What range are handgun fixed sights zeroed at?


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DefiantDad
July 15, 2012, 10:48 PM
Since I can't adjust the sights (at least not elevation) on my Glock 19 or Beretta 92, what is the range they are supposed to be at? Is there a standard range for handguns?

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Ar180shooter
July 16, 2012, 12:26 AM
The POI will depend somewhat on the ammunition used. As for any sort of practical shooting, from 0-25 yards, those pistols should be dead on, more or less.

9mmepiphany
July 16, 2012, 12:54 AM
It used to be 20 meters or 25 yards...but I've heard some might have been shorten it to 15

Warp
July 16, 2012, 12:57 AM
Since I can't adjust the sights (at least not elevation) on my Glock 19 or Beretta 92, what is the range they are supposed to be at? Is there a standard range for handguns?

You should be able to shoot the vital area of your attacker in any reasonable and commonly trained handgun distance, in other words 0-25 yards, with plenty of accuracy for defensive purposes.

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 01:29 AM
OK - yes my wife and I can hit the upper torso on a paper target, but it seems like I need to aim the front sight at the neck, to hit the cardio area, at around 5 to 10 yards. So I was wondering just how much I need to compensate. Of course, it could just be that I am shooting badly, but it seemed to be a general feeling from recently practicing at the range at close distances (no further than 15 yards for that practice session). 124 grain FMJ I recall, this time.

Warp
July 16, 2012, 01:34 AM
OK - yes my wife and I can hit the upper torso on a paper target, but it seems like I need to aim the front sight at the neck, to hit the cardio area, at around 5 to 10 yards. So I was wondering just how much I need to compensate. Of course, it could just be that I am shooting badly, but it seemed to be a general feeling from recently practicing at the range at close distances (no further than 15 yards for that practice session). 124 grain FMJ I recall, this time.

What pistol(s) have you used where your point of aim and point of impact are the same? How much handgun shooting experience/training/etc do you have?

At 5-10 yards I think your POA and POI should be about the same.

On the Glock do you have the top of the front site visibly flush with the top of the rear site? Are you covering your intended bullet placement with the front site or are you using a 6 o'clock hold where the intended target is just above the top edge of the site?

9mmepiphany
July 16, 2012, 02:29 AM
...or are you using a 6 o'clock hold where the intended target is just above the top edge of the site?
What you have described isn't the 6 o'clock hold.

The 6 o'clock hold aims at the bottom edge of a standard bullseye and the bullet strikes the center of the target, which is several inches above the bottom.

For the OP - how tight are the groups you are shooting. It is very hard to determine your zero if you aren't grouping consistently. At 5 yards your shots should be on top of each other, at 10 they should be well inside 2"

Warp
July 16, 2012, 02:35 AM
What you have described isn't the 6 o'clock hold.

The 6 o'clock hold aims at the bottom edge of a standard bullseye and the bullet strikes the center of the target, which is several inches above the bottom.

For the OP - how tight are the groups you are shooting. It is very hard to determine your zero if you aren't grouping consistently. At 5 yards your shots should be on top of each other, at 10 they should be well inside 2"

Yup...wrong term. I suppose a rifle sight picture using a pumpkin on a post is more in line with my description.

OP: Have any pictures of your targets?

basicblur
July 16, 2012, 03:00 AM
The instructions for the SIG Sight Pusher Tool I downloaded (my relative has one) say:
When zeroing, the target should be at 25 yards and the pistol should be fired from a rested position (use single-action mode for best results - not applicable if pistol is Double-Action Only). Sighting should be "point of aim, point of impact."

Here's a few attachments from earlier posts you might want to save?
Springfield XD Manual POA / POI
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7136648#post7136648

SIG Universal Sight Pusher PDF (last page has good info on sights)
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=6381468#post6381468

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 05:54 AM
Well, I am confused and, maybe, embarrassed (not sure yet, I will explain why) about my shots, and the reason is this.

At the exact same range (10 yards I believe), my shots with the Beretta 92 and Glock 19 were not exactly "group able" because two shots might be within an inch or two of each other, and the third would be way out maybe three or five or even 10 inches.

