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View Full Version : Proper Sight Picture & Target Acquisition Process


TheDarkOne
January 26, 2010, 12:58 PM
I am pretty new to shooting handguns, and have just started competing in local competitions. I have been thinking a lot about the proper/best way to get through a stage as related to correct sight picture; more specifically, what exactly the eyes are doing, and where they are focused from start to finish.

1. We are taught to use good front sight focus, but we start every stage with target focus. So when exactly do you switch your focus from the target plane to the front sight, and when do wait until you have that front sight before breaking off that first shot?

2. Once you have that good front sight focus, do you maintain that focus throughout your firing sequence, or do you bounce back and forth between front sight focus and target focus?

3. With proper front sight focus, you will have 2 fuzzy images of each target down range. The question then is, how do you know which one to shoot at? This gets especially difficult when they all look alike and/or start to overlap each other.

I don't know if there is a proper way to all of this, but I would love to hear your thoughts as I am very confused. That last thing I want to do is start ingraining bad habits. Thanks.

Buster9mil
January 26, 2010, 05:30 PM
Good questions and very well stated TheDarkOne. I need the answers myself.
Any sight recommendations, especially for aging eyes, is welcome too!

TheDarkOne
January 26, 2010, 05:39 PM
Thank you. I was beginning to wonder if my post made any sense, since the questions I have posed have yet gone unanswered. It may be something that people don't really think about, especially if they are advanced shooters.

The_Vigilante
January 26, 2010, 07:46 PM
Check out the Brian Enos forum for answers to this question and others regarding IDPA/USPSA competition.

TheDarkOne
January 26, 2010, 08:56 PM
Cool, thanks, I had no idea this forum existed.

melchloboo
January 27, 2010, 06:57 PM
"3. With proper front sight focus, you will have 2 fuzzy images of each target down range. The question then is, how do you know which one to shoot at? This gets especially difficult when they all look alike and/or start to overlap each other."

This is only true if you have both eyes open, and even then, not true for everyone. Some sports that allow it, competitors use a blinder on one eye, or on the pistol/rifle. For others, their brain ignores one of the pictures from the non-dominant eye, and some say this can be learned with lots of practice by squinting intermittently. And some just squint one eye when aiming to avoid the problem.

Others just learn its either always the left or right, and it depends, I think, on which is your dominant eye that you should be using for sighting, but I don't want to give you the wrong answer.

Personally, I have this problem when I wear prescription glasses, but not when I don't. When I compete (bullseye, air pistol, misc. rifle) I use a blinder when I wear my prescription. I find that sometimes I don't need the blinder though, my brain will ignore the double image from the non-dominant eye, it depends how fatigued my eyes are that day... When I do self-defense style shooting, its either without my prescription glasses or I just squint my non-dominant eye if I am wearing them.

I don't do any run-and-gun sports, I imagine a blinder is probably not a good idea and maybe not allowed.

I'm sure you'll get all kinds of opinions about squinting the non-dominant eye. My feeling is its only for a split second while aiming, I guess you do give up some peripheral vision for a moment in a SD situation. On the other hand, in low light only one of your eyes would get blinded by muzzle flash, your brain would still get an image from the eye that was closed during the flash. So whatever.

TheDarkOne
January 27, 2010, 07:02 PM
Thanks for the replay. That Brian Enos forum that was recommended is like the holy grail when it comes to stuff like this. I have been reading through their forums the last few day. The knowledge these guys are spewing out it absolutely mind blowing. :)