point-shooting-right-hand
Composite Img Copyright 2009 Brasstard.com; Target Courtesy of Kriss Szkurlatowski 2009

Welcome to part two of the multi-part series on sighting techniques. In this section, we’ll be discussing a method called point shooting. Point shooting differs from standard aimed shooting in the sense that it is target-focused rather than sight-focused. In other words, point shooting requires you to focus your eyes on your target rather than on your front sight. The purpose of this method is to maximize your close-quarters aiming speed, while maintaining good combat accuracy. Along with these benefits, you are also expanding your field of view by keeping both eyes open at all times. The purpose of this section is to give shooters a solid visual and written guide to help better understand this somewhat confusing sight picture. Before starting, please make sure you fully understand the concept of aimed shooting..

Point shooting is a lot like aimed shooting in the sense that you are still using your sights to place accurate shots on your target. Some people describe it as as merely pointing the gun in a similar way you would point your index finger at something. However, in the modern world of vast legal repercussions and immense civil liabilities, I prefer to rely on my sights to guarantee clean hits on my intended target.

point-shooting-left-hand
Composite Img Copyright 2009 Brasstard.com; Target Courtesy of Kriss Szkurlatowski 2009

Lets start off the exercise by making sure our gun is unloaded, and all live ammo is removed from the immediate area. Next, lets choose a target that is backed by a safe zone such as the side of a bookshelf, an external wall, or an earthen berm. Decide which hand is your strong hand (usually the same one you write with), and which eye is your strong eye (preferably the same side as your strong hand). Now, lets follow these steps to achieve proper sight picture for point shooting…

  1. Bring the pistol up to your line of sight
  2. Using your strong hand to hold the gun and your strong eye to aim, close your weak eye and sight up the pistol on the target like you did in aimed shooting
  3. Using your strong eye only, move your focus to the target (making your gun appear slightly blurry)
  4. While focusing on the target, open both eyes and notice the appearance of your gun (just like the picture above, you should see 2 transparent/blurry images of your gun since your visual intersection is beyond it and is focused on your target)
  5. One of these images will be centered on the target (this is your strong eye view, and this is the one we want to learn to pay attention to)
  6. The other image of your gun is angled off to the side (this is your weak eye view, and with some practice it should ideally be ignored by your brain)
  7. At this point, your target should be clear and in focus, your strong eye should be aligned with the sights and the sights should be on target
  8. Now, cover and uncover the view of your weak eye with your weak hand (repeat this many times until you learn to isolate the view of your strong eye and ignore the view of your weak eye)
  9. After you get used to only “seeing” the image from your strong eye, try drawing from your holster several times and acquiring your sight picture with both eyes open at all times
  10. Remember, always focus on the target when point shooting, keep both eyes open at all times, isolate the image in your strong eye, and use that image to get your sights on the target.
point-shooting-left-hand-2
Composite Img Copyright 2009 Brasstard.com; Target Courtesy of Kriss Szkurlatowski 2009
point-shooting-right-hand-2
Composite Img Copyright 2009 Brasstard.com; Target Courtesy of Kriss Szkurlatowski 2009

I know this can seem a bit awkward at first, but it does become very natural with a bit of practice. This method of point shooting can make you much more successful in multi-target, CQB scenarios where speed, accuracy, and field of view are crucial. You can also make yourself a high-tech point shooting aid for the range with a pair of shooting glasses and some masking tape (below).

point-shooting-glasses
Copyright 2009 Brasstard.com

Just cover your weak eye as shown above. This will help you keep both eyes open while learning to ignore the image from your weak eye. As usual, dry practice is a good way to get used to any new sighting technique. So, don’t hesitate to run through this one a few times before you incorporate it into a live fire drill. Aside from that, have fun out there and stay safe.

Pistol Sighting 201: Point Shooting

2 thoughts on “Pistol Sighting 201: Point Shooting

  • September 4, 2012 at 14:46
    Permalink

    How do I determine which eye is my weak eye?… Is there a test to determine this?

    Reply from Admin,
    There is a pretty good method here. I would try to train yourself to use the eye on the same side as your strong hand. I have found it easier to retrain a weak eye than to retrain a weak hand. Things get a bit screwy if you try to shoot left-handed and aim with your right eye… especially with long guns. Ideally, you should train to shoot on both your strong and weak sides equally.

    Reply
  • June 15, 2010 at 17:52
    Permalink

    Great article. I have been practicing this point shooting technique for over a year now and would not go back to the other (one eye open) method. I’ve even started practicing the both eyes open method with rifles as well.

    Reply

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