Shooting Steel: A Great Way to Develop “Point & Shoot” Skills
Ron Gunner 04.26.17
Many times in a defense situation you will not have the time and luxury of being able to pull your gun and line up the sights to get a great sight picture to take that first shot. It’s just how it is. What you can’t say is, “Well I better pull my gun, rack the slide and have one ready, and point it right over there because in 4 minutes, we are getting attacked!” You need to learn about the point & shoot style of shooting.
It would be nice if we were able to do that, but it just not’s going to work that way. So what do I need to do you may ask? It’s called “Point & Shoot” and it’s a skill you really need to work on! You may have just enough time to pull the gun and point. You might have time to just get it out of the holster and shoot from the hip. In my classes, after we learn the Basic Pistol and all the sight alignments and sight picture and everything, I tell them after they’ve tried it a few times when we get on the range to shoot, forget it as far as Concealed Carry/Defensive shooting goes.
Why? Because they need to learn the point & shoot, and it starts with the finger that is along the slide until you are ready to press the trigger. You can point your finger at anything and you are pretty much on what you are pointing at. So with your trigger finger along the slide you just point your finger and when you are sure you need to shoot, you just press the trigger and you will be surprised at how close you are, In a man size target if you point for center mass, you can pretty much count on hitting your target without even thinking or looking at the sights.
So pick up some steel and I would recommend 6 & 8 inch size plates because the old saying, “Aim small, miss small” comes into play here. By training and I mean really shooting at least a few times a month, more if possible. You will become so used to just being able to do the point and shoot without thinking! Plus with using steel, you get instant feedback on your hits or misses. Steel is a great training tool that everyone should at least try and then buy. And that could be a skill that could save your life.
Here is a true, very personal story
Set the plates up at 21 feet and shoot by just a fast point & shoot until you can do it without issues. I had a woman I did a one on one class around Oct of 2016 that I proved to her the importance of point shooting. I asked her if I could tell her back story and she gave me permission to do so. I asked because this was one screwed up life event for her that most people could not even dream of let alone go through it.
Now I have to add that I have known her for over 30 years. We went to high school together but I was a year older then her, but she was like a little sister to me. We lost contact after school but through Facebook we got back in touch with each other and I was helping her with safety, security etc in her little log cabin she had bought in NC. Then after about 2 years of talking, all of a sudden she was off of Facebook overnight for over a month.
When she did come back on she had moved back to Ohio got a new job etc. Then she asked me if I would do a one on one training class with her so she could get her Concealed Carry permit. I asked her what happened because she LOVES the Smoky Mountains. She had never planned on leaving her little cabin in her own little part of heaven as she called it. It took a little to get some of the story out of her but it started like this. She had found the “perfect” guy to date. He was sweet and everything she thought she was looking for.
They had dated some and he talked her into giving up her cabin and move to the closest town to her so it would be a closer drive for them both to get to work. She worked two jobs, one was she is a certified Yoga instructor so she had clients.
He talked her into moving in together and all was fine for a SHORT time. She ended up paying on some of his bills because he had gotten behind, like on his Harley and a few other things. She got him all caught up and still everything in her eyes was okay, after all in her mind she was helping him get back on his feet. She told me more and more things started to change and it all came with his drinking. This was something he didn’t do for a long time, or at least in front of her before they had moved in together.
Then he started to be a mean drunk and coming “home” to her drunk. Then the physical violence started. But like a lot of women in this situation they stay in because they are scared of what might happen if they tell or leave. She had (has) a S&W 38spl airweight snub nose revolver that has the safety lock on the side. Since they had moved, she had locked the gun just in case it got lost in the move or stolen. Now at this point of the story I was boiling and in my head I was thinking, good you got the 38 and was able to at least scare him away. That was not to be.
In fact in his drunken rage he had found the gun in the bedroom and pulled it out on her. By this time he had busted through the door into the other room she was hiding in, and then he had her tied and gagged and was punching her in the face. He then pulled the 38 and shoved it up under her jaw so hard and for so long she passed out. She woke up again when he kicked her in the face with his work boots he had on. He was trying to get the gun to work with it being locked. Now most times you want to have the gun unlocked and in your hands for protection, but this was different. It being locked and him not finding the key actually saved her life.
At some point he left the house still drunk but was gone long enough for her to wake back up, get untied, grab a few things and jump in her car and drive from NC to her sister’s house in Ohio. Now at this point is when she went into the hiding more or less off of Facebook and from everyone. It took her a month to heal, when she got back online I was one of the first she contacted and asked about the one on one class. She told me she would explain everything at that time to me.
She showed me photos on her phone of what she looked like, the swollen eyes, black eyes, hell there a black entire face. Lips so swollen and ripped apart I don’t know how she was able to even move her mouth.
So for her training I had to do the NRA basic pistol class, which is what is required, and I did the entire Concealed Carry section I have. Then we went to the outdoor range and did the required shooting. Then after all that was required again, I had set up scenarios of her new home for her to learn the point and shoot method of shooting. We had steel plates and what is called the “Rubber Dummy” as “him.” We started by having her sit in a chair and set it up like her living room is and how somebody would have to enter that room. That is where the rubber dummy was placed.
So she went from sitting with feet up and her new Glock 22 (she won on a $5.00 raffle ticket) on a table to her right side. When she heard the smashing, which was me smacking a metal trash can and starting the timer, she was able to grab the Glock, point, and fire off five rounds. She hit the rubber dummy all 5 times, the first shot was in the neck.
We did this a few times in the living room set-up, and then went into her kitchen set-up and then her bedroom set-up with her laying down on wooden skids getting up, grabbing the Glock, and hitting the rubber dummy each and every time! She did all of this and not one time looked down and got a proper sight alignment. I did these set-ups as close to the actual size of the rooms as I used a 35 foot tape measure to get everything right. We had chairs, skids, boxes, everything we needed to be training for her in HER HOME!
She was shocked at how well she did (she didn’t think point & shoot would work) with just pointing with her trigger finger along the slide until she had the gun pointed at the target and pressed the trigger. Then she spent another two hours just doing the point & shoot at the rubber dummy from different yardage.
I am happy to report that she now has her permit, carries daily everywhere she can legally, and is living alone (with security systems also) in her rented home knowing she can point and shoot if she needs to do so. She has a great new job and is away from him. States away with a restraining order against him. She has thanked me over and over for showing her the secret to point & shoot and understands that this type of shooting in most cases because you will not have the time to line up your shot can really save your life!
I told her no thanks was ever needed. I just want her and all my students to be safe and be able to train as much as possible, and she does. In fact the place she works has two days a year that it’s a “company day” at a range and she has already surprised a few guys there! She has healed physically and is working on the emotions and feelings from her attack.
So what I am saying is get out there, use your finger on the slide (as it should be until you are ready to shoot), and point & shoot at your target to get the shot off. Now this type of point & shoot will never win you a bullseye shoot but for defense. That’s a whole other animal!
Get out there, train, stay safe, and hope to see you.