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Old 02-13-2020, 12:01 PM
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Default SIGHTS VS NO SIGHTS DEFENSIVE SHOOTING

Regarding this debate hashed over ad-nauseam on gun forums; this report is copied from the Seecamp owners manual, via an American Handgunner article from some years back.

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Old 02-13-2020, 12:21 PM
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In my 20+ years in federal L.E. I've trained both ways.

I use my sights if and when I can. There are circumstances where that is not practical.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:23 PM
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As far as self defense goes I have long been a "point and shoot" adherent.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:28 PM
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Depends on the distance and lighting. Every circumstance is different.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:34 PM
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Well I mean that is a NYPD statistic......which explains why in a few of their shootings 4-5 officers fired 5-8 rounds or more and the only thing hit was a street light and a few cars........

Point shooting a great tool if you are close distance and need to get shots off quick however nothing beats a good sight picture. Now that said, when your gun has a 12 pound trigger......that can also throw things off.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:47 PM
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I used to be an instructor. We taught the "Flash Sight Picture".
Try, at least, to get the front sight lined up with the big part of
the attacker.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:53 PM
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I like fixed sights. I've never heard of anyone in a close-up and personal defensive shooting who used a sight picture, but that's the way it's taught. I'm a point and shoot type as a civilian, although as a LEO I see the need for a sight picture...which you can get with a fixed sight handgun.

I only have one S&W revolver with adjustable sights, which I think certainly add to the value of a handgun. But after years of toting and qualifying with a PD revolver with fixed sights, I like them just fine.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:02 PM
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My daily carry pistol. No sights at all.

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Old 02-13-2020, 01:13 PM
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I don't make a conscious effort to use the sights at 7 yds or under and if I do it's more like using a shotgun the sights are there but I never notice them when shooting fast.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:24 PM
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Love it
Grip it and rip it gents
Build muscle memory and it works like a charm
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:32 PM
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I'd hesitate to say that sight shooting training has no value in self defense situations.
Sight training builds muscle memory essential in point and shoot defensive shooting. It also serves to teach POA/POI and the effects of flinch and other defects in trigger control.

That said, all of my pocket carry pistols have the sights removed to eliminate snags and hangups on presentation. None of them have lightened trigger pulls either.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:58 PM
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I believe that sighted shooting has a real benefit even for close range practice as it reinforces the basics. As skill level increases with sighted fire then gradually introducing instinctive fire or point shooting will produce much better results. While it will vary from one individual to another, point shooting, instinctive shooting or "speed rock" shooting requires a great deal of live fire practice. Both forms of shooting are valid techniques to learn and practice. In an actual encounter, being able to instinctively get rounds on target, quickly, as you move to create distance so you can transition to sighted fire can be life saving.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:01 PM
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During the VN War, the Army taught "Kwik Kill" rifle shooting. It's applicable to rifles, shotguns and handguns. It was very eye opening and effective as you can use it at night and other dim light situations. Over the years I continued to teach it to my troopers who also found it effective.

Later while on the PD, I went to the Jim Gregg instinct shooting course which was much like the Kwik Kill course, but focused on revolvers and pistols.

While I prefer using my sights, that isn't always possible and knowing how to instinct shoot without sights is part of the tool box when under arms. I still practice the technique from time to time and I might add; that once perfected, it is effective out to fairly long range. It's all about muscle memory and thus does take some practice.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:24 PM
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7 yards or less - both eyes open, flash sight picture. Basically look down the top of your pistol so the front sight a about center mass.

10-15 yards- both eyes open, align sights at center mass. Dominant eye will see the sight. Takes getting used to.

Past 15 yeard- Close non-dominant eye, and align sights. You have more time on longer shots, so less hurry.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:36 PM
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I have read that most "self defense" shooting usually happen within an arms length or two. "point shooting" no time or need for sights.

