Point VS Aimed Fire?
This is a discussion on Point VS Aimed Fire? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; [QUOTE=Matthew Temkin;1486122]
"The training course must be balanced, with equal emphasis on the aimed shot and on combat type training...After initial familiarization and training on ...
February 16th, 2010 09:38 AM
"The training course must be balanced, with equal emphasis on the aimed shot and on combat type training...After initial familiarization and training on the target range, the shooter should be required to shoot regularly a balanced program of both types of shooting as long as he remains on the active list
I could not agree more
February 16th, 2010 09:38 AM
February 18th, 2010 11:35 AM
Very good summary on tactics etc found on mouseguns.com under the topic "mousegun tactics". I found it to be a great summary touching on a lot of very obvious issues concerning mousegun use and general defensive tactics with all guns. It certainly reemphasized my belief in point shoot, particularly with mouseguns, where the longer distances are not practical (IMO).
February 19th, 2010 07:16 AM
I've always wondered that if "point shooting" is so much faster than sighted fire, why do all the top IPSC, USPSA, and IDPA shooters have sights on their pistols?
If you read Brian Enos's book, he writes about different levels of front sight focus; from a very hard crystal clear front sight focus to a very soft front sight focus - basically superimposing the blurred front sight over the target. But always referencing the shot with the visual reference of the front sight.
One of the major problems I have with "point shooting" is the feedback loop. How do we learn to throw a baseball or shoot a basketball? The answer is feedback. Our eyes watch the path of the ball through the air and our subconcious adjusts ourselves with each subsequent attempt until we get it right. The problem with shooting is that it happens too fast for that feedback. We can't visually track the bullet in flight. The best, fastest way we can get feedback is by watching out sights.
Another problem I have with "point shooting" is the claim that using the sights is slower. To me this is illogical. Assuming that the sights on your pistol are properly adjusted, it MUST occur that your sights were aligned with the impact of your bullets. If you present your pistol and hit the spot you want - regardless of method - your sights were aligned on target, whether you used them or not. The only way using sights is any slower is if you hesitate for some reason. If you present the pistol and the sights are not aligned, then the pistol too is not aligned, and your shot will miss - again, whether you chose to use the sights or not. So if one says that they are slower because they have to align their sights then how could they have hit where they wanted without using the sights if they weren't aligned in the first place?
Another problem I have with point shooting is that it depends on body mechanics and "muscle memory". What happens when your particular situation does not mimic what you've rehearsed at the range? What if you are in an unusual position, have a compromised grip, have an injury?
Another problem I have with point shooting is the timing of the shot. What is the "trigger" in your mind that tells you when to press the physical trigger on the pistol in order to break the shot? If you are truly point shooting that mental trigger is not visual. If it is visual (meaning some part of the pistol is visually aligned between the target and your eyes) than you are not practicing point shooting, but actually aimed fire - just using less precise sights. So what is the mental trigger? Is it timing? Is it by feel? Neither timing or feel can be trusted under extreme stress. This, I believe, accounts for why so many bullets strike low - even into the ground - during gunfights. Obviously in these cases the shooter is NOT using the feedback of the front sight on target as the mental trigger to press the physical trigger. They are either timing the shot or feeling for the shot and it didn't work under stress. As time seems to often slow down under stress, I believe that many shooters end up pressing the trigger as soon as they clear leather due to this distortion of their perception of time.
Another problem I have has been voiced by Paul Howe, Delta Operator who took part in the battle for Mogadishu and owner of Combat Shooting and Tactics. He's stated that he uses his sights for all distances from off the muzzle to 300m. His reasoning is that if you train with two different techniques for the same action, under stress your mind will revert to the simplest technique. Thus, he believes, that if you practice both sighted and point shooting you will revert to point shooting regardless of the circumstances.
I am also highly skeptical of the studies which report a high percentage of law enforcement officers who state that they don't remember seeing their sights during gunfights. There are two things that bother me with this. The first is the phenomena of memory lapse under extreme stress. The mind will often filter out what it deems as unnecessary information. Most officers also report not hearing the shots or feeling the recoil - does that mean the shots made no noise or the pistols did not produce recoil? They don't remember the number of rounds fired or the actions of their partners. If the mind excludes these memories, it seems plausible to me that the mind would also exclude the memory of seeing the sights. The other thing that bothers me about putting too much stock in these studies is when I consider which officers get into gunfights. It is, statistically, the average officer. The average police officer is, in fact, poorly trained. I'm a law enforcement firearms trainer myself, and I know, for a fact, that the vest majority of police officers today only shoot when required. Very few train on their own time. It doesn't surprise me when I read these reports and see that the average officer didn't remember seeing their sights considering their probable skill level. I would be more interested to know what highly trained shooters experience.
