Aiming vs's Point Shooting

This is a discussion on Aiming vs's Point Shooting within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; IMHO " point shooting " or " threat focused " shooting , or whateaver lable you put on it has a bad rep for good ...

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Thread: Aiming vs's Point Shooting

  1. #46
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    IMHO " point shooting " or " threat focused " shooting , or whateaver lable you put on it has a bad rep for good reasons , now bear with me a bit for this guys , its my observations and does not directly relate to the trainers and advocates of it on this board.

    Right or wrong point shooting has been advocated as an alternative way to shoot a handgun . It isnt , its a vital skill for extreme close range when time beats all else . Some like the instructors here can take a sightless pistol and repeatedly hit a human head sized target out at 70+ yards , most of us wont . Hell most of us ( myself included ) wont hit that target reliably with a friggin scope . Point shooting does not replace sighted fire ( nor does anyone here say you only need it and dont need sights ) . Other folks on other boards try to make it the end all way to shoot . I am a big sighted fire proponent myself , but you see me talk a lot about gun ergonomics , and that is how does the gun naturally point for you , because chances are when the chips are down you will need that . There are trainers of point shooting out there you dont want to waste money on , but imho none are on this board , The guys here are imparting life saving skills to the best of their ability and also taking some abuse for it ( mostly on other boards from ipsc idiots who dont understand the reality's of life , but understand how to score high ). If the guys here have any failing is it is not to market the skills they train as a " home defense , or cqb " course , rather than just a general shooting course . Both of the above imply short range , quick shoot skills , where pistol training doesn't necessarily do that .

    Soapbox off , I will say attend at least two schools ( and i lack on my own advise ) 1 being a reputable general pistol school such as gunsight , aayub , farnam , or whoeaver .. and the second is attend a reputable point shooting school such as is offered here by sweating , brownie , or matt. There is no one answer to shooting , I personaly dont support the see the sights guys at close range , nor do i support the instinctive aim guys at range , my thoughts are that if i have the time to see the sights i had better , if not i had better have the skills to overcome that disability .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    If the guys here have any failing is it is not to market the skills they train as a " home defense , or cqb " course , rather than just a general shooting course
    I feel that I actually do a pretty good job on this.

    I think pointshooters biggest failings are that we are our own worst enemies. Many of us have been argueing this subject for so long that we do not know how to shift from argueing an unaccepted skill set, to teaching a now accepted skill set. Let's face it, for years it was two to four guys against the entire gun world (most notably 7677 and Matt Temkin....later on Robin Brown and I joined in.) We fought the good fight and brought these life saving skills back to the forefront. Now that it is back to the forefront many people want to forget the stance that they took in the past and who were the people that got them to see the light. It was a hard fight and we do carry some baggage.

    I know that I am trying to do much better on this.

    I have over forty five courses as a hard core "sights" guy. I teach point shooting because not very many people can or do. You can learn sighted fire from thousands of different guys. You can only learn point shooting from a handful. As my friend 7677 says...."If everyone was teaching point shooting, I'd be teaching sighted fire.....because they are both absolutely necessary."

  4. #48
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Sweatin , I on reflection consider both sighted and unsighted a vital skill , I weigh in as you know to the sighted side , and mostly due to the issues mentioned .. We need both in the toolbox , but need to know when to transition to sights , and that depends on user skill level and speed . You like all i have seen here honestly from what i understand teach true skills utilising this concept . Neither unaimed fire , nor aimed fire is the total answer for every situation . I do feel that extreme close range and get the gun going in a hurry is worth an entire course of its own . Once the gun is going , then you can transition to silhouette shooting postures if needed for the range you are enganging . Just as stated , the entire point shooting camp is missing the boat due to lableing and marketing .. Is a needed skill but has reached the " assault rifle " status with a lot of shooters . Call them dumbo , Zumbo , or whateaver they are real , its time to re lable and re educate . Dont let the game players who use sights to score dictate your terms any more , make your own deffinitions .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  5. #49
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    my thoughts are that if i have the time to see the sights i had better , if not i had better have the skills to overcome that disability .
    Pretty much sums it up Bob - and the decision as to which way to go needs to be fast probably. I'll take sighted from choice every time but ......... I sure want to know that one handed from close retention will still be workable if need be - as a precursor to ''zippering'' probably..
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  6. #50
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    Redneck Repairs;

    A well written clearly well thought out post sir.

