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Point Shooting foo-foo (again)

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by The Rabbi, Oct 29, 2004.

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  1. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    I am sure, convinced, that point-shooting has been discussed here and other places ad nauseam.
    But I have just read Fairbairn's Shooting To Live and it is clear to me that he advocates PS. In fact I like his whole take on the topic but thats another subject.
    What I dont understand is Mossad Ayoob's insistence that there is no such thing. In his Combat Handguns book he takes some time to rant against the idea and goes out of his way to dismiss the idea that Fairbairn and Applegate advocated it. In fact he provides a pic of Applegate point shooting a Beretta 92 and claims that this is not PS but "coarsely aimed fire." Yet what I see looks just like what Fairbairn recommends, gun at eye level pretty much covering target.
    Without getting into a discussion of Ayoob's merits and faults, why does he take such pains to deny something that seems so obvious?
     
  2. mete

    mete Member

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    There are some things in Fairbairns book that I cannot at all understand ! In any case some of shooting is very hard to define.I remember a discussion with shotguners .They were asked exactly how they established lead and exactly what they saw when they fired . Each shooter gave very different responses which totally confused the beginners !! In handgun shooting there can be substantial differences in technique depending on how much recoil the gun has, what distance the target is etc. I always tell shooters to find a gun that points well for them .Face the target , close your eyes, draw and point the gun, open your eyes. If the gun fits you the sights should be very close to being right on, if not the gun does not fit you. When the gun fits you point shooting is appropriate. Don't confuse this with something like shooting from the hip . Point shooting does use the eyes and some of the 'aiming 'takes place in very short amounts of time and things do become hard to define.
     
  3. carebear

    carebear Member

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    The argument is that if you get the gun up into your plane of vision, if it intrudes between your eye and the target at all, you are not "pointing" the weapon blind (like hip shooting) you are visually indexing the gun (aiming) onto the target, just without a formal sight picture.

    Bring the gun up to roughly eye level between you and a target and you can't see through it, you have to look over or around it. That allows you to see if the plane of the slide or barrel is straight between you and the target. Heck, you can even tell a rough elevation at middle distances. To aimed fire advocates, referencing the gun to the target in any way is technically "aiming".

    Point shooters will say they don't get a "sight picture" so they aren't aiming. Aimed fire advocates would say they're unconciously referencing it.

    Since my <15 yd sight picture is not "classic", I hold the gun a bit low so the front sight is on target and the base of it is even with the top of the rear sight. (I look over the gun a bit) I tend to agree that it isn't "pointing" per se. If I drop my head a smidge everything lines up dead on in the classic way.
     
  4. Havegunjoe

    Havegunjoe Member

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    What I was taught about Point Shooting.

    Hold the gun with both hands, move it straight out from your solar plexis. Stiffen your elbows so that you can bring the gun back to center easily with each shot and are not thrown way off target by having loose, limp arms. Point it at the center mass of your target. The gun is not in your direct line of sight, you are not aiming in the traditional sense. You are now 'pointing' at your target.
     
  5. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    Two great responses that are no help at all. :D

    Mete, what you describe is pretty well the Fairbairn approach. I would define "point shooting" as one that does not use the sights on the gun. Fairbairn makes this clear when he writes about the practicallity of using this technique in low or no light. IOW, you could knock the sights off the gun entirely and still score hits using Fairbairn's method. Actually you could probably shoot blindfolded and still score. Remember, his drills were no more than 8-10 feet away.
    My question is why this is so controversial that Ayoob feels the need to refute, provide photos and so on?
     
  6. sendec

    sendec member

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    Really, who knows whay Ayoob writes the things he does?

    Too many in the firearms field think they need to be "original" and we wind up with some bastardized abomination of a theory that is the Next Big Thing. I am not sure there is an answer to your question. Point shooting, and any other type, is controversial because controversy sells magazines / tapes / classes....

    Oh, and yeah, point shooting sucks, no matter what you call it.:D
     
  7. Ryder

    Ryder Member

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    It's a matter of definitions.