Fred Bear, Art Young, Saxton Pope, Howard Hill all would use a "stick, string and arrow" and kill animals out past 40 yards "Instinctive shooting" No sights Oh wrong forum.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Regarding this debate hashed over ad-nauseam on gun forums; this report is copied from the Seecamp owners manual, via an American Handgunner article from some years back.
Mr. Ralph Mroz wrote a book titled "Defensive Shooting for Real- Life Encounters" which is available on the net as a PDF file since the book is said to be out of print. He devotes chapter 8 to the discussion of employment of point shooting in a ECQB situation and has a persuasive argument that denotes the value of using this method in a lethal force self-defense encounter.

If my memory serves me correctly I believe that during the initial founding of the OSS in WW2 a police officer who had extensive actual in the street experience in the ECQB arena was brought over from his department in China and laid the training foundation for the pistol orientation portion of new agent training. His name was Captain William Fairbairn and in partnership with Captain Eric Sykes they wrote a book titled "Shooting to Live" back in 1942. Both men were strong proponents of point shooting based upon their actual street experience in over 200 reported gunfights in Shanghai, China.

Point shooting will always be a subject of disagreement in the shooting community but I think that it is an extremely important skill to be aware of and practice as part of one's own self-defense training routine. The historical record indicates that it has worked in the past and I see no reason why it would not work today.

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Old 02-13-2020, 03:50 PM
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Most of my draw and fire drills are exactly that, draw the pistol and fire.... Hit center mass every time, the irons are there for when the RMR goes down, the RMR is for the persision shots when needed...

Instinctual shooting, works every time...

I was once told by a S/R/O that you can do the same with a gun as if you were to point a finger
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:42 PM
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Fairburn and Sykes were more associated with British Special Services more than the OSS. Fairburn was a policeman in Hong Kong (I think) which was a rough place when he was there. They also developed the famous Sykes-Fairburn knife used by British Commandos.

I was taught Quick Kill during Ranger school in 1968. We used BB guns and aluminum discs tossed in the air. It took about an hour or so to get really good...range was only a couple of feet, as I remember. And the course took only four hours, if that long. We then did it with M 16s with mixed results. It was a close, short-range anti-ambush technique, maybe 10 yards. I believe it fell out of favor later on for whatever reasons.

Instructors did teach it to shotgun shooters later on without much success, or so I heard years later. I don't know how it was taught to shotgunners, but with rifles the weapon was carried under the armpit. Can't imagine this working for flying game.

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Old 02-13-2020, 05:23 PM
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Sights, point shooting, weak hand and strong hand should be practiced by everyone who is interested in self defense with a handgun.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:26 PM
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Sights should be used whenever possible, but point shooting shouldn't be underestimated, especially within 7 yards, which according go the FBI is the distance in which most armed confrontations occur.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Fairburn and Sykes were more associated with British Special Services more than the OSS. Fairburn was a policeman in Hong Kong (I think) which was a rough place when he was there. They also developed the famous Sykes-Fairburn knife used by British Commandos.
The copy of the 1942 edition of "Shooting to Live" that I have seen lists Capt. Fairbairn as the Late Assistant Commissioner, Shanghai Municipal Police and Capt. Sykes as Late Officer in Charge Snipers Unit, Shanghai Municipal Police. Given the proximity to Hong Kong I would not be surprised if the British in Hong Kong availed themselves of the Captain's training experience for their own police force.

Colonel Rex Applegate wrote the introduction to the book and said that as a Lieutenant he spent one year as an assistant to Capt. Fairbairn when the capt. was seconded to the OSS for training purposes and after that year he was sent to be an assistant to Capt. Sykes in Scotland near the British Commando Training Center.

What I have found interesting is that there does not appear to be any recorded information pursuant to the use of and value of point shooting prior to this book. I wonder if that may be because nobody had kept track of the training methods for street gunfights prior to the program that was instituted in the Shanghai police Department.

