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Book Review: Bullseyes Don't Shoot Back by Col. Rex Applegate and Michael D. Janich

This book was written Col. Rex Applegate and Michael D. Janich and published in 1998. In 1994 Col. Applegate was frustrated with the lack of combat handgun training that was available at the time. In 1996 he released the training film, Shooting for Keeps. Shortly afterwards, hereleased this book to put the point shooting techniques into writing and also included some new developments that were not in the film.

Col. Applegate got his first handgun training from William Fairbain. William Fairbain and E.A. Sykes were english police officers that worked in Shanghai from 1900 to 1940 when itwas a lawless place. It was here that they developed the point shooting techniques. In the 1920's and 30's they taught their combat handgun techniques to police departments in big US cities such as New York and Chicago. Fairbain's original technique was to raise the gun to chest level but Col. Applegate modified the technique to raise handgun into line of sight and found even more success with the point shooting style.

Cowboy movies portrayed people point shooting from the hip. As Col. Applegate was passing through Deadwood, SD he was able to read some articles and letters from Bill Hickok in the local library. Col.Applegate found a letter where Hickok responded to someones question of how he shoots. Hickok responded, "I raised my hand to eye level, like pointing a finger, and fired."

Col. Applegate would go on to teach many WW2 soldiers how to point shoot and when they came back to the US, they would report which techniques worked in battle and which did not. Then Col.Applegate would update his training to reflect that. In 1943 Col. Applegate published Kill or Get Killed. The US Marine Corps even uses it in some of their training. After WW2 was over handgun training cycled back to sighted fire and police shooting statistics showed that these techniques weren't working well for officers so in 1995 Col. Applegate began pushing for training in point shooting. The recruits that were using these techniques were scoring very high. I think there is a time and place for both sighted fire techniques and point shooting and agree with Col. Applegate's stance on when to use both. A couple parts of the techniques are a little dated but most of the technique that he used seems very relevant today.

This was a great read and i definitely recommend it to anyone carrying a handgun for self-defense. I will leave you with a quote from Col. Rex Applegate, "Although point shooting is not sighted fire, it most certainly is aimed fire."

Have a great and safe Weekend!

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