    Point shooting to some people means un-aimed fire. The debate shouldn't be whether to do it or not but when to do it or not. I'd hazard a guess these same people who don't believe there is ever a good reason to point shoot are the same ones who are confusing it with un-aimed fire.

    I point shoot but that doesn't mean that I will never take a well aimed shot if/when the opportunity presents itself. I also practice un-aimed fire. Two different things. Nowhere is it written that I have to limit my learning of new skills and abilities. I shot bullseyes for 30 years so I do know how to aim but experimenting with new tactics is fun and enlightening.
     
  8. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    Rabbi..I have been teaching the Fairbairn/Sykes/Applegate point shooting system for many years, and writing about it on forums for over three years.
    I will be teaching at a symposium in Memphis in January, details are at www.warriortalk.com
    Do a search on my name at www.glocktalk.com for tons of info on PS
    My training syllubus is at www.pointshooting.com
    Scroll down to Point Shooting As taught by Fairbairn, Sykes and Applegate.
    More good, historical info at www.guterfighting.org
    As to Ayoob..he changes his position on this quite often.
    Reasons why are best explained by him, but who says we have to listen?
    Then again..according to Applegate, Fairbairn was involved in over 200 gun fights.
    Applegate had quite a few himself.
    Ayoob has never been in one, yet he believes that these men are wrong about armed combat.
    Feel free to connect the dots and draw your own conclusions.
     
  9. triggertime

    triggertime Member

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    Rabbi: Perhaps the reason that Ayoob does not advocate point shooting is
    because of liability concerns?

    FWIW, using Jim Cirillo's 'geometric nose point' technique, I can hit the
    target accurately enough out to 7 yards, under stress. And that's with the
    gun held well below eye level...

    I'd love to hear Ayoob attempt to refute what Cirillo teaches, considering
    that Jim has used point shooting in the real world, whereas Ayoob
    (probably) hasn't.

    edit: spelling
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2004
  10. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    I had the pleasure of finally meeting Cirillo last month at an IALEFI seminar.
    Although the class was not on the range we got to practice his methods with laser equipped blue guns.
    Good stuff!!
     
  11. eldomatic

    eldomatic Member

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    Havegunjoe,

    Were you trained by Darrell Mulroy ? Your description was exactly how he taught point shooting.
     
  12. Burt Blade

    Burt Blade Member

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    Bows have been used, without sights, for over 5000 years. If you know the trajectory of your projectile, and the effect of wind, etc, on the path of it, you do not need sights to hit your target.

    A good set of sights does help, but it can be done without, especially up close and personal.


    Besides, "sight alignment" is a distant second to "trigger press". If you have a lousy trigger press, the best sights in the world are of little use.
     
  13. 7677

    7677 Member

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    The Rabbi,
    Ayoob is in the business to sale his books.
     
  14. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    With his article, POINT SHOOTING--COMBAT HOAX back in the November 1990 issue of HANDGUNS, Ayoob kinda painted himself into a corner, of which he is trying to get out of.
    Now it becomes a defination of terms of what is and is not point shooting.
    It is my experience that those who understand it the least are point shooting's greatest critics.
    For the record, if your focus is on the target as opposed to the weapon or it's sights, then you are point firing.
     
  15. carebear

    carebear Member

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    To stir the pot (like it needs it :rolleyes: ) ...

    For the OTHER record, if your weapon is available to reference (ie visible in your field of view) while you are focusing on the target, then you are "rough aiming". :neener:
     
  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Point at Ayoob

    While I've been trying to stay out of controversial discussions lately...this one begs for a little input.

    Massad Ayoob has made several inroads as to technique, and I very much like the approach with his "Stressfire" theories. I use a variation of it, and it works very well, but when balancing the advice of Ayoob, and that of
    men like Applegate and Fairbairn...it might be well-advised to bear a few things in mind:

    Ayoob teaches his methods for money, and therefore has an agenda to pursue. Fairbairn and Applegate don't...Not any more. Their writings are old, and any money that they made from them were likely small royalty percentages. Much less of an "Ax to Grind" issue there.

