14 Jun THREAT! Index vs Front Sight vs Precision Shooting
The world of Defensive Firearms is very unique from any other kind of shooting in that the priority falls more on speed rather than accuracy. That certainly does not mean that there isn’t an importance on making effective hits on target as much as it means that we have to get the firearm into the fight as quickly as possible and take an “acceptable” shot. By “acceptable” I mean that we aren’t looking to lap 2-3 shots in a dime size target, rather the hit zone is a larger diameter (8″ to 12″) area covering the big bleeders. Any shot inside that zone is acceptable and equal to any other point inside that hit zone….this is referred to as Combat Accuracy.
Yet so often I spend time at the range and see folks placing the priority on precision hits, rather than effective hits. They have one eye closed while standing in the Weaver stance and are using the front/rear sight aperture to get their alignment. But defensive pistol situations certainly do not allow for that kind of time or behavior. Under the physical/mental/emotional stresses caused by combat along with movement and the instinct to survive…shooting in that manner isn’t going to be helpful. The old saying “Can’t miss fast enough” should also be equated with “Can’t hit too late.” So how do we get on target to be effective AND quick? A part of that equation is in proper training, and another part in how we take aim.
Precision shooting allows for ample time for the shooter to get a good grip, stance, sight package, trigger control and follow thru. We get to take our time to get honed in on the target and the sight alignment before the smooth-as-silk trigger press. This kind of shooting is important, but not very applicable in a defensive situation.
FRONT SIGHT PRESS:
The term Front Sight Press has become one of the most overly used terms in the Tacti-kewl market. It is a great technique when used correctly and significantly faster than precision shooting. The idea is to focus on the front sight only and press it out to our intended target, then shoot. The Front Sight Press accepts the usage of Combat Accuracy and it is actually preferred to not hit twice on the same target. Scientifically speaking, the effectiveness of the hit will be partly based on size/quantity of wound cavities, blood loss, tissue/organ damage, and the brain’s ability to register trauma. Spreading that trauma out a few inches apart is a better way to shut someone down.
INDEX SHOOTING/POINT SHOOTING:
In civilian life, the concept of index shooting isn’t discussed often enough. FBI/DOJ Statistics show that most violent encounters are done within 3-5 feet from the victim. That means IF that person is able to get their firearm out of the holster and in front of them, then take on the mechanics of Precision Shooting or Front Sight Press…it will be most likely unfavorable. By the time they get on target, the target will have moved and continued some course of violent action. (Punching/Kicking/Stabbing/Choking etc) In this area of combat, the shooter’s only hope is to point and shoot! Anything else will be too late!
The rule of thumb I follow is:
3-10 feet away- Index Shooting
10-25 feet away- Front Sight Press
25 feet and greater- Front Sight Press/Precision Shoot (depending on several variables)
You might be reading this and saying…this is so obvious. So I ask you…how often do you practice Index Shooting right out of the holster? Out of 100 rounds fired at the range, how many do you do within 3-10 feet, from the holster, and without referencing the sights on your firearm? And of those…how many are on the move as if you were fighting for your life?