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"It Points Well" - Do You Verify Using Live Rounds?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Plan2Live, Aug 29, 2019.

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  1. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    From time to time you hear people describing a handgun as "pointing well". So my question is, do you verify your handgun points well by simply pointing at a target then looking thru the sights to see where it is pointing (its easy to cheat) or do you point at the target and actually pull the trigger and see where the bullet lands?
     
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  2. jar

    jar Member

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    The latter!
     
  3. Cump

    Cump Member

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    The latter. I wont carry a gun unless I'm comfortable with point-shooting drills from the holster.
     
  4. entropy

    entropy Member

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    If you're saying "It points well" in the gun shop, you are commenting that it fits your hand well. I put some Hogue grips on my PT1911, and am going to test the shooting part of 'pointing well' later this afternoon. My dad gave them to me, so I thought I'd try them.

    It points well:

    Hogue grips.jpg

    I think I'll keep 'em on the gun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  5. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    This.
     
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  6. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    I will also compare it in those kind of drills to a reference gun.
     
  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I've always taken it to mean that while handling in the shop, it fits the hand well, is at an appropriate angle that it feels natural when aimed at a target, and the sights work well for you for fast acquisition.

    Must be verified with live fire practice though.

    To me just fitting in the hand is a descriptor of ergonomics.

    But that's just me. I may be using my own terminology.
     
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  8. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I don't think anything "points well" or "points poorly."

    I think people develop an index. I think guns either fit that index or would require re-developing a different index.

    Tanfoglios fit my index because I shoot USPSA competitions with them. If I spent a bunch of time using Glocks instead, I would eventually modify my index to the Glock, but then the Tanfo's wouldn't fit my index anymore.

    These are not characteristics of the gun. They are characteristics of the shooter relative to the gun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  9. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Weird question...

    Almost like asking if you shoot the gun...?
     
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  10. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    I think there is more involved than just index. Besides ergonomic issues like grip angle, bore axis height, and alignment index (angle of the trigger finger), there are also issues like the balance and barrel length that a shooter doesn't just learn to accommodate. While the shooter can adapt to a variety of ergonomic qualities and develop an index that prefers one set of values to another, guns with more forward mass are always going to swing slower but point more steadily than guns balanced with more weight aft. The "best pointing" is a subjective balance of those two. I find that excessively heavy barrels tend to drag and lag, and then they can overtake the target. We can "punch out" from the draw to avoid "bowling" but think about a plate-rack for example. On the other hand, a gun with too much mass aft can swing fast and stop fast but isn't as steady once on target. It also tends to have more muzzle flip, though that's not relevant to "pointing."

    Longer barrels not only have longer sight radius, which may not be relevant to "pointing" either, but they also have a longer barrel to point with regardless of whether the sights are used or not. Even shooting from the hip, a 7" cavalry SAA is going to point better than a Chief's Special.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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  11. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    You're going to have to explain this to me, because that sounds completely nonsensical.
     
  12. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Ok. I think you understand that a longer sight radius, that is the distance from the rear sight to the front sight, is going to make it easier to aim a firearm with better precision when using the sights. My point is that a longer barrel is easier to point with precision than a shorter barrel even when the sights are not used. Hold a toothpick or pencil in your hand and point at the center of a car's wheel across the street. Now do the same with a broom handle. The broom handle is more likely to be pointed more precisely near the center of the wheel than the toothpick or pencil. You can confirm this with live fire or just a laser pointer. Imagine playing pool with a 24" cue. The reason it's easier to point more precisely with a longer item has to do with the angular diameter of pointing error and the angular distance. In firearms, there are tradeoffs because of things like the balance that I mentioned. A 24" long handgun would theoretically point very well, but the balance would be unmanageable without a foregrip and then it's not really a handgun anymore.
     
