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

In web threads, Sight Shooting advocates now and then refer to Jim Cirillo, who was a well known Police Officer and veteran of multiple gun fights, as a supporter of using Sight Shooting in CQB.

That of course was true, but that is not all that Mr. Cirillo had to say.

He said special circumstances, which won’t be available in most CQB situations, allowed for the use of Sight Shooting.

The following is a brief excerpt from the G&W for LE 4/03 article on Jim Cirillo by Rich Grassi. The article title is: Jim Cirillo, Gunfighter – Close combat techniques from the stakeout squad!

The article was about Cirillo and a class he was teaching.

Grassi quoted Cirillo as stating: “When you use the sights, you’re target shooting.” That was a surprise to some in the class….

Cirillo then went on to relate how in his first Stake-Out Unit shootout, he’d seen his sights “clear as a bell.” The imperfections on his front sight were plainly visible while the suspect blurred in his vision. He reduced them to the colors of their clothing to know when to shoot and when to hold up.

He explained that he had time (they’d come in the store earlier and cased the place), he had good lighting (unlike the usual confrontation), he had what he considered to be cover or concealment (a display of peanuts), and he had distance (more than a conversational range).

“If you got (those elements), you’d be a fool not to use the sights,” Jim said.

It’s when you don’t that you use alternative sighting techniques, like his weapon silhouette and geometric point techniques….

The article touched on his alternative sighting technique, as well as “nose point” shooting.

“…The first of Jim’s non-conventional aiming techniques is accomplished by bringing the gun up in front of your face and looking past it at the target. What you see is the weapon’s silhouette. As long as (1) the target is (optically) wider than the gun and (2) the gun is aligned with the target, the hit will be made. It’s not a real target shooting technique, but it’s plenty accurate enough for a fight….”

“The geometric point, or “nose point,” is a course gun index relying on body positioning. The gun is centered on the body, below the cone of vision, directly under the nose. The nose–being placed between the eyes–is the one part of the body that is pointed at whatever the person is looking at. It’s a very fast index and while not always the best choice, it can be the only choice.”


Here’s a pic from Fairbairn and Sykes book: Shooting To Live.

And here’s one from Lou Chiodo’s site: Gunfighters Ltd.

Lou Chiodo developed the Target-Focused shooting program that is used by the California HP.

Info and pics from Fairbairn and Sykes book, Applegate’s book, and info on Lou Chiodo’s site and training program can be found at:


To help insure your gun will be on target, you also can place your index finger straight along its side, and then point at a target.

The reason for doing that is because the US Army says that soldiers can use their natural pointing ability to rapidly and accurately engage targets.

And since your index finger already should be along the side of your gun, it makes sense to use your natural pointing ability to engage targets fast and accurately.

To insure the rapid and accurate aiming of each and every shot taken, it also makes sense to keep your index finger in place along the side of your gun, and pull the trigger with your middle finger.

In a real CQB situation, it won’t matter which finger pulls the trigger, as per the literature, you will have a crush grip on your gun.

All you need to do is point-n-pull, point-n-pull….

And shooting that way is not a bar to using the sights if time and circumstances allow for their use.

I have used it with a variety of pistols at the range, and even to hit strings of aerial targets (pop cans tossed in the air and shot at and hit, when using an airsoft pistol). Here’s a link to a video of that:

Do not shoot aerials with a real firearm.

You have to shoot very fast and accurately to hit small and fast moving targets that measure only 2 1/2 x 5 inches. Using Sight Shooting, or even a simple “body indexed” shooting method, is out of the question. Also, shooting pop can sized aerials takes some practice.

The shooting method has been around since the early 1800’s, and you easily can prove to yourself that it does work.

Just look at your targets.

Be sure to use common sense and safe gun handling.

I call it AIMED Point Shooting or P&S.


Do not use it with the 1911, or a gun with the same slide stop design.

That’s because if the index finger is extended along the side of the 1911, it is apt to press against the projecting pin of the slide stop and cause a jam when the slide recoils.

Similar language is in 1911 manuals published in 1912, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, and 1941.

That the shooting method is not well known in the US is understandable, as the 1911 was the only standard-issue sidearm of US forces from 1911 to 1985, and it is still carried by many.

However, that does not mean that you are forbidden to use it to shoot fast and accurately at close quarters. Just use a different gun.

More recently, here’s what the US Army says about Point Shooting in its US Army Field Manual 3-23.35: Combat Training With Pistols M9 AND M11 (June, 2003 – which is 70+ years newer than the 1941 publication).

“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.”