FEEDBACK AND COMMENTS ON P&S
This article was written some time ago. I have updated it and am republishing it as I have recently been taking flack about P&S.
Here are some of the comments I have received on P&S over the years. All were sent in voluntarily.
Your aimed point shooting technique is certainly interesting, but it is not an especially new one. Derringers and other pocket pistols, for example, have been depicted being shot with the middle finger as the trigger finger. In the late 70s or early 80s, Soldier of Fortune magazine ran a feature on a modified Sten gun which was best fired with the middle finger.
The British Special Operations Executive (SOE) of World War II also taught the technique. See, for instance, the following passage from the now out-of-print book "Kill Without Joy" by John Minnery (Paladin Press, 1992; originally appeared as part of the Paladin book "How to Kill, Volume I, 1973). On page 51 of KWJ it discusses the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby: "The grip on the gun is also interesting and further backs the suspicion of Jack being a pro. He's using his middle finger to squeeze the trigger and his index finger, the normal shooter's trigger finger, is pointed right at the 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 of Britain."
I hope you find this information useful....
The following comment was made by Thomas Rogers in 4/06 in a discussion thread on Warrior Talk. He agreed to my use of it. In 2006, he was the Publisher/Editor of the Journal of Modern Combatives - which is no longer in publication.
In the discussion thread, he was asked about a link on his Modern Combatives site, that linked his site to this Point Shooting site which included the info on P&S.
"....Are you endorsing such a method and device or simply letting him advertise on your site? I hope it is that you find some merit in it...."
Thomas Rogers responded:
"....I have been playing with John Veit's method for a couple of months now. For me, it does what it claims out to about 15-20 feet. I haven't spent enough time with it to endorse it, but I think it is worth investigating. John and I traded links, and I've put 2 articles in JOMC detailing his approach."
Mr. Rogers also is the Founder of Counter Assault Tactics. He has been a student of the martial arts for the past 25 years, and for the past 4 years, has specialized in teaching personal protection concepts to U.S. Military units, Law Enforcement and private clients from all over the country.
As a point of information: though I am an advocate of P&S, it is not "my" method. I was told to use it by a SGT way back in 1954 when shooting my 45 cal submachine gun (grease gun), from the hip. It worked then and it still does!
Also see the digest Walter J. Dorfner's paper on Point Shooting that is on this site. Walter wrote the paper when he was the lead firearms instructor for the Vermont State Patrol. It details his investigation, experimentation, and testing of what I call AIMED Point shooting or P&S.
The method is not my invention as the series of photos on the main page that are shown here as well, attest to. It has been around for at least 100+ years.
In some of the following comments, the commentors say they teach and use Point Shooting for CQ situations. To me, it is clear that they mean Point Shooting as in pointing the gun at the target and shooting sans sights, rather than AIMED Point Shooting or P&S which employs the index finger for aiming and the middle finger for firing.
However, their comments are included here, because if they teach "Point Shooting" for use in CQ situations, one can conclude that they believe that either Sight Reliant Shooting does not work in them, or that one may not have time to use it in those situations, and that an alternative method is called for.
John: I really appreciate your comments on point & shoot. I can remember discussing the "pointer" finger alongside the frame some 50 years ago. I'm 70 years old. But it was not considered then as a technique applicable to everyone.
Part of the problem, as you state, is that not every gun is suitable for using this technique. And I don't think the industry is going to redesign every gun on the market to accommodate it.
It's an interesting idea, but not practical in the real world, I'm afraid.
We forwarded the article you sent to the CS Police Department. For your information, Point and Shoot has been a common teaching of police departments for the last 30 years. The Police Department currently practices and teaches this technique to our officers.
Our firearms training program is widely acclaimed to be one of the best in the country.
I don't know what your expertise is on law enforcement weapons training. 40 years ago when I was trained we used both methods of training. At that time the average gun fight for law enforcement officers was 7 yards or 21 feet. Our training consisted of crouching, point and shoot. We also were trained for longer distances using sights.
