Sight Shooting (Traditional Marksmanship), is taught to most all Police and civilians for self defense use. Yet, it is not, or can not be used in most all close quarters armed encounters, where there is the greatest chance of being shot and/or killed. Also, most students are not taught an effective alternative shooting method for use in close quarters self defense.

As such, it is not unreasonable to say that Sight Shooting training (Traditional Marksmanship), sets up Police and civilians to be killed.

Another fact about Sight Shooting, is that even though it has been taught to Police and civilians for over 100 years, there is little if any video or photo evidence of it ever being used effectively in close quarters gunfights. There should be thousands of those photos and videos, but they are rarer than hens teeth.


Sight Shooting trainees are taught to grip their gun a specific way: with the thumb along the side of the gun and not pressing against it, and with the index finger held aloof from the gun, so it can be used to squeeze the trigger straight back for firing. That grip works fine on the range, but in life or death close quarters encounters that is not the case.

Colonel Rex Applegate, a noted trainer of US Soldiers in WW II, said that in combat, the gun will be gripped convulsively, and the trigger will be pulled, not squeezed.

Now, when a gun is gripped convulsively, the thumb will press against the frame, and push the gun over and down. And the index, middle, ring and little fingers, will act to pull the gun and muzzle down and around to the left. As a result, the gun muzzle will point down and to the left. And with firing, shots will go low and left, and likely miss.

A tragic case in point, was the July 2016 shooting of Police in Dallas. Some of the action was captured on a video that was published by the Wall Street Journal.

In the video, an Officer is seen quickly approaching the gunman, and confronting him at close range. There is an initial exchange of gunfire, and a shot is seen striking the ground behind and to the left of the gunman. That is clear evidence of low and left shooting as a result of the use of a convulsive grip.




The gunman was not hit in the initial exchange of gunfire. He then, with the aid of suppressing fire, quickly approached and flanked the Officer's position, and shot him. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to that brave Officer who acted as best he could.

Had he been taught the simple method of compensating for a convulsive grip, as taught to US forces in WW II, he would have had a chance of stopping the gunman. (To compensate for a convulsive grip, the gun is grasped in a crush grip with the wrist and arm locked. The arm is raised using the shoulder as a fulcrum. And the gun is fired when it intersects with the target.)

The Dallas video refutes the institutionalized dogma and zealot like advocacy by civilian and Police trainers, for the use of Sight Shooting at close quarters.

That is not to say that Sight Shooting is not a good means for shooting accurately at extended distances. It is used successfully by students to qualify at extended distances. However, their success also may lead to a false belief in their ability to use Sight Shooting effectively in a real gunfight situation.

Alternative close quarters shooting methods are available, and they can be learned and maintained easily.

Here is a link to the Dallas video.

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