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

Enjoying Some of The Finer Pleasures of Life... usually dependent upon one's income; but that does not mean that finer things are out of reach of those who don't make all that much. In saying that I should also point out that what is defined as one man's finer thing, may be defined as another's crude crud. Well if what I am about to describe is crude crud to some, all the better, because that will likely leave more for folks like me and most of you.

Today I am going to drive into the old neighborhood in Glendale/Ridgewood in Queens which is part of New York City. Yes it really should be 'neighborhoods', but neighborhood fits the feeling better that I have for those adjacent once upon a time German-American neighborhoods. Once there I plan to do a little shopping for a dinner we are having this weekend. My wife, Linda wants to cook a German dish for our daughter Celina's boyfriend. It was his birthday yesterday. So the wife will be cooking schweine fleisch (spelling?). Basically that means pig's flesh, mmm good. She uses a pork tenderloin for an out of this world roast. Most places around here do not sell pork tenderloin as it should be sold, fresh with a nice amount of fat. Nowadays the supermarkets and most butchers cut a pork roast missing all the fat. That is not good, too dry. So I'll head off to a German butcher, one of 3 choices that still remain open there, to pick up the proper cut of pork, and then probably spend another $50-$75 or more on German smoked meats and cold cuts (almost all made right at that butcher), some great mustard with horseradish in it, some great Lithuanian Bread and a corn rye bread (probably two of the heaviest breads known to man), and some other fine tidbits.

Then I'll be off to Rudy's Bakery to pick up some Lindser Tarts, the best I have ever eaten, along with some other delectable baked goods of the sweet type. This place has butter cookies actually made with butter as opposed to a butter/shortening combo. It has great crumb cakes, other cakes, pies, cookies, pastries, and Black Forest Cake too. All out of this world delicious.

The thing about these two places, besides them selling great ethnic foods (ethnic from Western Europe at that) is that these two neighborhoods have changed markedly in ethnicity over the years, but these places and a handful of others have been able to remain in business. Many of the folks in theses neighborhoods nowadays do not shop at these businesses, especially the German butcher. I am guessing a lot of their business comes from people like me who moved away, but yet travel back for those things we cannot get where we live now. Yet they carry on, and I am darned happy to shop there at least a few to several times a year.

Of course anyone could enjoy these great foods, but as it stands now most places are being overrun by things like fast food joints, and ethnic food establishments from the third world. I like many different types of food, but I'll be damned if I am only going to eat the ethnic types of food that seem to be popular today. Yes I do eat them, but I do not forgot my own heritage, the or old neighborhood and the great things of which it was made - so I go back when I get the chance to enjoy some of the finer things it has to offer; and hopefully to help assure through my little bit of shopping there that those things keep being offered. In that way my family and I enjoy some of the finer things life has to offer.

All the best,
Glenn B