Question of the Day: Should You Take the Sights Off Your Handgun?

Hmmm. What’s the tactical advantage of learning how to shoot something on the ground one yard from your feet when that something is made of aluminum, the surface consists of little bitty rocks and one of your nearby instructors has neither eyes nor ears (:29)? Training to drill a prone perp? Never mind. I’m down with D.O.A. Tactical’s emphasis on point shooting. Gun gurus who call sights “training aids” have it about right; in the heat of battle, most people just aim in the general direction of the threat and pull the trigger. With practice, you can do so with astounding accuracy. Whilst leaning forward on one foot? Who cares! So, should you train with a gun without sights?

comments

  1. avatar MALTHUS says:

    The shots that were launched toward the cardboard targets, where did they land? Do you know? Does she?

    The soda pop cans were quicker to announce their reception of the lady’s interest because the dust/dirt indicated where her rounds were going, allowing her to re-register her muzzle when a miss occurred.

    Point shooters–I wish that Hell would take them. ;^(

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Most modern SD handguns are not configured for point shooting, they’re configured for shooting with sights. Compare a WW2 Luger with a modern Glock, or a first rate target pistol with a carry piece, and you’ll see what I mean. The rake of the handle is completely different. With the Luger or a top target .22, a shooter can close her eyes, point the gun, and the gun will be on target. Not so with carry guns. Add laser sights to the mix and point shooting, like shooting one-handed, is becoming a lost art.

    In the unlikely event of a full-blown SD furball, we will be point shooting at ten feet or less. At that distance, a miss on a man-sized man is unlikely. More likely is contact shots, which nobody teaches.

    1. avatar Buuurr says:

      You’re dead on, Ralph. Newer guns are not meant to be point-shot. Me and a friend were shooting clays and plinking a target crow yesterday on the side of a mountain. We didn’t need sights as much with the shotguns to nail the clays but it is a shotgun, right? With the .22 we could just shoot basically from the hip or anyway off the shoulder without using the sight and hit the crow consistantly. I pulled out my XDm 9 and we couldn’t hit the crow once using the same method. It was terrible. I had to tell the dude how to line up and get ready with the front post followed by the rear post before he actually hit the thing three times out of twenty shots.

      It can be used I suppose but I don’t see the use in not hitting anything.

  3. avatar pro.0s says:

    There is no right or wrong way. It’s whatever works for you. For me it’s point shoot up to 5 yds. Beyond that, use the sights.

    Try it with airsoft a few times when doing FoF. If you still hate it then… back to sights.

  4. avatar Rebecca says:

    The comment I tried to post on the YouTube page:

    4 rules. Pushing the two guys apart to start shooting? FAIL. I don’t want to be anywhere in the vicinity of this woman!

    1. avatar mikeb302000 says:

      I’m in total agreement with you, Rebecca.

  5. avatar Bob Owens says:

    You will perform like you train, just not as well. In the event of a real lethal force incident, I halfway expect this young woman to shoot an assailant in the ankles.

    That said, point shooting is what actually occurs in real-life SD shootings because of physiological factors, and odds are you will revert to it, no matter how well trained you are in using your sights. This isn’t my opinion. this is fact, based upon research done by the Human Factors Research Group.

  6. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    My cousin asked me to teach her to shoot (she lives in the sticks and gets scared when alone), but she only wanted to learn how to shoot someone in the foot because she doesn’t want to kill anyone. I took her to AFS and had her shoot the human style target and she really liked it. She thought it was pretty funny to shoot the poor target in the balls, and I had her practice mainly center mass and a few head shot for kicks. She’s now a really good shot and bought a new Kimber for her home.

  7. avatar Firehand says:

    Get rid of the sights? No.
    Practice some hip-shooting along with aimed? Yes.
    And start the point-shooting the same way: slowly, and get it right, before start working on speed.

  8. avatar Travis Leibold says:

    Its not point shooting if you are putting the gun between your eyeball and the target. It is coarsely (poorly) aimed fire. You are still visually aligning/orienting the gun. It is in the center of your vision.

