Sure. Give me a little while and I'll post a jpeg or two. Might as well throw in the math, too. You're exactly right as to what I mean by 'off', by the way.
This also feeds into sight alignment on shorter firearms being more sensitive. A longer firearm having its sight misaligned by the some distance will affect your point of aim less because it will be a smaller angle.
You need the inverse sine (sin-1. Use your imagination, I don't have superscripts on here...) of the distance sights are misaligned divided by the distance from front to rear sights. That will give you the angle your firearm is off. Then you're going to use tangent of that angle to compute the short side on the far triangle. For example, if you have 4 inches between front and rear sights and you're 1/8 of an inch off then tan(sin-1(1/8 / 4)) x target distance in inches so:
1.88 inches at 5 feet, 3.75 @ 10 and 7.50 @ 20
Looking at it right now it seems like an quick way to approximate would be target distance/(barrel length/distance off) so for the 4" barrel at 20 feet it'd be 240 / (4 x 8). As a matter of fact, it's close enough to make me think the difference is due to calculator rounding.
I am also awaiting permission to re-post a post from a user form another forum. he was a LEO firearms instructor amongst other things.
Some of you guys seem to think you have to chose from one method or the other. Also, if you just think of point shooting as taking up a firing position as if you were going to use the sights then choose not to properly sight the weapon and just shoot thatís not really the essence of point shooting at all and who would choose a hasty sloppy method over a sound and proven practice of actually aiming down the barrel?
The terms point and instinctive shooting come from the fact that just about where ever you have your hand you will naturally and fairly accurately point to an object you can see. You can try it with a flash light and move your hand to different positions while trying to shine the light on different objects in a room. The difficulty people will have when they fire a weapon using this method is that the firearm is not always used as an extension of ones hand and mind and the action of shooting and working the mechanics of a pistol are issues you must overcome.
If you have the time and distance you must take a good firing position, use best available sighting and properly fire your weapon. Most point shooters are trying to shave off time and shoot a relatively large target before the opportunity has expired. If someone is running from left to right at a distance point shooting from the hip would be absurd.
Most point shooters have learned to not use the sights from practicing quick draws. The basic approach is to draw the gun from low on the hip or high on the leg (while cocking is single action) level the pistol with your forearm and point to your target then shoot. Bob Munden can do this in <2/100th of a second. His records are inspiring, shooting two targets 10ft away 6 feet apart in a fraction of a second using a single action revolver.
You can learn to point shoot from any position that is not unstable to your shooting hand from the draw to a triangle stance and even from position outside of the normal motions to acquire targets so long as you can stabilize the action of pulling the trigger so that the round will leave the barrel without interference by your action.
If you have a threat 2 feet from you and you needed to draw your weapon and shoot you would obviously shoot from the hip. At 10' away you will point center mass and squeeze the trigger no need to take the extra time to sight the target. At 15 to 25' is where practicing point shooting pays off. At this range sighting starts to play an important role but with practice you can be proficient. In a timed event You can score quicker but I have to admit IDPA people will often hit more shots accurately. I believe after you take the time to properly sight the target you can get off more accurate (tight shot groups) then instinctive shooters can in general. I think the fact that IDPA shooters train more functions to proficiency (tactical and combat reloading) gives a great advantage over just quick draw enthusiast but shooting without actually looking down the sights is a good skill to have.
In the Army you qualify on pop up targets 50m to 350 meters. The target stays up longer as the range increases. For me its a good way to look at the transition from point shooting to sighted range shooting. Most people train to shoot at a distance but most encounters civilian and police find themselves in are at a very close range. Taking a textbook stance and sighting down the weapon cuts down your vision and shortens the range in close quarters. Every situation does not call for point shooting and to completely abandon weapon sites is definitely ridiculous.
I have been giving this subject a lot of thought. I was trained to shoot with my sights. I practice shooting with my sights, with both hands, with single and double handed grips. I was trained to, and try to always maintain, my color code awareness. Thus, I have always imagined that should I find myself in a situation where I will shoot somebody, that I will already have my weapon presented - thus getting to the sights will not be an issue.
