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Old April 24, 2011, 09:43 PM   #1
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Smaller targets = better groups

Hi All,

Just wanted to post an observation. Normally I shoot at target strips like these. Each target is 5.5 inches across with a 3.5 inch colored center:

I shoot at these with a scoped bolt-action .308 rifle (100 yards) and several iron-sighted pistols (15 yards).

Recently I have been affixing small Shoot-N-See dots to the center of each target. This gives me a much more defined point upon which to place the cross hairs of the scope when shooting rifle:

The above strip was perforated by my .308, for what its worth. Load development.

Anyway, today I tried it with my pistols and found it has a similar effect. It gives me something a lot more precise to look for out there as I focus on the front sight (or try to, anyway). My pistol groups improved today and I think I will see additional improvement if I keep doing this.

Since there's nothing new under the sun, I figure I may have stumbled upon something everybody else already knew :-) Has anyone else made this (or similar) change to their target practice regimen, with similar results?

Also, I think this is why the traditional "bullseye" hold has the bottom edge of the target sitting on top of the front sight. It's a lot easier to tell when the target is exactly on top of (i.e. "just touching") the front sight vs. when the front sight is at the exact center of the target (i.e. swimming around).

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Old April 24, 2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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"Aim small, miss small."
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Old April 24, 2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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I do the same for my 100 yard benchrest targets. I have found it better to adjust my sights to hit above the aiming point. Keeps me from losing the aiming point.

I have also heard of others who shoot one hole and use that as the aiming point.

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Old April 24, 2011, 10:33 PM   #4
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What MLEAKE said.
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Old April 25, 2011, 12:00 AM   #5
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"Aim small, miss small."
I find this to be true.

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Old April 25, 2011, 02:29 AM   #6
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I prefer to use the Shoot-N-C targets that have the little red dot center; my reticles are black, shows up better on red at 100 yards and beyond.

I also like the smallest target that they make for most of my shooting; unless sighting in a scope, then the bigger ones.

This is an image from sighting in my newest rifle. Don't have it fine tuned yet, planning on tomorrow for that, but the red dot in the center does help.

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Old April 25, 2011, 04:50 PM   #7
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My standard target is a 50' small bore pistol target and I use it for everything from 50 yards to 200 yards for my rifles and at 25 yards for shooting off hand pistol. Without that great big bullseye lurking in front of my sights I am forced to look at the front sight of my iron sights or the cross hairs of my scopes. Works for me. It isn't the only target I use but for sighting in and serious shooting that is my choice.
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Old April 25, 2011, 08:56 PM   #8
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"Aim small, miss small."
I heard this several years ago, when I was trying to improve my handgun shooting.

I started using a 3x5 index card with a 1" orange sticky dot in the center, and have been doing so ever since.

It has worked well for me. I am not Top Shot material, but my handgun shooting improved markedly.
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Old April 26, 2011, 12:43 PM   #9
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For scoped rifles and peep sights I shoot at 2-3 inch squares or diamonds ,I can hold on one of the points with a scope and see if my crosshairs are off point of aim .For peeps, holding on the bottom of a diamond is easier for my fuzzy eyes than a circle.
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Old April 26, 2011, 02:14 PM   #10
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I tend to prefer things like Zombie targets for fun shooting; but even then, you can aim small.

Examples: the v-notch on the zombie's t-shirt; the 3rd button on the zombie's button-down shirt; the right or left nostril; you get the idea.

Small and very easy to see works well.... until you put so many holes on and around it that it isn't there, at which time shift to a different, specific point.
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Old April 27, 2011, 12:40 AM   #11
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That's one of the reasons I practice at longer ranges than many; I want to hone my skills at bullet placement. 200 yds offhand, even with my 6" slide custom G20L pistol is hard but after I've gotten into the grove, a 12 yd target is child's play.

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Old April 27, 2011, 01:24 PM   #12
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I like the targets that the Appleseed project uses. At 25 yards they are simulating a distance out to 400 yards.
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Old April 27, 2011, 08:24 PM   #13
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Old May 2, 2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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Yesterday my wife and I were out shooting some silhouette targets with pistols and my groups wern't very good. After a while I put some broken clays on my target stand and found that I could hit them pretty consistantly. I could even hit shotgun shells about half the time but you would never know it looking at my groups on paper.

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