    Just because you will most likely focus on the threat doesn’t mean you wont be looking through your sights and still percieving them to some degree. If you can complete a full presentation, you are going to bring the gun to the same spot you always do, i.e. Sights at eye level.

  9. avatar dls56 says:

    Shooting from the hip is way different from what she was doing.
    It appears as if it’s more of a point shoot, if you overlook the safety concerns she’s pretty good.
    What you see there is at least in small part typical of an informal outing by some of our fellow shooting enthusiasts.

  10. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

    I had a fun time at the Range Day with the FBI on Saturday. The 40 cal Glock shoot was just before lunch and I did pretty good one-handed. No point-shooting for me this time. I didn’t want to really startle the FBI SWAT Team. Suprisingly, the Glock had a bit more recoil than my Springfield Armory XD-45. The Thompson full-auto shoot was great!

  11. avatar luxuryacht666 says:

    I tried to post this on U-tube and got banned by them!!

    Sights, they are there for a reason!!!!!! Using Heine slant eights on my Glock 19 I can and do engage targets from 2 yards to 100 yards faster and without wasting 2 or more rounds.
    Lets see now stress shooting means no breath control, no sights, no trigger control?? I guess that means we throw 50 years of flash sight picture, quick press, out the door. Of course these were used by Jeff Cooper, Pat Rogers, Clint Smith, Larry A. Vickers, Ken Hackathorn . All Marines or Operators!!!!!!!!!

  12. avatar Scott says:

    So some of you telling me that you’ve never have and never will practice any retention shooting? How about when you have insufficient space or it is unsafe to draw a full sight picture?

    No, don’t take the sights off anything.

    Yes, be prepared to be able to shoot without using them.

  13. avatar Caleb says:

    I reckon if I knew that my gunfight would be with wide open targets inside 5 yards I’d ditch my sights, but the problem is that I don’t know what kind of shot I’ll be presented with in a defensive situation. Although I’m fairly certain I’ll never need to shoot a pop bottle on the ground that’s 5 feet in front of me.

  14. avatar Daniel says:

    Late to the party as usual.

    Should you remove the sights of your self-defense pistol?

    Absolutely! That way you won’t need to bother with as many lawyer fees! As soon as the prosecuting attorney says “This guy/lady was so reckless, he/she removed the SIGHTS from his/her pistol!!”, you can call it quits right then and there and save yourself a whole bunch of financial hassle!

  15. avatar Ardent says:

    I used to train with taped off sights and to this day at the nearer ranges (7 yards and less) I still do all my drills front sight only (and even that is vestigial). I’d almost have to get up and get a pistol to describe the mechanics, but what I’m doing is very akin to point or instinct shooting.
    It’s accurate enough (combat accuracy) or as is in vogue these days ‘minute of bad guy’.
    I learned it years ago with a S&W 64 and a 1911 but these days I can do it well enough (95+% on ipsc targets) at 7 yards with virtually any pistol I encounter. It is very, very fast, and more suited to nearer than farther. I do still train to use the sights, starting at about 7 yards and beyond I’m always on at least the front site.
    There is a caveat that I hesitate to add because I know of no way to relate it that doesn’t sound condescending: To do this reliably and effectively you must shoot this way for thousands and thousands of rounds unless you’re a born natural. I’ve now been shooting for 32 years, majority handgun, mostly combat relatable training, and spend years on the ipsc circuit. My standard practice was 300 rnds per week per pistol for nearly 3 years.
    The truth is that on the two way range acquiring and using the sights is difficult at best, and some of the arguments for training point shooting come from the concept that it is what one does under stress anyway.
    If you train to always acquire the sights on the target, and I mean really train it, perhaps it will persist into actual use should the need arise. If what you do is target shoot a weekend per month, it’s likely you’re a point shooter too at close range under pressure.
    With point shooting, a consistent and fundamentally correct grip becomes perhaps the most important thing. Honestly whether in a match or on the two way range I’ve never thought about grip or trigger control at all, if that’s not already automatic before such things occur, it’s not going to be worked out in the heat of the moment. The same goes for sight picture, it wont be what you’re thinking about when there is incoming fire.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email