For every shooter there is a certain range that they reach their limit of proficiency at, of course this is not a constant but changes with time and practice; as skill improves, so does the distance. This point of proficiency is the furthest distance the shooter can effectively engage point targets with an almost constant successful hit to miss ratio. So, in layman’s terms, a distance that you can hit the target every time but still require the use of sights. Now, somewhere between that distance and the shooter is a point where they can achieve perfect hits without aiming but rather pointing the gun in the targets direction. This is the maximum effective range for the individual’s ability to “point shoot” or basically use their bodies natural point of aim to engage a target effectively.
Point shooting is not a particularly difficult task, but to execute it correctly a subconscious grasp of marksmanship fundamentals must be achieved first. If this has been done, there’s a simple way to master point shooting in a training environment. Determine where your maximum distance is and close the gap accordingly to a distance where you can hit the target without using the sights intentionally. Now repeat the process with training to a point where you subconsciously grasp that known distance on the fly. When point shooting, always aim center mass and keep your eyes up — on the threats around you. The true benefit is having better situational awareness due to the lack of sight fixation; tunnel vision can still occur (especially those who have less “experience”) so keep your head (or eyes) on a swivel.
Point shooting can be an incredibly valuable technique, especially in a Close Quarters Combat (CQB) scenario. Point shooting pairs well with rapid fire or a quick string of semi-automatic shots on a target. This is because of the close proximity and margin of error inherent to rapid fire. At point shooting range the deviation of rapid fire shots should still meet the “minute of man” requirements to hit the target (a pun off minute of angle or MOA, a system of measurement relative to shooting). Point shooting is incredibly fast as the shooter focuses on the simple act of engaging targets quickly. Really, it’s only going to shave off milliseconds from the time it would take to use sights but in a CQB setting that can mean a lot given how confined the engagement may be. The real-time saver here is that the ability to squeeze the trigger before sights have been acquired is an option.
For myself the maximum distance I would ever feel comfortable attempting point shooting is probably around 7 meters, about the size of an average living room. This is because no matter what, it doesn’t pay to miss at close quarters range; suppressive fire is not nearly as effective in that setting. Point shooting is a very relative technique and should only be applied to a scenario where it is applicable obviously. Again, this is an advanced shooting skill that takes practice and a full grasp of the fundamentals first, so take it slow and train safely. If you’re having a hard time grasping the concept, try this: Point your finger at a door in your house, do it from various distances. I bet you can do it every time centered on the door from a particular range. Same concept but instead you are using a gun.
Featured image courtesy of the author