Point Shooting

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Point Shooting

We have long made a case against carrying guns on protective details, preferring, instead, to assign that task to local police or military. This does not mean that the protective agent should not know how to shoot. Thus, for example, this author, who does not keep or carry a gun for self-protection, and who never carries a gun on protective details, nonetheless shoots every day.

Much of the training we have seen is inappropriate for the real world of reactive gun use, where you will be under attack in the dark and from someone very near to you. Because of this, we favor training in point shooting, which is aimed, but not sighted shooting, designed to be used under conditions of high stress.

While a skill such as shooting cannot be learned from the printed page, we would like to share our approach to point shooting. Here, then, is the training outline we use, and which we presented at the 1998 conference of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers in Mobile, Alabama. The outline should be clear to most experienced shooters. POINT SHOOTING: AIMED — BUT NOT SIGHTED — SHOOTING.

I.  Gun Safety:

II.  Circumstances of the typical gunfight:

a.  Close range.

b.  Low light.

c.  Extreme stress.

III.  Instinctive reactions to extreme stress:

a. Crouching.

b.  Squaring body with threat.

c.  Visually focusing on threat.

d.  Convulsive muscle contraction.

IV.  Point shooting relies on our ability to point at nearby objects with reasonable accuracy.

a.  This response is so ingrained that it is not overly affected by stress.

b.  When the gun is properly gripped and aligned with the arm, this ability to point accurately allows us to quickly aim the gun at close-range targets without using the sights.

c.  Ideal for guns with small sights or no sights.

d.  Allows accurate delivery in low light.

e.  The barrel of the gun simply replaces your finger, allowing you to deliver quickly and at close range in low light under stress.

V.  Mechanics of point shooting (NO GUN):

a.  Eyes focus on target.

b.  Arm is raised until hand breaks line of sight. This gives an accurate and consistent alignment of the line of sight and the pointing hand.

1.  Keep elbow and wrist locked.

2.  Raise arm like a lever attached to the shoulder.

VI.  The instinctive crouch (NO GUN):

a.  From a natural posture take one natural step forward and flex your knees to assume a balance crouch. It is a good idea to alternate practice with both feet. The step can actually be taken forward or backward or to the side, and can include a step-and- drag. It should be practiced all three ways, and, ideally, will be a step that allows you to move slightly from where you were, thus exiting the kill zone.

b.  Gun hand should extend 45 degrees down.

c.  Free hand extends out to side for balance.

VII.  The body point for extremely close range (GUNS INSPECTED TO ENSURE EMPTY):

a.  Place gun firmly in web of hand, aligned with forearm.

b.  Assume instinctive crouch.

c.  Grip gun convulsively.

d.  Keep gun arm elbow pressed to rib cage.

e.  Both eyes open and focused on target.

f.  Raise forearm straight ahead and level it at the target.

VIII.  First practice:

a.  Single shots.

b.  Multiple shots.

IX.  For multiple targets (GUNS INSPECTED TO ENSURE EMPTY):

a.  Place gun firmly in web of hand, aligned with forearm.

b.  Assume instinctive crouch.

c.  Grip gun convulsively.

d.  Keep gun arm elbow pressed to rib cage.

e.  Both eyes open and focused on target.

f.  Raise forearm straight ahead and level it at the target.

g. Pivot on balls of feet to squarely face target.

X.  Second practice:

a.  Single shots.

b.  Multiple shots.

XI.  Point Shooting (GUNS INSPECTED TO ENSURE EMPTY):

a.  Place gun firmly in web of hand, aligned with forearm.

b.  Assume instinctive crouch

c.  Grip gun convulsively

d.  Gun arm down 45 degrees with elbow and wrist locked.

e.  Both eyes open and focused on target.

f.  Raise arm straight ahead and level it at the target.

XII.  Third practice (Key is maintaining locked wrist & elbow, and raising gun to line of sight. Reaction hand can be used for flashlight):

a.  Single shots.

b.  Multiple shots.

XIII.  Multiple targets (GUNS INSPECTED TO ENSURE EMPTY):

a.  Engage target.

b.  Lower gun while pivoting to next target.

c.  Pivot smoothly on balls of feet until your body squarely faces next target.

d.  Raise gun to line of sight.

XIV.  Fourth practice:

a.  Single shots.

b.  Multiple shots.

XV.  While walking – Practice with either foot forward (GUNS INSPECTED TO ENSURE EMPTY):

a.  Assume instinctive crouch.

b.  Walk while retaining this posture.

c.  When target comes into sight stop and pivot to target.

XVI.  Two-Handed Point Shooting – Used at greater distances, when the threat is less imminent. (GUNS INSPECTED TO ENSURE EMPTY):

a.  Assume standard one-handed point shooting position.

b.  Raise reaction hand and wrap tightly around front of weapon hand.

XVII.  Fifth practice:

a.  Single shots.

b.  Multiple shots.

XVIII.  Off-Range Practice:

The critical aspect of point shooting is to be able to raise the gun to cut into the line of sight and discharge it using gross motor skills. This can be practiced using the widely available heavy tension

Gripmaster® training device. This will allow you, at home, to practice raising a simulated handgun until it cuts into your line of sight, and convulsively discharging it.

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