Point of Aim???


November 25, 2008, 11:55 AM
For the past six months or so I've been thinking that it's a good time to get an auto pistol. I would be getting the gun to shoot it. I would use it as a carry gun that could be concealed, although being compact isn't a huge priority. I might also do a little action pistol shooting at our local club occasionally. I've always thought I'd like a 1911 at some point, but wasn't sure if it would be the next gun I'd buy. I was thinking I might like a S&W M&P, but when I actually held one in a shop and pointed it at a target the sights were aimed somewhere above the target. A Glock pointed the same way for me. I was hoping some of you experienced autoloader folks could share some insight. Every wheelgun I own is on target when I throw it up as is my Ruger Mk II and the 1911s I have shot. Is this point of aim something I should consider when buying, or is it something that you just get used to?

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Loyalist Dave
November 25, 2008, 03:11 PM
Different grips = different ergonomics. I was taught to shoot a SAA with my pinkey below the flat on the bottom of the grip. For me the SAA comes right up; sights almost exactly in line. Autoloaders require your hand to be as high up on the grip as you can get it without the slide being hampered. The grips differ alot from gun to gun, so try different handguns..., single stacks, in addition to the Glock, Beretta, etc. A 1911 or a Browning Hi-Power may be the key for you.


Hk Dan
November 25, 2008, 03:20 PM
As my old German grandmother used to say "Ja, you get used to hanging if you hang long enough..."

The inherent "pointability" of a handgun in the first 3 seconds of handling it is NOT an indication of how you'll be able to shoot it. You'll get used to what you shoot.

If the controls are hard to reach, that's a different story. If it hurts--different story. But I wouldn't be too disappointed to find that a new handgun takes some practice before you are as proficient with it as you were with the old one--would you?


November 25, 2008, 09:28 PM
Thanks for the input. Other than knowing I want a 1911 at some point, I'm pretty open to different makes and models. If I don't get a 1911 this time around, I'll probably look for something in .40, which gives me lots of options. This "pointability" issue was something I noticed and was wondering if I should rule anything out because of it.

November 25, 2008, 11:01 PM
I agree about the 1911 'pointing' well. It's one reason they remain a favorite. CZs, Sigs, Beretta, Browning HP, your MarkII, my High Std .22 and a number of others use the 1911 grip angle/or very close .
Glocks and some others don't.
If you only shoot one gun, then you can get used to it. If you have several guns you actually shoot/use then you can't rely on habit/muscle memory, but have to change techniques for each gun. What you practice is what you'll do if the need arises.

November 25, 2008, 11:10 PM
I'm pretty new to this stuff but from handling everything I could get my hands on I don't doubt you'd find yourself aiming the Plastic Fantastic guns high at first. They are soooooo much lighter than the standard steel frames that it's not funny in many cases. But if you're looking at carry then that lightness would be worth learning into with a few hundred rounds of practice.

Frank Ettin
November 26, 2008, 01:00 AM
In some ways it's the same as with a shotgun. If your shotgun fits you and you practice mounting it, you will find everything lined up as you want it. With the handgun, if it suits you and you practice bringing it up to shooting position, you will ultimately program yourself so that the sights will be aligned when you bring it up to eye level.

Some pistols will point more naturally for you than others. You can probably adapt more readily, with practice, to a somewhat ill "fitting" handgun, than you can to an ill fitting shotgun; so pointability may not necessarily be your sole criterion for choosing a pistol. But I personally wouldn't choose one that was too far off. And if two types satisfy your criteria for attributes like weight, caliber, quality, reputation for reliability, price, etc., and one points better for you than the other, of course choose the one that points better for you.

If there's a range near you that rents handguns, you might want to try out several different makes/types. FWIW, I'm particularly partial to the 1911 and the Browning High Power.

J. Jay
November 27, 2008, 02:08 AM
Usually if a shooter picks up a gun and sights are not visible, the grip angle is different from what he is used to. Compare the Ruger MK II to the Ruger 22/45. The Ruger 22/45 mimicked the Colt .45 b/c old time shooters didnt like the steep angle of the MKII. I'm a glock shooter so give me a revolver and front sight will probably be waaay high. If you practice the most with your defense weapon, it wont be a problem. (muscle memory).

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