View Full Version : Why focus on the front sight?

February 16, 2005, 12:12 PM
I have been shooting archery for a very long time and in that sport, I have been told, and had very good success with focusing on the target and letting the sight look however it will look. Similiar technique for Trap and Skeet
I figure that when I throw a ball I don't look at the ball, I look at the receiver.
I have been shooting pistol for a while and recently have gotten serious about PPC ( average 584) and IDPA and of course all you hear is concentrate on the front sight. I did have special shooting glasses made to force my ageing eye to the front sight focus. I will get to try them for the first time this week-end.
Any comments on why the different philosopy and technique?

February 16, 2005, 12:49 PM
Most of the top practical pistol shooters use varying focus, depending on the distance and difficulty of the shot. Not to say I'm a top shooter, but when I shoot at a target that is 5' away, I do look at the target. In the 10'-20' range, I see the outline of the gun super-imposed on the target, but I don't have a sharp focus on either the sights or the target. As the targets get out to ten yars, I'm looking at the gun, and seeing the whole gun more in focus than the target, but unless it's a head shot, or a small steel plate, I'm still not focusing hard on the sights. At fifteen yards or more, I'm focused hard on the front sight. You can see only one thing in sharp focus, so if your choices are rear sight, front sight, and target, then at longer ranges, the front sight is the one that counts. There is a very good practical shooter who does very well with no sights on his gun, but I would draw no generalizations from that.

February 19, 2005, 10:39 PM
>> Any comments on why the different philosopy and technique?

Firearms have a *much* higher potential accuracy. Convential Pistol (bullseye and Olympic disciplines) are the least stable firearm platform and their targets are smaller than archery targets.

The front sight fetish is because sight alignment is more important for pure accuracy. Plus, it allows you to see all the feedback on your sights in recoil.

RickB is spot-on about practical/speed shooting. The rule is SWYNTS (see what you need to see.) You don't need high precision to hit the A-zone at 5 yards.

Joe D
February 20, 2005, 07:51 AM
The front sight will tell you where your bullet went.

February 20, 2005, 03:06 PM
I had never looked at the SYYNTS as such before but it make sense.

We could start a friendly argument over "Firearms have a *much* higher potential accuracy. Convential Pistol (bullseye and Olympic disciplines) are the least stable firearm platform and their targets are smaller than archery targets.

As a competition Archery shooter, my target is a circle just over 1 inch i diameter. That is the smallest ring in the middle of a target that is typically about 24" in total, shot at 20 yards. I can typically keep all 60 arrows either in of cutting this line. I have never seen a pistol shooter capable of this accuracy. We had a Pistol Shooter/Archery Shooter friendly competition at the club here in michigan and the Archer's smoked the pistol shooters. Same target, same distance, Timed fire. 5 shots, 4 minutes.


February 23, 2005, 05:25 PM
Sub-two inch groups, of sixty "rounds", at 20 yards? That is outstanding accuracy. I can't maintain my concentration for more than twenty or so rounds, so even at my very best, I couldn't shoot a group like that. I may be albe to put twenty into 2", twenty into 4", and all sixty into 6", but that would be about it.

February 24, 2005, 03:31 AM
How small an arrow are you using, able to fit 60 in an inch? :D

Seriously, that's quite a feat. Finding comfort in my flame suit, I'd say you're pretty much already into bullseye shooting. And you would probably best gauge your skills with the bullseye crowd than the IPSC shooters.

As for the front sight, Rick B already said it. One thing I'd like to add is that at generally IPSC target distance, one is served better by looking though the sights. ;)

February 24, 2005, 07:03 AM
The arrows are 26/64". We fire 5 at a time, each at a seperate bullseye, 5 on a target, score'em, pull'em, do it again, 12 times. Target is in the attachment below. Not visiable is a small inner circle around the "X". That is where the 1" circle is.
This way you don't destroy your arrows, by banging them together or getting a "Robin Hood". One stuck in the back of another. I have seen a picture of a guy in a tournament who stuck 3 arrows together!


February 26, 2005, 11:34 PM
When I first started into five spot, my coach told me I would be able to shoot better groups at 20 yards with a bow than I could with a handgun. As a high master PPC shooter I figured he was just nuts. Little did I know. :)

Even the best BE shooters in the world can't hold a candle to the groups any decent archer turns in on a regular basis. FWIW, I shoot one arrow per target or I would be in the poor house.

February 28, 2005, 01:09 AM
OK here's why shooting a bow usually gets better accuracy than shooting a handgun.
Bow shooters have several check points to help them get a repeatable hold and aim, with a pistol shooting standing yu have just yur hand grip and eye to obtain a repeatable aim and hold.
This makes a major difference in those repeatable good shots.
And there is no recoil banging against you when yur shooting a bow.
.. ..
and now the BIGGIE, you got a GREAT BIG SIGHT RADIUS with the bow. the front sight is on the bow right at your front hand and the rear sight is usually a peep hole sight in the string right in front of your eye.
The bows sight radius from your front hand to maybe 3" infront of your eye gives you a sight radis of what maybe 24", compared to 8" on a 1911.
So you should compare the bow with a rifle not a pistol>>

February 28, 2005, 07:12 AM
I understand the comparison relative to the sight radius. I also shot smalbore 4-position in HS and College. A good Off hand shooter with a prescisionAnschutz) smallbore gun would likely smoke the best archer, comparaing a 20 yard indoor Archery round to the 50' .22 DCM target.
This is turning into a pretty good thread!