Good article! I was taught the P&S method by my father 36 years ago and taught it to both my daughters when they stated shooting. Until today, I never even knew it had a name. It was just the way I was taught to shoot.
In the marines we used the support hand (right for me), to point either down the handguard or below the slide on a pistol. The method is very common...we used it for most cq work when we didn't have open sights or red dot sights.
....I'm very familiar with the Point and Shoot index finger philosophy. The Academy that I took, I got to meet the person who came up with the idea. It is common practice in the county [where] I received my academy training.
Thank you for the information on Point Shooting. I've read about it in several Law Enforcement Magazines and on the Web. I have been practicing using this technique, and I'm a believer. My last qualification shoot I scored 84% on my first try, I usually have to have a warm up before I qualify. I have a lot more confidence that I will hit what I aim for, no more worries about spray and pray.
POST Program - Compliance and Development
This is in response to your E-mail dated 19 FEB 99 on subject matter. The APD has practiced the point shooting combat method for many years.
This is a standard part of entrance level training and regular qualifications. It is incorporated into every handgun course that our agency uses....
I was taught point and shoot in 1969 by the U.S. Treasury Dept. It does work, even without a finger rest.
We were taught to use a normal grip but to treat the weapon as an extension of the hand. Dry fire was done by having the index finger lay along the side of the trigger guard. Practicing this caused the weapon to automatically become an extension of the hand. Actual firing was done with a normal grip but became a natural pointing action.
I tried your technique when I first read about it in SL magazine [Southern Lawman]. It worked as advertised. I am sure it would benifit shooters who are to lazy to practice and while shooting in darkness without the aid of illumination.
It did not improve my individual times or accuracy though. Nor did it for any of the other well practiced shootists that tried it.
I instruct handgun Carry Pemit classes and will be "experimenting" on people with little or no shooting ability....
This is a great article....
I learned the P&S system in my academy (1987) and during ongoing departmental training as well a personal practice. It is very effective in close quarters to quickly get on target. I found myself fighting the urge to use the 2 hand eye level method after getting rounds down range using P&S. I think this is as a result of the unequal ratio of 2-H.E.L. vs P&S training.
I am a Captain with an 850-man Sheriff's Dept in Southern California. I have been a firearms instructor for 28 years, command the department's SWAT team, and am presently in the process of some lengthy research on the topic of the current state of law enforcement firearms instruction and its relationship to real world deadly force encounters.
I happen to be in agreement with your position.
Concerning the P&S, in the late 60s while in the Army I was taught a method of pointing and firing a rifle without aiming called Quick Kill it used your index finger on the forward handguard to point with [which was] basically P&S.
Never thought of using it on a handgun. A couple days ago I tried the P&S using an S&W model 4013, cal 40 S&W. I had no trouble indexing my finger below the slide pointing forward.
I was firing from 50 feet using a 25-yard slow-fire pistol target.
I would draw and fire (double action) without aiming. Of the 8 rounds fired 4 hit inside the outer ring, two went high and two low appox. 5 inches from the top and bottom of the target.
With the next four firing my shots were grouping approx. 6 inches to the left of the target. I figure I must be pulling left and this may be due to the fact that I'm missing the first joint of my middle finger and I had to pull the trigger with the middle joint area of my finger?
I will try and couple of other handguns I have with this method.
Is this your method? I assume you're not getting a warm reception from the shooting community.
Very interesting and have a good day.
My email is in response to your article in American Police Beat about officers not using their sights during CQB shootings.
I could not agree with you more. The paper was placed in my office door by a fellow officer, with the article highlighted and the note:
"Someone else who you have convinced." I don't believe we have ever met, but this has been something I have noticed some years ago, and have been attempting to "adjust" training to address this matter.
As you said in your article, the powers to be have a hard time accepting something this radical because it goes against decades of training and traditions.
