Proper Sight Picture With Handguns


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Anteater1717
January 13, 2009, 01:46 AM
When shooting a handgun, should I focus on the front sight like a rifle; or focus on something else?

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Kind of Blued
January 13, 2009, 02:13 AM
Front sight. Maybe even more important with a handgun than with a rifle.

23Glock
January 13, 2009, 08:19 AM
To be a bit more specific:
Proper sight alignment on a handgun means that the front sight is centered between the rear sight posts, where there is equal "light" on each side of the front sight and all three are even across the top. My best textbook description, which is probably lacking, but it's important to make a distinction between aligning your sights using the method described above, and being distracted by "helpers" on the sights like dots, bars, colored thingamabobs, etc.
A lot of people make the mistake of concentrating on aligning the "dots" of their night sights instead of properly aligning the sights using the edges. Concentrating on the dots will decrease accuracy. Some people recommend “blacking out” the helpers if you don’t have enough discipline to ignore them – up to you. Black out my night sights, you ask? No. Most night sights are designed with little white circles around the tritium tube. Black out the white ring, which will be less distracting, but still allows the tritium to glow in low-light. So what about low-light sight alignment? THAT is when you line up the glowing dots of your night sights because you might not be able to see the edges of the sights. You are most likely at close range so surgical accuracy is less important.
But I digress…
Once you have proper sight alignment and are focusing on the front sight, you should learn to refine your focus to the *top edge* of the front sight. This takes practice but drastically increases your long distance accuracy.
A lot of this goes to pot in a gun-fight though, which is why it’s important to ingrain it into your skull so focusing on the top edge of the front sight becomes second nature when you draw and take a sight picture.

possum
January 13, 2009, 12:17 PM
unless you are using xs 24/7 night sights of course!:)

usp9
January 13, 2009, 12:27 PM
Proper Sight Picture With Handguns

The proper sight picture depends on how your particular pistol is sighted. The two main methods are "Center of Mass" or the standard "Target" picture. Then the style you are shooting will be dictated by the purpose...target or defense.

ERDOC
January 14, 2009, 02:46 AM
The bullet is going to go where the front sight is pointed.However,proper sight alignment should be practiced.If you ever had to draw,and shoot fast,you probably won't even see anything but the front sight,and sometimes,if a fast draw is required,you may not see the sights at all.
It's called point,or instinct shooting. LE practice this at close range.

Big Bill
January 14, 2009, 08:00 PM
FIRING TECHNIQUES—PISTOL

Trigger hand Grasp the stock or pistol grip firmly, but without strain, so the trigger finger has the proper support to overcome trigger weight. An unnatural, straining grasp causes excessive muscle tension in the hand, which results in a tremor that is transmitted to the weapon. Trigger (index) finger Make contact with the trigger where the contact produces a movement straight to the rear (usually between the first joint and the tip). (NOTE: The trigger finger must not touch the receiver or rifle.) Line up the sights and apply pressure on the trigger gradually increase the pressure until the hammer releases and the shot fires. (NOTE: If, during this process, the sights drift off the target, interrupt the trigger squeeze but maintain the pressure. When the sight picture is correct, continue the squeeze until you fire the shot.)

BREATHE Proper breathing is essential. It helps you relax, steadies your aim, and clears your vision. First, take a normal breath; then release part of it (enough to be comfortable); and hold the remainder. Do not hold your breath for more than 10 seconds before shooting. This may tense your muscles and blur your vision. If you do not shoot during this breathing period, take another normal breath and repeat the procedure.

RELAX You must relax. The more relaxed you are, the better your shot will be.

AIM Concentrate on the proper sight alignment of the correct sight picture. Focus your eye on the front sight post (blade).

SLACK Some rifles have a certain amount of slack in the trigger. Take up this slack before starting your squeeze to the rear to fire. The M16 trigger slack is insignificant, and this step is generally omitted when firing that weapon. Knowing your weapon is important.

