Point Shooting Myths

This is a discussion on Point Shooting Myths within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For many years myself, AZQK, 7677, David Armstrong, Dave James and others have debated the naysayers about the validity of point shooting. The following are ...

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Thread: Point Shooting Myths

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    Senior Member Array Matthew Temkin's Avatar
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    Point Shooting Myths

    For many years myself, AZQK, 7677, David Armstrong, Dave James and others have debated the naysayers about the validity of point shooting.
    The following are some of their major arguments and my response to them.


    "Point shooting was once necessary when handgun sights were small, but now we have high visible sights and lasers"

    This myth is usually mentions Fairbairn and Sykes and the military type 1911's and 1903's which did have very small sights.
    However--F&S placed high visible shotgun beads on their personal .45's, yet they still preached the value of point shooting because quite often time, distance and circumstances demand some type of unsighted fire.
    I was in contact with Rex Applegate--who was trained by both F&S- first by snail mail and phone from 1991-1995, and then spent a week at his ranch
    in 1996. Rex was still preaching the need for point shooting even in the 1990's, when good sights and lasers were widely available.
    Applegate was not a fan of lasers, but he did mention that the manufacture's were finally admitting that one will focus on the target as opposed to the sights when up close.

    "Just because a gunfight survivor claims not to have seen his sights does not mean that he did not. Under stress people fail to remember many things."
    When I first read this I was shaking my head in amazement. OK, OK-let's take this a step further.
    So, in other words--if someone claims to have seen the sights he is to be believed but if he states the opposite then he is mistaken?
    Hmm--shades of 1984???

    "Point Shooting takes years and years to learn and tons of ammo"

    Nonsense--point shooting follows the body's natural instincts and is very easy to master. Hey--ever see a kid miss with a squirt gun???

    "Fast is fine but accuracy is final"
    This argument assumes that point shooting is not accurate.
    Of course, this also depends on how does one defines accuracy??
    In my classes I am looking for fist size groups out to 5 yards ( which covers the vast majority of gunfights) and hand size groups at longer distances.
    Many can do better, such as shooting a ragged hole up close or hitting a 5 inch gong at 15-20 yards, but that is besides the point ( no pun intended)
    Point shooting accuracy--man stopping accuracy that is-- is there and is attainable by the typical shooter in a very timely manner with minimal ammunition expended.


    "You can learn aimed fire or point shooting, but not both"
    Really? So a pitcher cannot master several pitches?? Or a boxer several punches??
    Or a martial artist cannot learn how to both punch and kick???
    Come on now..
    John Farnam and Chuck Taylor in their rifle classes teach aimed fire from the shoulder and underarm assault when up close, so obviously they believe that one can learn both methods with a rifle--so why not with the pistol??

    "My best friend was in a gunfight and killed 50 bad guys with aimed fire"

    So??
    Did anyone say that aimed fire is not a good skill to master??
    Of course it is.--but by the same token point shooting has been used in combat for decades with good results.
    Moral??--LEARN BOTH!!!
    ( Assuming, of course, that one believes that to be humanly possible...)

    "Jim Cirillo used aimed fire to take out 3 robbers when on the stakeout squad"

    True--but in his books Jim was very insistent for the need to learn other methods than just sighted shooting
    I took a four hour class with Jim at a I.A.L.E.FI. seminar, and he taught us his "alternative shooting methods" with laser equipped pistols, since a live fire range was not available.
    of course, no one ever said that aimed fire was not necessary--(as in master both.)
    For the record, I used to hunt in the same lodge as Cirillo's partner Bill Allard, and Bill admitted to me that point shooting has it's place.

    Well, I am sure there are more myths and will deal with them later.
    Thanks for the opportunity to vent a bit and discussions are most welcome.

