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 and Shoot (Point Shooting) Training Methods
by John Veit

Point Shooting training is simple, and most methods can be self taught with little or no training, and maintained with little or no reinforcement.

AIMED Point Shooting or P&S is the simplest, Quick Kill the next simplest, and the Chiodo/Applegate/Fairbairn method has a few marksmanship requirements, but it is still far simpler than Sight Shooting.

AIMED Point Shooting or P&S

Basically, you grab your gun, (placing the index finger alongside the frame which will align it and the sights and the barrel), point at a target, and pull the trigger with the middle finger. Point-n-pull, point-n-pull…. That really is all there is to it.

Dry fire practice is as simple as pointing your finger at a target and saying “bang.”

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

“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.”

[Editor’s note: If it were all this simple, it should make you wonder why troops do so poorly on scored shooting skill tests…]

The Aimed P&S grip:

Here’s a link to an article and videos with more information. The P&S grip provides a very strong and level shooting platform and it makes sense to pull the trigger with the middle finger.

CAUTION: Common sense and safe gun handling is required when using P&S. Do not use it with the 1911, as due to the faulty design of the slide stop pin, if the index finger is placed along the side of the 1911, it can depress the slide stop pin when firing, and the 1911 can jam.

Also, do not use P&S with guns where the index finger will extend beyond the muzzle, or rest over the ejection port, or be hit by the slide. And with revolvers, do not use it if hot gases escape from the cylinder with firing and may burn the index finger.


Quick Kill

Basically, you grab your gun, place the muzzle on or close to the target impact point, and pull the trigger with your index finger. Repeat. That is all there is to it.

I have compared P&S with QK, and found that though the hits were just about the same, P&S was simpler and quicker.


Chiodo/Applegate/Fairbairn Point Shooting

The Chiodo/Applegate/Fairbairn method requires a proper marksmanship grip placement of the gun, a stiff arm that is raised from the shoulder to intersect the target (making the pistol a carbine), and pulling the trigger hard as the gun and target intersects. There also are body indexing requirements in regard to shooting at moving targets.

The California Highway Patrol trains it’s Officers in this method by Lou Chiodo, who could be contacted to provide more information on their teaching, quals, and perhaps the sharing of a lesson plan.


[Editor’s Note: Lou Chiodo was contacted for this information. While he did respond to my email, he declined to provide any specifics on his or the CHP’s program, teaching, or qualification standards or CHP success rates with this method. His complete response for this information is here.]



I have tested all three with Airsoft and at the range, and have found that P&S is the simplest and the fastest of the three, and certainly much simpler and faster than SS. As to quickness, timing may be nice to know, but I use the method which I have determined to be the most practical, quickest, and effective for me. I can only shoot as fast as I can shoot.

[Editor’s note: No specifics of how this assessment was derived or what any measured results were was provided.]


As to training in how to do the three PS methods detailed above.

Airsoft guns can be used to cut down on costs and for safety, with firearms being used after the shooters “pass” one or two Airsoft sessions. Two Airsoft and one firearms session should be able to be done

Here are pics of a target setup I recommend for Airsoft practice.


Aimed Point and Shoot Live Fire Training

How To Learn Point Shooting

  1. Put up targets (full size silhouette or 11 x 14 inch paper at a distance of 10 or 15 feet.
  2. Have trainees grab their gun, and without using the sights or any special method they may know of, just point the gun at the target and as rapidly as they can shoot using the index finger on the trigger, shoot ten rounds. (Doing this will show that unaimed Point Shooting is a prescription for missing.) Past over and mark any hits as #1.
  3. Have trainees, grab their gun and with the index finger placed along the side of the gun and below the slide, point it at the target and using the middle finger to pull the trigger, shoot ten times as rapidly as they can point at the target, and pull the trigger. Past over and mark hits as #2.
  4. Have trainees, grab gun, place the gun muzzle on or slightly below their target point, and shoot ten times as fast as they can place the gun muzzle on the target point, and pull the trigger using their index finger to pull the trigger. Past over and mark hits as #3.
  5. Have trainees, grip gun in a proper marksmanship grip, stiffen their gun arm and raise it from the shoulder, using their index finger on the trigger, shoot ten times as rapidly as the gun and target intersect. Past over and mark hits as #4.

Note: Using the index finger along the side of the gun, and pulling the trigger with the middle finger is not a bar to using the other Point Shooting methods or Sight Shooting. It can enhance them.

Once the training has been done and the students have shown that they can shoot and hit the target, have them shoot a qualification for record using one or more of these methods and see how they compare.

Here are demonstrations of this method: