The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 11, 2005, 09:37 PM   #1
HighValleyRanch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2005
Posts: 3,446
a little SECRET about good shooting

Haven't seen anyone post this yet, so I thought I would step up to the plate.

This little "secret" was taught to me by a great world class shooter and gunsmith. He sat down with me one night and drew it out on paper.

SO WHY IS SIGHT ALIGNMENT MORE IMPORTANT THAN SIGHT PICTURE?
We are talking pistol shooting, not rifle, and iron sights, not optics.
Why does everyone empahsize focus only on the front sight, and secondarily focus on the sight alignment ONLY?

Because the relationship of the front sight to the rear sight on such a short sight radius, pistol being about 4 to 8 inches, is like the tip of a triangle.
The further the target is from you, the bigger the triangle. So the degree of difference between being centered in the blades and slightly off is like at the tip of the triangle and when the bullet gets to the target, it will be following the side of the triangle to the base. Therefore, if the blade is mis aligned a small amount, it will greatly be magnified as the distance increases.
That is the significance of sight alignment, pure and simple.

Now if your sights are perfectly aligned, but your sight picture is off.
Say your sights are perfectly aligned, but in your sight picture your hold wavers off sightly to the 3:00 part of the bull. Right edge, the bullet will hit in the black on the right edge. Why, because you are now talking about PARALLEL difference rather than TRIANGULAR difference. If the sights are perfectly aligned, the difference in the sight picture is LESS than if the sights are mis aligned and dead centered in the bull.

Hope that makes it plain and simple.
I know that there might be someone out there that can take this little gem of knowlege and realize the difference! All those little gems are out there in plain sight. It's up to each person to realize them.
__________________
From the sweet grass to the slaughter house; From birth until death; We travel between these two eternities........from 'Broken Trail"
HighValleyRanch is offline  
Old August 11, 2005, 11:58 PM   #2
Wraith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 22, 2004
Location: The Free State
Posts: 498
It's true. +1
__________________
June 23, 2003
GRATZ et al. v. BOLLINGER et al.
The day America died.


Never Forget 9/11.

Cold dead hands...
Wraith is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 12:25 AM   #3
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 22,633
So, if your sights are perfectly aligned to each other the bullet will hit where the gun is aimed.

If your pistol has a sight radius of 6.5", and the front sight is perfectly aligned with the target but is misaligned by X to the rear sight, you will miss by Y [edit]at 25 yards.[/edit] (thanks, HVR)

misalign
by
this
X -----> Y (miss by this)
0.1"--->13.9"
0.05"-->6.9"
0.04"-->5.6"
0.03"-->4.2"
0.02"-->2.8"
0.01"-->1.4"

For reference. 0.04" is roughly the thickness of a dime, 0.01" is a little smaller than the diameter of the period at the end of this sentence.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?

Last edited by JohnKSa; August 12, 2005 at 08:25 PM.
JohnKSa is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 12:49 AM   #4
HighValleyRanch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2005
Posts: 3,446
JohnSka
You forgot to add the distance at which you are calculating this?
10 yards? 25 yards? 50 yards?
Thanks for the input. I'm not that mathmatical.
__________________
From the sweet grass to the slaughter house; From birth until death; We travel between these two eternities........from 'Broken Trail"
HighValleyRanch is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 01:44 AM   #5
XavierBreath
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2002
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 2,800
I'm not sure I understand, but I'll take your word for it. I just try to line those puppies up and not mess it up when pressing the trigger. You guys are just to scientific for us Neanderthals..........
__________________
Xavier's Blog
XavierBreath is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 02:32 AM   #6
jeff_troop
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2005
Location: NRA Patron member from MS
Posts: 459
not busting your balls but i thought this was common knowledge. nra safe hunter course taught me this when i was a wee lad. the fed training center taught the same way. can't remember what uncle sam taught for some reason. guess he failed to leave an impression. good point worth bringing up though.!
jeff_troop is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 02:46 AM   #7
CobrayCommando
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2004
Posts: 1,631
I can't understand what you said, perhaps because I don't have the proper definitions of alignment and picture here...

I shoot by concentrating on the target, bringing the handgun up and focusing on the front sight with both eyes open. I never align the rear posts with the front, I use the front sight and pretend its a red dot sight on the target.

I've found with practice I'm more accurate this way then normally, and I have better situational awareness. I use the Isoscles, so Weaver users may not be able to use this technique.
CobrayCommando is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 04:50 AM   #8
Eghad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 28, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,231
http://www.bullseyepistol.com/chapter2.htm

sight alignment is the most important. If you shoot nice tight groups even though they are not dead center you can adjust your sights if they are adjustable or change your sight picture for a fixed sight pistol or adjust the fixed sights. So if you are out shooting and are getting nice tight groups within the paremeters of the accuracy of the firearm.. you have proper sight alignment and are doing the other fundamentals of marksmanship correctly and iits a matter of adjusting your sights or where your sight picture is on the target to get center of mass or center of target.
__________________
Have a nice day at the range

NRA Life Member
Eghad is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 10:05 AM   #9
Z_Infidel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2002
Posts: 117
This is probably most valid in target shooting. For combat / self defense shooting, there is something to be said for concentrating on the front sight or using a point-shooting technique, especially at closer distances. Other things, such as the position of the arms, can be used as indexes for proper alignment when trying to quickly get the front sight on target in a defensive shooting scenario.

