UNFOUNDED CRITICISM OF P&S.
This is an update of an article written around 2007. I updated it and am republishing it as I have recently been taking flack about P&S.
Back then, I added a thread to a forum on Kel-Tecs, in which I said that the PF-9, with its flat side, looks to be a perfect match for P&S and a P&S aiming aid. And particularly so, because with the very short sight radius of the gun, shooting one accurately would not be as easy as with a longer gun such as a 1911.
Well, hardly before the ink was dry on my post on the Kel-Tec forum, a member posted a link to a page that was said to be from The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery, 5th edition, 2002, by Massad Ayoob.
That page contains inaccurate and just plain wrong information about P&S, and about the Ruby/Oswald shooting in which P&S was used by Ruby. The Massad Ayoob also has praise for Tom Aveni's negative article on the Vermont Technique (P&S), as Tom Aveni refers to it.
Here is a pic from the Ayoob book page. It is of someone holding a Seecamp 32.
Along side of it, is a pic from Aveni's article: The "Vermont Technique"
The caption of Ayoob's pic reads that the "Fingerpoint shooting technique can be dangerous with small pocket pistol like this Seecamp KWS-32. The tip of the finger is exposed to muzzle blast at the very least."
In both the Ayoob and Aveni pics, the index finger is resting on the slide where it would be hit or cut by the slide if the gun was fired.
To me, the clear message of the pictures, is that the technique is bad and dangerous. Only a moron would use it.
It would have been easy to show the technique being used properly and with a "regular" sized gun if that was what the author really wanted to do.
The intent was to slam the Vermont Technique (P&S) by innuendo, and by presenting false information about it.
In my opinion, such presentations, have and can result in police and others being wounded/killed via squelching innovation and experimentation with shooting methods such as P&S.
Traditional shooting means and methods, which rely on the use of the sights for accuracy, were then, and still are a proven and dismal failure in close quarters armed encounters. The police armed encounter hit rate percentage is less than 20%. That means that 4 out of every 5 bullets fired, miss the intended target and go somewhere elsewhere.
Walter J. Dorfner, who was the lead firearms instructor for the Vermont State Patrol for many years, developed and experimented with the technique that Aveni calls the Vermont Technique, which essentially is P&S. Walter also was Vice Chair of the Use of Force Committee of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, at the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford, VT.
He felt that the technique was to be the next step in the evolution of survival shooting, and he referred to it as Point Shooting.
He wrote a paper on his development and experimentation with the method, which included field trials. He sent me a copy of his paper, and I wrote a digest of it, which he approved of as written. And we both had it published. It is available on this site.
Shortly after he retired, Walter died. That was in 2001. RIP
Here is a link to the digest of his paper.
As the lead firearms instructor for the Vermont State Patrol for a number of years, I consider Walter Dorfner to have been more of an expert on firearms and shooting than anyone who has commented on the "Vermont Technique" or P&S.
In his paper, Walter used the term Point Shooting to identify the method of shooting. I took the liberty to add the word AIMED in front of Point Shooting, as the method employs the index finger to aim the gun fast, naturally, automatically, and accurately. And that is more than just Point Shooting.
Point Shooting is normally understood to be shooting sans sights, or unaimed shooting.
The terms: AIMED Point Shooting or P&S, differentiate P&S from other Point Shooting methods.
Also, I believe that Walter J. Dorfner was the first Police Professional Firearms Instructor to investigate and experiment with the technique, including field testing. And he found that it works.
There may be need for a word or two of caution about using any technique, but slamming a technique or device, because it won't work with a mini gun if you have average, or big, or fat hands, doesn't mean that it won't work just fine with a larger gun as the above pics show.
Common sense is needed when using P&S. When using it, if your finger will rest over the ejection port, or be hit by the slide, or in the case of using it with a mini gun, your index finger will extend beyond the muzzle, then DON'T use it with that gun. Always use safe gun handling.
Another picture on the book's page shows a screwed up grip.
It is a depiction of a two-finger-only grip that is said to be used with the Vermont Techinque to secure the gun incase of a snatch attempt. That is false and a pure fabrication.
Note that the index finger is pointed up and covering the ejection port where it surely would be hit both by the slide and an ejected shell.
The picture's message, is: only a moron would do this.
However, with the Vermont Technique (P&S), there is no requirement that the index finger be held like that, or aloof from the gun as required with your traditional marksmanship grip. Nor is it required that the one or both thumbs be placed along the side of the gun but not pressed against it to avoid deflecting the shot, as with a traditional marksmanship grip.
With the Vermont Technique (P&S), you can squeeze the bejeebers out of the gun with your index finger and thumb if you like. All you will be doing is adding increased stability to the level and strong shooting platform that is made up of the web of your hand, and your opposing thumb and index finger.
And your ring and little fingers will still be able to do their job of adding tenacity to this natural and very strong 4 finger grip. Using it, you can make elbow smashes either to the right or left, and forward punches as with the CAR system.
Ayoob also states wrongly that Jack Ruby, when he shot Oswald, used his middle finger to pull the trigger, as he didn't have the distal portion of his shooting hand index finger.
Research of the Ruby's fingerprint record, shows that Ayoob's statement is false. Ruby's right hand index finger was OK. Part of his left hand index finger was missing.
Many in the gun community get very upset and go ballistic if anyone dare's to question what they are doing or what they have done.
Others, demand that any new means or method, must work in all situations for all shooters. Or they say that one must first take it around to different venues and demonstrate it on a "one on one" basis to prove that it is worthy of their and others consideration, etc...
To me, that is bizarre given the dismal, proven, and continuing failure of the effective use of traditional means and methods in close quarters armed encounters.
Also, and equally bizarre, is the lack of DOJ or gun manufacturer backed studies and trials to identify that which really works in high stress close quarters situations, and which also is simple and easily used by the general public. Also making such information freely available to the millions of gun owners, many of whom bought a gun with the idea that they would be able to use it effectively in self defense, would result in saving civilian lives as well as members of the military and police.
Lastly, if Mr. Ayoob or Mr. Aveni wish to comment on this, please send me a response, and I may add it to this page.
I did not know of the Ayoob page until it was brought to my attention by the web thread poster.
The Aveni article was published in the S&W training group's newsletter, which I happened to receive at that time.
I prepared a response which the S&W newsletter did not publish.
This is a link to this article in PDF form. You are welcome to download it and use/share it as you like. I am 80+, so this site may be gone at any time.
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