    Both Applegate and Fairbairn have been involved in gunfights.
    Ayoob hasn't been in a fight with anything deadlier than a falling plate machine...unless something has happened recently that I'm unaware of.

    There's a quote from one of my favorite sages that would seem to apply:

    "A man that's had a tiger by the tail knows five or six more things about tigers than one who hasn't."

    -Will Rogers-

    Just my thoughts...Yours may vary.
     
  17. GSB

    GSB Member

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    Tuner, do you know what Col. Cooper's take on it is? I'm curious as to what that other old gunfighter says about it.
     
  18. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Cooper?

    Cooper's dictum is that one should use the sights...always. While I am a fan of the Colonel and his writings...and of his logic...Sometimes there just ain't time to "always" use the sights.

    Sometimes, the very act of bringing the gun to eye level is to invite disaster if your adversary is so close as to hit him with the gun as it comes up. Sometimes, it's just too dark to see the sights, even if you have time...and the dots or bars on the "Night Sights" are so small that I imagine that they'd be hard to pick up during an UTYAIA event. That takes time...and time is usually very short when these things happen. As I've often said: A half-second can easily mean the difference between walking away and trying to stuff your thumb into a sucking chest wound while you pray that the paramedics get to you before the lights go out.

    Time...Distance...Stress...Lighting. All flies in the ointment. Anybody who
    doesn't incorporate point-shooting skills into his practice regimen is betting
    on having the opportunity to use the sights when the balloon goes up...and the odds are against it. The same goes for stance and grip. Can't hit your target in a hurry with one hand while movin' and duckin'? Might wanna work on that. Gun malfunctions unless it's gripped hard? Might wanna get that fixed.

    Again...Just my 2% of a buck.
     
  19. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    Fairbairn-Sykes point shooting [and Applegate afterward, and Noel, Tracy, et al, before them] is based on kinesetic alignment of the weapon. They relied on consistent, repeatable schemes of motion to ensure weapon alignment with the threat based on body positioning.

    Matt has been working with and teaching WWII-based point shooting longer than anyone and, judging by footage from the European seminar, he has taken that material beyond what was taught by any of the originators of the material.

    Modern Technique schools have, historically, denigrated point shooting. I think this has more to do with a bunch of strong personalities rather than merits of the material. Cooper, in 'To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak The Truth' is very clear when he states that "the sights are used to confirm an alignment already gained by the hands".

    Most proficient Mod Iso shooters, [regardless of whether they are IPSC guys or SOCOM guys or just plain, old shooters] if questioned, will acknowledge that they 'shoot off index' most of the time when in close proximity to the threat/target. They are shooting using their kinesetic awareness of the weapon.

    I wrote an article for the NTI newlestter that talks about some of these issues. You can see it here: http://www.teddytactical.com/archive/Feature/2004-06_Feature.htm
     
  20. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    Cooper at one time was a big fan of "pointer" fire, as he called it, and it was this method that he used to kill three Japs in WW2 with a pistol.
    Some may wonder what made him change his tune.
    Full details on this can be had at www.glocktalk.com
    Do a search on my name and find the thread labeled.."Jeff Cooper On Point Shooting"
    Paul..actually there was a lot more to WW2 point shooting than what is shown in KOKG and STL.
     
  21. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    Matt,

    If you haven't seen it, Paladin has just released a new edition of "The Automatic Pistol" by J.B.L. Noel! This is the first time since 1919 that it's been in print and the only time that it's been available in this country.
     
  22. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    IMHO, there's a lot of wiggle room for point shooting. Definitions and distance seem to generate most of the heat.

    I read the Ayoob book mentioned and found it pretty free of dogma. It's out on loan, so no ability to reference it. Good read for new folks and nice for us old timers for a refresher.

    One thing to consider - trainers have a limited amount of time to get a student "trained". It's faster to get them used to using the sights and seems to produce at least a fairly skilled shoooter in the time allowed.

    As others have noted, Cooper has hinted that point shooting works (Thell Reed) but I strongly suspect that it's a time/ammo/results curve that makes most (and specificly him) teach the use of the front sight.

