Okay, something I've been meaning to ask forever...


December 22, 2011, 10:25 PM
Okay, so this is literally how I learned how to shoot with my Daisy pellet gun when I was about 10. This is actually the same manual! Wish I found the gun along with it... Anyway


Now, I always assumed that your point of impact would be directly on top of the front sight-post. It always seemed to work when shooting the Daisy. However, over the years when trying other rifles ( of the air and firearm variety ) I've noticed that this doesn't really work with any others. Unless I get the front sight post directly on the center of the target, it won't hit.

So... What's the right way to aim the sights? With the front/rear sight aligned directly underneath your intended point of impact, or the front/rear sight aligned and directly on-top of your intended point of impact?

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December 22, 2011, 10:31 PM
it really depends on where you set your elevation adjustment

all that series of pics is trying to tell you is to have the top of the front post level with the top of the rear blade

Tim the student
December 23, 2011, 01:52 AM
IMO, the right way is the one that works for you, that you are consistent with.

If you like a center hold, zero your rifle to shoot there. If you like a 6 o clock hold, zero your rifle to shoot there.

December 23, 2011, 04:24 AM
center hold (point of aim IS desired point of impact)
6-o-clock hold (point of aim is at bottom of bull)
lollipop hold (POA just into bottom of bull)
gap hold (just a sliver of white between POA and bull)

Set your sights the way YOU like, but be aware that anything other than center-hold, where POA=POI, will only work for known-size targets at a known distance, change the bull size or distance and you have to start all over.

This is further complicated by; aperture, 3-dot, Heinie "straight 8", and fiber optic sighting systems - I have found that the most consistent method is to set EVERYTHING to POA=POI at some reasonable distance for the particulat gun. Rimfire rifles are set at ~25 yards (appleseed distance), Centerfire rifles are set to 50 or 100 yards, and handguns generally don't have adjustable sights, but if they do I set them for ~15y.

Aligning the posts (or post and aperture, or whatever) consistently is more important than anything else.
There is a superb video on archive.org about shooting the M1 Garand rifle, as an Army training film. It contains the best description of shifts in POA/POI and how they are affected by wobble and instability in the shooter that I have ever seen. I can't compete with it in this space, just watch the videos (they're fairly interesting regardless, but they are long) ... you will learn that for a POA=POI shooter that nothing matters but stability and being able to adjust your sights for distance ... the rest is frills.

December 23, 2011, 07:56 AM
That particular way of adjusting the sights is ideal for target shooting, where you will always be aiming a a round target of known size. The sights are adjusted to hit a known distance (1/2 the diameter of the bullseye) above the top of the post when held that way.It's not ideal for shooting game because you have to aim a bit low compared to where you actually want the bullet to hit.

When adjusting a set of sights for hunting I always set them up so the point of impact it lined up with the top of the front sight post. So the answer to your question depends on who sighted in the gun you're shooting. If you used the 6:00 hold with any of my guns you would find yourself shooting the bottom of the bullseye.

December 23, 2011, 08:00 AM
I shoot center hold.

Red October
December 23, 2011, 08:48 AM
Back in the 70's & 80's, these methods were sometimes called 'target sighting' (lolipop or 'pumpkin-on-a-post') versus 'combat sighting' (centering the sight on the target). With 'combat sighting' it was easier to follow Colonel Cooper's advice and focus on the front sight, not the target.
As previously said, whatever works best for you is what matters.

December 23, 2011, 12:56 PM
Yep, both sighting methods are fine. With iron sights and distances >100 (small target and great distance) I tend to use the bottom hold so I can see the small target above my sight picture. If I want to shoot a pop can with a pellet gun at 10 feet, then I'm more incline to use the point of impact sighting. Different applications and different sighting methods: you choose.

December 23, 2011, 01:04 PM
There is no correct way philosophically (do what works for you) but there is a correct way for any individual gun. It depends on who last adjusted the sights.

Red Cent
December 23, 2011, 01:27 PM
In cowboy, my pistols and rifle are adjusted to shoot high. It is fast and furious with big targets. When you are ready to go on the firing line with targets 12" X 16" about 18' in front of you, I like to hold just low of center.

I shoot the lever action with front bead held high as in the left example. I do not use the rear sight other than being aware that it is there.

My Ruger Rimfire firearms shoot dead ceenter. The red dot on the 10-22 and open sights on the MKIII. The pistol targets are relatively close and somewhat small.

PCCA, a little like IDPA is shot with a revolver with a six o'clock hold. I like an unobstructed view of the "A" zone.

My EDC is dead center @ 25 yards.

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