Finally, I view point shooting the same way I view reading by sight words. If you practice properly long enough it just happens when it needs to without conscious thought, but if you try to shoot like someone who has tens of thousands of rounds downrange when you don't I think you end up handicapping yourself and slowing your progress.
Sorry for the rant. Aim small miss small and shoot slow in a hurry.
February 19th, 2010 07:33 AM
"Another problem I have has been voiced by Paul Howe, Delta Operator who took part in the battle for Mogadishu and owner of Combat Shooting and Tactics. He's stated that he uses his sights for all distances from off the muzzle to 300m."
Can you explain how one can use his sights at ZERO feet?
(Which is exactly what Paul Howe has stated in the past--that he uses his sights from zero to 900 feet.)
I won't even comment on your other points, since they can all be countered with some range time.
S0--since you are a police officer in NE Ohio..
A good friend of mine is a Sgt. with the Akron OH PD, who is one of their firearms instructors.
Another friend--who is the Tom in my DVD ( better known here as 7677)--lives in Clevland and is also friends with the Sgt from Akron.
Both are well trained and include point shooting in their programs, and quite a few Akron officers have used the method when shooting for real.
If you would like to train with them--for free--shoot me a PM ( either by point or aimed fire)
Or--and sorry for the shameless plug--you can check out our new DVD:
PS--here is a review of the class that the three of us co taught at the Akron PD range back in 2007:
JM, BTW, is the Sgt that I mentioned.
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Euclid, OH, USA
Default AAR - Training with Matt and 7677
I had the chance earlier this month to train with Matthew Temkin and 7677 at their yearly summer training event.
First off, I (and my training partner) want to thank them and 7677's training partner JM for inviting me and my training partner to the event. I've been reading stuff from Matt and 7677 for years, and it's been great getting to know them a little bit and learn from them.
I've had nothing but sighted fire training until this year, when after alot of research, I decided it was time to get some point shooting training. One prominent instructor I've trained extensively with has you use your sights for 100% of the firing in class, and says if you have to shoot close in, just use the built in retention position of the draw. Problem is, you never actually do it in training.
I have to call BS on that, how can you be expected to do something in real life that you haven't trained to do? Answer: you can't!
Also, Steve Barron showed me a classic photo of this same instructor during an intense FoF event, and this same instructor is in a classic Fairbairn 3/4 hip position, under extreme stress in the scenario, firing. Hmmm. Barron said to me, with a grin on his face, already knowing the answer, "did you learn that position in your classes with him?" My answer, "Uh, no".
To quote Matt from one of his posts, we covered:
"point shooting both from a tactical officers point of view ( two hands in a hunter/active shooter mode) to extreme close range techniques. ( EU/ED, Zipper,retention, getting off the X, etc.)....some combatives and weapon retention....FOF a la airsoft" We also did some carbine pointshooting training.
We shot about 600rds each during the training day and covered a lot of material. There were some hardened, experienced Gunmen in this class, and not one of them came away unimpressed with this training.
Matt has a trememdous amount of knowledge and is a dynamic instructor, never failing to keep the attention of the class. He is the kind of guy that could easily misinterpreted on the street, just an average looking guy, but God help the crook that attacks this guy! My training partner and I were laughing on the way home at the sheer viciousness of Matt's demos. He is a real character and ball buster, and had us laughing our asses off at some points of the class. It was so damn hot that note taking was totally impractical, we had to focus on stuffing mags and drinking water when we weren't shooting, but I wish I'd had the chance to write down some of his one-liners. Matt is also a wheelgunner, which I like, as I carry two wheelguns everyday. The revolver is far from obsolete as a personal defense weapon!
7677 is a skilled operator and instructor, with tremendous knowledge, but much more low key than Matt. He did alot of the demos for the class, and let me tell you he is another guy you wouldn't want to tangle with at any range. He makes his duty G19 sound like a sub gun in some of the close range drills, with deadly accuracy.
Matt's buddy (who didn't want to be identified) and 7677's buddy JM were also assistant instructors for the class and did a great job of personal instruction. Thanks Guys! JM hosted this event and really worked hard and deserves a lot of credit for having the balls to teach these lifesaving skills to his men.
FoF saw some interesting things happen, I just wish that it had been videotaped, as I believe you can learn a great deal watching yourself on video.
These guys make a great training team. I would recommend anyone interested in no BS training contact these guys and bring them in for some training, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I've now trained with three of the instructors who were personally trained by Col Rex Applegate: Steve Barron, Clyde Beasley, and now Matthew Temkin. I've been nothing but impressed by the training offered by these men.
