Point Shooting 4: Snake Oil Salesmen

Sometimes legitimate people disagree about how a gunfight works. But some people are just snake oil salesmen. Point shooting is often touted as being fast and accurate enough. They use this marketing technique to sell you training, stoke their ego or just bash other people by telling you a series of outlandish claims. I’ve covered some of them in the previous point shooting posts. Here are a few more.

Combat Accuracy: They say body sized targets are all you need to shoot. They ignore the speed of a gunfight and how you will probably maximize your shooting speed to the point where some of your accuracy will suffer. Special forces in the military track their rounds during training. They also try to track their accuracy in combat where they can. They report having a drop in accuracy between training and combat. The only person to give me a guesstimate said a 30% drop.

Add that to you and or the bad guy moving and your accuracy will diminish more. I’m not talking about losing your mind thus spraying and praying. Just ordinary fear causing you to speed up to what you believe is your combat accuracy.

Practicing to move and shoot helps when you or the target moves. Having the ability to shoot a target smaller than the human body will allow you to get good hits even under stress. This will allow you to hit smaller targets such as the head or minimally exposed body part but you will need to slow down even more. If you only practice to the level of shooting the human sized body I hope you are not surprised that you might miss the bad guy under the stress of a gunfight.

This leads to the next outlandish claim, “Misses happen.” I will tell you that if you train to shoot accurately, train to shoot within your ability, train under stress and keep your head during your incident you can hit the bad guy with all your bullets. Using the possibility that you might miss as an excuse to follow a training regiment that leads to missing is just crazy circular reasoning.

This circular reasoning usually starts with how you will not look at your sights during a gunfight. Of course thousands of officer involved shootings and military shootings over the years have been by people looking at their sights. Because other people don’t look at their sights doesn’t mean they can’t, just that they didn’t.

Another excuse is that biology will prevent you from seeing your sights because your eye can’t focus on it during stress. So many shooting have occurred where the officer lined up their sights and hit the target that no one but the new shooter would ever believe this.

The next excuse is, “Almost all gunfights are within arms reach so you will not need sights”. In the last post we talked about distance and how to create room to fight. This is a training problem and not a fact of how gunfights occur.

The most outlandish claim that sadly is not refuted enough is that point shooting will be faster than trying to find your sights. This sounds good but is actually rather foolish. This claim supposes that you will put your front sight on the target, line up the front sight and the back sight and then slowly start to press the trigger. Of course no one I know would ask you to do that in a gunfight. The truth is that people have taken the good aspects of point shooting (kinesthetic awareness) and found ways to get rid of the bad parts of point shooting. One example is Flash front sight system that I talked about in the last post.

As with any snake oil salesman you should ask good questions and use your reason to see through the foolish claims. The reality is that most of these people are slower than you are if you have shot even a few months. When you put them on a timer their body index is actually slow.

At this point they will usually tell you how using a timer is for gamers and that’s just not how a gunfight works. Ha! A few are quite fast at point shooting. If you look at their targets most are not very accurate.

Point shooting as defined by not using your sights outside of arms reach is a parlor trick at best. At worst it is a scam that could make you miss, shoot slower or more inaccurate than the same amount of sighted training would have you shoot and ultimately could get you shot where otherwise you would not have.


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