Skip to comments.Why Do Gangsters Aim Their Guns Sideways? Marine Marksman Sheds Light On Gangbanger Tactics
Posted on 10/04/2012 8:21:47 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
So why do gangsters aim their guns sideways? Marine marksman sheds light on how gunmen from the 'hood unwittingly use a well-known aiming technique
It's an iconic image immortalised in dozens of Hollywood gangster films: the gangster aiming down the side of his pistol before pumping a volley of bullets into his victim.
But with most people knowing that the aiming sights are found on the top of a gun barrel, it's also a counter-intuitive way to accurately fire a weapon.
So why is it that gangsters are always shown using their guns in this way? According to Jon Davis, a former marksmanship instructor with the U.S. Marine Corp, there is a good reason, at least in theory.
As a specialist in pistol marksmanship and a veteran of the war in Iraq, Mr Davis has fired these kinds of weapons thousands of times.
He explains that when aiming a handgun in the conventional, barrel-up manner the rear sites must line up with the front sight in the horizontal and vertical planes to make sure the bullet travels a straight line.
This important technique, known as 'building the castle' since the gunman has to line up the three 'turrets' into an even position, ensures that the barrel of the gun is aligned perfectly along the trajectory he wants the bullet to travel.
The problem with 'building the castle' each time you want to fire your gun is that it takes time. Time you might not have in a combat situation - or alternatively when you want to quickly execute your victim and make a fast getaway.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
'Building the castle': This graphic shows the conventional way to line a target up using the sites on the top of a handgun
'Flash sighting' - gangster style: Mr Davis explains that this method is a much faster way of aiming a weapon, but it is much less effective for aiming accurately
Ensuring innocents are not harmed is not the objective with gang bangers.
Best of both worlds.
If I’m gonna have a backwards hat wearing droopy drawered nitwit firing at me, I hope to see his gun sideways...his eyes will probably be closed too.
I used to have a graph of where a bullet would hit if you aimed at the bull’s eye and fired.
Then turn the firearm 90 degrees to the right, aim at the bulls eye and fire.
Then hold the firearm upside down with the sights lined up on the bull’s eye and fire.
Then turn the firearm 90 degrees to the left, line up the sights and fire.
You would be surprised how far off your shots will be except for the one aimed properly at the bulls eye.
I figure those with full auto AKs and Thompsons hold their firearms at 90 degrees so when the first shot is fired the recoil will move the rifle across the field of fire and spray lead in that area.
It’s a stoopit way to sight, period. You can never have the same sight picture, grip and stance for each shot.
If you need a quick shit that is very effective practice punching your target.
Start by getting a perfect sight picture then lower your gun to your chest by bending the elbow only.
Practice this as if you are punching exactly where you want hit with a bullet at the end and build that picture perfect in your mind.
At the point you are confident you have mastered this begin practicing from your hip, gun in hand. Remember you are punching as if someone has thrown a punch or will throw a punch(with their bullets) which have anticipated or are responding too.
Once you are confident with both these drills begin practicing from your holster. You’ll get different feedback as you disengage your holster safety, draw, fully grip the weapon and punch.
Very effective and hiw trick shooters learn quick draw.
Just a second now:
“to make sure the bullet travels a straight line.”
The bullet is always going to go in a straight line except for the effects of gravity. The only thing the shooter controls is the direction that straight line goes.
The sideways firing thingie grew out of the gangbangers in LA. They would drive by their target, crack the window open a bit, and stick the gun out sideways to shoot through the partially opened window.
It’s also something to do with “swag”...
To me it makes sense physiologically ... it’s a stronger grip. Can’t say I’ve ever tried it, though!
"Whachoo wanna know for, Crackuh-ass crackuh?"
I heard that hollywood implemented that way of shooting during the “New Jack City” period in order to make gang gun battles less deadly and inaccurate.
Thug life, yo.
First, they are called "sights", not sites. Second, the bullet travels the same 'straight' way (actually a slight curvature, because of gravity), with the pistol tilted or upright. It should have been "to make sure the bullet travels toward the target".