Pointshooting is alive and well in Ohio.
February 19th, 2010 09:14 AM
Tom in Ohio, good post, thanks for sharing. I have to disagree, I know first hand point shooting works and works real well. We are not talking about scoring on paper where sights are needed. It's about buying time to get shots on the threat to save your life.
Sights are not needed to hit COM at SD ranges. Can you take a BG down shooting point blank from the hip using your sights?
My flash light doesn't have sights. I can click the light beam on a pie plate across a dark room, same with point shooting.
Try it, invest in some good training, believer you will become.
While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3
February 19th, 2010 10:23 AM
You've got a nice continuum going here (to borrow Roger Phillips' favorite word), let's keep extending it. If the target's close up, we can use a soft focus on the entire gun, rather than just the front sight. Next, rather than superimposing the gun on the target, we can lower it about two inches and look over the top of the slide. Then we can pull the gun back from full extension to about 3/4 extension, bringing it further below our line of sight. Bring it back further to 1/2 extension, so we're just seeing the gun in the bottom of our peripheral vision. Finally, bring it all the way back to full retention, with no visual feedback at all. Point shooting is essentially taking the concept of different kinds of front sight focus all the way to it's logical conclusion.
Originally Posted by Tom in Ohio
When you use your sights, you have to align four things: the target, the front sight, the rear sight, and your eye. When you point shoot below the line of sight, you take your eye out of the equation, you only have to line the front and rear sights up with the target.
Originally Posted by Tom in Ohio
That said, I don't think that increased speed in not having to align the sights with your eye is really a big advantage for point shooting. In my mind, the significant advantages are:
- The ability to start shooting as soon as your gun clears the holster and is pointed at the target, rather than waiting till you get to full extension.
- The ability to shoot accurately from less than full extension when you're up close to an opponent, which is extremely valuable in avoiding a gun grab.
- The ability to move rapidly while shooting. Not that Groucho type crab walk you see compeditors using, but real rapid movement that's going to make it more difficult for an assailant to hit you.
Point shooting depends much less on muscle memory than it does on eye-hand coordination.
Originally Posted by Tom in Ohio
In a lot of these points, you seem to be laboring under the misimpression that point shooting doesn't rely on any visual stimulus whatsoever, and that just isn't the case. It doesn't rely on aligning the sights, but you still use the gun as a visual cue.
February 19th, 2010 10:57 AM
Some people seem to equate "point shooting" solely with "hip shooting". But it is more than that. In fact I prefer to just think of it as "shooting" and use the appropriate method at the appropriate distance.If I NEED to use the sights I will. If I do not, then I don't. Pretty simple.
If you have a proper grip and a good presentation from the holster you can shoot extrememly well for defensive situations with no sights on the gun at all. We regularly use airsoft guns with no sights in FOF classes and the hit ratio is still very high.
Remember, you don't AIM the gun with the sights....the sights are there to VERIFY. You can shoot more PRECISELY using the sights, but to shoot someone inthe chest at 3 yards (typical civilian self defense distance) you really do not NEED to see the sights....
February 19th, 2010 02:11 PM
Point shooting is 'aimed fire', just not using the more conventional sights/irons of the gun.
Proof of this has long been real world evident and single precise shot functional in sport and combat as by persons who are practiced in the method...
Image source - The FBI'S Legendary Sharpshooter - Jelly Bryce
In 1945 to resolve the question, So, just how fast is Jelly anyway? LIFE Magazine timed his draw and fire at 2/5ths of a second. Allegedly he could drop a half dollar from shoulder height and, with the same hand, draw and fire, hitting the half dollar, before it dropped below his waist...
Source - http://www.officer.com/web/online/Police-Life/Legendary-Lawman-Jelly-Bryce/17$46932
YouTube - Bob Munden
Fastest gunman ever. Unbelievable Bob Munden
YouTube - Fastest gunman ever. Unbelievable Bob Munden
Note: FFWD to 1:30 as related to point shooting, accuracy and functionality
Now for a very common reflection of point shooting (or rather what is assumed to be point shooting method) as counterpoint...
'Some thoughts on point shooting'
YouTube - Some thoughts on point shooting
"You do wanna see your sights, every chance you get....If we have a target that allows us to get our sights up on that target we need to make every effort to get our sights on that target." - Kyle Lamb
The above are Lamb's own words as quoted directly from his video response.
He is speaking toward the follow type of training;
Note though that the targets in the above video are a good 20' or more as from the shooter (0:33). By distance alone the shooter has more than enough time to acquire his sights so as to make an accurate shot. Doing so would of course be optimal and best to which toward this specific example most anyone would agree with Lamb. No need to point shoot for combat accurate hits when you have the _chance_ AND the _target has allowed_ by either distance and/or time to react for you the shooter to draw, acquire sights, and take a conventionally sighted shot.
