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See Target, Engage

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 36 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2009 Pages: 62,64,65,67,69
Lindsey Bertomen
Date Published
January 2009
6 pages
Although advocates of “point shooting” and “aligning the sight” before pressing the trigger have debated the tactical superiority of their methods, this article maintains that both tactics are necessary skills for officers involved in a close-quarter battle.
“Point shooting,” developed by Fairbairn’s and Sykes’ techniques for close combat shooting, emerged from real-life experiences that taking the time to align the sights of a handgun before shooting takes time; whereas, quick, efficient action tends to prevail. Point shooting from the hip is faster than raising the gun to the sighting plane, but it is less accurate. Officers can train in point shooting, provided it is the policy to make it situation-driven. It must be recognized that precision and accuracy is relative. A timely, somewhat accurate shot will always be better than an aimed target accurate shot in a combat zone where a quick shot is required. The need for aimed fire increases as distance increases, and the potential for point-shooting accuracy decreases as distance increases. In order to train for close-quarter shooting, officers must learn several aspects of their own limitations, such as how accurately they can point shoot, how quickly they can pick up the front sights, and where in their skill level these factors overlap. These limitations can only be determined through constant practice and evaluation of individual capabilities. Regardless of the technique practiced, the first skill that should be learned is target focus. Officers must see the threat and learn to concentrate on the area in which a bullet would most likely stop the threat.