It is true that the 2 sights and target take too long to line up for fast action, and a point-and-shoot approach is needed. However, a nice laser sight will paint a dot on the target very quickly, and allow quick shooting from the hip.
MythBusters did this a season or two ago. Jamie and Adam tried multiple aiming styles and found that the traditional two-hand grip is best.
I once took a concealed carry class in a guy’s living room with about 6 other people. He told us to point at a picture on the wall. Then he had us freeze while pointing. I was pointing with my hand vertical like I was holding a pistol. Every other person had their hand horizontal like a gang banger. He said the way we point is our natural shooting style, and they should try gang banger style.
Not to brag, but when I was competing, I was Master class and won plenty of matches at all levels. Pistol shooting always came easy for me. Three of the people in the class were shooting buddies and they all stank with handguns. I thought it was an interesting exercise.
What I've found over the years is that once you're reasonably proficient with a weapon, you no longer consciously "build the castle," though I suppose that it still occurs. Every really proficient shooter I've ever spoken to and shot with all agree that you focus on the front site, with the target somewhat out of focus, and pretty much ignore the rear site. I'm not really expressing this very well, but it worked for me in both 50' small-bore rifle and handgun competition. In the case of the rifle competition, using an aperture rear sight, the sight was forgotten altogether.
Once in a USPSA handgun competition, after the first shot, I noticed that something had changed, but was able to complete the course. It was only when I was clearing my handgun that I noticed that the pin holding the rear sight on my pistol had come out, and the rear sight completely fallen off the gun. While my score on that round was somewhat lower than the other rounds, I was still able to shoot fairly accurately (for practical shooting) without a rear sight.
Point-and-shoot shooting can be very accurate. It's the essence of shotgunning.
“If you need a quick shit that is very effective practice punching your target.”
The “I” and “O” really are close together on a key board aren’t they?
OOhhh, way cool
Having been unwittingly caught up in a gang-banger, dual-pistol execution field-of-fire (New Orleans, 2006), I can tell you that there are so many bullets, pieces of brick, cars, and everything else flying around, the shooter is bound to hit something. I was flat on the ground. My partner got part of a round in the top of the skull, but he’s a marine, so it didn’t hurt much. There were two others wounded, one fatality. These guys don’t aim, and they don’t get usually get caught, either. They don’t expect to live long, and they most interested in speed and volume.
Doubtful that any of the gangsters have any concept of aiming, it’s point and shoot, that’s why so many innocent bystanders get shot.
And I'm OK with that because when the SHTF it gives me a tactical advantage.
Not a hand gun shooter, but wonder if holding it like that would interfere with ejection of spent shells.
Being left handed, and given the ejection pattern of my 1911, I'd wind up having the hot cases hit me in the knees or shins.
For a righty, my guess is that it would launch them over his head.
Lol. Depends. One of my guns seemed to *always* give me a hot shell down my shirt front :). Whatever way it was aimed.
The real fasties use wheelguns. Slide can’t cycle fast enough to keep up with an expert revolver shooter.
They think that’s the way you shoot it because that’s how it comes out of the box.
Sorry, but they do it to look cool (which they don’t). Some even hold it up too high to even pretend to be aiming.
Thank you both.
” First, they are called “sights”, not sites.”
The problem with tilt style shooting is that it is almost impossible to acquire a reliable sight alignment.
and... ...you have absolutely no way of knowing if the weapon is tilted down below your field of vision from the back of the weapon.
and......you never actually take the same shot twice since you are never actually aiming the same way.
Then, from all those negatives, he somehow ends up with this...
This, Mr Davis adds, shows that there is in fact a rational method behind why gangsters aim their weapon side on.
Thanks anyway, but I think I'll stay away from both the method and the twisted nonsensical logic.
I believe the “side firing” technique comes from seeing it in the movies. Actors picked up this technique from being coached on combat shooting from International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) instructors. It is a very specific technique designed for one specific situation, which is shooting around the left side of a barricade.
Shooting competitors noted that using conventional sighting technique, cases ejected from the ejection port (normally on the right side of the handgun) occasionally would hit the barricade and bounce back into the action, causing a jam. By tilting the pistol to the left, the ejected cases would miss the barricade and prevent the jamming. Some actors going through the training thought the sideways shooting looked “cool” and applied it to their movie scenes.