However, during the same self-training session, I did rent a 1911, and was extremely surprised that I was almost tack driving with the thing. I did not want to bring this up because it opens up a whole new discussion thread, but it seemed relevant here as you guys asked about my grouping. So, I have no idea what is going on. For the record, I do not recall shooting a 1911 (maybe I did a long long time ago with friends who had guns), and this is the first time I shot a 1911 since getting "serious" about firearms. So, my experience was, literally the first two or three shots out of the 1911, having essentially no experience with the .45 or 1911, I shot right where I aimed (front sight covering the aim point) and the next shot went right through the same hole, where I almost didn't believe it, so I moved my aim a bit off, and shot again, and it went right where I aimed. I did not have many .45 rounds with me, since I was just trying it out. So that was that. I shot the 1911 less than 10 times and then went and practiced with my 9mms.

I have to tell you, I am going back to rent the 1911 again and try again side by side with a .45 in Glock some time later, and don't yell at me but I really do not want to end up buying a 1911 but if that is really a gun that makes me shoot that accurately, I will have to buy it out of logic. So, just so you know, I am not trying to set myself up to get a 1911 but that was my experience.

So, having said that, I guess I can say, I must be holding the gun properly with the 1911, but I am not getting anywhere near that accuracy with the 9mms, even though I have shot way more 9mm than the .45 (heck, I own the two 9mms and don't even remember ever shooting .45).

(I was surprised the .45 did not recoil much more than the 9mm, to be frank; maybe I had it in my head that it has a lot of recoil. The 1911 was a Remington if I remember right, at least I think I saw Remington on the slide.)

I hold and aim the handguns the same way. Two thumbs forward. Front sight covering what I hope to be the POI.

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 05:57 AM
Sorry, trashed the targets. I taped over the holes with masking tape but after more than 50 rounds each I just had to trash them. They were nothing impressive anyway for me to keep or even think to photograph to show anyone.

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 06:20 AM
OK, I had to open up a mystery box and post a new question specifically about the 1911 here:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8280323#post8280323

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 06:25 AM
Thanks guys for your posts clarifying the sight picture. I now realize I do not aim with the POI at the top of the sights, but in fact cover the POI/target with the dot of the front sight and then focus on the front sight while I pull the trigger (squeeze the trigger).

hentown
July 16, 2012, 08:26 AM
How big is a house? ;)

Patocazador
July 16, 2012, 11:54 AM
I'm not familiar with all the models of Glocks and Berretas so I don't know if your guns are double-action pull or not. If they are DA, the difference between the grouping on your guns compared to the rented 1911 can be explained by the trigger pull difference between a single-action 1911 and a double-action Glock,etc.

BRE346
July 16, 2012, 12:15 PM
If you can shoot a nice group in SA, and have a little trouble, like me, with DA, then you, and I, need to work on that some more. I still have a ways to go.

9mmepiphany
July 16, 2012, 12:24 PM
but in fact cover the POI/target with the dot of the front sight and then focus on the front sight while I pull the trigger (squeeze the trigger).
Than you are limiting your minimum group size by the size of the area covered by the front sight blade...it is just inherently less accurate

two shots might be within an inch or two of each other, and the third would be way out maybe three or five or even 10 inches.
It isn't the gun, it is just technique. Try shooting off a rest and slowly pressing off each shot

holdencm9
July 16, 2012, 03:23 PM
I put a couple comments in your other thread.

I don't think the "zero" on a handgun is nearly as important as you might think. Of course all guns will have slightly different POA/POI characteristics, but it isn't like a rifle where the scope axis may be 1.5-3" above the bore axis and the "zero" makes a huge difference. In a handgun the sight line is maybe a half an inch above the axis of the bore. If you are aiming at the neck and hitting the COM on the torso at 5-7 yards, chances are you are flinching or anticipating the recoil.

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 04:48 PM
Ok thanks guys, that really helps clear it up. I will go test things out again soon at the range.

ny32182
July 16, 2012, 04:52 PM
On a pistol, the sights and the bore are so close that you don't have the sort of issues with "zeroed at range X, and again at range Y" like you often do with rifles. At least, not to the point where you can notice shooting off hand.

