Here are other Point Shooting vs. Sight Shooting articles worth checking out as well:

Colonel Rex Applegate on Point Shooting

The Connection Between Combat and Range Results

Point Shooting vs. Sight Shooting (counterpoint to the article below)

Jeff Cooper on Point Shooting

LEO Pistol Qualification

Point Shooting vs. Sight Shooting – Handgun Training Effectiveness from the NYPD SOP 9 results

Point Shooting vs. Sight Shooting – Handgun Training Effectiveness (LAPD)


The following guest  article was written and submitted by John Veit.

We welcome a variety of points of view on the subjects of shooting and marksmanship. Test them objectively on the range and let the results fall where they may.

AIMED Point Shooting or P&S In Brief

by John Veit



AIMED Point Shooting or P&S is a very simple, fast, and accurate method of shooting. P&S can be learned with little or no training, and maintained with minimal practice.


You just grab your gun, place your index finger along its side, point at a target, and pull the trigger with your middle finger.

That’s all there is to it. Point-n-pull. Point-n-pull.

Here’s a link to a video clip of me shooting one handed:

In the video, as soon as I was pointing at the target, I pulled the trigger.


P&S works because when the index finger is placed along the side of a gun, it, the bore, and the sights will be in parallel. So, when you point at a target, which we all can do naturally and accurately, you get automatic and correct sight alignment and correct sight placement.


Here’s what the US Army says about pointing. It’s found in the US Army Field Manual 3-23.35: Combat Training With Pistols M9 AND M11 (June, 2003).

“Everyone has the ability to point at an object….

“When a soldier points, he instinctively points at the feature on the object on which his eyes are focused. An impulse from the brain causes the arm and hand to stop when the finger reaches the proper position.

“When the eyes are shifted to a new object or feature, the finger, hand, and arm also shift to this point.

“It is this inherent trait that can be used by a soldier to rapidly and accurately engage targets.”


The photo below is from the US Marine Corps Pistol Manual of 2003.

It shows both correct sight alignment and sight placement. They are critical to hitting a target, and are dependent on a shooter meeting the traditional marksmanship requirements of Sight Shooting, which include: a specific stance, specific grip, specific placement and use of the thumb and index finger, controlled breathing, trigger squeeze and manipulation, and being able to see and coordinate the correct alignment of the sights and their correct placement on the target for EACH shot taken.

With P&S there is no need to go through the process of meeting those
complex must-be-met marksmanship requirements, as correct sight alignment and sight placement is automatic as mentioned above.

The same is true regarding the “marksmanship” requirements of other POINT SHOOTING methods such as: placing the gun muzzle on an aim point, body indexing, gun canting, using a stiff arm and sighting along it, etc..

P&S can be used in good light or bad, when you can’t see the sights or there isn’t time to use them, when moving, and against moving targets, even aerials.

P&S is not a bar to the use of other shooting methods. It can simplify and speed them up.


Little or no training is required to learn P&S, and once learned, it can be maintained with minimal practice. That won’t happen by magic. You have to know about it, and use it.

P&S is for use in Close Quarters situations where the chance of being shot and/or killed is the greatest. If that’s going to happen, there is an 80% chance that it will happen at less than 21 feet.

P&S is cognitively simple, requires little thinking and decision making, and it utilizes large muscle groups and gross motor skills which produce optimal performance during high levels of stress.


Don’t expect dime or quarter sized groups with P&S as it is not a precision shooting method.

Here’s what the NRA says about shot groups in its NRA Guide To The Basics Of Personal Protection In The Home (2000): “…the ability to keep all shots on a standard 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper at seven yards, hitting in the center of exposed mass, is sufficient for most defensive purposes.”

Below is a close depiction of one of the targets in the guide. It shows a random grouping all over the target, with hits close to the top, bottom, and the sides. The text states that: “If your shots are spreading….beyond the maximum allowable group size (an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper) at 7 yards, you should slow down.”

Here is a pic of a target I used at the range. A year had gone by since my last visit to the range. The target shows the result of my FIRST TEN SHOTS of the day using P&S. The black is 4 1/2 inches.


The pics below show guns with my P&S aiming aid attached to them.

The aiming aid is not required to use P&S.

It makes correct index finger placement mechanical and automatic. And it helps to keep the index finger away from the slide when shooting rapidly and the gun is bucking and jumping in your hand. It also helps in supporting the gun, as it rests on top of the index finger.

