Point Shooting

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by thardey, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    In a recent thread, this article was posted. Near the bottom the author uses the statistics to argue for a need for Point-shooting practice, and suggests the "Vermont Method."

    It's time for me to begin learning how to Point Shoot. So, before I go too far into one particular method, I figured I would get some feedback from you all.

    I'm not going into sport shooting competitions, but I want something that I could use if I'm surprised. I've learned the "Front sight press", but in Low-light conditions, I'm stuck.

    I carry a Glock 21 (.45 ACP), and I have a CO2 airsoft gun to match it, with a short-range airsoft target in my garage for practice. (About 10 ft.) I carry IWB at about 4:00.

    What do you guys like? There aren't any instructors around here for point shooting, and I can sight shoot about as well as anybody I know, (I had some training form a national long-distance pistol champion.) I also don't have any money to travel and attend a seminar, unless one is very close to where I live. (Southern Oregon, or Northern Cal.)
     
  2. arnisandyz

    arnisandyz Master Black Belt

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    Since you say you already are proficient at sight shooting I would start there...just do it 10x faster at closer targets. You know what it takes to get an accurate hit at distance, you just need to learn what you DON'T need to see at fast closer distances. Pretty soon you will be shooting faster than you are able to get a sight picture, about then you should notice your focus moving from the front sight to the target. In a sense, you are already point shooting when you raise the gun to see the sights, you're just not pulling the trigger until you get sight confirmation. In time you'll learn your body alignment to the point to where you can look at a spot on the wall, close your eyes and draw, open your eyes and be on target. Then you train the trigger finger to break the trigger when you feel you are on target (without using the sights).

    I know you said you don't plan on competing but I would suggest trying some IDPA or USPSA Production. it will give you a venue to practice both long range, medium range and close range shooting AND WHAT YOU NEED TO SEE TO GET YOUR HITS AS FAST AS YOU CAN AT DIFFERENT RANGES.

    \
     
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  3. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Oh good, it was as I started doing exactly that, that I realized it was time to move up a notch. I have some glow-in-the dark airsoft pellets - I was thinking about turning off the lights and practicing with those. (Leave a couple around the edge of the sticky target, so I can see where I'm shooting. That way I'll have to shoot without the sights.

    I am definitely not opposed to that - in fact, before other opportunites came up this summer I was planning on attending a couple of those at the local shooting range. But I want to do it for the "think fast, shoot fast" mentality, not focusing on winning. Also something like that would be a time to practice shooting from cover, which lowers your overall time. It's stuff like that that doesn't really interest me -- I would rather learn to shoot from cover, and forget the overall time.
     
  4. arnisandyz

    arnisandyz Master Black Belt

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    Not sure I follow you on this? You want to "think fast - shoot fast" but forget time? Isn't "fast" an element of TIME? You can shoot the match however you want to...its only YOU who is putting the pressure of winning and time into the equation. If you want to shoot it to practice using cover properly then ignore the timer and take your time. Don't go through the walk-throughs and volunteer to go first (so you can paste afterwards). Go into the stage not knowing what you are going to see. Most men with guns are not humble enough to do this and ego and the desire to do well gets in the way...do you have it in you to come in last for the sake of training? A lot of people say IDPA is NOT training, I say it is what you make it.
     
  5. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    My brother in law does IDPA exactly for that. He isn't in it for the win, he is there to practice his skills under pressure.

    I've never trained specifically in point shooting, but there are certainly times when practicing draw and fire drills that I know I don't "front sight," but do just fine on shot placement.

    Lamont
     
  6. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    It sounds like you got the general drift.

    My goal isn't to be the first one through the course. But I do want to work my reaction time. Like in Kata's -- each individual move is done with maximum speed, but overall I'm always one of the last to be finished.

    Same thing here. I want to be able to acquire my target, and take each target down as fast as possible, but not race to the next target without taking my bearings, making sure I'm loaded while under cover, and all set to go.

    I'm hoping it will be easier to get into this mindset, since the guy who will be "introducing" me to the club also practices with this mindset, and he says a large part of this particular club does as well. However, I would almost just prefer to have a couple of airsoft guns, safety gear, and someone willing to go head-to-head in an old fashioned quick-draw competition, using my regular carry rig, and normal clothes.
     
  7. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Paladin press has some good books on "point shooting". Also remember when you are using your sights you should be getting a nice tight group, when you are point shooting you will have a lot looser group.