YouTube - Point Shooting
A demonstration of point shooting by the U.S. Army. Notice the "modern" shooting techniques:
Two hand long range shooting grip.
Shooting from a crouch.
Use of pop-up/spinning human silhouette target.
Now below is a real world instance as on the streets...
Armed Robbery Gone Wrong
YouTube - Armed Robbery Gone Wrong
Note: STOP at 0:45. Rewind and watch again. Note the distance between BG and GGs. Roughly 4' at best. Good luck drawing and acquiring any sights as by convention within that kind of distance as under that time clock.
The above instance is narrow in scope as related to handgun use, function and method of aiming to score an immediate first hit.
But on the streets it is not at all unusual. Fact...Real world.
Armed robber shot dead
YouTube - Armed robber shot dead
The above is another example of real world.
But in this instance by happenstance of position in relation of the GG (a plain clothes off duty LEO working as store security) to the BG, the BG using Lamb's own words did allow distance (and thus time) for the GG to draw and make use of conventional sights and sighting technique for purpose of scoring again combat accurate hits.
Very often folks confuse that point shooting is advocated as being a replacement for conventional sighting as via irons. That is NOT TRUE nor is it to be the case.
Point shooting is an advanced skill as among ones tool box. Of course use of irons (as on a handgun) is most optimal, outside of using a laser also under specific conditions. Of course ANY shooter should be well versed in use of conventional sights as their basis be it for combat use or otherwise (sport & recreational). No person should assume or think that point shooting is to be used in all conditions as toward all and any function, even though it can be pushed in range by very good and highly practiced shooters (see Bob Munden).
But to say that point shooting is entirely useless and is not functional and that fire without the use of conventional sights (irons) and by that sight picture is to be ignorant of real world fact of function and combat conditions as they do widely play out. Real world, on the streets...For civilians and LEOs too.
Less so much for military personnel and specialized LEOs running raids when they know they are going into territory among hostiles with specific intent to take hostiles...Longgun or handgun at the ready.
No disrespect at all to Kyle Lamb, who clearly is by history an expert instructor, nor to any others out there who are down on the skill of point shooting. But the fact of life among the streets is that point shooting is a useful tool that very well could save ones own life and IS NOT spray n' pray uncontrolled nor even un-aimed fire.
It is purposeful and aimed fire just using methods different than convention so as to direct aimed fire, which includes taking an index of ones own shooting hand as in relation to your own body and firing on to a target(s) while indexing your body and/or firing hand as to that of the target.
Once/if the target allows us to get our sights up on that target, then we as point shooting skilled shooters do make every effort to get our sights, through a transition, on to that target.
And no this is not exclusive to 'trick' shooting at balloons on posts or quarters dropped from arms length.
If point shooting were not "aimed fire" then practitioners would not be able to _consistently_ hit targets of greatly varying size AND do so on the first and only trigger pull...A trigger pull that very well might be the one and only opportunity to do so that the target allows us, as again by distance and by that time.
Elderly Couple Mugged by their Motel
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
February 20th, 2010 03:52 AM
Tom in Ohio, as your three post kind of point out.....you have a lot to learn! I've heard thousands of arguments on gun forums just like that since 2001. But the "myth" of "front sight only" has been put to rest and the number of people that make those arguments have decreased dramatically......almost to nothing!
The reason for that is FOF.
Take your skill sets into FOF and everything will become crystal clear in minutes.
February 20th, 2010 07:14 AM
You are welcome.
Originally Posted by kelcarry
I agree that point shooting is just one of several skills that a well rounded shooter should own.
Here is a link to a free illustrated home study course that I wrote a few years back:
THE INTEGRATED CLOSE COMBAT FORUM - Matt Temkin's Point Shooting Lesson Plan
February 20th, 2010 11:50 AM
Tom in Ohio,
Anytime you want to see this in person feel free to PM me as I'm in the process of setting up our annual training event we hold every year and it should be in NE Ohio area and I'll hold a slot open for you.
I have decided to cut out the middlemen and for everyones reading enjoyment I have provided you with some links on the "sight continuum" and "taking the initiative" which I wrote some time ago.
February 20th, 2010 05:53 PM
I have read those write-ups before. They are just as good and the telling of how it is and should be as when I first read them.
Originally Posted by 7677
February 23rd, 2010 11:48 AM
all depends on time...IF you have the time to aim, aim...if you dont point shoot,,all scenarios are a bit different and would involve different shooting.
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