I almost made it to red, once, about a year ago. I was leaving my office late, maybe about 11:30 pm. As I was walking to my car, about 10 yards from the door, I noticed a couple walking across the parking lot towards me. There was no valid reason for them to be walking across the parking lot - it is private property, and they already crossed over a chain, so I was already in yellow. I got in my car, locked the doors, and watched in my mirrors as the couple crossed behind my car and rounded towards the driver side.
The lady stood at a distance of about 15 feet while the man motioned for me to roll down my window. I did roll it down about 3-4 inches, enough to talk, but not enough for him to reach through far enough to do anything. He wondered if I might give him and his lady friend a lift. I declined, specifying that I wasn't going their direction (they approached from the north heading south, and I was going to head north). He said no, he was going somewhere specific, to the west, and that it wasn't too far out of my way. I made up some other excuse, that I needed to go east, first, so he changed their destination again. And again when I mentioned that I had a schedule to keep. The chick had started circling back, maintaining distance, but approaching the edge of my peripheral vision. Each time he changed his destination, he was getting a little closer to the car.
Thinking that I needed to prepare for a confrontation, I gripped my gun with my right hand. I don't think he could have seen this because I was carrying inside waistband on my right side, and my right hand had been next to the gun since I got into the car. She definitely couldn't have seen this, because even if she was leaning over to try and look into the car, my seat would be blocking her view.
Although he was not physically or verbally aggressive, the bizarre conversation coupled with his gradual encroachment and her about to move out of my sight had put me solidly in the orange. I decided that if he got any closer that I would take aim, and that if it escalated, he was getting one in the face for starters, and I remember being concerned that I would have to get a new window. I disengaged the safety with my thumb.
This would have put him at a distance of maybe 4 feet, and I was comfortable that I could present and sight at this distance before he would be able to cause any harm to me, since I had the locked door and partially open window as cover, and his empty hands were out in front. Since he was partially leaned over trying to talk to me, his face was an obvious and easy target to choose.
Maybe he realized that he hadn't seen my right hand at all and suspected I was armed, or maybe he finally realized that I was not going to allow him and his accomplice in my car, but he turned away and they headed south. After they were at a comfortable distance, I engaged the safety, started the car, backed out, and drove home.
What does this have to do with point shooting, you ask? My ability to present and aim my weapon is a factor in my threat management process. In the real scenario, I made a conscious decision about when to draw and aim, and about when to fire. In any other scenario short of wrestling or broken arms, my process is to get the gun aimed, then start shooting. I personally think that I have a pretty good system for general self defense.
In researching just exactly what it is that I have been trained, you know, because this is Bullshido.net, I found that seems to be originated with a gentleman by the name of Jeff Cooper. Here's what he has to say about the matter:
(excerpt from http://dvc.org.uk/jeff/jeff1_1.html)
Originally Posted by Jeff Cooper
I've heard that in many places gang members have become more proficient with their weapons than most of the police in the area simply because they get more range time, even if that range time is under a bridge outside city limits shooting bottles. I was told this is due to cuts in police budgets. Since if patrols or officers are cut and the brass wouldn't cut themselves training ends up being the target. Can any of the LEOs here confirm or deny this?
Something I would like to see is some drawing vs. an active aggressor training. Airsoft version of carry pistol and partner in a heavy sweater with a paintball mask would be all it would take.
I've started chugging theough the links. Man there is a lot of crap out there. a third of the article is going to be defining all the goddamn versions of "point shooting" out there.
Do you have any idea on how you want to design some experiments? It seems like an area so loaded with potential pitfalls that you might want to bounce your ideas around some of the bullies to avoid naysayers later on.
We are gonna need a gun n00b, several watermelons, 6 quarts of anal lube and a ninjer...
We will need:
1: Firearms n00b, point shooter, sight shooter
3: gun with no sights.
4: Gun with sights
We hand the n00b the gun with no sights, and give him 5 seconds to get as many rounds on target as possible at various ranges. We then let him/her repeat with sighted gun and some instruction. then we give n00b point-shooting instruction and let him have another go. to avoid "familiarity creep" with accuracy, we can get three n00bs.
We hand the point shooter the same gun and repeat.
We give the sight shooter a gun WITH sights and do the same.
it needs fleshing out...but that is where my head is at. Obviously, the larger the sample size, the better.