    As my instructors always tell us, if your group is tight it's because your going too slow. Some of the drills that we use are standing from about 7ft out and practice from the low ready and then holstered and just practice getting lead on the target. Another drill we use that is kind of fun/scary is to grab the target with one hand and shoot it while you're still up close and personal with the target. Feeling the blowback and energy when it hits the target is a new experience. But, at that range you are relying on good mechanics and knowing your draw stroke and where it is at because you are literally pointing and there is no front site, etc.
     
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  8. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    What would be considered a decent group for, about 7 ft.?
     
  9. KenpoTex

    KenpoTex Senior Master

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    I'd say about fist-size.

    On the whole point-shooting thing...arnisandyz covered a lot of what I would have said. My biggest thing is that you don't want to train a disparate method. Your point shooting "method" should mesh with your sighted fire method (i.e. your drawstroke/presentation should be pretty much the same).
    Gabe Suarez uses the phrase "see what you need to see." Basically this just referrs to the ever-present trade-off between speed and precision. For example: At extreme close range (let's say 0-5 feet), you don't even need to see any part of the gun, you just know where it is because you've developed consistent reference points in your drawstroke.
    At close range 2-3 yards, you may bring the weapon to the next point in the "presentation path," at this point you may actually have the weapon in your cone of vision though you are still focused on the threat.
    At 5-7 yards you'll probably want to go ahead and get a two-hand grip so you now have the weapon indexed on your centerline and are actually looking over the slide though you may not be focused on the sights.
    and so on and so forth...this isn't exact, just to give a rough idea.

    The comment about being able to align the sights on a target with your eyes closed is dead on. This shows that you have gained consistency in your drawstroke therefore, you have developed the muscle-memory necessary to make a hit. At this point, the sights are just there for confirmation.
     
  10. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Even that is too tight a group. Remember, you want fast at close range and the more spread out in center mass that the shots are the more damage you are doing to your opponent to cause more shock. That close you want as fast as you can go while still putting them all in center mass. If they start going wild or not in center than slow it down some.

    Gabe Suarez is a good instructor I have talked and trained with him one time. My instructor has him come in once or twice a year and do a seminar. Unfortunately, they are usually when I am already out of town and can't attend. But, if anyone has the chance he has some good information.
     
  11. KenpoTex

    KenpoTex Senior Master

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    I don't agree with the portion I bolded. Pistols are anemic little weapons, if we're going to stop the guy as quickly as possible, we want our rounds to go through the brain/brain-stem (to cause instant shut-down), through the spine (to cause paralysis ergo instant incapacitation), or through the "high center chest" (to get the heart, aorta, lungs).
    By aiming "high center chest" (basically the upper half of the sternum upward to the base of throat), we've got a good chance of hitting the heart and lungs, and also of damaging the spine (if our rounds go straight through). I don't want my shots spread out all over his abdomen where they may in fact inflict fatal wounds, but will not give us that rapid stop.
    With a real gun like a rifle or shotgun, our margin of error increases a little due to the tremendous increase in energy. However, with a pistol, we want to get as many rounds into the areas I mentioned as possible.
     
  12. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I agree with that totally, but I think we are arguing over two seperate tactics. If you are that up close and personal your job is to get lead on target as fast as possible AS YOU ARE MOVING to a better position of cover/concealment. Then I feel you can worry a little bit more and where you shots are going. If you plan on standing there then I would agree to hit an area to either shut the mechanics of him moving, or shut the computer down. In our department we don't train to stand and shoot unless we are working a specific mechanics drill. We work on point shooting moving on angles and moving in and back.
     
  13. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    If I'm shooting at different points of my drawstroke, doesn't that require different draws? I mean, a "gut shot" from the hip (old west style) is radically different from a "front sight press". If I used the whole drawstroke as I've practiced it, and just pull the trigger at different stages, then I'll just hit the ground.

    I understand that drawing the gun so that I fire with the middle finger is radically different, and it's good to be consisted with what I know already (i.e. trigger finger on the trigger), but a one-handed shot is totally different than a two-handed shot. Or am I doing the FSP wrong?
     
  14. arnisandyz

    arnisandyz Master Black Belt

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    You need to refine your draw. From the point that your gun clears the holster it should be rotated toward the target, you could break a shot there...as the pistol and support hand merges forming a triangle in front of you, you could fire a shot there - retained position...as both hands move towards the target to your front sight press you should be able to break a shot anywhere in between. So in short, when the gun clears the holster muzzle is locked on target all the way out until you see your sights. Avoid casting and scooping at all costs. Its waisted movement, not efficient and is more dangerous as you could be sweeping your own body. Your draw on a 50 yard target should be the same as on a 5 yard target, just take the extra time on the sights.

