AN EXTENDED BRIEF ON AIMED POINT SHOOTING OR P&S
WHAT IS AIMED POINT SHOOTING OR P&S?
AIMED Point Shooting or P&S is a very simple, fast, and accurate method of shooting. It can be learned with little or no training, and maintained with minimal practice.
P&S is for use in Close Quarters situations where one's chance of being shot and/or killed is the greatest. If that's going to happen, there is an 80% chance that it will happen at less than 21 feet.
P&S can be used in good light or bad, when there isn't time to use the sights or you can't see them clearly, when moving, and against moving targets, even aerials.
HOW TO P&S OR POINT AND SHOOT
You just grab your gun, place your index finger along its side, point at a target, and pull the trigger with your middle finger.
That's all there is to it. Point-n-pull. Point-n-pull.
Here's a link to a video clip of me shooting one handed.
WITH P&S YOU GET AUTOMATIC AND CORRECT SIGHT ALIGNMENT, AND AN AUTOMATIC AND CORRECT SIGHT PICTURE
When the index finger is placed along the side of a gun, it, the bore, and the sights will be in parallel. So, when you place your index finger along the side of your gun and point at a target, which we all can do naturally and accurately, you have both automatic and correct sight alignment and automatic and correct sight placement. As such, P&S is much more than just Point Shooting, it is AIMED Point Shooting.
Here's a link to more info on getting automatic and correct sight alignment, plus an automatic and correct sight picture.
OUR INHERENT ABILITY TO POINT RAPIDLY AND ACCURATELY
Here's what the US Army says about pointing. It's found in the US Army Field Manual 3-23.35: Combat Training With Pistols M9 AND M11 (June, 2003).
"Everyone has the ability to point at an object....
"When a soldier points, he instinctively points at the feature on the object on which his eyes are focused. An impulse from the brain causes the arm and hand to stop when the finger reaches the proper position.
"When the eyes are shifted to a new object or feature, the finger, hand, and arm also shift to this point.
"It is this inherent trait that can be used by a soldier to rapidly and accurately engage targets."
The photo below is from the US Marine Corps Pistol Manual of 2003.
It shows both correct sight alignment and sight placement. They are critical to hitting a target, and are dependent on a shooter meeting the traditional marksmanship requirements of Sight Reliant Shooting, which include: a specific stance, specific grip, specific placement and use of the thumb and index finger, controlled breathing, trigger squeeze and manipulation, and being able to see and coordinate the correct alignment of the sights and their correct placement on the target for EACH shot taken.
P&S IS: VERY - VERY - SIMPLE
With P&S there is no need to go through the process of meeting those complex and must-be-met marksmanship requirements just detailed above, as correct sight alignment and sight placement is automatic.
And the same is true regarding the "marksmanship requirements" of other POINT SHOOTING methods such as: placing the gun muzzle on an aim point, body indexing, gun canting, using a stiff arm and sighting along it, etc..
OUR FOCUSING ABILITY....
Our ability to focus on close objects like the sights, or far objects, depends on the flexible lens of the eye (A). The lens is adjustable from thick for close vision, to thin for far vision. The Ciliary muscle of the eye (B), controls the thickness or thinness of the lens.
To enable focusing on near objects like the sights, the lens (A), is thickened by a contraction of the ciliary muscle (B).
And for focusing on far objects, the ciliary muscle (B), is relaxed and the lens (A), flattens.
If the lens is thin for focusing on far objects, close objects like the sights, will be out of focus.
[The above 3 diagrams, were developed based on web images of eye accommodation, and highlight the difference in the thickness of the lens.]
OUR FOCUSING ABILITY IN CLOSE QUARTERS LIFE THREAT SITUATIONS....
In a real close quarters life threat situation, our instinctive Fight or Flight response is triggered, and a variety of things happen automatically, which are meant to insure our survival.
One is a dump of adrenaline into the blood stream, which will cause the Ciliary muscle to relax. And with that, the lens of the eye will flatten, and our ability to focus on up close objects like gun sights can be lost.
And if so, you will not be able to use Sight-Reliant Shooting in a situation where there is the greatest chance of you being shot and/or killed.
As such, unless you know of, and how to use an alternative shooting method, you won't have an effective shooting method to use in your self defense.
This is a quote from the SureSight web site on vision and use of the sights.