    Though I can hit that 70+ yd shot with the sightless glock or gov45, at that range I'd be using the sights all day long in the real world. When I demonstrate and get the students to make similiar shots, it's only to demonstrate they have the ability and how effective the skill can be once trained on and owned.

    As you mention, threat focused skills do not replace sighted fire, they are an important adjunct to it and one needs to be well grounded in those skills that are an important part of the equation for the close range SD situations many find themselves in when behind the curve [ sorta speak ].

    In the final analysis, I think 7677, Roger, Matt and I agree wholeheartedly with you that if we have the time to see the sights we had better use them , if not we had better have the skills to overcome that disability at the ranges the threat focused skills can be superior to sights when the time and distance are both in short supply.

    Though 7677 hasn't come in on this thread or others, he is a true force with loads of knowlege and practical experience in the overall training of threat focused skills as well.

    I appreciate your comments and thoughts on the subject sir.

    Brownie
    Last edited by AzQkr; March 17th, 2007 at 07:14 PM.
    The mind is the limiting factor

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  7. #51
    Member Array Dave James's Avatar
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    IMO this thread has given out great information to all,, even among our selfs {Point Shooters} we disagree on style or practice.

    "Nothing learned is ever a waste"
    " Just another tool for the box"

    Are phrases I live by,

    I was trained by the last of the true old times and real ********, it worked for them, its worked for me, and its worked for the few I have passed stuff on to..

    BUT ITS NOT THE END ALL TO BE ALL!.

    Learn it store it,and hope to hell you never need it.

  8. #52
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    IMHO true zipping is extremely irresponsible for civilian use. it does have its place for .mil tho .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  9. #53
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    Bob - ''zippering'' in my book - just to clarify, is ........

    The much needed first (maybe second also) shot from close retention ... the first opportunity to be able to fire from leather clearance if circumstances dictate such.

    This tho transitions into an arm straightening pretty much as normal with weak hand coming up for two handed grip. Ultimately a sighted stance can be taken. If the gun control is good then shots can be taken reliably thru the transition.

    It is NOT for me, and must NOT be .. wild ''spray and pray''.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  10. #54
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    I train zippering starting at 4-8 feet normally. If you can utilize EU/ED in any circumstance you find yourself in, zippering is just a continuation of firing the weapon throughout the drawstroke as you are extending the gun up and out toward the opponent.

    It's real strength is in keeping rds on threat continuously from the moment the gun clears the holster at the hip. It can be accomplished while you are moving out of the kill zone in a few variations as well.

    Students aren't missing their hits and will see 96% plus COM hits throughout the drawstroke. Used in the proper context, it is devastatingly effective.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

  11. #55
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Chris and all : the Zipping i speak to is putting rounds on target basicly from when the muzzle clears target thro the extention stroke of the draw to a blocked , or sighted fire . its continual fire from a close retention posture , continuing to full extension as it happens , as fast as you can . It has a limited place but imho is to easy to run away with and get yourself in a spot where you are not responsibly fireing rounds ( you may be unshure where your rounds are going ) . If your deffinition of zipper is different well then different rules would apply .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  12. #56
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    One Handed Shooting

    In the past Matt Temkin has remarked on the need/benefits/versatility of one handed shooting. The more and more that I have worked with necessary visual input skills, the more I see exactly what he was talking about.

    Fairbairn, Sykes and Applegate point shooting (FSA) is an outstanding entry level skillset into the world of one handed shooting. FSA is very much entrenched into the "vertical lift" concept. Many people look at the vertical lift and decide immediately that FSA is not for them, because it does not work within their "default drawstroke". This would be a huge misconception and a serious mistake in my humble opinion. Even if you are not going to integrate the verical lift into your tool box, knowledge of/work with the vertical lift is a very good idea if you want your point shooting skills to be all that they can be. The vertical lift helps begin to establish your hand/eye cordination and the hand/eye cordination is one of the most valuable and advanced skills of point shooting. Once you have the knowledge of and the work with the vertical lift, you can then decide if it has a place in your tool box. Each individual should look at their specific situatuion and make that decision for themselves. It has a place in my tool box and I am a huge supporter of the linear default drawstroke.

    I teach one handed shooting both ways, from the vertical lift and from the default drawstroke. This makes my students more well rounded. They can use the vertical lift when the gun is in the hand and at the low ready (some people still love the low ready.) They can also make hits throughout their one handed default drawstroke as 7677 likes to teach. This is an excellent start to the concept that Matt and 7677 have always spoke of, the concept of making hits throughout your drawstroke and from any angle or position. This versatility leads to a great deal of confidence and confidence is key when things are happening at such fast pace that you are solving problems at a subconscious level. Solving problems without conscious thought, as the recent story by Steve Holden portrayed, should be the ultimate goal for all that are serious about their training.

