PDA

View Full Version : Aiming with front sight?


mellow_c
April 25, 2008, 03:16 AM
I've always heard you should always focus on your front sight. Especially for speed with a hand gun. I like to shoot with both eyes open when shooting quickly with my hand guns, although if I try to "focus" on the front sight like this, I find myself seeing double of the target. Whats the proper way to shoot by focusing on the front sight?

evan1293
April 25, 2008, 03:38 AM
I agree that the front sight is key. At contact distances out to about 5 yards I usually just have a hard focus on the target, but from 5 out to about 10 yards its just front sight for me.

I can shoot with both eyes open no problem, but everyone, no matter who you are, can only focus on one object at a time. If you focus on the target, your FS will be blurry, if you focus on the FS, your target will be blurry. What most people do, which works fine for some is they focus on the target, bring the sights into the line of sight and imediately shift their focus to the front sight and break the shot.

For me I tend to shoot from CAR and one of the advantages of this system is that it allows you to focus on the FS without seeing double of the target. Conversely, the shooter could focus on the target and still see one FS. This works by holding the FS within your natural focal distance. Also the nose blocks out one eye from picking up the sight, so there is no problem with eye dominance and trying to shoot with both eyes open. Here's a short video I did some time back on the subject.

http://s235.photobucket.com/albums/ee247/E_close-tac/?action=view&current=MOV02744.flv

Theres a big blurry spot on the video which I appologize for but hopefully it will at least show you that you can still place combat accurate shots with only the FS.

Hope this helps!

mellow_c
April 25, 2008, 03:44 AM
CAR?

Thanx! good info!:)

evan1293
April 25, 2008, 04:22 AM
...And before I get myself in trouble I better mention that CAR is A WAY...not THE WAY to shoot and properly focus on the front sight. Shooting from ISO or weaver, a front sight focus (like using a bead on a shotgun) can be utilized to shoot quickly. Heres another video I made of shooting multiple, semi rapid shots into a target, hitting center mass. In this video Im tracking the front sight only. My neutral grip and stance is working to help keep the front sight in a consistent track during the shooting process. My focus is on the front sight and once I see the sight settle back down I break the next shot. Practice helps the eyes to focus on what they need to for the given shot. After sometime, this will become subconsious which will enable high speed shooting.


http://s235.photobucket.com/albums/ee247/E_close-tac/?action=view&current=COM.flv

mellow_c
April 27, 2008, 01:56 AM
I've been practicing with a nice little Airsoft pistol modeled after a 9mm lately while I watch tv going to bed. It holds JUST like my Smith and Weson Sigma 9mm. And the sights are pretty much the same too. Just a cheep Toy I got at walmart a couple years ago because a few friends had them and they would always shoot me when I went to their house. SO I had to get my own, with it being a single shot, then pull the slide back for another shot, I got good at shooting them in the hands, and knees, and all the painful places.

Anyway, just working with the sight picture on that thing, not even shooting it, just working on focusing on the front sight with my eyes open has helped. I finally corrected my grip on the gun as well. I'd been overlapping my support hand thumb over my strong hand thumb for years. Now I've gotten used to laying them both straight (mostly) with the support thumb under the strong thumb.

Thanx again for the vids

tc556guy
April 27, 2008, 03:00 AM
I agree that the front sight is key. At contact distances out to about 5 yards I usually just have a hard focus on the target, but from 5 out to about 10 yards its just front sight for me.

Not to snipe, but at those distances you should be shooting entirely by point shooting. It'll take all of a couple of seconds for someone to cover 5-10 yards coming at you. get that gun out there and neutralize that target. Out past 12-13 yards, sure, start grabbing a flash front sight picture. Not at 5 yards though.

cschwanz
April 27, 2008, 10:05 AM
Ive had similar probs with the front sight idea. If i focus too hard on the sight, the target becomes blurry. i have started doing what someone else posted, get set on target, bring sights level, switch focus onto the front sight, break the shot off. I still need practice, but im getting better.

kinda off topic, but not really: can someone explain the CAR? im confused how it works? is it what the guy was doing in the first video with the 2 shots, back up, 2 shots, back up, etc? How does is work?

wjkuleck
April 27, 2008, 10:29 AM
If i focus too hard on the sight, the target becomes blurry.