"...generally speaking, when a person is in the grips of SNS activation, that person is facing the threat squarely, intently focused on it and with a reduced ability to detect small movements and near objects, regardless of how he or she has been trained. Under these circumstances, traditional sights become difficult, if not impossible, to see." (Here's a link to the reference.)
MUDDYING THE WATER:
Had an eye exam May 6, 2014, and eye drops were used to dilate the pupils of my eyes to help in the exam. The eye drops act on the eye like adrenaline does, and as such, I should have lost my near vision and my far vision should have sharpened. But that didn't happen. I could clearly see the individual hairs on my arm with my hand at pistol firing distance. It was my far vision that was blurred.
I asked the doctor about that, and he said that the eye drops affect the eye as adrenaline does, but with age and natural changes in the eye, changes in vision may or may not happen.
For the drive home, I put on glasses that I have for distant vision/driving, and my distant vision was not blurry, things were clear. My near vision was not sharp. I could no longer clearly see the individual hairs on my arm with the glasses on, they were like peach fuzz.
So, will you ALWAYS lose your near vision in real life threat situations in which adrenaline is dumped into the blood stream via the activation of our instinctive Fight or Flight response? The short answer is no.
However; we do know that adrenaline is dumped into the blood stream with the activation of the Fight or Flight response. And we know that the adrenaline can result in loss of near vision focus. So, we may or may not be able to focus on the sights.
We also know that Point Shooting works and is effective at close range. It also can be used in situations where the sights can not be used due to bad light, other environmental conditions, time constrains, and/or the loss of near vision.
As such it would be prudent to know of it, and become proficient in it.
If the sights can be used, and there is time to use them, Point Shooting is not a bar to doing that.
SHOT GROUPS AND THE NRA
Don't expect quarter sized groups with P&S as it is not a precision shooting method.
Here's what the NRA says about shot groups in its NRA Guide To The Basics Of Personal Protection In The Home (2000): "...the ability to keep all shots on a standard 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper at seven yards, hitting in the center of exposed mass, is sufficient for most defensive purposes."
Below is a close depiction of one of the targets in the guide. It shows a random grouping all over the target, with hits close to the top, bottom, and the sides. The text states that: "If your shots are spreading....beyond the maximum allowable group size (an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper) at 7 yards, you should slow down."
Here is a pic of a target I used at the range. A year had gone by since my last visit to the range. The target shows the result of my FIRST TEN SHOTS of the day using P&S. The black is 4 1/2 inches.
Per its Guide, the NRA recognizes that Sight Reliant Shooting is not the best shooting option for use in real life threat situations.
The NRA also recognizes that our Fight or Flight response, with its involuntary physiological changes, kicks in automatically in life threat situations. And the commonly know findings of Police Close Quarters combat studies, are stated as facts in the Guide.
In Chapter 6 - Defensive Shooting Concepts, the Guide states that "...real-life violent encounters occur at very close range, often in reduced-light conditions, and are over in a matter of seconds. One study of Police shootings in a major urban area showed that the majority of encounters took place after dark, at 3 yards or less, in less than 3 seconds, and involved the firing of an average of three shots."
It goes on to say: "Often, either the assailant or the defender - or both - are moving rapidly during the encounter. Such conditions do not permit the careful alignment of the sights on a specific aiming point on the target."
Here 's a link to more info on the NRA Guide.
THE P&S AIMING AID
The pics below show guns with my P&S aiming aid attached to them.
The aiming aid is not required to use P&S.
It makes correct index finger placement mechanical and automatic. And it helps to keep the index finger away from the slide when shooting rapidly and the gun is bucking and jumping in your hand. It also helps in supporting the gun, as it rests on top of the index finger.
You are welcome to add one to your personal firearm/s and airsoft/paintball/etc... type guns if done at your own risk and expense, and if you accept full responsibility for any and all results.
Ditto for Police agencies that may wish to add the aiming aid to agency weapons. I hold the patent on the aiming aid, USP # 6023874 - 2/15/2000, so I can make this offer.
The ones shown in the pictures were made from lengths of plastic corner molding, and attached with double sided tape. Here is a link to info on how-to-do-that.
THE CONCERN ABOUT USING THE MIDDLE FINGER ON THE TRIGGER
Many think that the index finger MUST BE USED on the trigger. However; this is a link to a chronology of P&S that has links to several books that mention using the middle finger to pull the trigger.
Both the middle and index finger can be extended and flexed independently.
And the middle finger pulls back straighter in the hand than does the index finger, so using it makes for better accuracy.
It also receives nerve inputs from both sides of the hand, while the index finger does not.
