus types within a stage, on demand. You HAVE TO BE SKILLED AT ALL OF THEM. In Self Defense, the same principle applies. If someone tells you "It's this way or that way", they ain't thinkin' clearly. It's 'This way AND that way'. Be able to point shoot, including from retention, as that's likely where you'll use it, but also work the other 4 types.
I'm not a believer in point shooting as a sole technique. It CERTAINLY has it's applications and I practice it in the context of those applications. I do not practice it exclusively, in fact I shoot sighted groups at 35 yards before I do anything else in a session.
To re-iterate; in most cases beyond 10 yards or when the perceived consequence of a miss is high, a type 2 or 3 focus will get your shots on target FASTER than point shooting.
"What does Marcellus Wallace LOOK like?"
June 6th, 2010 07:53 PM
I definitely disagree with this. They shoot badly due to the fact that their target shooting based training does not cover the realities of a fight and has left them with very limited skill sets. I teach cops all of the time and they are usually very upset that nobody has ever taught them the things that I teach them. There is a balance "to hit and to not be hit" that is absolutely missing inside of target shooting based training.
The cop, upon being shot at, flinches, hunkers down, starts moving, and returning fire more or less blind. This is why there is a 19% hit rate, and don't kid yourself, that would be true for any of us.
I do not know anybody that is.
I'm not a believer in point shooting as a sole technique.
Beyond ten yards point shooting is not recommended by most point shooting instructors.
To re-iterate; in most cases beyond 10 yards or when the perceived consequence of a miss is high, a type 2 or 3 focus will get your shots on target FASTER than point shooting.
"See what you need to see" in a competition is very different from "see what you need to see" in a fight for your life. We can take "bits and pieces" of information from the competitors to make ourselves better inside of a fight.....but that is it "bits and pieces." "See what you need to see" to make the hits on a piece of paper is very different from "see what you need to see" in the reality of a fight.
Last edited by Roger Phillips; June 6th, 2010 at 10:14 PM.
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