The original work of Fairbairn advocated centering the weapon on the body, raising it from a low ready until it was within the shooter’s peripheral vision and extending the non-firing hand to help stabilize the body.
The debate over sighted fire versus simply pointing a handgun at an adversary is one of the most heated, heavily contested and nonsensical altercations in the history of combative handgun use—ranking right behind the infamous and frenzied 9mm versus .45 ACP stopping power dispute. While deliberate debate is by and large good for the refined understanding of a topic, the fact is that this particular fracas is habitually based on a serious lack of facts on either side of the engagement, regularly relying on personal feelings and opinion to make an argument.
“Point shooting” is a grossly misused term and equally misunderstood technique stirring vehement discussion and caustic controversy in all circles of combative firearms application. It is a confusing and befuddling argument that often leaves those on either side of the discussion just as dazed and confused as when the discussion started. Known by different names (instinctive, stance directed and threat focused), the concept of point shooting has a long and colorful history, beginning well before the First World War.
Point Shooting Evolution
To grasp and appreciate the vibrant lineage and obvious viability of this martial skill you must understand that for many years, before the beginning of the 20th century, the handgun was considered a superfluous novelty, particularly on the battlefield. During this period handgun use in wartime was relegated to either personal or often ceremonial carry by officers, or to specialized units such as the mounted cavalry, where it was merely a supplement to the favored saber or lance. Under these unique circumstances a weapon needed to be used one-handed, since the other hand would be controlling the reins of a horse, thus the application of a handgun.