Saturday, March 3, 2007

Aiming Versus Point Shooting In A Gunfight...

...could be an important decision you may have to make some day if you are an armed citizen and are willing to defend yourself, loved ones and other inocents from an armed bad guy.

I am not going to write a lengthy rant about which I think is better, I know how I would shoot at 7 yards in various situations. If and how you shoot should depend upon the totality of circumstances in each situation. What I am saying is it can be different each time depending on the facts presented to you in each situation.

Sometimes you might not shoot at all, sometimes you might need to shoot slowly, sometime more rapidly. Sometimes you may need to take careful aim using proper sight alignment and sight pictire, other times you may not use your sights at all. You need to, or at least should, get training to know how and when to shoot if only because the situation can call for different tactics.

What I am about to do here is show you 4 scans of targets I shot at the range yesterday to show the effects on hitting the target as caused by different types of shooting at 7 yards. I chose 7 yards as this is one of the most common ranges within which actual gunfights take place, and because it is a safe distance, albeit about the maximum safe distance, at which to point shoot. I will show how I shot slowfire aiming, rapid fire aiming, and rapid fire point shooting (basically aiming by pointing the gun and looking over the top of it without using sights). Please don't try point shooting at much further distance.

Take a look at the targets, and imagine yourself in a gunfight, facing an opponent. When would you shoot slowfire, if ever, at 7 yards? When would you shoot rapid fire and aim with your sights? When would you shoot rapid fire and point shoot? If you do not know, then you really need training to learn such basic tactical shooting because each type of shooting could be called for at 7 yards.

The first target, to the left, is 45 shots aimed slowfire at 7 yards. Not my best, my eyes are not what they once were and that front sight is fuzzier and fuzzier, but not bad shooting - especially considering how little I have been to the range lately. I shot at the bullseye as many of you would do.

The next one (the one to the right) is 45 shots, aimed rapidfire at 7 yards. Yes that is all 45 on the paper, and yes I shot at the blank side of the paper since a bad guy is not likely to wear a bullseye on his chest. It opens up quite a lot from the slowfire group, but look at that quarter, then imagine that group size aimed at center of mass (as in chest cavity) of a bad guy. Even the fliers were in the center of mass zone.

The next one is 38 shots (all the ammo I had left), rapidfire point shooting. It opens the group somewhat more, but again look to that quarter. These were pretty much center of the paper, and all would have been in the center of mass on your real life bad guy.

If the bad guy is not holding a hostage, if there is no one else within the possible line of fire, and the bad guy was within 2 to 7 yards of you, which way would you choose to shoot. Would you shoot slowly, would you take the time to use your sights, or would you try to get your shots out as quickly as possible. Remember I had to reload twice on each of these rapid fire targets.

Yes I did say I would show 4 pics, so let me show one more of slowfire at 7 yards. This was actually the 2nd target at which I shot, the one right after I shot 45 rounds at the bullseye. This one was only 15 rounds, and it too was at the blank side of the paper (just to show that it is not shooting at the blank side of the paper that effects group size). Its not a bad group. Some folks would think it a great one though it is not great for slow fire, since some can do it rapid fire. What I am trying to show though is you don't need to think you have to shoot a hole like that in a bad guy to be effective at ranges from 2 to 7 yards. Of course you need to be proficient to point shoot at 7 yards, but point shooting can be a very viable option as opposed to aimed shooting using your sights at that distance.
If you are wondering about why I keep saying from 2 to 7 yards, instead of from a shorter distance out to 7 yards, well then you really need some trining in tactics. Think about it like this, if a guy is closer than 2 yards, are you going to offer him your pistol to grab away from you by placing it in front of you in either aimed or point shooting position? Get some training, then Practice, Practice, Practice. Even with my poorer vision nowadays, I probably would have shot even better had I been practicing lately myself. I had not been to the range in a couple of months or so, and I had not shot the Beretta 92FS that I used for these targets, in well over 4 months.
All the best,
Glenn B


Anonymous said...

.. you know, that is the main reason that I love my Beretta Cougar .45.... it has a perfect aim-point for my hand..... in my mind, it has the best natural grip for a point and shoot.....


Glenn Bartley said...

I love my Berettas too.