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Phrase: "POINT BLANK RANGE"

Posted by Connie on March 20, 2004

I know the expression "He was shot at point blank range" means the gun was very near to the body when the shot was fired. Listening to a basketball game they mentioned a "point blank shot" Im guessing that means a shot at the basket from close proximity to it. But where does the expression "point blank" originate? What exactly is "point blank?"