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Old 02-13-2020, 06:44 PM
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My opinion, for what it's worth...

Sights should be used whenever possible. It's not always possible. When I use sights at close range I use a target-focused approach, where my focus is on the target but I'm looking "through" the sights, so to speak. Front sight-only focus or "flash sight picture" techniques can also work. Training and experimentation can be helpful.

I've also practiced just getting my gun into my line-of-sight so I can get a rough alignment with the target, even when I don't see the sights.

As was mentioned, sighted practice also helps build "muscle memory," which can help when you can't readily use the sights.

To me, true point shooting is with the gun below, and/or outside of, your line-of-sight. I have practiced that somewhat, but I currently only use it when shooting from a retention position, occasionally from a compressed ready position, and that's pretty much only at contact or near-contact distances.

Also, I think the reason for the success of the Fairbairn/Sykes/Applegate approach was because, at the time, you either had point shooting or precision, bullseye-type sighted shooting. I could be wrong, but I don't think there were any "in-between" alternatives until the 1960s/1970s with the development of Cooper's Modern Technique. Just a thought.

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Old 02-13-2020, 09:03 PM
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Jelly Bryce was a LEO out west in the early part of 20th century and a very accomplished gunfighter who shot instinctively. He shot from a crouch and didn't bring his pistol up to chest level. Draw and fire.. But he was the exception, very talented, apparently could also shoot just about any way he wanted. But the gunfights he was noted for were close and very quick, according to what I have read/seen on biographies of him.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
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Jelly Bryce was a LEO out west in the early part of 20th century and a very accomplished gunfighter who shot instinctively. He shot from a crouch and didn't bring his pistol up to chest level. Draw and fire.. But he was the exception, very talented, apparently could also shoot just about any way he wanted. But the gunfights he was noted for were close and very quick, according to what I have read/seen on biographies of him.
One exception was Bill Jordan.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:55 PM
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I believe it was in Jeff Cooper's books that he taught using the sights and flash sight picture. Because it won. In competition, in training. I believe he noted at maximum speed he couldn't say he got a full sight picture, and not enough to correct but enough to verify his front sight was on the target. He noted that the extra time to bring the gun to eye level was more than offset in time to first hit.
I think that if you practice from a sighted hold, the muscle memory naturally wants to align your sights.
This said, at near contact distances, one does not want to be extending your weapon within your opponent's grasp reach. Your weak hand might be occupied fending him off. In such cases, a speed rock at belt level maybe be your only option.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:44 PM
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When I was a youngster, I learned to shoot a long bow and re-curve bow
instinctively to good effect without the use of sights.

I can do the same with a handgun...At fightin' distance.

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Old 02-13-2020, 11:13 PM
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The US Army made a training film based on Col. Applegate's methods.

YouTube
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Harry Callahan View Post
Sights should be used whenever possible, but point shooting shouldn't be underestimated, especially within 7 yards, which according go the FBI is the distance in which most armed confrontations occur.
Bingo! At self-defense distance, it is going to happen very quickly and you will probably never see the sights. Sights are more important for a longer distance shot which requires a higher degree of precision. Even then, distances for a handgun shot are probably going to be no more than 25 yards.