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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    This does address the vast majority of situations. If you were only able to train for aimed or pointed wouldn't you want to train for or concentrate training on the most commonly applied? Since you can train for both doesn't it make sense to train for point shooting?
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    Senior Member Array Matthew Temkin's Avatar
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    Applegate wrote--and told me personally--that if he had one hour to train a person for combat it would be with one handed aimed fire at no more than 15 feet.
    This would give him confidence and the ability to point shoot as well with good accuracy out to those distances.
    Interesting...
    IMHO point shooting is an advanced skill.
    By advanced I do not mean hard, but that it should be taught only after the student has a good handle on gun safety, nomenclature and the basics of marksmanship.

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    Great post, Sir. Thank you.

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    I've found that the great point shooting debate usually boils down to those who know what point shooting actually is and understands it and those who haven't a clue and prefer to live in the box of conventional theory.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    People are natural pointers almost from the time they are born, with very little training we can be quite proficient point shooters at self defense distances.

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    While my point shooting may not be as accurate as my aimed shooting, it's a lot faster and still effective at point-shooting range. There will always be those who believe it's their way and their way only. I let them have full faith in their ways and hope they never find out otherwise the hard way.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    I have been point shooting for many years. What Matt has described in his "myths" post is entirely accurate.
    Point shooting is easily learned, and sufficient skill is attained with minimal practice. A good shooter, be it for SD or combat
    needs to be proficient at both aimed and point shooting. One compliments the other. The success of the F/S methods during WWII in Scotland are a testmony to the ease and natural adaption to point shooting. F/S ran a lot of troops through the drills having only sixteen hours for each group to teach both armed and unarmed combat techniques that were proven.
    "Don't shout for help at night, you may wake your neighbors"

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    Another good thread Matt
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    In regards to accuracy; I have always been an accuracy nut , and strived for this in every style of shooting.

    But reality is what it is. And that is , that there is fine accuracy, and practical accuracy. I believe that a well rounded shooter will strive for the former, but understand the latter, and how it's applicable to a given situation.

    Practical accuracy is not a bad thing. When it's time to shoot, that's what you need to be doing. And anything that slows this process down is detrimental to your health in times like that.
    It's not hard to wrap your head around. Both are disciplines that anyone can learn.

    But the important thing is to know the difference in how and what they apply to.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Hitting a moving, potentially deadly, frying-pan sized target at six feet doesn't require NEAR the precision required of a Bullseye Competitor on the Camp Perry Pistol Line. Why, fer' Pete's sake, would I then concentrate on two tiny pieces of metal when there's SOOOO many other more urgent dynamics going on simultaneously? My handgun is only PART of the fight. My sights are only a PART of my handgun. My priority is to...win the FIGHT!
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    Member Array jscottjr's Avatar
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    I guess I just don't understand the debate. Why would you not train to do both?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jscottjr View Post
    I guess I just don't understand the debate. Why would you not train to do both?
    That is not where the debate is. I think we all are in agreement that using the sights is a much needed skill too. Its those who dismiss point shooting entirely because its not what grandpa taught them shooting at the tree stump in the backyard.
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    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Quote Originally Posted by jscottjr View Post
    I guess I just don't understand the debate. Why would you not train to do both?
    Back in the day, it wasn't a debate, it was a fight by the MT crowd to keep control of their bottom line. God forbid the skills training actually was viable and they hadn't a clue on how to use that to make money, let alone losing students who would attend real world skills training and put those MT instructors under a microscope where their reps would suffer greatly after others discovered those trainers didn't know what they didn't know and were wrong for decades.
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    Member Array jscottjr's Avatar
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    Well IMHO if the addition of a skill would increase my survival chances by .0000000001% while not degrading any other skill I would not see any reason to not acquire such a skill. I would argue that the point shooting skill would increase survival odds by a much greater percentage and does nothing to degrade any other skill, so I see no logical reason to not learn it. I would love to have some formal training, but to this point have only been able to "self-teach", and even that has done nothing to hurt any other skill I have. Again I just don't understand any mindset that would not want to know both.
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