Police and people who teach self defense prefer that gangsters shoot this way, as it is far less effective than aimed fire.
I was first certified as a firearms instructor in 1974.
The first time that I heard of this technique was the late 80’s or early 90’s. I believe it was in a book on advanced IPSC shooting technique. This was never used when revolvers where the dominant handgun, because they do not eject cases while firing.
You started seeing it in the movies, then it started being picked up by the gangbangers.
Much of gangbanger technique comes from movies. The whole idea of drug lords having lots of “assault weapons” came from the TV show Miami Vice. I have heard that police almost never found these types of guns in drug transactions before the series, but after, they were like “must have” fashion accessories for up and coming drug dealers.
It is another datum to show how much Hollywood shapes the views of the uneducated.
First, I am an accomplished competitive handgun shooter, who is best at speed events, such as bowling pins, etc. Pure BS!
If you want to shoot fast and accurate at normal 7-10 yard combat range, concentrate on the front sight, forget the rear one, and rely on a grip angle that fits your hand to put it instinctively on target. At 7 yards, I can keep all my shots on a target the size of an orange if I take a hammer and knock the sights off my handgun, in other words, don’t even look at them. I can do this two handed, by locking on the target, shooting at waist level. It doesn’t happen with the first box of ammo, though!
This is patently absurd. Waving a weapon around in a threatening manner isn’t the same as firing it.
Having expended ammo well into the five figures on the Army’s dime, I can assure you that, either in a static or mobile configuration, you won’t hit anything but dirt if it’s more than several meters away. Every now and then we would try this, just for fun, going through a few transition or handgun drills gangster style. (In the same way we’d go full auto from the hip if we had to burn some ammo before going home)
I can’t imagine pointing a sidearm sideways unless they were trying to be menacing. Against an armed opponent it would be suicide.
Certainly, with enough practice, shooting from the same position on level ground, at reasonably close ranges, point shooting from the waist can work.
Have you found that you can do this reliably at different angles from your body, or at different heights instead of on level ground?
IMHO, competitors that win matches, do not point shoot from the waist. They bring the gun to eye level, and even if they are not using the sights consciously, they are able to use the sights (or the profile of the firearm) to index the gun on the target subconsciously.
I have known some fine shooters who can hit very well without sights, but they are just using the profile of the gun as a substitute for sights. Shoot enough, and how the firearm has to be pointed to hit become part of your subconscious, and is done mostly automatically.
It is very difficult to transition point shooting from the waist to many situations, such as shooting from behind cover, because accurate fire then becomes dependent on body positioning, which is unreliable in dynamic self defense situations.
I am not saying that accurate point shooting from the waist is not possible; I have seen it done. It is a technique that is more limited in its application than is interposing the gun between the eye and the target.
Reminds me of getting my expert rifle while in the Navy, we were to shoot at 4 targets of varying size to simulate distance in 4 different positions. I swear i had an AR that was run over before i was issued it and could not sight it in at all, so I cheated, i took four shots from prone, sandbag assisted, at the smallest then worked my way up shooting at the bigger targets.
Precisely why it is laudable for potential opponents to use this technique. If someone is threatening me with a gun, I *want* them to use this technique!
Agreed. In a gunfight situation, it takes too long to line up 3 points in 3D space. Lining up just the front sight of a handgun on the target is good, but a LASER SIGHT is a lot better.
No, I don’t shoot from the waist, in matches, LOL. I was just stating what can be done with practice and concentration. When shooting for speed, lock on the front sight, as I said, pretty much forget the rear one. When I start with the gun low, or from a draw, I pick up the front sight on the way up, then lock on the target. I don’t think I use the gun profile for aiming, fast shooting to me is pure muscle memory, and damn near unconscious at this point in my life.
I shoot about 300 rounds a month these days through various .45’s, I am 55, eyes not what they were, but honestly shoot better than I ever have.
When shooting fast, the vertical POI will be largely related to the grip angle. For example, I will tend to shoot high with a DA revolver, a gov’t .45 grip angle, not a problem.
Gotta move the “I” key to the left...