It's longer than the index finger, which can make for easier placement of the finger on the trigger of larger guns by those with "smaller" hands.
And the middle finger is stronger than the index finger, which makes firing of double action guns easier than is the case when the index finger is used to pull the trigger.
Further, when the middle finger is used on the trigger, the gun will set lower in the hand for increased gun and recoil control.
The following is a quote from the digest of Walter J. Dorfner's paper on using what I call P&S. (Walter was the long time lead firearms instructor for the VSP, and is deceased.)
"When using the index finger to shoot, one can induce error by having too much or too little of the finger on the trigger.
"As the trigger is pulled, the curling action of the finger tip can cause the weapon to be pushed or pulled off target center.
"The amount of error is relative to the trigger weight. More error is introduced with double action firing when 10 or more pounds of force are needed to cock and fire the weapon, than there is with single action firing, when 3 or 4 pounds of force are needed to fire the weapon.
"FIELD SHOOTING WITH THE MIDDLE FINGER
"When the middle pad of the middle finger was placed on the trigger, the force needed with double action to cock and fire the weapon, felt much lighter than the measured 12 pounds.
"With single action, the 4 pound force that was needed to fire the weapon, felt like simple air resistance.
"Also, as the middle pad of the finger was on the trigger, the curling action of the tip of the finger did not affect the fall of the shot.
"Another benefit was that the centerline bore was more closely aligned with the web of the hand. That provided for both a natural pointing of the weapon and better control of recoil forces.
"New shooters with limited hand strength, had a problem pulling the trigger smoothly with double action when the index finger was used to pull the trigger. That was not true when the middle finger was used to pull the trigger.
"When experienced shooters were exposed to the technique, some converted to it when they saw improvement in their speed of target acquisition and accuracy even when the weapon was not in the line of site.
"During entry drills against live targets, who were generally moving, AIMED Point Shooting allowed for fast accurate shots during dynamic and highly stressed encounters.
"In live fire entries, shooters did well even when the bullet traps were set anywhere from 3 to 7 feet off the floor and scattered about the building at varying distances.
"In the immediate area, accurate shots were made with the pistol at waist level while moving.
"When shooting instructors, students, and new shooters used the technique with a weapon in the line of sight plane and below it, the ratio of hits to shots fired went up significantly."
Here is a link to more info on the use of the middle finger on the trigger.
A CRUSH GRIP IN COMBAT
In combat you will have a crush grip on your gun according to the literature.
And a crush grip will play havoc with the traditional, weak, and three fingered marksmanship/range grip.
With a crush grip, the index finger won't be aloof from the gun for use in squeezing the trigger smoothly back until each shot breaks. And the thumb won't be just placed along the side of the gun but not pressing against it.
The thumb, which is the top most finger in the marksmanship/range grip, will press against the gun and push it over to the right. And the index, middle, ring, and little fingers, which are lower down in the hand and the grip, will be pulling the gun down and around to the left.
As such, shots will be low and to the left unless a counter measure of some kind is employed.
A two handed grip may help limit low and left shooting, and you often see pictures of shooters and trainers on the web, using a two handed grip. But, in real CQB situations, one hand is used to shoot, not two.
The NYPD's SOP 9 study of 6,000+ Police combat cases found that Officers with only AN OCCASIONAL EXCEPTION, fired with the strong hand.
So, to train for the reality of close quarters shootings, train to shoot one handed.
THE P&S GRIP PROVIDES A SHOOTER WITH A STRONG AND LEVEL SHOOTING PLATFORM
The P&S grip provides a shooter with a strong and level shooting platform.
The platform is made up of the natural pincer of the thumb, web of the hand, and the index finger, along with the with the ring and little fingers which add strength and tenacity to the grip.
You can squeeze the beegebers out of the gun, and all you will do is improve the stability and strength of this strong and level four fingered grip.
Further, extending the index finger along the side of the gun, helps to lock up the wrist for improved gun and recoil control.
And if needed, the forearm and gun can be used as a crude battle axe.
Here is a link to info on grip mechanics.
Here is a link to more info on the P&S grip.
Common sense is required when using P&S. For example, if your index finger rests over the ejection port, or if it will be hit by the slide, or if it will extend beyond the barrel, then DON'T use P&S with that gun!
Also, P&S may not be able to be used with some guns because of their design.
One such gun is the 1911 which was the standard issue sidearm of US forces for 74 years (1911 - 1985).
