Point, Reactive and Sighted Shooting

Different strokes for different situations. For most “range” shooters they stand motionless in a fixed position, using perfect sight alignment and working the trigger correctly. This is what we call sighted shooting; it is what most people are familiar with. And in certain situations even in a gunfight it is appropriate if you have time, distance and cover.  Generally it is the most accurate way to fire a handgun if you wish to put all of the bullets in the same hole, however in a gunfight you are most likely not going to have the luxury of time, distance and cover, thus at LFT we teach all three methods of shooting; Sighted, Reactive and Point.

The concept of point shooting has been around since the early 19th Century being first mentioned in print in Lieutenant Colonel Baron De Berenger’s 1835 book, “Helps And Hints – How To – Protect Life And Property”. More notable in name however Fairbairn, Sykes, and Applegate from the British OSS published in 1942 “Kill of Get Killed” made the concept of just pointing the gun without aiming more acceptable and since that time the debate has raged on its effectiveness in terms of defensive accuracy.

Quite a few years after WWII Col. Jeff Cooper expounded on the concept in 1958 in his first book “Fighting Handguns” and this really was the time the method gained wide acceptance in Law Enforcement and became a standard teaching technique with the FBI.

And for good reason, inside of 15’ most likely you will never have the chance to bring the gun to your face before you have to start delivering fire, and inside of that distance most competent shooters can place round after round rapid fire into an 8” circle on the chest of a silhouette target. Some are so good at this technique than can even deliver a significant percentage of those rounds at that distance while moving . . . KEY PHRASE, significant percentage.

Point shooting is an excellent technique for close quarters but once you get beyond hand to hand and are able to get the gun in front of your face you will be more accurate and faster if you employ Reactive Shooting.

Reactive Shooting is the concept of Bill Rogers, former FBI Agent, founder of Rogers Shooting School, inventor of the first Kydex holster and sold his holster company to Safariland Holster Company in 1985. It is based on the concept of minimal human reaction times, one reaction time being measured as 0.25 seconds. Unlike point shooting you see the gun, specifically you see the front sight so it is “somewhat” sighted shooting.

It is a very fast and accurate technique which if learned and practiced diligently can allow you to be the one walking away at the end of the fight. In essence you have to make the decision to fire before you bring the gun to the target while quickly acquiring the front sight and sight picture while pressing the trigger all at the same time. If you are using a double action gun such as a DASA or DA revolver you will actually be moving the hammer rearward while moving the gun towards the target. The skill is taught from three positions; the extended low ready, the retention ready and the holster. In our Advanced classes once a student has developed this skill they can engage the 8” target from the holster with two rounds at 15’ in under 1.5 seconds. It breaks down to getting the gun from the holster to the retention ready position in 0.5 seconds, extending to target and firing one shot in 0.75” and a follow up shot in 0.25 seconds or one reaction time.

Bill Rogers book, Be Fast, Be Accurate, Be The Best can be found on Amazon.

If you are local or visiting NorCal stop by our website and drop us an email to arrange a date to come out and shoot with us. While I seldom recommend any national level schools I do recommend two, Sig Academy and Rogers Shooting School, you will not be disappointed in either one.




Leave a Reply