    Along with the "linear" default drawstroke, one handed shooting can be used to break students away from the concept of stance or plateform dependence. The basic of pointshooting is basic geometry....but that is only the starting point. I use the one handed shooting to break my students of the need of that basic geometry and get them into the eye/hand cordination part of the course. One handed shooting is introduced from a number of different position, straight ahead from the FSA crouch (which does have it's place due to the bodies natural reaction to crouching in a life threatening encounter,) while facing at a 45 degree angle to the right and left of the target, and while facing to a 90 dgree angle to the left and right to the target. The concept is to draw straight to the target and make the hits. This breaks the student away from the need of the linear drawstroke and the basic geometry. It also helps facilitate the hand/eye cordination and does a very good job of preparing the student for the movement portion of the course.

    All of these positions are worked at the appropriate amount of extention and height for the appropriate distance, Half hip limitations are usually pushed from two yards out to four or five yards. Three quarter hip limitations are usually pushed from three yards out to seven yards. Point shoulder (One handed, line of sight FSA pointshoting) limitations are usually pushed from three yards out to ten yards. Understand that these distances are exploring the limitations of each skill. The optimal distances are closer. But once again this works off of the "establishing confidence" and "finding the limitations" concept.

    Elbow up/elbow down is a term brought to us by our very own Dave James and is something that Matt has used to teach us one of the most devastating offensive tools I have ever seen. EU/ED gets some special attention in my course because it is the fastest way that I have ever seen to get hits on an adversary. It is also a very versitile retention position.

    The elbow comes up as the gun is lifted out of the holster. As soon as it clears the holster, the elbow is crashed down into the gut/hip/ribs and the shot is taken as soon as the elbow makes contact. The place where the elbow contacts coincides with the proximity of the threat.The closer the threat, the further back the elbow. The best accuracy at distance is achieved when the elbow is crashed down into the pocket of the gut, just in front of the hip. This gives you an excellent "centerline."

    The one handed skills are then worked in the zipper drills, hand/eye cordination drills, hammer drills, transitioning to the sight drills, and the multiple drills.

    The students are now ready for the movement portion of the course.......1000 rounds are we are half way done!

    I have found that the one handed skills are essential to the dynamic movement portion of the course. I am also seeing the absolute need for these skills for fighting at night.

    It has been a facinating journey!
    Last edited by Sweatnbullets; March 17th, 2007 at 07:43 PM.

  13. #57
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    It has a limited place but imho is to easy to run away with and get yourself in a spot where you are not responsibly fireing rounds ( you may be unshure where your rounds are going ) .
    RR, this is a training issue that is easily overcome with proper instruction and application. Just like sighted fire was for the beginner.

    Not a problem at all for those that have been trained in it properly.

  14. #58
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    The elbow comes up as the gun is lifted out of the holster. As soon as it clears the holster, the elbow is crashed down into the gut/hip/ribs and the shot is taken as soon as the elbow makes contact. The place where the elbow contacts coincides with the proximity of the threat.The closer the threat, the further back the elbow.
    Roger - that is it exactly! I did notice however in my early attempts that too close with rear of gun and slide potentially makes a nice bruise on side of gut!
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  15. #59
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    I brought up zippering only because it does draw in both sides of the crowd. I do not use/teach it for anything other than within arms reach shooting. I didnt even want to mention it by name, due to all the images of "spray and pray" hollywood type shooting.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  16. #60
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    How to Make Hits “Below Line of Sight”

    I feel that it is very important to be able to make accurate hits all the way through your draw stroke….whether that be one handed or two. For those that are just starting out, I prefer to teach two handed first because those are the skills that they usually show up to my course with. When I speak of “all the way through,” that is exactly what I mean……at every single point of the draw stroke, due to the fact that it is a continuum. This requires that we try not to freeze or label the points, but we simply have to do this if we are actually going to discuss it with the written word. Also, while these are only points in the draw stroke, they are also shooting positions….positions that are dictated by the specifics of the situation that you are dealing with.

    The points that I teach in my course are as follows.