THE 1911 AND 29 YEARS OF MANUALIZED CAUTIONS AGAINST USING P&S WITH IT
The 1911's slide stop pin extends out from the right side of the frame, and if the index finger is extended along the side of a 1911, it can rest on the slide stop pin. And if it presses against it when the 1911 is fired, the 1911 can jam.
The first manual on the 1911, which was published in 1912, carried this caution against using P&S with the 1911.
"(3) The trigger should be pulled with the forefinger. If the trigger is pulled with the second finger, the forefinger extending along the side of the receiver is apt to press against the projecting pin of the slide stop and cause a jam when the slide recoils."
That exact or similar language, is found in manuals published in 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, and 1941. And I am sure there are others that I am unaware of.
Now, cautioning against the use of P&S for 29 years in a variety of US Military manuals, plus the continued use of the 1911 as the standard issue sidearm of US forces for 44 more years, makes it crystal clear to me why P&S was not, and is not well known and widely accepted as a CQB shooting method.
And as the slide stop design of the 1911 was not modified, our military forces were not given the option of using P&S which is deadly effective in CQB situations. And it is in those situation where we now know that the sights are not, or can not be used, and the chance of one being shot and/or killed is the greatest.
It follows logically and with certainly that hundreds if not thousands of US casualties resulted from not having the option of using P&S in the trench fighting in WWI, and countless other occasions in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.
The Soviets used a simple two pronged clip to keep the slide stop pin in place on the Tokarev TT-33. It was similar in design to the Browning model 1903, and 1.7 million of them were produced.
Here's a link to more info on the 1911 and it's slide stop.
P&S IS DEADLY EFFECTIVE
Jack Ruby used P&S when he shot and killed Oswald at the Dallas Police Headquarters on 11/23/63. Lots of images of "Ruby shoots Oswald" can be found on the web. In some of Oswald just after he was shot, Ruby's middle finger can be seen extending through the trigger guard of his pistol.
This is from John Minnery's 1973 book: Kill Without Joy, which is not a read for the weak of heart or squeamish.
"One of the best visual representations of an assassination that I've ever seen is the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby.... He's using his middle finger to squeeze the trigger and his index finger, the normal shooter's trigger finger, is pointed right at his target. He shoots where he points. This method is not too well known in the States but the method was SOP with wartime SOE and SIS agents in Britain...."
POINT SHOOTING VERSUS SIGHT RELIANT SHOOTING
For the past ten years or so, I have been looking into PS Vs SS, and after experimenting with "The Applegate" method, Quick Kill, Threat Focused Shooting, etc., believe that P&S is the best fit with the stats, studies, videos, and info on real Close Quarters armed encounters that is available.
Point Shooting is generally thought of as shooting without the use of the sights, or unaimed shooting. But P&S is the exception to the rule.
P&S does not use the sights, but it is AIMED shooting that is very simple, fast, and accurate. P&S employs the index finger for natural fast and accurate aiming.
That P&S may be unorthodox to many, is certainly the case, and particularly so with the millions who carried and/or still carry the 1911 and with 1911 trainers and advocates.
Nevertheless, as to orthodoxy, one would think that after 100 years or so, the Military, the Gov, Gun Makers, and the Police would have figured out what CQB shooting method/methods really do work in CQB, and provided that info to the millions of gun owners who most likely purchased a gun with the idea in mind of using it in their own self defense, or to protect family members.
But that's not the case.
Much of modern shooting techniques and training, flow from competition shooting techniques which includes use of the sights.
The rub is that competition shooting and combat shooting are not like two peas in a pod.
If they were the same, the CQB hit rate would emulate that of competition shoots, and all the crooks would be dead, in hospital, or in jail.
The reality is that Police casualty rates are not going down, and the recognized hit rate in CQB situations is less than 20%.
An effective shooting or performance rate of less than 20%, is not an acceptable standard for anything, and particularly so when the issue at hand is life or death.
So who's to blame for this kettle of fish?
The proven-in-competition shooting techniques which also are proven-to-fail-in-real-life-or-death Close Quarters encounters, or the trainers, or ???
Here is a link to a video clip of P&S being used while moving.
Here is a link to a video clip of P&S being used while shooting at aerials (pop cans tossed in the air). Shooting at aerials requires some practice. DO NOT use a firearm - use an airsoft pistol.
More informational articles on P&S, and stats and studies that support its use, as well as information on other Point Shooting methods, can be found on this site.
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