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

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.


by John Veit

The often touted theory that Sight Shooting is the way to shoot in Close Quarters Battle situations, has been around for 100+ years, and teaching it has kept many a trainer employed, yet there is no evidence in the form of pictures and videos of it being used effectively in real Close Quarters Battle. As bizarre as that may seem to be, it is the truth.

To Sight Shoot effectively requires that one meet the marksmanship requirements of taking a proper stance, getting a proper grip, correctly aligning the sights, obtaining a sight picture, proper breathing, and squeezing the trigger smoothly to the rear until each shot breaks.

And given photos and videos of real Close Quarters Battle situations, that is a prescription for suicide.

Sight Shooting behaviors conflict with the behaviors that are used to shoot effectively in the 21 foot kill zone, where most all gunfights occur, and there is the greatest chance of your being shot and killed. And if ingrained, they may/will cause confusion and conflict as to what to do in a life or death situation, and that may/will result in the Officer or Civilian defender being killed.


The following pictures show real people in real shooting situations.

This series of pictures shows some of the action in a drug store robbery.

The first picture shows that the robber’s attention is on the druggist who is returning from an aisle and is holding up some pills.

The robber then notices the guard, who had acquired his gun, and is moving to confront the robber.

Note the guard’s pistol is in a two handed Isosceles type grip, which puts the gun close to his centerline and points it at the robber, and his thumbs are up, not forward along the frame. He also continues to move during the confrontation.

The robber points his gun at the guard.

The robber is shot.

I was surprised that the guard was not shot when I saw the picture showing the robber’s gun pointed at him. It clearly shows that the guard is a hairbreadth away from being shot. And that certainly would have happened, had the guard not shot the robber.

As to why the robber did not shoot, it could have been that he made the decision to shoot, and was physically in the process of doing that when he was shot.

I also wondered why the guard had not shot the robber, when the robber was bringing his gun around towards the guard. It may have been, as just mentioned about the robber, that the guard made the decision to shoot, and was in the mental/physical process of doing that. That process takes a fraction of a second, and during the lag-time, the robber pointed his gun directly at the guard.

Pictures freeze the actions being taken. So, it may look like things happened slower than they actually did. In real time, it took less than two seconds for the guard to move out from behind the counter, confront the threat, and then shoot.

Here is a link to more information and pics on the robbery.

These pictures are from a video of a shooting where an Officer also is taking aggressive action to stop a life threat.

Note the positioning of his feet as he moves naturally. He shoots 5 times in just over 1 second in the video, so unless he was Superman, it would have been impossible to meet the marksmanship requirements of Sight Shooting for each shot.

These pictures show a Chinese Police Officer, who after distracting a hostage taker with a knife, moved quickly towards him and used her strong hand only to end the hostage situation.

These pictures are from the video of the armed assault on a Detroit Police station and show an Officer courageously responding to a very aggressive threat armed with a shotgun.

The picture which shows the Officer’s gun hand fully extended was followed instantly by a shot from the perp which knocked the Officer back and down, and also shot off some of the fingers of his hand.

The video vividly and clearly shows that there was no time to employ the marksmanship requirements of pistol shooting that must be met to shoot a handgun effectively (a proper grip, stance, breathing, squeezing the trigger, etc.).

It is possible that due to the Officer’s training, he attempted to obtain a sight picture before shooting, which according the scientific study of CQ situation, just is not physiologically possible, and that the time lost in attempting that, was used by the gunman to shoot him and shoot off fingers of his hand.

This is no way is meant to question him or his actions. His courage, bravery, and action under fire, was heroic.


As in the other cases, there was no time to meet the marksmanship requirements of getting a proper grip on the gun, taking a proper stance, aligning the sights, and squeezing the trigger smoothly back until each shot breaks that often are repeated religiously by trainers who advocate the use of Sight Shooting. The rub is that it never shows
up in shooting videos of real close quarters life threat situations.

There just will be no time to meet the marksmanship requirements of getting a proper grip on the gun, and taking a proper stance, aligning the sights, and squeezing the trigger smoothly back until a shot breaks in situations that take place within the kill zone where there is the greatest chance of one being shot and/or killed.

And if you think you will do otherwise, and train as such, good luck to you, and RIP.

There are a variety of articles on this site which explain and support the use of AIMED Point Shooting or P&S as I call it. It is fast, accurate, and instinctive, and with it you get automatic and correct sight alignment and an automatic and correct sight picture.

They also provide details on: the time and environmental constraints of Close Quarters situations and their dynamic nature, which do not allow for the use of sight shooting, and our instinctive and uncontrollable physiological responses to close quarters life threats, which makes the use of Sight Shooting moot.

Here is a link to a closely related article on this subject area that deals with: Shooting distance and survival.