Exactly! And that's the way it's supposed to be.

At the Small Arms Firing School in '96 the service team shooters did a terrific demo showing why sight alignment means everything. So long as you shoot at the center of the blur, you'll score Xs every time.

Regards,

Walt

rocinante
April 27, 2008, 10:36 AM
I am new at shooting and the focus on the front sight is just now beginning to register and getting results. At first it seemed counter intuitive to me but now I make an effort to get the front,back,target lined up but keep focusing on keeping the front post steady when I squeeze the trigger and I am shooting better. That and my CO2 pistol in the backyard might make me almost a competent pistolero yet. I have no clue how to shooting with both eyes open with iron sights.

wjkuleck
April 27, 2008, 11:41 AM
I have no clue how to shooting with both eyes open with iron sights

That comes easier with practice, so long as you just do it and don't think about it. It's a bit more challenging if you're cross-dominant as I am, but after fifty years or so I just don't think about it :).

When rifle shooting, I shoot almost exclusively with aperture rear sights, so aligning the rear sight is an automatic function of the autonomous nervous system. Front sight sharp, center of blur, press.

Regards,

Walt
PS In a defense situation (training for it, anyway) I have to consciously get off the front sight after the shot(s), the practice of "Front sight focus" having been so deeply habituated.

alizeefan
April 27, 2008, 07:53 PM
For me I tend to shoot from CAR and one of the advantages of this system is that it allows you to focus on the FS without seeing double of the target.

I basically agree with most of what you are saying. I use front sight focus at all but contact distances. I was wondering though how using CAR allows you to focus on FS and target at same time. The eye's should still only be able to focus at one distance at a time.

Not ragging on you or anything and I have no personal experience with CAR so I was just curious :).

wjkuleck
April 27, 2008, 08:11 PM
It's not polite to use an acronym without spelling it out the first time :) .

Third time asked; what is CAR?

Thanks!

Regards,

Walt

matthew temkin
April 27, 2008, 08:36 PM
This is C.A.R.

http://www.sabretactical.com/

Lavid2002
April 27, 2008, 08:37 PM
Are you talking about the ar15 CAR? Other than that im stumped, fourth time asked, whats car? :P

evan1293
April 27, 2008, 08:50 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's not polite to use an acronym without spelling it out the first time .

Third time asked; what is CAR?


Sorry, its been discussed so many times on so many forums I assumed (wrongly) that everyone knew...my bad. Center Axis Relock. For info on CAR check out www.sabretactical.com / www.ipdsystems.com. There are articles on sabre tactical that will explain the system in detail. And yes, in the first video I was shooting CAR, as I often tend to do.

Not to snipe, but at those distances you should be shooting entirely by point shooting.

Not true in every case. I've spent a great deal of time out with the shot timer and have compared my accuracy and times to point shooting and for me I was always just about equally as fast and I tended to be consistently more accurate when I picked up the front sight. Remember, I'm talking about a flash sight picture not a bullseye sight picture. If your eyes are good it literally takes less than a few hundreths of a second to pick up the front sight. Even if your piont shooting, at 5 to 7 yards you'll probably have the gun somewhat near or in your line of sight. All Im talking about here is basically point shooting coupled with an instant visual conformation of the front sight. Virtually no time lost in this process.


I was wondering though how using CAR allows you to focus on FS and target at same time.

You know what...my first statement can be modified somewhat to get my point across a little better. Here was my initial statement:

For me I tend to shoot from CAR and one of the advantages of this system is that it allows you to focus on the FS without seeing double of the target. Conversely, the shooter could focus on the target and still see one FS. This works by holding the FS within your natural focal distance. Also the nose blocks out one eye from picking up the sight, so there is no problem with eye dominance and trying to shoot with both eyes open. Here's a short video I did some time back on the subject.

Okay let me try this again a little better. Basically CAR illiminates the double vision caused by focusing on one obect and not the other. Try this exersise...extend your index finger straight out in front of you. Have your finger pointing to the ceiling and line up your dominant eye with your finger and an object 10-30' away. Have your face squared up to your finger with both eyes open. Then focus on your finger and observe what happens to the object...you'll see two of the object. Then without moving anything, shift your focus to the object...you will then see two fingers. This is a problem that can occur when shooting with both eyes open with your dominant eye...double vision can occur.

