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Old April 11, 2007, 06:49 PM   #1
GoSlash27
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IDPA/IPSC aiming?

I've been a target shooter for most of my life. Since I've gotten into pistol action shooting (IPSC & IDPA), I've been frustrated by my lack of speed and I think it's due to my thought process. That is to say, I'm employing a thought process and thinking takes too long

I used to follow the old target shooting process:

1) guesstimate range to the target
2) choose proper holdoff for the range
3) look at desired impact point
4) look at a point x inches below desired impact point
5) transition to sights
6) fire

That was very accurate, but also very slow. I started short-circuiting the process by simply using a generic holdoff for all ranges, and that worked out faster but less accurately because the difference between the generic holdoff and proper holdoff varies widely at relatively short ranges.
But the thought process became:

1) look at desired impact point
2) look at a point 3 1/2" below desired impact point
3) transition to sights
4) fire

So I got to thinking about it and decided that the less active thought I put into it, the faster I can get on target. After doing some test groups and crunching numbers, I discovered that I could both increase accuracy and spend less time aiming if I choose a generic holdoff based on the sight picture itself rather than the target.

See, while my impact points climb steadily over the first 30 yards *in terms of inches at the target*, they remain fairly steady in terms of MoA.

So I'm going to experiment with a new approach:

1) look at desired impact point
2) transition to sights
3) align sigh picture so that desired impact point forms the peak of an isocoles triangle with rear night sight dots (symmetry is easy to recognize subconsciously)
4) fire


How do you folks do it? Am I on the right track?
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Old April 11, 2007, 10:44 PM   #2
yar
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Some of us in action pistol have simplified it considerably farther. We look at the various targets beforehand and decide what we need to see. Some of the close in targets we decide we don't even really need to see the sights. We are strictly using a hard target focus. I describe the sensation as moving the eyes to target, with the gun following a split second later. I am looking at a specific point of the target such as the upper portion of the A zone and I rip off two shots. I see my sights lift but is is hazy and I my eyes are already moving to the next target.

For the intermediate range shots I do a more tradition see the target, see the sights, see the sights lift.

For difficult or tight shots I add in that I need to see the sights steady, i prep the trigger and feel it stack up, then it's just a matter of seeing them lift.

Your not shooting groups, you just need to get 2 fast shots in the upper scoring pannels.
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Old April 12, 2007, 12:08 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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I don't understand the "holdoff" stuff.
Why not just set your sights to hit where you aim? The trajectory of any usual caliber is very small relative to the size of the A/Zero zone over the ranges involved.
I want my group on paper to form right at the top of the blade of a Patridge sight picture. I don't use spotted sights, just a fibre optic front and a black rear. Some targets are close enough to just "shotgun" with the bright front sight, more distant ones call for sight alignment.
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Old April 12, 2007, 05:46 AM   #4
GoSlash27
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Jim,
Quote:
Why not just set your sights to hit where you aim?
'Cause my sights aren't adjustable. Otherwise I would.
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Old April 12, 2007, 07:56 AM   #5
HSMITH
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Take a file to the rear sight. File the top down, shoot, file, shoot. If you can't/won't do that change your loads, dropping to a 200 grain bullet instead of a 230 in 45 acp should lower the point of impact some if both are making the same power factor. Shooting a gun with the bullets impacting anywhere from right IN the top of the blade to an inch or so over the front blade is vastly more efficient. If the equipment can hold you back, and in this case I think it is, modify or replace it until it won't.

KNOWING, without thought or visual confimation, where the bullet went is essential to getting better. You need to be able to see the front sight lift and KNOW that where it lifted from is EXACTLY where that bullet went.
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Old April 12, 2007, 08:03 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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Change them out. They don't have to be click adjustable, they just have to be on; 25 yards is a good sightin range.
3.5 inches at 30 yards (The only numbers you give.) is .023" on the gun, that is a lot of filing.
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Old April 12, 2007, 08:45 AM   #7
jmorris
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+1 on fixing your sights. If you fix that handicap you’ll be faster and more accurate. Your eyes, hands, brain try to line everything up, so help them out. I too use fiber optic front and black rear. One other thing I do is file down the rear blade so the “dot” is at the bottom of the notch when the tops are level. It helps prevent low shots when in the “shotgun” mode.
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Old April 12, 2007, 09:02 AM   #8
Lurper
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Stop thinking and start seeing!!!!
Get rid of the concept of "holdover". For Pete's sake, you are trying to hit the "A" zone, not a gnats a$$! Sight your gun in dead nuts at 25 yards. Aim at the top of the "A" zone at 50, the bottom of the upper "A" zone if you need to make head shots at 10. Understand that where the sights are, the bullet will hit. It can't happen any other way. See the sights. Track the front sight during recoil. Don't think - you need to remove the filter between your eyes and trigger finger - your conscious mind. There is no need to change your focus from the target to the sight. Start by knowing where you want the shot to hit, but don't focus on the target. Your mind will align the sights on the target if you allow it to. Keep a soft focus on the target and you should pick up the sights in your peripheral vision. Then the sight will be in sharp focus by the time you are ready to fire the shot. Also, keep in mind you only need as fine a sight picture as necessary to complete the shot. You can have a much more coarse sight picture on a full target at 10 yds than a full target at 50. However, you should have a pretty precise one at head shots at 10.

Clear all that clutter from your mind. SEE the sight.

My head hurts after reading all that, I need to go shoot some.
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Old April 12, 2007, 05:10 PM   #9
eerw
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Quote:
Stop thinking and start seeing!!!!
+100
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Old April 13, 2007, 06:06 AM   #10
GoSlash27
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I went out and experimented with this stuff yesterday. Seems to work pretty good. A lot better than what I was doing before.

Something else I noticed: I have a tendency to be somewhat "obsessive-compulsive" when shooting; I have a difficult time forcing myself to release a shot unless the sight alignment is perfect. So here's what I did:
I stopped using the blade edges of the sights and started using the white dots instead. No sharp corners to focus on, but still accurate enough for these ranges.
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Old April 13, 2007, 07:36 AM   #11
M1911
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Quote:
'Cause my sights aren't adjustable. Otherwise I would.
Take it to a gunsmith and have him fix it!

A defensive handgun should be shooting to point of aim at any reasonable distances. If it isn't, then it needs to be fixed.
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Old April 15, 2007, 04:23 PM   #12
GoSlash27
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Well..
I tried out this new approach today at an IPSC match. Definitely works better so long as there's no hostages around
Maybe I'd better keep aiming with more precision around them.
Aside from that, the changing light conditions affect the perceived impact point. I knew that, but forgot it. Hopefully bringing the point of impact to the point of aim will help that. Adjustable sights are on order.
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