I will agree that accurate shooting at a distance requires proper sight alignment. Sometimes it's hard to decide which method should get more of your practice time. I try to practice both aimed fire with sight alignment at distance as well as quick front sight focus for up close.
Z_Infidel is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 10:10 AM   #10
Hard Ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 1999
Location: California
Posts: 3,925
I agree that for aimed fire and precise shooting this is correct. For combat shooting concentrating on your front sight is faster and gives acceptable accuracy.
__________________
"I swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemeis domestic or foreign WHOMSOEVER."
Hard Ball is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 10:12 AM   #11
Bravo25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 432
Quote:
Hard Ball
+1
Both should be practiced. CQC can be necessary, or removing a hostage from a BG could be as well.
__________________
If more laws restricting our rights will make us free from harm, why aren't we safe yet? We are only less free.

When faced with impossible overwhelming odds, prudance would dictate the only thing left is to figure out what is possible, and to do it.

Punishment for all crimes should increase until the recitivism rate approaches zero.
Bravo25 is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 02:13 PM   #12
CobrayCommando
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2004
Posts: 1,631
Geeze what is this recent obsession with hostage rescue? There are maybe one thousand people in the world trained enough to have a good chance at rescuing a hostage in a hostile situation.

These people have expended at least 15,000 rounds to become proficient and accurate enough, and there is still a margin of error. Unless the hostage taker is the dread pirate Blackbeard, I wouldn't base any of your gun choices, ammunition choices or training choices on rescuing hostages, unless your willing to dedicate thousands of dollars and months of time to become that good.

Unless by removing a hostage from a bad guy you mean shooting through the hostage, which is what the Israelis do.
CobrayCommando is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 02:50 PM   #13
Bravo25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 432
Quote:
These people have expended at least 15,000 rounds to become proficient and accurate enough, and there is still a margin of error. Unless the hostage taker is the dread pirate Blackbeard, I wouldn't base any of your gun choices, ammunition choices or training choices on rescuing hostages, unless your willing to dedicate thousands of dollars and months of time to become that good.
I guess the point got lost here. Over the years I have spent that much money, time, and effort. I believe in my abilities to make a head shot at 7 to 10 yards. Yes even on a moving target. But that would require correct sight alignment. Right? Not just quick point, and shoot.

BTW you shouldn't ever riducle anyones willingness to be prepared. Ever shot IDPA matches?
__________________
If more laws restricting our rights will make us free from harm, why aren't we safe yet? We are only less free.

When faced with impossible overwhelming odds, prudance would dictate the only thing left is to figure out what is possible, and to do it.

Punishment for all crimes should increase until the recitivism rate approaches zero.
Bravo25 is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 04:20 PM   #14
HighValleyRanch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2005
Posts: 3,446
Hope this drawing helps

__________________
From the sweet grass to the slaughter house; From birth until death; We travel between these two eternities........from 'Broken Trail"
HighValleyRanch is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 06:26 PM   #15
sendec
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2005
Posts: 517
Actually, unless they are loose in their dovetails, sights are ALWAYS aligned
sendec is offline  
Old August 12, 2005, 11:31 PM   #16
CobrayCommando
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2004
Posts: 1,631
My guess is that you have nowhere near the experience and training necessary to have a greater than 70 percent chance of rescuing a hostage and having that hostage live. I did not ridicule any single persons training, why don't you tell me how you have trained to rescue a loved one from the clutches of a person with a shotgun duct taped to they're head, and to his hand.

I'm not ridiculing your training, as it has not been in vain, but I will say this, I don't have faith in yours or mine ability to reliably rescue hostages. It's one thing to think you're prepared, its another to actually do it.

Lets not get into a pissing match, I'm just stating my opinion.
CobrayCommando is offline  
Old August 13, 2005, 12:38 AM   #17
blackmind
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2005
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 1,224
Quote:
Hope that makes it plain and simple.
I appreciate you taking the time to help people out with this explanation. It speaks well of you.

I think, though, that the explanation sort of makes a complicated thing out of something that I thought was already simple.

I think that one way to look at this is, whatever is in the center of your front sight when the front site is perfectly aligned between the rears is what will be shot.

If the front sight is off-center between the rears, if you were to freeze the gun in place there, and then put your dominant (sighting) eye off to the side so that the sight alignment was perfect, you would see the off-target thing you were going to end up shooting.