One of the fundamentals in CAR is the use of aiming with the eye opposite to the hand that is firing the gun (ie: right hand shooting, left eye aiming.) This is true regardless of eye dominance. Do the same exercise as above but this time tilt the head so that only the left eye is lined up with the finger and the right eye is partially blocked out by the nose. (This is what occurs when shooting CAR.) You will notice that as you shift your focus from your finger to the object, there remains only one of each item in your vision. Although it remains true that you can only focus on one or the other at any given time, you will no longer observe any double vision as you shift your focus.

Dragunov54
April 27, 2008, 08:52 PM
You should always make use of your front sight when shooting pistols or non scoped rifles (AR-15's). If you are having double vision, make sure you are aware what your dominate eye is in relation to what hand you are weilding the weapon. I know shooters who are right eye dominate, but shoot left handed and vise versa. Shooting with both eyes open is a great tactical advantage when looking for additional threats, but if its too much of a pain, keep you dominate shooting eye open and close your non. However in your case, your front sight should be razor sharp when aiming onto the target. Not the other way around. If your front sight starts to blur, blink a few times, take a few breaths to get oxygen back into the brain, or take your head off the stock and readjust. Before squeezing the trigger, the front sight must be in focus. However, this will not be the case if you are doing defensive point blank shooting (< 1 foot from the target). ;)

evan1293
April 27, 2008, 09:06 PM
For you guys who were wondering about CAR...I've got more vids of CAR on my album. Also type in "center axis relock" on you tube and you'll find about 10-20 videos and demos of this shooting system.

FYI: Center axis relock is the term given to the law enforcement aspect of this shooting system. Immediate Personal Defense Systems (IPDS) is the civillian version. The shooting systems are identical but the training courses are slightly different due to the differing needs/ requirements of police officers vs civillians.

Bogie
April 28, 2008, 01:17 AM
Try it - it's easer to hang the front sight out there, get a handle on it, and then bring the rear sight to kinda bear on it - And approximate works like a wonder at under 10 yards... You don't need a 2" group - you just need slide lock at center mass.

tc556guy
April 28, 2008, 02:00 AM
Quote:
Not to snipe, but at those distances you should be shooting entirely by point shooting.

Not true in every case. I've spent a great deal of time out with the shot timer and have compared my accuracy and times to point shooting and for me I was always just about equally as fast and I tended to be consistently more accurate when I picked up the front sight. Remember, I'm talking about a flash sight picture not a bullseye sight picture. If your eyes are good it literally takes less than a few hundreths of a second to pick up the front sight. Even if your piont shooting, at 5 to 7 yards you'll probably have the gun somewhat near or in your line of sight. All Im talking about here is basically point shooting coupled with an instant visual conformation of the front sight. Virtually no time lost in this process.

Fine for range work where no ones shooting back at you. In real world shooting at that distance, people almost always revert to point shooting/ crouched isocoles stance. I stand by my point that at 5 yards, you are going to be focusing at the threat; you aren't going to have time to be looking at your sights.

mellow_c
April 28, 2008, 02:17 AM
This is gona take alot more practice! To bad 9mm are getting expencive. I'll just have to use my Buckmark.22 instead

evan1293
April 28, 2008, 03:26 AM
I stand by my point that at 5 yards, you are going to be focusing at the threat; you aren't going to have time to be looking at your sights.

I don't agree that you won't have time, because like I said it really takes no time at all. I tested that for my self, and found time not to be an issue when shooting with the FS. For others, you may be correct, but I think that with much practice, they would become just as fast focusing on the FS as they are when shooting without the sights.

