(Remember William Burroughs ...*)
There are as many ways to shoot guns as there are people who do it, but I'm going to speak mostly to two broad methods of targeting here: Sights and point-shooting.
Non-electronic sights come in various configurations, from the old notch-and-post, to peep, to ghost rings, to glow-in-the dark inserts on the front or back versions. The essence of using them is pretty much the same -- you line up the front and back of the gun to make a sight picture and use that to index the weapon on the target. Electronic sights, using a dot or a laser, are a real advantage, especially to older shooters whose eyes aren't as sharp as they were.
Point-shooting, aka instinctive, snap-shooting, hip-shooting, Quick Skill, Quick Kill, etc. is a method that doesn't use traditional sights. The gun is indexed entire, the shooter watches the target, muscle memory comes into play, and the shot is triggered when the onboard organic computer deems all the elements are in place. The theory is that, once you know how it feels to be on target, if you practice it enough, you can achieve the state without using the sights -- your brain locks it in and knows when to shoot.
Each gun is different, the barrel lengths, weight, size, etc. have to be learned to make it work.
There are schools of shooting, many of them, that offer training in one or the other, and they tend to -- big surprise -- consider that their method is superior. You will hear teachers saying "Front sight! Front sight!" while others shake their heads and offer that you don't need the sights at all.
Both styles have advantages and disadvantages. For speed, point shooters are faster. Go back a few postings and look at Bob Munden popping two balloons so fast it sounds like one shot. Nobody can line up sights that fast. (Well, maybe Barry Allen in his red suit, but then, he can outrun the bullet, too ...)
Daisy, the air rifle maker, put out a system called Quick Skill, which came into being in the 1950's via Bobby Lamar McDaniel, a Georgia tobacco salesman who got good enough at teaching the no-sight shooting to make a living at it. He supposedly taught Floyd Patterson, the boxer, how to do this well enough that Floyd could hit a BB thrown into the air.
That is extremely good shooting.
Later turned into Quick Kill by the Army in Vietnam, the system works remarkably well. You see a similar long gun skill in good skeet and trap shooters, where the shotgun sights are usually rudimentary and a lot of shooters don't use them. There the clay target is, and ... blam.
Tom Knapp, who shoots for Benelli, can toss ten of these into the air and break them all before they hit the ground. Ten.
"Ad" Topperwein, a trick shooter in the early 1900's, rotated several Winchester .22 rifles to shoot at wooden blocks the size of golf balls thrown into the air. Eight hours a day over several days. He shot at 72,000 of these blocks .... and missed nine.
In 1987, John Huffer, using Ruger .22 rifles, shot 40,060 of these same-sized blocks without missing any, over a period of two weeks. Click here to read more about exhibition shooting.
At a distance, with a handgun, the sights are more precise for most people, and they are easier to learn how to use.
A lot of shooters, realizing that it doesn't have to be either/or, use both. Bill Jordan -- No Second Place Winner -- shows four ranges with his .357 Magnum revolver, with the gun held at varying distances from his body -- 0-3 yards, 3-7, 7-15, and goes to the sights at 15-25 yards and beyond.
If you are learning how to use a spetsdöd, you have to learn how to do it without sights, 'cause there ain't any on those little dart guns ...
* In 1951, the beat writer William Burroughs, was living in Mexico with his common-law wife, Joan Vollmers. They were on the run from the law, either in Louisiana or Texas, or both, for a dope charge -- either growing it or distributing it, depending on which story you like. It was not his first brush with the law.
The story has several variations, but most of them tend to agree that Burroughs was partying in a room above a cantina and the subject of shooting came up. He apparently loved guns. The version I like allows as how Burroughs was talking about going to South America and living off the land. Somebody -- Joan according to some -- laughed at the notion of him being able to hit anything, the way he shot. So he allowed that he would, by God, demonstrate how good a shot he was. He had Joan balance a glass on her head -- a bad idea ipso facto, because had he hit it, glass would have spattered everywhere -- and allowed as how he would, like William Tell, shoot it right off!
Burroughs was drunk, and it's not altogether unlikely, stoned. He lined up with his revolver, fired --
And shot Joan dead. Hit her right in the temple.
He was busted. Got out on bail and lit out for parts far away. He was never tried on the charge. He later wrote, among other books, Junkie, and Naked Lunch.