SQUEEZE the trigger as previously described. If you squeeze it properly, you will not know when the round will fire. This will prevent flinching, caused by anticipation of the shock, or recoil, from the exploding cartridge.

Aiming the Pistol Aiming the pistol consists of combining proper sight alignment with the correct aiming point to obtain a correct sight picture.

SIGHT ALIGNMENT.—Sight alignment is best defined as placing the front and rear sights into correct alignment with the eye. The top of the front sight is level with the top of the rear sight, and the body of the front sight is centered between the rear sight aperture (fig. 11-31). Correct sight alignment is essential for accuracy because of the short sight radius (about 6 1/2 inches). For example, if a 1/10-inch error is made in aligning the front sight in the rear sight, the bullet will miss the point of aim by almost 15 inches at 25 yards of range.

http://www.tpub.com/content/advancement/12018/img/12018_387_1.jpg

Figure 11-31.—Correct sight alignment and sight picture.

AIMING POINT — the correct aiming point, when you fire at a bull’s-eye target at 25 yards, is a 6 o’clock sight picture. At 15 yards, bring the aiming point well up into the black. When you fire at an “E” type of silhouette target, the aiming point is in the center of the target.

CORRECT SIGHT PICTURE.—A sight picture is the pattern of the pistol sights in relation to the target as you aim the pistol. A correct sight picture combines correct sight alignment and correct aiming point (fig. 11-31). When you are aiming, your eye cannot focus simultaneously on three objects (rear sight, front sight, and bull’s-eye) at different ranges. Therefore, the last focus of the eye should always be on the front sight. You will see the front and rear sights sharp and clear, but the bull’s-eye will appear to be a bit hazy.

NOTE If sight alignment is correct, the bullet will strike the bull’s-eye even if the sight picture is partially off center but still touching the bull’s-eye. Since it is physically impossible to hold the weapon perfectly still, you must learn to apply trigger squeeze and to maintain correct sight alignment while the weapon is moving around the bull’s-eye. This movement is referred to as the wobble area. You must accept this wobble area, or movement, trying to keep it to a minimum.

http://www.tpub.com/content/advancement/12018/css/12018_386.htm

colorado_handgunner
January 15, 2009, 10:13 AM
I found sight picture to be difficult when I first started shooting, since the textbook method did not seem to get me very good accuracy. What I ended up doing (and I now do this on every handgun I shoot) was to first, completely level the pistol, then note what the resulting sight picture was. My Beretta is pretty high, and my XD is close to flat. Just knowing how your sights are aligned makes things much easier. ;)

Irate Iguana
January 16, 2009, 06:37 PM
CORRECT SIGHT PICTURE.—A sight picture is the pattern of the pistol sights in relation to the target as you aim the pistol. A correct sight picture combines correct sight alignment and correct aiming point (fig. 11-31). When you are aiming, your eye cannot focus simultaneously on three objects (rear sight, front sight, and bull’s-eye) at different ranges. Therefore, the last focus of the eye should always be on the front sight. You will see the front and rear sights sharp and clear, but the bull’s-eye will appear to be a bit hazy.

I have to wear glasses. Since I started shooting I've been trying to focus on the front sight. This resulted in seeing the front sight clearly, but not seeing the bull or the rear sight all that clear. That made aiming pretty difficult and my shots landed all over the target.

My instructor said that since I didn't have specialized shooting glasses I should try focusing on different objects. Turns out that if I focus on the rear sight I can see the front and rear sight clear, but the target fuzzy. This is exactly as described in most texts.

If you aren't investing in specialized shooting glasses it might be a good idea to see if focusing in a different way than the textbook might yield the desired result.

Big Bill
January 16, 2009, 06:52 PM
I tried shooting my new Ruger P345 as the textbook explains and it (or me) shot it low. I tried everything I could think of and it still shot way low. So, I got rid of it. But, generally, the textbook method works well for me even though I am left eyed dominant and right handed.

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