When talking about a gunfight and not just a shooting exercise, I do FULLY agree with you that you or I probably would not look at our sights in a fight at these distances. Thank God I've never been in a real life or death gunfight, but from my experience with force on force I found what you said to be true. When I had to shoot a threat(s) in FOF, I would notice my sights only in my peripheral vision when shooting iso, but my primary focus was on the threat. This is a big reason why I found CAR to work so well for me. Firing the weapon (pistol in this case) in the CAR extended position, places the front sight right in my natural focal point. The natural focal point is the distance you would hold a newspaper away from your eyes to read it. Its the distance in which you feel most comfortable focusing on something with your eyes. When I fire my gun in this fashion, I still focus on the threat because my natrual response is to get completely fixated on the threat, specifically the threat's weapon. Even though I am focusing on the theat, I can still very clearly see one front sight superimposed over my target because the front sight is held at my natural focal point.

tc556guy
April 28, 2008, 03:52 AM
When talking about a gunfight and not just a shooting exercise, I do FULLY agree with you that you or I probably would not look at our sights in a fight at these distances. Thank God I've never been in a real life or death gunfight, but from my experience with force on force I found what you said to be true. When I had to shoot a threat(s) in FOF, I would notice my sights only in my peripheral vision when shooting iso, but my primary focus was on the threat.

I would hope that everyone range time and training revolves around preparing themselves for how they will act in a real encounter and not a range exercise. If you wont be looking at the sights in combat, you should not be training that way. Now, if you are strictly a Camp Perry-type competitive shooter, I can understand that your training skews towards the habits that will work in that environment. Hopefully those shooters recognize that their training is giving them some bad habits that may carry over to a real-world DPF scenario.

evan1293
April 28, 2008, 04:44 AM
I dont think theres any problem with this method of practice because your still programming yourself to bring the gun into your line of sight. Whether you place your focus on the FS during a shooting exercise or on the threat during a fight, your gun is going to need to be in the same position ( in your line of sight) at 5-10 yards, most likely. Again, when I've done force on force and I tried punching out into an ISO type stance, I still was getting very fast and combat-accurate hits by focusing on the threat, even though in practice I tend to use a flash sight picture at these distances. The reason being is that my training has programed me to bring the gun up into my line of sight and regardless of whether or not I visually confirm my sight(s), Im still able to place rounds on target. If the circumstance allows me to confirm my sights then I always will do so to gain that edge in accuracy without sacrificing speed.

evan1293
April 28, 2008, 04:57 AM
In real world shooting at that distance, people almost always revert to point shooting/ crouched isocoles stance

Notice below the many and varying types of reactions to the "threat." Everyone reacts differently to a perceived threat.

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee247/E_close-tac/scared.jpg

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee247/E_close-tac/t1_baseball_bat_fan.jpg


Taking one in the chin is not the best option by the way!

tc556guy
April 28, 2008, 04:59 AM
Notice below the many and varying types of reactions to the "threat." Everyone reacts differently to a perceived threat.
Actually, your pics prove my point. In general, almost everyone in those pics is reacting similarly.
Besides, we are not talking about baseball bats, are we?

evan1293
April 28, 2008, 05:31 AM
In general, almost everyone in those pics is reacting similarly.
Besides, we are not talking about baseball bats, are we?


They are? Looks to me like some are blading, some are squaring, some are extending their arms, while others are blocking their faces with their forearms. Baseball bat or not, you should be able to understand the comparison.

Here's a more complete picture...notice the individuals that I circled....

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee247/E_close-tac/reflex_theorymod-1.jpg

tc556guy
April 28, 2008, 05:34 AM
They are? Looks to me like some are blading, some are squaring, some are extending their arms and while others are blocking their faces with they're forearms. Baseball bat or not you should be able to understand the comparison.

Overthinking it, Evan. They are all basically shielding themselves, a similar action.

evan1293
April 28, 2008, 05:44 AM
They are all basically shielding themselves, a similar action


Right...I agree with that. The point Im making is not that individuals don't shield themselves from a theat. The point Im making is a response to the statement that most people shield themselves by crouching in an iso stance. While I agree that it may be true for some its not true for all. My own, limited experience has shown me that at times I do crouch and go to iso, particularly when the threat and I are opposing one another in a large open area, and the threat is beyond 10 yards in front of me. I found myself in most situations however, blading to a threat with my gun held close to my body.