    Interesting note - I've never heard anyone who has attended one of Ayyoob's classes have anything bad to say - IIRC, Preacherman and Buzz Knox are graduates.

    Ayoob has also done a great job (IMHO) of blending a lot of principles from the martial arts field into the shooting field. Hard to beat his one hand firing drills.

    For those who are point shooting (what ever that is) advocates, why don't we see any of them at IPSC/IDPA shoots with their slides free of those awful sights? :)
     
  23. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    Al..please go to www.glocktalk.com
    Do a search under my name, then find my thread, MYTHS OF POINT SHOOTING
    Because you just stated a whole handful.

    #1) As Cooper himself wrote, one can be trained on pointer fire a lot quicker than even a fair aimed fire shot can be trained.

    #2) The British Commandos in WW2 were also blending combatives with shooting, way before Ayoob was even an itch in his daddy's pants.
    So please, let us stop this nonsense that everthing comes since 1980, ok?
    The claims of so many modern instructors to have invented everthing since gunpowder is just plain silly.

    3) Aimed fire has it's place, so only a moron would rip the sights off his gun.
    But since self defense is the issue it would be foolish to have anything other than fixed sights on a weapon.
    Then again, please read the owners manual that comes with every Seacamp pistol.

    4) You may believe that competition is the great proving ground of effectiveness.
    Many do not, including your truly.
    In fact many of the competition methods have been a dismal failure in realistic FOF drills, which IMHO, hold a lot more value than some shooting game.
    Not to mention a dismal failure in actual combat.

    5) For those who would rather DO & LEARN we are having a little get together for some free training early in January.
    See www.warriortalk.com for details, topic is WarriorTalk symposium.

    PS..to me point shooting has no wiggle room, since both Fairbairn and Applegate defined their terms in books decades ago.
    (Books which are available for free at www.gutterfighting.org)
    The only one's wiggling are those who have bashed point shooting for decades and are now backpeddling to say something as, "Gee wiz guys, we have all been saying the same thing for years. It's just the terms that were mixed up".
    Yeah right.
    Pardon my passion, but I regulary train special police personnel who must go in harms way and they are angry.
    Angry at people like Cooper and Ayoob who, through their constant writings, have been denying the effectiveness of a life saving shooting technique for, IMHO, commercial interests.
    Enough...I have written enough on this subject.
    The good folk here on THR have enough data to do their own research/practice to make up their own minds.
     
  24. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    LOL - sorry I yanked your chain.

    Read your article at Glocktalk - what did you think of the training you received from Cooper or Chapman or Rogers? Or did you actually get any training before reading some books?

    As to "who invented what", it's not always the invention, it's the marketing. Fitzgerald probably "invented" the Weaver stance, but it took Col. Cooper to spread the word.

    Ayoob may not have invented his techniques, but he actually published a couple of books that shows them.

    FOF drills are indeed the best way to go. I'm quite surprised John Farnam or Ayoob haven't jumped on the poiint shooting wagon as they both seem to go to the time and trouble to attend them.

    Oh - where did Cooper write about point shooting? I've read most of his stuff and do not recall it.
     
  25. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    I listed my Cooper source, as well as the exact quotes, on GT.
    Thread is COOPER ON POINT SHOOTING.
    Perhaps Brownie or 7677 can drag it over here?
    I have trained extensively for the past 30 years, 20 of which was spent as a LEO.
    One of the advantages of teaching for free is that I get to pick the brains of my students.
    It is from their training---military/police/civilian schools that I have seen exactly what is taught by Cooper, Ayoob, Chapman, Farnham, Blackwater, M.I.S.S. Roger,as well as many others.
    Many of whose courses are restricted to police/military.
    No Al, I am not getting into a pissing match with you, and my chain has been yanked by more sarcastic men than yourself.
    I post what I post for the multitude of lurkers out there who are seeking combat proven knowledge and who do not have the time or druthers to waste in reading internet flame wars.
    PS..if you think what I teach is BS then come to Memphis and teach a class in what you think is effective.
    Fair enough?
     
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