I am a 12 year veteran of my department and spent 3 years in our training division as a firearms instructor and EVOC instructor.
I am also the team leader of our SWAT Team and am currently assigned as a Sergeant over the.... I am also the firearms coordinator for the regional academy and the course manager for SWAT Levels I, II and III, as well as the course manager for the Firearms Course.
Through my experience training various officers, we have developed several techniques to address exactly what you have written in your article.
Believe me, it has been an uphill battle against threats of liability and consequences of not sticking to what's been done for years. Everyone seems to agree with the techniques but is apprehensive about "going against the system." Once they understand that it is not going against, but improving the system they begin to develop support. Then once they see that this is very practical and will increase officer survivability the battle has been won.
We teach variances of the...technique, natural rotation shooting,...and P&S with enough supporting instruction to teach the student how to increase their accuracy and speed. The bottom line is the balance between speed and accuracy...I have also noticed that few departments require any type of physical exertion just prior to having to shoot to simulate the stresses and effects your body will have during this type of situation. It's very different standing in a controlled environment shooting at a static target with the student static.
Our qualification course requires a...run to the 3 yard line prior to the targets turning and also stages with targets on the move in various directions as well as the student moving.
Naturally we have had our fair share of the whiners and complaints about it from an 800+ department, but they are dealt with and the courses have served their purposes in that respect as well....
I found your article in October's American Police Beat to be very interesting and informative. In March, 1999, I was involved in a shooting and I found similarities between Mr. Mulroy's findings and my own experience.
After my shooting, I stated to internal affairs that I had fired six times, but a count of my magazine found that I had fired nine times. I became weak in the knees when they told me that. I could not believe that I didn't know how may times I fired or that I had fired so many times in such a short time span. And as far as accuracy, there were three of us firing at a bank robbery suspect at the same time from less than twenty yards and we hit him only five times out of seventeen shots.
In retrospect, I know that I did not use my sights and that is a painful admission. I saw my last two bullets splintering a log just above the suspects legs and that's when I realized that I no longer had a target. The incident has caused me to reevaluate how seriously I take training. And you can believe that I now find a sight picture virtually every time I draw my weapon.
I also try to share my experience with young officers to let them know the importance of accuracy in weapon use.
The suspect in our shooting survived and is in a federal prison.
You may also find it interesting that he was hit in the right arm, the arm he was grabbing a pistol with, as well as in the abdomen and leg. To say something positive of our training, all three officers opened fired instantaneously when the suspect grabbed his gun with no verbal command by any one.
Thanks for the message, I've forwarded the entire article to our firearms instructor at the....academy. You are correct in that the methods taught in Sight Reliant Shooting are useless in close quarter combat.
I'm sure our firearms section will check further into the method you have outlined.
Feel free to drop by our board http:// .... It is very refreshing to see someone who sees reality. I am amazed at the martial artist and gun teachers (I even have one on my teaching staff) that still does not have a clue about reality. It is quite amazing at the success they have achieved....
I have had this same discussion will many, high dollar instructors. Me taking a stand for reactive, instinctive, point shooting and honing these skills.
In all reality, when a shooting confrontation comes down, a range of mental and chemical factors takes place. These factors inhibit fine tuning skills such as looking for and sight alignment. And if one is trained to find the sight before firing then it is way too late, one is shot.
I am not the most popular instructor in the world, but I definately agree that one must be trained and understand the degrees of point shooting (instinctive) as it relates to reacting under stress and in survival.
Thanks for sharing. ......
Thanks for your interesting email regarding fault in the design of handguns used by police.
As City Mgr of the City of SH, __, and a former law enforcement officer, I was a qualifier as "Expert" in Police Combat.
I use the Point and Shoot Method and teach it to this day. Even our Community Relations Director was taught to shoot while using P & S methods.
I will share your correspondence with our Chief of Police.
___, City Mgr
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