I think training can alter a lot of our responses as well. I've trained a great deal with both ISO and CAR and I think thats why for me, I find my self using both at different times. Perhaps if I had never trained to shoot CAR I would always punch out in to an ISO type stance....?

tc556guy
April 28, 2008, 06:39 AM
The point Im making is a response to the statement that most people shield themselves by crouching in an iso stance. While I agree that it may be true for some its not true for all. My own, limited experience has shown me that at times I do crouch and go to iso, particularly when the threat and I are opposing one another in a large open area, and the threat is beyond 10 yards in front of me. I found myself in most situations however, blading to a threat with my gun held close to my body.

Most people, as part of the fight or flight response, will instinctively square off, face the target, and crouch. This is borne out in studies of numerous gunfights. Is it a 100% thing; no. Is it possible that you are an exception, yes. Ultimately, we wont know how you personally react in that situation til your are in it. We CAN describe what the normal behavior in general for individuals placed in that situation has been, and we should train ourselves and those training under us for what has been observed to be the typical behavior. To train ourselves to do things like utilize fine motor skills that we KNOW will be degraded, or to always utilize the front sight for very close-in targets that are a proximity threat to us......I believe that does everyone involved a disservice and puts us at risk for not surviving.

In those instances where you say you bladed off, I have to wonder if your body truly perceived that you were in danger. If not, you allowed yourself to take the less proactive response to whatever "threat" you were facing.

David Armstrong
April 28, 2008, 09:15 AM
The point Im making is a response to the statement that most people shield themselves by crouching in an iso stance. While I agree that it may be true for some its not true for all.
I almost hate to point out the obvious, but using a picture of people reacting while seated to support a concept of reaction while not seated is heavily flawed. Almost by definition the seated body cannot react the same as it would in a less restricted environment.
While I agree that it may be true for some its not true for all.
It is the common, hard-wired response in our species, and the one we resort to. That some can train themselves to respond in a different manner some of the time in no way negates that.

bds32
April 29, 2008, 04:22 PM
I dont think theres any problem with this method of practice because your still programming yourself to bring the gun into your line of sight. Whether you place your focus on the FS during a shooting exercise or on the threat during a fight, your gun is going to need to be in the same position ( in your line of sight) at 5-10 yards, most likely

I have to second this opinion as this has been my exact experience in numerous force on force training scenarios. I've been trained and have exclusively practiced to focus on the front sight. However, even with AR-15 Simunitions, I found myself focusing on the threat (not on the Aimpoint red dot) when the threat was shooting at me at ranges of less than 10 yards. Yet, on the range, I always went with the Aimpoint for the AR and with the front sight on the pistol.

Many police gunfight winners advise that they never saw the sights but yet we know that training to use the front sight has been standard in LE academies for a long time.

A SWAT commander and trainer by the name of Randy Watt reported an experiment in 2006 or 2007 that concluded that you should train to use your front sight even though it is very possible that you will not remember seeing it in a gunfight. In that experiment, front sight advocates shot faster and better than point shooters during realistic training scenarios using live firearms on targets with someone shooting Sims at them. Yet, none of them recall the use of the front sight.

Essentially, like Evan stated, you are programming yourself to put the pistol in the right position when you train to use the front sight. It is my belief that if forced into a close quarter gunfight, I will push the pistol into the position that it has gone many thousands of times in training, I believe I will focus exclusively on the threat if the threat is pointing or shooting a gun at me.

mellow_c
April 30, 2008, 03:40 AM
Dont get me wrong... But I think you guys are forgetting the best part about those pictures. They're absolutely HILARIOUS! lol:D I mean look at that little baby girl for heavens sake. It's like shes reaching out to the light. And then out of all the people, theres the one guys arm reaching into the picture trying to grab the bat. AHaha

Anyway. The bottom line is, not everyone will take the time to become an expert shooter. If you more comfortable with point shooting, then thats what you should practice. and if you feel it's worth the extra half second to bring the gun up so you can use your front sight for a precise shoot. Then you'll probably have great success in case of an attack. Shooting moving targets is also another story, but in most cases, the attacker will be moving towards you, and I doubt he'll be running back and forth trying to dodge your bullets that are coming from your gun that he probably hasn't even noticed you've drawn. Just be careful that if someone already has their gun on you, you dont go for your's... Cause they will probably shoot you first. Just tell them "please dont kill me, hears everything I have" and dont look at them to much.