For all intents and purposes they are shooting POA out to any practical distance (at least 35 yards). Chances are you just need to work on your trigger pull. Dryfire at home, and watch the front sight. Make sure the sights stay aligned throughout the pull and the break. If they are moving, your POI will be moving accordingly.

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 05:05 PM
Problem is, I do that even using a laser (to check for jerking, not for aiming), and I am pretty sure I am not jerking the gun, but shooting at the range, I get the poor performance. Granted, not all my shots are that bad, but they are not impressive enough, given that close a distance to the target. It was the 1911 experience that really shocked me because then I suddenly had something to compare against and kept wondering why I shot that better than the other guns. Anyway, like you guys said, it only makes sense that the sight height is negligible on a handgun, so that helps narrow it down.

I will pay more attention to the trigger squeeze; I thought I had that OK since I did/do dry fire and don't anticipate the shot (i.e., if I squeezed/anticipated badly it should have been the same when I was shooting the 1911).

holdencm9
July 16, 2012, 06:25 PM
Yeah the problem is you can do all the dry fire practice you want, but there is still that part of your brain that if you know there is a click coming and not a bang, you won't flinch, but when you know there is a bang coming, you flinch. I do a little bit of dry fire too and never flinch, front dot never moves, can even balance a coin up on there. But I still have to catch myself at the range because over time a flinch creeps up otherwise.

One thing to try is snap caps. Have a friend load your mag for you and not tell you where the snap cap is. When you get to it, see if you flinch. You might find yourself anticipating the recoil after all.

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 06:39 PM
OK thanks; yes I have those snap caps. Maybe will get my wife to load the mags randomly. Thanks for the great tip! Hadn't thought to use snap caps in that manner. (Or I guess I can load several magazines randomly myself and mix them up, putting a snap cap in each first, then a random number of rounds).

9mmepiphany
July 16, 2012, 09:51 PM
I will pay more attention to the trigger squeeze; I thought I had that OK since I did/do dry fire and don't anticipate the shot (i.e., if I squeezed/anticipated badly it should have been the same when I was shooting the 1911).
A little known (admitted) fact is that the short trigger on a 1911 covers up a multitude of technique errors. It tempts the shooting into thinking it is acceptable to break the shot when the sights are perfectly aligned..it isn't (I know it sounds counter intuitive, but it happens to be true)

While this is often seen as a plus..."it lets me shoot better"...it isn't, as the now ingrained habits become a hindrance as your skill/shooting speed improves.

There are very famous trigger slappers who shoot very well, but they are doing it with extremely light triggers, on very heavy guns, which are compensated. They aren't slapping the trigger when shooting production guns at a match like the Bianchi Cup

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 10:14 PM
Thanks for your input; checking out the links in your signature now.

DefiantDad
July 16, 2012, 10:47 PM
Looks like I'm not the only one shooting low with the Beretta 92.

http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=495470

Well, if it weren't for the 1911, I would not have even realized how badly I was managing the 92 trigger. So, thanks 1911! :-)

GlackAttack
July 16, 2012, 11:15 PM
The Glock trigger takes some getting used to. When I first got my glock 34, I would shoot worse groups than my supposedly less accurate compact. The clerk at the shop suggested that I practice dry-firing while aiming at something until the dots do not move when the trigger breaks. It is very hard to do at first and takes some time, but it helped my groups considerably. A laser sight makes dry firing practice a little more fun.

Patrick Gookin
July 16, 2012, 11:38 PM
I shot my cousin's Glock 22 in .40 about a month ago. It was the first time I ever fired or handled a Glock. It had stock Glock sights on it and the POA and POI seemed to align at 100 yards. I was shooting standing at 100 yards with about 18" groups, so it's not the most scientific measurement.

At 50 yards, I had to hold the sights a few inches low to hit center mass. The POA / POI also aligned at somewhere around 15 to 20 yards (I wasn't trying to pay attention to distance, I was just shooting).

I also shot it at 200 yards, but I had to hold the sights 3 or 4 feet above the target to hit center mass.