    (1) Line of sight
    (2) Nose level
    (3) Mouth level
    (4) Chin level
    (5) Mid point (of the draw stroke)
    (6) Compressed ready (count three)

    The first four points are dictated by the necessary visual input of the situation. Whether you use one through four is dictated by how much visual input that you need on the gun and how much visual input you need in regards to the other factors of the encounter.

    Points five and six are based on retention issues and/or the urgency of the shot.

    Before we get into the points, we must understand the basic geometry of point shooting. There are four main factors to this basic geometry that gives us the hand/eye coordination that we are looking to establish.

    (1) Focal point
    (2) Visual centerline
    (3) Parallel to the ground
    (4) Parallel to the line of sight

    The focal point is very important! This is very much like the “aim small, miss small” concept. When point shooting, your bullets will want to go to the exact spot that you are focused on. By focusing on a small spot instead of a large blob (COM) your hits will be much better and your groups will be much smaller. While teaching a course, if I see the groups start opening up, all I have to do is say “focal point” to bring the hits right back where they need to be. Very often as soon as I say “focal point” the hits will drill through the quarter size spot that the student focuses on. I have had students label it “the magic two words” it works so well and is that important. This goes right in line with motorcycle/snowboarding safety courses. In these courses, you are constantly taught to never focus on an obstacle. Instead you are taught to focus on the escape route to avoid the obstacle. If you focus on the obstacle your body/mind will drive into the obstacle. This is the exact same concept with point shooting, but in this case we want to focus on where we want our body/mind to go.

    The one factor that is absolutely constant is your visual centerline. For *most* the visual centerline will be right off of your master eye. But depending on your dominance, your visual centerline may be anywhere in between you dominant eye and your nose. To find out your visual centerline try this test. I got this from Jim Gregg's book that you can find here http://jimgregg.net Get someone to help you and have them stand ten feet away and cover one of their eyes, so you can focus on the other. Take a pencil and hold it up in your fist like a big front sight at full extension. Focus on you helpers eye, with both of your eyes open. Raise the pencil up and line the pencil up with their eye.

    Your helper will see exactly what your visual centerline is because the pencil will be lined up with it. Jim has found something like 49 different eye combinations. You could have a right/left master eye, which puts the visual centerline right at the pupil. You could have a right/left dominant eye which will put the visual centerline in between the right/left eye and your nose. Or you could have equal dominance with would give you a true nose indexed visual centerline.

    Whenever you are point shooting or shooting with sighted fire with both eyes open you must work off of your visual centerline. This “baseline” factor gives you the horizontal alignment of the basic geometry of point shooting.

    The easiest way to facilitate the vertical alignment of the basic geometry is to understand and have the ability to orientate the handgun “parallel to the ground” and “parallel to line of sight.” This understanding and ability is simply another baseline that helps you refine your hand/eye coordination.

    To teach nose level threat focused shooting, I simply have the student shoot at line of sight while focused on the exact spot that they want to hit (focal point) I then have them lower the gun to the nose level and ask them to keep the gun aligned on the focal point. Now this requires a very slight bit of wrist articulation, as you lower the gun you must articulate the wrist slightly upward. How much wrist articulation is the question and this is where the all important hand/eye coordination is really nailed down. Using the basic geometry, hand/eye coordination will come very quickly. Peripheral vision verification is very important here. Seeing the handgun on your visual centerline, seeing the gun indexed on the focal point, very close to parallel to line of sight will have a very definite “look.” This peripheral vision index is a huge part of the hand/eye coordination. It is also a continuum that changes due to elevation and extension. At the beginning levels, taking mental note of your peripheral vision index helps cement you hand/eye coordination.

    Once the shooter has the nose level down, we move onto mouth level and then onto chin level. The concepts are the exact same, wrist articulation due to elevation, basic geometry, and peripheral vision index. This is all a continuum that will solidify your hand/eye coordination and have you move onto the next skill set, which is shooting from mid point of the draw stroke and the compressed ready.


    Shooting from partial extension is now easy as can be. All of the ground work has already been put in. All of the concepts have already been learned. Hand/eye coordination is taking over. Everything is coming together at a subconscious level. This is the point in the course where my students simply can not believe what they are really physically capable of. This is the point that they know why they wanted to take the training. I have consistently seen my students getting hand span groups from the mid point out to seven yards and from compressed ready out to five yards. This is from students that have never used threat focused skills before after only a couple of hours of instruction.

    They have now covered the entire draw stroke and are ready to move onto the zipper. The fun has just begun and things will never be the same!

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