  13. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    Not at all. I've read posts here in the past that more or less suggest that point shooting is a bad practice. So suggesting a gun points well suggests one might point shoot that firearm at some point, otherwise why bother mentioning it points well? And let's face it, it is pretty hard to point a handgun at a target (without sighting) then holding the gun dead steady (without cheating or involuntarily moving) while you bring your eyes to the sights to see if your aim point is close or not. Besides that, how many people want to go to the range and rip off a round that is nowhere near the bulls-eye with other people looking? I was a range officer for over two years and can't recall ever seeing anyone point shooting and stating that's what they were doing. So I was merely curious to see if people put the "points well" assessment to the test with live ammo or not. Seems like a reasonable question to me.
     
  14. Cump

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    I took the original post to mean a natural point without sighting.

    I find both the broom and pool cue analogies unconvincing. Without sighting, I will be more confident in pointing a pencil at an object that a broom. And the length of the pool cue seems more about sight lines and smoothness of motion.

    Maybe I just can't separate the theory from the practice. I point med-sized barrels more naturally, achieving better targets, than long barrels. I can improve, but equal practice seems to benefit a 4 inch barrel just as much, if not more, than a 7.
     
  15. Cump

    Cump Member

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    I don't see it much at public ranges, but they also may prohibit shooting from the draw. I practice the skills in tandem, so it's public lands for me.

    That said people are missing out on a good alibi for an ugly target.

     
  16. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I don’t buy that at all.

    I have two of “the same” pistol, except that one effective has an extra 3” of barrel in the form of a comp. it doesn’t “point” any better or worse than its shorter stablemate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  17. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Live rounds are all that count. Of course trigger pull is also a factor, but pointing is irrelevant without trigger pull so it counts, IMO.

    Case in point, in recent anecdotal fashion, I bought a Beretta APX Centurion and Glock 19.5 recently. In the basement, dry fire, gun shop, "pointing" the APX wins, hands down. It comes on target instantly and feels just wonderful in the hand and the trigger pull is smooth and sweet. The 19 never feels right in my hands, something with the too short grip and it needs a deeper undercut trigger guard, even with my preferred medium beavertail.

    Move to live fire and I shoot circles around it with the Glock, instantly, from round one.

    So gun shop comfort doesn't always tell the story.
     
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  18. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I was being a wise... guy...

    Just giving OP a hard time.

    my assumption would be that to test how well a firearm "points" you have to shoot it!
     
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  19. camsdaddy

    camsdaddy Member

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    The sig p320 and 365 both point well for me. However when it comes to shooting I shoot my Glock 19 better. If I was going to strictly have a gun in my hand draw and pull the trigger I would hope to have a j frame. That said I have more round through the 19 and j frames.
     
  20. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Not to be facetious, but how else does one verify that one's pistol actually "points well?"
     
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  21. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    Target focused shooting is a good drill. Center Axis Relock takes it a bit farther. My thought is, if someone is rushing you with a butcher knife, looking at your sights might be the last thing on your checklist!
     
  22. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    I watch the milk jugs explode at around 25 yds :)
     
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  23. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    Activate the laser sight? Checkmate.

    As stated above, you hear this term a lot yet when I was a range officer I don't ever recall hearing a single shooter chatting with people around them during "cold" saying they were going to give point shooting a go just to see if the gun really does point well. When talking to friends who own firearms I've never heard one of them say they performed a point and shoot test on any of their handguns. My friends talk about one handed drills, off hand drills, clearance drills, etc. but never mention point shooting. Maybe your experience is different and that's why I asked the question.
     
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  24. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Point shooting is a routine practice of mine at the range. Heck, I don't bother with sights under 7 yards if I'm doing drills.

    Glocks and 1911 yield the tightest point shooting groups for me, but anything works fine if I've been working on it.
     
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  25. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Go to a USPSA match. You will see a lot of targets from 7 yards and closer shot very rapidly with heavy reliance on index.

    For many USPSA shooters, the problem is that they have a hard time getting back out of point shooting when targets get a little further away and they really need the sights!
     
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