Most of my practice is at 25 yards and with fixed sights, adjustable sights are just one more thing to break when you need them the most and often have sharp edges which can gouge your sides or snag on clothing.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:50 AM
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First I think one must understand -- sight alignment (barrel alignment) sight picture and trigger control and see how important it is to accuracy. Only then can you apply it to point shooting. After that its all practice, practice practice!!!! IMHO
Jim
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  #30  
Old 02-14-2020, 12:26 PM
LCC LCC is offline
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at 70, even after cataract surgery, find picking up both target and front sights to be slower and less precise then decades earlier, so these days primary carry is a 642 AWIB with the larger CT grip.
When practicing, fire one cylinder with laser, one cylinder without laser, repeat for 50 rounds, my way of training to make sure I am sighting vs. just pulling the trigger on what the red dot pastes.
With that said, when I do practice a quick pull and fire just using the laser, it is comforting to know that in a sudden combat situation whatever that red dot is pasting will get hit even if I have not yet lined up the sights.
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  #31  
Old 02-14-2020, 02:35 PM
Model520Fan Model520Fan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flagman1776 View Post
I think that if you practice from a sighted hold, the muscle memory naturally wants to align your sights.
This said, at near contact distances, one does not want to be extending your weapon within your opponent's grasp reach. Your weak hand might be occupied fending him off. In such cases, a speed rock at belt level maybe be your only option.
I don't disagree with this, but I believe that choice of grips and height of sights have a LOT to do with how quickly the sights align, if they ever do.

One of the reasons I like my Improved Model 56 (2" Model 15) is that between the higher sights and the Rogers grips, a quickly drawn gun rapidly results in a sights-aligned gun. This is not true of my Model 10 and Model 12 revolvers, nor, IIRC, of my 4" Combat Masterpiece with Magnas and a Tyler.

Obviously, different individuals might have different optimum grips and sights.
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  #32  
Old 02-14-2020, 08:37 PM
Dave_n Dave_n is offline
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Originally Posted by Harrychristopher View Post
Mr. Ralph Mroz wrote a book titled "Defensive Shooting for Real- Life Encounters" which is available on the net as a PDF file since the book is said to be out of print. He devotes chapter 8 to the discussion of employment of point shooting in a ECQB situation and has a persuasive argument that denotes the value of using this method in a lethal force self-defense encounter.

If my memory serves me correctly I believe that during the initial founding of the OSS in WW2 a police officer who had extensive actual in the street experience in the ECQB arena was brought over from his department in China and laid the training foundation for the pistol orientation portion of new agent training. His name was Captain William Fairbairn and in partnership with Captain Eric Sykes they wrote a book titled "Shooting to Live" back in 1942. Both men were strong proponents of point shooting based upon their actual street experience in over 200 reported gunfights in Shanghai, China.

Point shooting will always be a subject of disagreement in the shooting community but I think that it is an extremely important skill to be aware of and practice as part of one's own self-defense training routine. The historical record indicates that it has worked in the past and I see no reason why it would not work today.

Harry
Actually OSS were taught by them later in life. They trained British Commandos and SOE agents from roughly 1940 onwards. Dave_n
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  #33  
Old 02-14-2020, 10:04 PM
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My daily carry is a Smith 380EZ that I had fitted with TruGlo Night Sights. I go to the indoor range and shoot 64 rounds into a 18" X 10" splatter target in a 3" group rapid fire. The things in my favor I believe is a 6 pound factory trigger pull, 8+1 Rounds in mag and my night sights. It's all about shot placement and how many rounds you can place in the shortest amount of time.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:09 PM
Johnrh Johnrh is offline
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I practice both. Draw and shoot from about 7 yards with no sights. At first it was an eye opener. Now I'm not too bad at it.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:15 PM
YkcorCal YkcorCal is offline
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It all depends on the situation as the circumstances dictate.

Distance and time are the factors for sight use.

While I was in the Army "we" were taught the "Quick Kill" method way back in 1971.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:36 PM
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I only used sights once in my three on-duty shootings. Once there was no time, then the parking lot was too dark (no night sights in ‘74). The third instance I had to put down a hostage taker w/my service revolver at fairly close range in a well lit motel lobby.
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  #37  
Old 02-19-2020, 04:05 PM
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If I knew my fight would NEVER be beyond contact distance, then I wouldn't care about a front sight but would certainly want more than a 32acp since time would be of the essence.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:09 PM
Chief Wiggums Chief Wiggums is offline
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There is substantial truth and facts behind the "less than 9 foot theory".
(According to the LEO gents that I know)

Point and shoot...and again and again....
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