-blackmind
blackmind is offline  
Old August 13, 2005, 12:52 AM   #18
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 22,633
One person's simple is another person's stone wall.
Quote:
if you were to freeze the gun in place there, and then put your dominant (sighting) eye off to the side so that the sight alignment was perfect, you would see the off-target
Exactly! I hadn't thought of it that way, but that's exactly right.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old August 13, 2005, 01:28 AM   #19
HighValleyRanch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2005
Posts: 3,446
that's a laugh. That's like saying that if you shot from the hip, the sights would be aligned with where ever the shot hit.
Correct of course.
And with your example, are you going to move your head off to the side exactly the same every time? If you are using your eyes as the reference point and the sights are as you describe, you probably will hit the bullseye once in a while....your neighbors target that is.
Before you criticize this thread, please take the time to go out to the range and just try the little experiment. Use a sand bag rest if you cannot hold perfect.
At seven yards, you are correct in that only the front sight needs to be on target for the groups to be around a 8 inch pattern. but go back to 20 yards and start to play around with the sight alignment.
take some shots with the front blade in different positions. You will then see a huge difference. Now do some shooting with the sights aligned, and move the perfect sight alignment around the bull. Even hold off the black slightly. You will be amazed at the difference. Now use a blank target, no bull and just focus entirely on the front sights being aligned. Don't worry about perfect placement, just keep the aligned sights centered somewhat in the middle of the blank target. If everything is right, i.e. correct surprise trigger break, you will be getting 3-4 inch ragged holes all day long.

The point of this thread is to help people understand the difference between sight alignment and sight picture. Too many shooters focus more on sight picture and not sight alignment. That's a critical mistake in good aacurate shooting.
And It's not only for target shooting, but if you can't hit what your aiming at, what's the point. Wouldn't you rather be able to shoot 2" groups at 15 yards than only be able to shoot 8 inch. Sure, 8 inch might be OK for combat but now you are adding in a larger mistake factor if your shot is off. Would you rather have a gun that is only capable of 8 inch groups, or 2". Same with the shooter.
I just don't buy that good enough for combat stuff. Sure, I work on point shooting and quick shots, and combat accuracy, but being able to shoot really tight groups makes the other stuff a lot easier.

Why am I taking the time to post this. It's common knowledge, I agree, but from the response and dragging feet I see in the responses, not everyone agrees. But I see that at least 450 people have taken the time to look at this, and it might help a few people in their shooting.
Who am I to try and help others? Just someone who sees others struggling out at the range. As stated in the first post, I was taught by some world class shooters, and have over 18 years experience in the bullseye game.
The criterial for bullseye shooters is about 3.25" for the 10 ring at 50 yards.
To be in expert class, you have to average 90%. so that is 9 out of 10 tens, or close to that. Rapid fire is 5 shots in ten seconds at 25 yards hitting the same 3" 10 ring. Oh and that is of course one handed. So your sights had better be aligned!

As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
__________________
From the sweet grass to the slaughter house; From birth until death; We travel between these two eternities........from 'Broken Trail"
HighValleyRanch is offline  
Old August 13, 2005, 09:09 PM   #20
CobrayCommando
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2004
Posts: 1,631
Are you talking to me?
CobrayCommando is offline  
Old August 13, 2005, 09:50 PM   #21
HighValleyRanch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2005
Posts: 3,446
Who's talking to who?

No one knows who you are talking to, CobrayCommando, unless you address them, but if you addressing me, no I am not talking to you.I assumed that your other posts were not addressed to me, but to Bravo25.
Whew, this gets confusing.

I was trying to politely disagree with Blackminds statement that if you move your head over then the sights would be misaligned anyways, so gathering that his point was it's OK to have misaligned sights.

That is, if I am the one you are addressing:
Quote:
Are you talking to me?
__________________
From the sweet grass to the slaughter house; From birth until death; We travel between these two eternities........from 'Broken Trail"
HighValleyRanch is offline  
Old August 13, 2005, 11:17 PM   #22
CobrayCommando
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2004
Posts: 1,631
Yes, I was talking to you. This entire post is over my head... I will just continue to use what works best for me...
CobrayCommando is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 02:16 AM   #23
LAK
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 14, 2002
Posts: 2,251
Sight alignment error is actually manifested as a cone of fire as opposed to a triangle - since errors in elevation produce the same effect. It follows that it is somewhat less important at contact and short distances and more important as distance increases.

Hence some argue completely unsighted fire close up, flash sight picture and then sighted fire depending on a relationship between the distance to target and the demands of speed.

Sight picture indicates where you intend the bullet should go. Sight alignment determines where the bullet actually will go.
LAK is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 02:37 AM   #24
Rangefinder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 4, 2005
Posts: 2,017
OK, the simple break-down with what I was taught. Your target is the focus, your sights are not. Call it instinct, muscle memory, whatever. It's pretty basic to understand and recognize what the sight picture for a given weapon is "supposed" to look like. So when the reflex/muscle memory kicks in and brings the same sight picture within your field of view between your eye and the target you're focusing on, the bullet is going to go relitive to where you aim.

Make sense, or am I making noise in an otherwise technical thread?
__________________
"Why is is called Common Sense when it seems so few actually possess it?"

Guns only have two enemies: Rust and Politicians.
Rangefinder is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08968 seconds with 8 queries