Skylerbone
July 17, 2012, 12:01 AM
I've found dry firing pistols while lounging about to be a complete waste of time. First, every firearm is loaded and you must treat it accordingly, something dry fire got me out of the habit of doing. So, I chose a safe area in the basement to "fortify" and practice dry firing at my target while observing stance and grip. Next comes sight acquisition and then, if everything is working, I press the trigger. Sometimes the sandbags comply and I reholster (and sometimes I flub it). It's not hours a day, just between laundry loads or die changes while reloading.

With a little space, a few dollars and some creativity (think carpet squares, wall-mounted pellet traps, airsoft gun?) you can do a reasonable amount of training so long as safety is observed and your technique is correct. Practice only makes permanent, ask any duffer with a slice.

DefiantDad
July 18, 2012, 10:16 PM
I went to the range and practiced with both a 22LR and the Beretta. I can say I am much better now, after realizing I had to pay (more) attention to the trigger. But I also noticed that in fact my arms and shoulders are not as steady as they should be, so I had pushed my arms and shoulders out that much more, before squeezing the trigger. I guess I can describe my arms as a little "too relaxed" and when tensing them up that bit more, the accuracy increased significantly and I was hitting where I aimed just as well as the 1911. I switched between the 9mm and the 22LR (when I got a bit tired from the 9mm I used the 22LR to check my posture, etc.) and it seemed to have worked out great so far.

EDIT: Isosceles stance, not Weaver.

DefiantDad
July 18, 2012, 10:18 PM
Upon further thought, it could have been that I tensed my arms and shoulders more than before, when shooting the 1911 for the first time, as I was anticipating a lot of recoil from the .45 ACP (which did not turn out so bad), so maybe that was something that I was not consciously aware of, leading to increased accuracy from the 1911 experience.

Skylerbone
July 18, 2012, 11:22 PM
If you ever wrestled or boxed (or are familiar with the stance) it's very similar; support leg forward, knees flexed, weight slightly forward on the balls of your feet. I tend to crouch a bit but that is how I was trained.

DefiantDad
July 18, 2012, 11:30 PM
Yes I know martial arts. Hmmm, I did not know that. I thought feet are side by side with the shoulders. Or maybe not. I have not paid attention to know. I will see how I stand next time.

DefiantDad
July 18, 2012, 11:32 PM
I looked at this diagnostic diagram at the range and I think my trigger control might be "squeezing the fingertips" or using too much finger. I have relatively long fingers for the trigger so it seems a bit hard to just use the finger pad instead of at or near the crease of the first knuckle. Is this just something I have to force myself to do, to use just the finger pad? Then I need to lift my trigger finger way out to the side to do it. When my shots are off, they are to the 7 or 8 o-clock, low to the left. I am right handed. Tensing my shoulders/arms helps but generally that is where they are off.

9mmepiphany
July 19, 2012, 01:02 AM
It is a combination of factors causing the off center bullet strikes.

It sounds like you are jerking the trigger in anticipation...wanting to make the shot go off as you see the sights centered on the target.

The other thing is lateral pressure from contact between your trigger finger and the frame displacing the gun to the left. Your finger should be flared outward, away from the gun, from the first joint (from the palm). You should then be bending the finger at the second joint to bring the pad of the finger into contact with the face of the trigger. The last joint, closest to the tip, should hardly bend at all

DefiantDad
July 19, 2012, 01:05 AM
Thanks 9mmepiphany - you really described it to me. I will pay careful attention to that finger placement next time at the range (maybe even tomorrow).

holdencm9
July 19, 2012, 10:56 AM
Yeah different guns and people will have to do different things to get "proper" grip/finger placement.

I have long fingers too so on my 92FS it is a challenge to not put too much finger on the trigger. But it feels way unnatural to only have the pad under the nail on the trigger, so I compromise and apply pressure on the pad of my finger, somewhere between the nail and first knuckle. Since the 1911 has a longer grip, it feels more stable and natural to only use the under-nail portion of the pad, closer to the tip.

Actually a little while ago there was a poll with a picture of someone's trigger fingers and 3 arrows, and it asked where do you put your trigger finger? So for my Beretta I guess I am more like a C, the 1911 firmly in B territory.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=627241&highlight=where+do+you+finger+trigger

DefiantDad
July 19, 2012, 06:26 PM
Thanks; very good info.

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