Modern Point Shooting
Many are critical of the Applegate/Fairbairn approach, since it ignores much of what is being taught today.
While that is open to debate, it finally dawned on me that it makes no sense to teach point shooting via a method that turns off those who I am trying to convince.
After teaching at a 2005 IALEFI ATC--and reading the class review notes-- I realized that point shooting is a concept--a concept which can work hand in hand with the modern approach to combat shooting.
Hence the new outline which I now use:
TACTICAL POINT SHOOTING
1) Explain how point shooting is nothing more than a concept.
The concept of placing a burst of bullets--from any angle and position--into the exact spot that one’s eyes are focused upon. This also may eventually lead to the more descriptive title of Target or Threat Focused Shooting.
Give a brief history of Fairbairn/Applegate/Sykes, etc so as to show its proven track record. But also explain that we are going to blend this with some of the more conventional shooting concepts as well as using point shooting with the SOP shooting methods employed by tactical teams…such as two handed shooting, the use of SUL, compressed ready and from the holster. Also stress that point shooting is meant to compliment--NOT REPLACE--sighted shooting skills.
2) Aimed Fire Drills.
Have students start at about 7 yards with two handed aimed fire from whatever low ready position they prefer. Have them aim for the upper chest.
Have them shoot in two round bursts on each blow of the whistle, doing a speed reload when necessary.
Have them reload and holster after running through two magazines.
3) HOLSTER DRILL.
Repeat the drill from the holster at about 5 yards.
On each blow of the whistle have them come up to a two handed aimed fire position and shoot two rounds.
4) Two Handed Point Shooting Drills.
Begin from low ready while in the square stance. Have them focus on a dot/letter/circle in the COM area.
On the whistle have them come up and fire one shot. Explain the need for a slight pause both before and after the shot. If necessary have them count to three before coming back down to low ready.
Repeat until empty.
Show the hits on the targets and ask them if there is a big accuracy difference between aimed and point shooting? Actually they will probably be in the same group area.
Now repeat the drill with two shot bursts. Explain that there is no need for resetting the trigger, looking for the sights, hammer, etc.
All one needs to do is focus on the spot one wishes to hit, grip the handgun tightly and fire the shots as fast as one can pull the trigger.
After one or two magazines have them repeat the drill with one foot forward, with the back heel raised.
Explain that one will normally be shooting with one foot forward and show why having at least one heel raised aids in movement and aggression.
Finish up drill with some 3-6 round bursts.
Then repeat the drills with the weak foot forward.
5) Explain the importance of shooting while moving in.
Have them shoot while moving in and then backwards, starting at the 7 yard line.
Repeat drill from the students favored ready position.
6) Body/Head drill.
Explain how the hands follow the eyes. Show how to make head shots by just changing your focus from the chest to the head.
Do it stationary from the 5 yard line, then while on the move from the 7 yard line. Also mention the advantages of focusing on the open mouth when making head shots ( Vital spot, gives some leeway for the shot going slightly high/low and how it was/is used by the S.A.S.)
Ask how many use SUL during SWAT training/work.
Go over how it was used by the SAS--and why--long before it was ever given a name. Explain it’s strong points--allowing large numbers of officers to move while in close proximity, easy to run quickly when so held, weapon retention and very hard for the officer to put his finger on the trigger until on target, etc..
Practice two handed point shooting from Sul from about 5 yards. Drill should first done standing and then in motion.
8) Explain Eric Haney’s background in Delta Force and why they trained to shoot for the upper chest. Then show the failure to stop drill…chest-jugular notch-head in a rapid fire non stop motion.
Show the standard stand and deliver method and its shortcomings.
Then explain how we move into each target for each bad guy--which is especially useful in a tactical team environment. Do drills from low ready, SUL and whatever ready position they feel most comfortable with.
10) Pivot Shots.
Explain how there are no set methods of footwork when engaging targets from the flanks. The concept--turn the body while raising the gun and firing when the eyes lock on the target--is the important thing.
Have them practice with just fingers to get a feel of the motions. Show how turning and shooting while moving in greatly enhances accuracy.
Do live fire drills from low/preferred/SUL while line is facing the targets at a 45 degree angle.
11) In Quartata Drill.
Moving backwards at a 45 degree angle.
key is to bring the left foot behind the right when going to the right and vice versa when going to the left.
12) Marching Drill.
This is both an excellent drill as well as the simplest method of teaching pivot/angle shots. The real key is to move in after the first shot (or ASAP) which tends to improve accuracy and lends itself to the aggressive spirit.
Show how sometimes we blow the whistle with the left foot forward, other times with the right foot forward and how to create stress by making it unpredictable as to when the whistle will blow.
Let them mix up regarding ready positions so as to allow all three…low/preferred/SUL…ready positions during the drill.
13) Explain the limitations of two handed shooting, such as locking up the body while doing a search, exposing too much when using cover, difficulty in disarming and that much police work involves using the off hand to hold a radio, flashlight, etc, etc.
Show how to make a firm one hand grip and then teach the basic one handed Fairbairn/Applegate drill.
Follow up by repeating drill # 5 with one hand.
14) Show how to do a one handed draw stroke into point shoulder position.
15) Talk about the importance of hip shooting and first show how to do it from the Appleagate low ready position. Also show how this can be done from SUL
Then demo elbow up/elbow down. Show how a zipper and head shots can be made from the half hip shooting position. Also show how multiple targets can easily be engaged from this position.
15) Shooting through the Draw Stroke.
Teach rapid firing from half hip and zippering up head shots are being made from point shoulder.
16) Retention Shooting.
Show various options and why this course will teach the 90 degree method.
17) Moving In All Directions.
Start out by moving right side I.Q. and going back-forward-left I.Q.-forward until pistol runs dry. Make sure that all shooting is being without a pause.
Then practice the “putting it all together drill” Start by striking the target and moving backwards, shooting from close hip until head shots are being made via point shoulder.
18) S and Figure 8 Drill.
Explain these drills importance and have students do them from a variety of ready positions or from the holster.
19) Low Light Concepts.
Explain how point shooting allows one to shoot in dim light and how there is usually some light that can help you see/identify the target.
Then practice the drills listed in KOGK
20) Quickie Course.
Show how to teach point shoulder from within a booth and with extremely limited time/ammo.