You are welcome to add one to your personal firearm/s and airsoft/paintball/etc… type guns if done at your own risk and expense, and if you accept full responsibility for any and all results.

Ditto for Police agencies that may wish to add the aiming aid to agency weapons. I hold the patent on the aiming aid, USP # 6023874 – 2/15/2000, so I can make this offer.

The ones shown in the pictures were made from lengths of plastic corner molding, and attached with double sided tape.

Here is a link to info on how-to-do-that.



Many think that the index finger MUST BE USED on the trigger. However, both the middle and index finger can be extended and flexed independently.

Here is a link to a chronology of P&S that has links to several books that mention using the middle finger to pull the trigger.


And according to the literature, in a life threat situation you will have a crush grip on your gun, so it won’t really matter which finger is the trigger puller.

With a crush grip, your index finger won’t be held aloof from the gun for squeezing the trigger smoothly back until each shot breaks. And your thumb won’t be positioned along the side of the gun but not pressing against it.

Your thumb, which is higher up in the hand, will press against the gun and push it over to the right. And the index, middle, ring, and little fingers, which are lower in the hand, will pull the gun down and around to the left. As such, shots will go low and left unless a counter measure is employed.


You get a strong and level shooting platform with P&S. It is made up of the natural pincer of the thumb, web of the hand, and the index finger, and the ring and little fingers add tenacity to it.

The result is a strong four fingered grip, not your weak three fingered marksmanship grip.

You can squeeze the bejeebers out of the gun, and all you will do, is strengthen your grip. Front punches can be made, and the gun and forearm can be used as a crude battle-axe.

Also, when the index finger is extended along the side of the gun, it will help “lock” the wrist and strengthen the grip, and improve recoil control.


The NYPD’s SOP 9 study of THOUSANDS of Police combat cases established that Officers with AN OCCASIONAL EXCEPTION, fired with the strong hand.

So, to train for reality, shoot one handed.


Common sense is required when using P&S. For example, if your index finger rests over the ejection port, or if it will be hit by the slide, or if it will extend beyond the barrel, then DON’T use P&S with that gun!

And P&S may not be able to be used with some guns because of their design.

One such gun is the 1911 which was the standard issue sidearm of US forces for 74 years (1911 – 1985).

THE 1911 AND P&S

The 1911’s slide stop pin projects out from the right side of the frame, and if the index finger is extended along the side of the frame and depresses it when the gun is fired, the 1911 can jam.

As such, 1911 manuals cautioned against using P&S. This language is from the first manual that was published in 1912.

…”(3) The trigger should be pulled with the forefinger. If the trigger is pulled with the second finger, the forefinger extending along the side of the receiver is apt to press against the projecting pin of the slide stop and cause a jam when the slide recoils.”

That exact or similar language, is found in manuals published in 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, and 1941. And I am sure there are others that I am unaware of.

It is clear to me that cautioning against the use of P&S for 29 years, plus the continued use of the 1911 as the standard issue sidearm of US forces for another 44 years, squelched the use of P&S in the US.

A simple two pronged clip was used by the Soviets, to keep the slide stop pin of the Tokarev TT-33 in place. The TT-33 was similar in design to the Browning model 1903, and 1.7 million TT-33’s were produced.

The 1911’s slide stop was not modified. And as such, our military forces never had the option of using P&S in CQB situations where we now know that in most all cases, the sights are not or can not be used.


Jack Ruby used P&S when he shot and killed Oswald at the Dallas Police Headquarters on 11/23/63. Lots of images of “Ruby shoots Oswald” can be found on the web. In some of Oswald just after he was shot, Ruby’s middle finger can be seen extending through the trigger guard of his pistol.

The following is from John Minnery’s 1973 book: Kill Without Joy, which is not a read for the weak of heart or squeamish.

“One of the best visual representations of an assassination that I’ve ever seen is the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby…. He’s using his middle finger to squeeze the trigger and his index finger, the normal shooter’s trigger finger, is pointed right at his target. He shoots where he points. This method is not too well known in the States but the method was SOP with wartime SOE and SIS agents in Britain….”


Below are links to a video clips of P&S being used while moving, and when shooting at aerials (pop cans tossed in the air).

Shooting at aerials requires practice. Do not use a firearm – use an airsoft pistol.

Move and shoot video clip:

Shooting at aerials video clip:

More informational articles on P&S, and stats and studies that support its use, as well as information on other Point Shooting methods, can be found at