Here's what the US Army says about our pointing ability in its 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."

As such, using the index finger to aim each shot, and the middle finger to pull the trigger at CQ, makes sense as Police combat studies and modern science have established that:

1. Sight Shooting is not or can not be used in most all CQ encounters due to time and environmental constraints, and the effects of our instinctive Fight or Flight response in real life threat situations,

2. The hit rate in CQ encounters is less than 20%, and

3. If you are going to be shot and killed, there is an 80% chance that it will happen at CQ (less than 21 feet).

So, knowing how to aim and shoot naturally and accurately at CQ without the use of the sights, could be critical to your survival.

Shooting that way works, as an airsoft pistol can readily prove, and its been known of since the early 1800's. It's the simplest of aimed shooting methods, and can be learned with little if any training and practice. Just grab your gun hard with your index finger along the side, point your finger at the target, and pull the trigger with your middle finger. The use of an appropriate gun to insure safe firing is required.

You get automatic and correct sight alignment when the index finger is placed in parallel with the barrel. And when you point at a target, you get an automatic and correct sight picture. You also will have a strong and level shooting platform. And the sights still can be used if they can be seen and there is time to use them.


Well, all that sounds good. So, how come the shooting method hasn't caught on in the US?


The answer is because for 70 plus years the US Military said: "don't shoot that way."

On page 12 of the first military manual on the 1911 that was published in 1912, we are told how to shoot, and how not to shoot:

"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."

I was able to locate 18 instruction manuals on the 1911 that were published during the next 30 years. All of them had the same or similar language.

That language, coupled with the daily use of the 1911 during its 70 plus year reign (1911-1985), as the standard issue sidearm of US forces, squelched the idea of using the index finger for aiming, and the middle finger for shooting.

The slide stop could have been modified, but that was not done. So for 70 plus years, US forces carrying the 1911, were denied the use of a natural and accurate method of shooting at CQ, where the chance of being shot and/or killed is the greatest. How many injuries and deaths resulted from not having that option, is unknown.

Here are links to more info on using the index finger for aiming, and the 1911.

Grab Gun - Point Finger - Pull Trigger

A Fatal Flaw Of The 1911

A listing of 31 books, some with links, that mention using the index finger for aiming and/or the use of the middle finger to shoot.

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