Unsighted Pistol Shooting

“You have a large target in front of you and the natural qualification of being able to point your finger at a certain object; by handling your revolver a short time you will be able to point the barrel of the revolver as you would your finger, pulling the trigger double action as the barrel swings into line with the target. When you have accomplished this you have the principle of quick shooting at short range and quick draw will be taken up later.” —

One of the early pioneers of defensive pistol shooting, J. Henry FitzGerald, wrote that in his book Shooting in 1930. Beginning in May, I will begin a four month series on my Patreon page about Unsighted Pistol Shooting.


The concept is variously described as ‘point shooting,’ ‘reflexive shooting,’ ‘instinctive shooting,’ and several other terms. They all refer to the concept of firing a pistol without reference to the sights. Some systems call for the pistol to be brought into the eye-target line and others do not.

Although the historical documents are readily available, much Internet commentary about unsighted firing is not well researched or documented. The standards of what the founders of the various systems said could be accomplished, marksmanship-wise, are almost always ignored.

To shed more light on the subject, my Patreon series will be a survey of the actual historical literature with regard to technique, training methods, and standards. There are four distinct periods that the literature can be divided into. They are the Great War and Interwar Period, World War II and its Post War Period, the Vietnam War Era, and the Post Vietnam Era. Delph (Jelly) Bryce and other famous point shooters who didn’t write about training will not be included because they produced no literature.

The cost of the Unsighted Fire Tier will be three dollars ($3) monthly. You can unsubscribe at any time and not be charged for future months.

Most widely known of the unsighted systems is Fairbairn and Sykes Shooting to Live along with US Army doctrine developed during WWII. Those will be the topic for May’s Unsighted Tier.

The second component of the series will be a separate Tier concentrating on current incidents and how unsighted fire would or would not help solve the occurrence. Integrating actual incidents into training and practice has been something I’ve focused on since the early days of IDPA, when I was a Match Director.

Each week the Incident Analysis Tier will feature an incident from the current Armed Citizen column of the NRA Journals. Many people are not familiar with The Armed Citizen column, which is a very useful start point for doing Incident Analysis pertaining to Private Citizens instead of the POlice. Part of my Analysis will be the marksmanship problem posed and what was needed to solve it.

The cost of the Incident Analysis Tier will be Five dollars ($5) monthly. It will also include all the posts of the Unsighted Fire Tier. You can unsubscribe at any time and not be charged for future months.

This will be a new type of education and instruction available to my readers. I am excited about the series and I hope you will join me for it.


3 responses

  1. If we are on the $3 tier how do we get to the $5 tier……Thank you for all you do..

  2. Steven M. Harris

    An important skill for both the EDC pistolero and the startled and frightened furious fumbler.

  3. Interesting concept, and one that I have studied for decades. First introduced at Smith &Wesson Academy by Charles Smith ( first FBI weapons instructor) as taught to generations of recruits. Part of the learning process included the class environment and learning from other students. Of course I kept rough notes with gesture drawings to be expanded later that evening. No way can anyone retain the essentials for long. Still refer to the notes and diagrams years later.
    So I hope the other students share and ask questions. Background knowledge of basic martial arts may help with understanding of Centerline precepts for techniques. I took a plastic pistil to practice in the mirror with.

%d bloggers like this: