PISTOL QUICK KILL
By Robin Brown
I was fortunate enough to have been involved with a group of men in the early 1980's, directed and led by one of the original OSS operatives whose function was to protect VIP's as well as establish security measures for major US corporations in and outside the US borders.
Maj. Gen. Mitch WerBell, who was given that rank by the Afghanistan president for his efforts in fighting the communists and training security forces in Afghanistan, held training at his 66 acre compound in Georgia, USA. It became affectionately known as "The Farm" by many.
The training center was known as SIONICS and was an acronym for "Studies In Organized Negation of Insurgency and Counter Subversion". Mitch brought men with military backgrounds, or those who had specific martial and "sneaky pete" skills to his SIONICS training facility. They instructed us in the finer points of staying alive under various adverse conditions.
Not quite 400 private citizens were allowed to attend before the operation closed down due to his death in late 81 while working in Cal. for a major corporation where I was with the team. I say, "allowed to attend" as your background was checked and you were accepted once cleared that you were not affiliated with a terrorist state or subversive group.
Former military personnel were given preference as well as people in the security profession but just about anyone could attend if they passed the background check. The course was intensive and lasted for 10 days at 18 hours per day. Only 10 individuals were allowed in each class. The cost in 1981 was $3000.00 to attend and it needed to be paid in advance.
One of the instructors was Lucky McDaniel, a colorful figure who had developed his "Instinct Shooting" program which was later adopted and renamed the Quick Kill (QK) rifle technique by the US Army.
Lucky demonstrated and trained us in the long gun Quick Kill as well as the pistol Quick Kill over two days of the 10 we were there at the compound. One day on long guns and one day with pistols. The long gun training started with bb guns and hitting aluminum disks varying from 3 inches to 1 inch in diameter which were thrown into the air. The rifle training regimen was also found in the US Army training text 23-71-1. From there we went to shotguns and shooting clays thrown from every angle using this long gun/rifle Quick Kill technique.
In the pistol Quick Kill course, we went directly to 1911's that had the sights removed. We trained from 3 feet to about 36 feet. There was a different technique for less than three feet which was not QK, and which protected the gun from a gun grab or swipe.
The following is how I was instructed and then executed/used the Quick Kill technique with a pistol or handgun based on that instruction.
Find a light switch across the room. Any object at about that distance will do. Then with the light switch or object in your view, raise your arm/hand and point your finger naturally at the object, like you are scolding a dog. Looking at your target, you also should be able to see in your peripheral vision, the end of the finger that's pointing at it. When you point, you naturally do not attempt to sight or aim your finger. It will be somewhat below your eye level in your peripheral vision, perhaps 2-4 inches below eye level.
Now, place the end of that finger about 2 inches below your target. Move your arm, NOT JUST THE FINGER. Then, lower your head and try to sight along the length of it. You will be on the object. Raise your head and you will see the end of the finger still about 2 inches below the object. The reference point can be different depending on the person and gun being used. Many handguns have different natural pointing abilities. Just start out at 2 inches below the target initially.
If you find you are above the target when checking the finger, you may need to use three inches below, as the reference point for you initially. Conversely, if you are low, you may need to raise the reference point a little. Once you find the reference point for you, you can point at anything using this Quick Kill technique and know that you are hitting the object automatically, and when not looking at anything but the target. Your finger will be in your peripheral vision but not looked at.
Now go get a handgun, make sure it's empty, and do the same thing on the same object across the room. Use the end of the barrel and/or the front sight now instead of the end of your finger in your peripheral vision.
Once you have referenced the end of the barrel and/or the front sight about 2 inches below the target, DON'T MOVE THE GUN, and lower your head and check where the sights are pointing.
As above, when you could see the end of the finger pointing at the target in your peripheral vision while focusing on the target, you will now peripherally see the end of the barrel and/or front sight while looking at the target. Once you have tweaked the reference point for that gun, you can repeat with follow up shots as soon as the reference has been reacquired peripherally. You have not looked at the gun or front sight, just the target. And the gun will be anywhere from 2-6 inches below your eye level, more or less.
With Quick Kill, the focus is always on the target, never having to adjust ones gaze or focus even remotely on the near object [the gun or sights]. I don't have need to worry about 0-3 yards or 7-10 yards or beyond 10 yard methodologies, the commonality of one focal point in using Quick Kill with a handgun under the stresses of self defense is easier to ingrain into memory once it has been mastered.
Some will achieve this immediately while others will have issues and questions. I hope that I have explained this well enough for most. It's much easier to show and guide one, than just describe Quick Kill. As with most things, practice can improve performance, and the same is true with Quick Kill with a pistol or handgun. You can practice at home or on the line. Draw, raise the gun up into your peripheral vision, acquire the referenced distance from the end of the barrel that includes the front sight to the target, and dry fire or blast it for real. Try different distances from 3 feet to 20 yards. The reference point can and should be tweaked up or down until you know where you need to keep it at those distances with that handgun.
With one focal plane to worry about when utilizing the Quick Kill methodology, the older I get, the more I appreciate the way it works. Though admittedly, when I was enlightened I was still capable of quickly adjusting between focal planes.
Lucky McDaniel never published or wrote about the handgun and pistol Quick Kill technique. The verbal information he imparted at SIONICS during our training had never been seen in print before. I'm aware of a few firearms and knife instructors as well as some in the private sector who have searched for over two decades for this technique with pistols and handguns with no success.
Handgun or Pistol Quick Kill [ QK ] Shooting Technique ©, as described above, uses a very specific peripheral reference point from the end of the barrel and/or front sight to the target while ones conscious focus is on the intended target. That not only is different than any other method of sighting previously discussed anywhere but it is what makes Quick Kill continuously repeatable by utilizing a specific reference point between the end of the barrel and/or front sight and the intended object one wants to hit.
I first wrote something similar to this on February 22, 2004 on the internet that also included the long rifle Quick Kill technique as shown to me that was referenced above in the army manual. I registered the copyrighted material and the document is filed with the Library of Congress, Copyright Office in Washington, D.C.
I've carried this knowledge of the Handgun or Pistol Quick Kill [ QK ] Shooting Technique © since 1981 but had never put it into print until 2004.
[Robin approved of this article being shown here.]
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