The following info from the US Army's Combat Pistol and Rifle Field Manuals, presents a clear case for using P&S for self defense, and with military issue pistols, subguns, and assault rifles.


Dot 1.

In Chap. 2, Sect. II of its Field Manual 3-23.35 Combat Training With Pistols M9 AND M11 (June,2003), the Army says this about vision, pointing, and aiming:

"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."

Dot 2.

In the U.S. Army Rifle Field Manual 3-22.9 of 24 April 2003, we find descriptions of four aiming techniques for use in short range combat (under 50 meters). They are Slow Aimed Fired, Rapid Aimed Fire, Aimed Quick Kill, and Instinctive Fire.

As to Instinctive Fire, it states: this "is the least accurate technique and should only be used in emergencies. It relies on instinct, experience, and muscle memory. The firer concentrates on the target and points the weapon in the general direction of the target. While gripping the handguards with the nonfiring hand he extends the index finger to the front, automatically aiming the weapon on a line towards the target." [See Chapter 7. Section VI. Short-Range Marksmanship Training 7-23 b. 4.)]

The last sentence above, clearly states that when you extend your index finger along the side of your gun, it automatically aims your gun on a line towards the target.

Dot 3.

The Army pistol manual calls for using "Quick-Fire Point Shooting" at less than 5 yards and at night. The gun is brought up close to the body in a two handed grip. Then at chin level, it is thrust forward. And the trigger is smoothly squeezed as the elbows straighten out.


Unfortunately, though the manuals plainly state that we have the ability to naturally, fast and accurately engage targets, and they actually describe how that can be done, what they don't do, is connect the dots, and proscribe the use of P&S with pistols and rifles.

With P&S, you place your index finger along the side of the gun, point at COM, and pull the trigger with your middle or opposite hand index finger.

If it was proscribed, then in close quarters situations where the sights can not be used, or where their isn't time to use them, P&S could be used for natural, fast and accurate aiming and firing.

I believe that it is not proscribed, because beginning with the adoption of the 1911 caliber .45 pistol, the military manuals of that time and later years specifically cautioned against using it. That was because the 1911 has a design fault. For more on that, click here.

Here is the exact cautionary language from the first manual on the 1911. "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 same cautionary language, or language close to it, can be found in US Military manuals and other manuals dated 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, and 1941. And I am sure that there are many many more that I am unaware of, and which are out of print or relegated to the dust bins and dark recesses of history.

Since it is in close quarters where one is most likely to be shot and/or killed, prohibiting the use of P&S to accommodate a weapon, rather than making a minor modification in the weapon, makes absolutely no sense to me.

And surely as the night follows the day, over the 70+ years in which the 1911 was the standard issue pistol, it resulted in countless and needless injuries to, and deaths of members of our Armed Forces and our Police forces who used it. And as some still use it, the injuries and deaths that flow from the prohibition can be expected to continue.

Here is a picture of a Tokarev TT-33 with the end of the slide stop pin held in place with a two pronged clip. The Tokarev has features that are similar to those of the Browning pistol. The Tokarev was used by the Soviets and over 1.5 million were produced. Apparently the Russians believed that practicality and survival should drive gun design. The Tokarev photo is by: Mike Killebrew.

Tokarev spacer Tokarev

Now, the squelching-suppression of the natural shooting method (P&S), may not have been intentional, as I believe that those who wrote the manuals, were not trying to get their own shot and/or killed, or to set things up so as to not stop/kill the enemy.

They were just describing how to use the just adopted standard issue side arm of the U.S. Armed Forces.


More on P&S and connecting the dots.

It may be a bit of a stretch to say that the US Army approves of the use of a P&S with handguns.

But the fact that the U.S. Army says that we can point accurately, and also automatically aim a weapon on a line to a target by gripping the handguards with the nonfiring hand and extending the index finger to the front, sounds to me like testimonials for the use of P&S.

I do know that gripping a pistol and extending my index finger along its side and pointing it at a target, allows me to naturally, fast and accurately aim when firing rapidly and multiple times at close quarters.

P&S works when you are moving, or the target is moving, or both are moving, and it even can be used to hit aerials.

And pulling the trigger with the middle finger is no big deal. Actually it pulls back straighter in the hand, it is stronger than the index finger, and it has better nerve connections than does the index finger.

Also, keeping the index finger extended helps to lock the wrist and improve recoil control.

Further, in a CQB situation (per Applegate), you are going to have a crushing grip on your gun. So you most probably won't be holding your index finger aloof and separate from the gun so that you can manipulate and squeeze the trigger to the rear until the shot breaks. Your crush grip will also torque the gun down and around to the left.

With P&S, no matter how hard you grab your gun, you won't torque it down and around to the left, and end up shooting low and left.

That is because your gun will be held in a very strong four fingered grip that is made up of your opposing thumb and index finger, the web of the hand, and your ring and little fingers. It also gives you a level and stable shooting platform.

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