I love point shooting. But I seriously should work on both my point and FS shooting.

Frank Ettin
April 30, 2008, 08:55 AM
I’m skeptical about leaning something a certain way because it’s “natural.” Sometimes one's instinctive reaction is not the correct response. In fact, it seems that one element of training and practice is to overcome instinctive reaction and to learn to automatically do instead what is appropriate.

For example, when driving a car, one's instinctive reaction in the event of a skid is to apply the brakes. We know that is the wrong thing to do; and so, if one is lucky enough to get some training in high speed driving, one learns to stay off the brake, turn into the skid and, under some circumstances, even gently apply some throttle. I remember my first time driving a Formula Ford through Turn 8 at Laguna Seca -- a left-right downhill "S" turn. When hitting the apex of the first half of the turn, you can't see the track. My "instinct" said to back off the throttle. But of course, backing off the throttle under side loading while going downhill is a good way to lose the back end.

In many ways, shooting is essentially unnatural and that to be good we need to develop physical and mental skills that are not innate or instinctive. As Clint Smith wrote in the January/February 2008 American Handgunner:

"It's alway argued that in a fight shooters will not look at their sights. I strongly agree -- if no one has ever taught them otherwise. To say that people don't, or won't, look at their sights is wrong. People have, they will in the future, and they'll hit the...target too. The correct alignment of the sights is a learnable skill. Is a textbook perfect sight picture available in every fight? Of course not....In fairness, the sights are only part of the issue -- the jerked on trigger doesn't improve anything."

There are two largely irreconcilable and firmly entrenched doctrines in combat shooting: point shooting and the modern technique employing the flash sight picture. I've trained and practiced the latter, and with proper training and practice one can put excellent, multiple hits on target very, very quickly. It's important to realize that the flash sight picture is not the same as the normal, precise sight picture one might want doing slow firing, marksmanship exercises at the range. It is a sight picture no more precise than reasonably appropriate to the range. (And of course, point shooting at appropriately close distances is an important skill.)

Even when one has been taught to look at the sights, how much has he actually practiced quickly seeing the adequate sight picture and acting reflexively, without conscious thought, on the rough sight picture? As another trainer, Bennie Cooley, once told me, "It's not that I shoot quicker than you do. It's that I see quicker."

I often wonder if the reason there are so many misses in fights has less to do with the particular technique that shooter has been taught, but the fact that he hasn't trained sufficiently for the technique to become truly reflexive
Many of the more complex tasks we come to do without conscious thought aren't really instinctive or intuitive; they are, rather, reflexive. They are not natural, innate responses we are born with. Rather, they are habitual responses developed and conditioned by training and practice

David Armstrong
April 30, 2008, 09:48 AM
There are two largely irreconcilable and firmly entrenched doctrines in combat shooting: point shooting and the modern technique employing the flash sight picture.
Actually most point shooting advocates also advocate getting a sight picture whenever possible, and using point shooting only when necessary.
I've trained and practiced the latter, and with proper training and practice one can put excellent, multiple hits on target very, very quickly.
Much the same can be said of the former (point shooting).

bds32
April 30, 2008, 10:56 PM
I often wonder if the reason there are so many misses in fights has less to do with the particular technique that shooter has been taught, but the fact that he hasn't trained sufficiently for the technique to become truly reflexive


You are right on the money with that. And, no training is complete without some Force on Force Simunitions training to show what you're likely to do under fire. That sure made a believer out of me.

Scattergun Bob
May 4, 2008, 08:13 PM
David,

Yes, they are both effective if practiced. What I THINK we are talking about in this thread, like most of our threads is force multipliers, and it is not necessary for them to be mutually exclusive for them to maintain their effectiveness. For myself I wish to fill my survival tool belt with as many tools and techniques as possible. I coined a term "my response inventory" and after certifying that a tool works for me, I load it in regardless of who thought it up.



force multiplier= refers to a factor that dramatically increases (hence "multiplies") the effectiveness of our attack or defense.


Good Luck & Be Safe

EastSideRich
May 4, 2008, 11:26 PM
Those pictures are effin HILARIOUS!!

I can't not laugh out loud when I look at them.