    I don't like the middle finger on the trigger. From a safety standpoint your pointer finger has a good chance of working its way into the trigger guard or riding the slide. I prefer to get the pointer/trigger finger extended up against the side of the holster and to get the middle finger up as high as I can under the trigger guard (you can tell who has been practicing by the blister on the middle finger). My average draw time from holster to sighted shot on a ten yard target is in the 1.25 -1 second range. I'm in the .75 sec -.5 sec range on a close-range non-sighted shot. I really doubt that I could get a safe secure grip using just my ring finger and pinky (since the middle finger is being used on the trigger). on the pistol when pushing beyond those times in practice.
     
  15. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Thanks, that'll give me several weeks of practice, and now it makes more sense.

    Are those times from a concealed position?
     
  16. arnisandyz

    arnisandyz Master Black Belt

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    Sorry, no, not from concealed, time is from my Comptac belt holster. Add about .25 sec – .5 sec for my IWB carry holster and T-shirt. But the point I was trying to make was that if my middle finger was busy doing the trigger work, it only leaves the pinky and ring finger to draw the pistol...might be fine at a slow pace but if I'm pushing for speed I need more control on the gun.
     
  17. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    I agree, plus the extra "decision time" for choosing which finger to pull with would be confusing. It would have to slow you down if you got surprised.
     
  18. KenpoTex

    KenpoTex Senior Master

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    I fully agree that the "stand and deliver" method is NOT the way to do it. Movement (preferably toward cover), is the way to go. However, in practice/training, I want to strive for as much accuracy as I can so that when I'm moving, and under stress, and getting shot at, my performance will not degrade as much. Any hit is better than a miss, but not all hits are equal.
    At the extreme close ranges that we've been talking about (1-3 yards), I feel that a lot of your accuracy will be predicated upon the integrity of your index--that is, you are consistent due to having practiced your drawstroke (and firing at different stages in the drawstroke) until it is ingrained into your muscle-memory.

    I don't think we're really in disagreement, we're just talking around each other. :D

    I fully agree with the bolded portion; however, my drawstroke differs slightly (not a big deal, just a slightly different technique).
    I use the "Four-Count" drawstroke (I basically end up in a mod-iso position) which can be described as follows:

    COUNT 1: Establish your grip on the gun with the hand as high on the weapon as possible. The off side hand will either be on the chest, or in use to fend off the attacker if we're at bad-breath range (BBR :D).
    COUNT 2: Gun is drawn straight up until the meat of the thumb touches the pectoral muscle ("pectoral index") wrist is locked which serves to orient the gun at a slight downward angle (this is our rentention position if we're still at BBR). By having the weapon pointed down slightly, I can fend the attacker off with my other arm w/o worrying about shooting myself in the hand.
    COUNT 3: Hands meet over the sternum to establish our two hand grip. You can make some pretty good hits from here since the gun is now indexed on our centerline.
    COUNT 4: Push the gun straight out to the appropriate level of extension. You can fire on the way from the compressed position to the extended position and/or just pick up your sights and fire when you hit extension.
     
  19. AzQkr

    AzQkr Orange Belt

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    I know a few things about this subject of point shooting.

    If you are going to be threat focused learn to get the gun out and muzzle on thread asap as a few others have mentioned, the instant the muzzle is on BG, you can fire based on time and distance restraints.

    Time and distance. It's going to be different for everyone to some extent, as to what skill within the threat focused skills you possess and can use to keep rds on COM, the sooner the better.

    The more skills within the threat focused/point shooting realm you possess, the more you will be as efficient as possible in the use of that time and distance given you in the scenario you find yourself in.

    If you are going to be truly threat focused and combat oriented in various threat focused skills, you can and should drop the two handed hold, any particular stance, and be able to shoot one handed as well as you can two handed [ which is only a factor of practice doing so].

    You should be able to go through 500 rds in two hours and never look at the gun, make COM hits on threats both while standing and delivering and while moving [ laterally, obliquely, etc ], all one handed, from distances of 3-30 feet at any time. You should be able to run through 8-10 different threat focused skills one handed in the time mentioned.

    Hit rates using these skills is remarkably high with few hours on each skill in the classes.

    For a history of various skills that can be employed without ever looking at the gun except perhaps peripherally, on ocassion, try this link, there's a lot of good discussion on various threat focused skills:

    See my signature line.

    Brownie
     
  20. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    This is the technique I was taught. I don't fully rotate the gun until it is even with the centerline of my chest. By the time it's rotated, both hands are in contact with the gun. At this point, It's just as fast to draw and rotate at the hip, using less efficient muscles (for me, anyway) as it is to bring the gun straight up, then rotate with it in the center of mass, with two hands already on it. That's why I was saying earlier that if I simply "shoot earlier in the draw" I'll just hit the ground.123
     

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