Focus on dot or target?

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Focus on dot or target?

Post by pergoman on Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:40 pm

I was intrigued by a recent discussion after one of our league matches a few weeks ago. There was some disagreement as to where to focus one's eyes when using a red dot sight. Some guys try to focus on the dot as if it was a front sight on an iron sighted gun. They feel the sharp dot will center in the fuzzy black of the target. Others say they try to focus on the target and have the fuzzy red dot find its own center. Quite a few fellas had no idea where they were focusing and said they never thought about it. What is the proper technique?

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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by Jack H on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:10 pm

Either target focus or dot focus can be proper. The important operative is focus. Google "quiet eye". One thing I believe is that your hold has to be pretty tight for the target focus to work.
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by DavidR on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:14 pm

I tried the whole turn the dot all the way down and forget it and look at the target, Sorry but for me it doesn't work, the Dot represents where the bullet will go, take that away and you might as well be sighting thru a toilet paper roll. I focus on breaking the shot while the dot is in my arc of movement centered in the black.
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by jakuda on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:48 pm

It depends on the shooter's eye actually and there is no right answer.

Some shooters perceive the dot as "in front" of the target. Some perceive the dot as at the same distance as the target. For those in the latter group, it almost doesn't matter which one you "focus" on. For the former, they probably focus on the dot.

Personally I focus on the dot, however to be fair, I haven't seriously tried focusing on the target.

Dr. Wong OD has some articles/posts on this very question in other forums/groups.

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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by Dave C. on Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:54 pm

What are you shooting at? The target or the dot?

Dave C.
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by jakuda on Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:14 pm

Dave C. wrote:What are you shooting at? The target or the dot?

Dave C.

Is there an insight to be inferred from this?

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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by Al on Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:25 pm

I vary. I try to focus on the target most of the time. However, at times that just doesn't deliver the results I'm looking for. At those times I go back to focusing on the dot. I have no idea why it works for me, it just seems to.

Possibly the changeup in my routine jumpstarts something.

FWIW

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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by Ed Hall on Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:07 am

My (NSH) opinion - take it at its value to you:

Your focus is determined by your skill level.

The important concerns for the shot are happening at the gun.

The dot in relation to the tube will tell you what you need to know about what's happening at the gun and will allow you to perfect your shot delivery. I like to think of the sighting system as a trigger purity indicator. If you reference the dot to tube (similar to front to rear concept for open sights), you can perfect your trigger operation.

After your trigger operation is perfected, you can move to the target and you will probably see improvement.

If you fall back a bit, come back into the tube to verify your trigger operation.

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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by DeweyHales on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:02 am

jakuda wrote:
Dave C. wrote:What are you shooting at? The target or the dot?

Dave C.

Is there an insight to be inferred from this?

I am assuming his question is like asking "if you are throwing a football, do you look at the football or the receiver?"

However, different strokes for different folks. There are people that shoot very well using both target or dot focus. The key is to be consistent.

Most dots are sold as being parallax free, but many of them aren't. So, you want the dot to be in a consistent spot in the tube. The easiest way to accomplish this is to put it in the center of the tube. Keep that alignment much the way you would keep the sights aligned. Then, focus on the item that helps you shoot the best.
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by bruce martindale on Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:35 pm

Getting used to looking at the target is why dot shooters fail at iron sights

They can also be held back by trying to perfect the visual instead of perfecting the trigger. Trigger is worth more than sights. Its been my shortcoming in competition for a while now. Lets see what next Saturday brings !

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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by Casey101 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:39 pm

Interesting info about Quiet Eye
Here is an article from USA Shooting about QEhttp://www.usashooting.org/library/Instructional/Shotgun/Quiet_Eye_Article_by_Causer_Peter_Vint_24_Aug_10.pdf
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by sixftunda on Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:32 am

Motorcycle Dan has his dot turned down way low for slow fire, not sure what he does for TF/RF.  I have heard him use the word "Ghost" when describing it.  I have tried this myself and had the dot translucent.  
Now I turn the dot up a setting or two above that point.  I do not want it bright to the point that it stands out too much or starts to become distorted with "starbursts" coming off it. I like everything to have the same ambiance.  I can't think of a better word to describe it.  The one thing I do not like is having it dim to the point that I may have to leave my shot process and consciously look for my dot.  

My best slow fire scores came when I focused on the dot but did not mentally focus how on much the dot was moving when the trigger broke.  Just get the dot in the black and start pulling the trigger without hesitation.

I agree with Bruce about focusing on the target when you shoot dots and then having problems moving to iron sights.  I shoot a lot of service pistol in the summer and so I just think that its best that no matter which gun I am using to always have my focus on either the sight rather than switching it back and forth between sight and target.
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by james r chapman on Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:07 pm

and, Brian Zins recommends..

Brian Zins says..
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by sixftunda on Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:14 pm

james r chapman wrote:and, Brian Zins recommends..

Brian Zins says..
You beat me to it. 
I will be attending a Zins-Moody clinic next month so I will pass along what I find out there as well.
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by Art on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:21 pm

It's my understanding that red dot sights like the UltraDot use lenses to put the dot and target in the same plane.

So both the target and dot are in the same focus.   Maybe a better word/term would be: what do we visually concentrate on? the target or the dot.

I try to concentrate on centering the dot in the black part of the target and accept the wobble as it is - they're both in the same focus for me but I seem to be watching what the dot is doing, I think because the dot is moving and the target is stationary it's the moving dot that catches my attention.

There was an article in American Rifleman about optics and Brian Zins said at a clinic I attended that the dot and the target were in the same plane but he wasn't sure what that meant.

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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by bullseyepistol on Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:55 am

Brian Zins answers that question in the following article:
http://www.bullseyepistol.com/zins.htm
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Re: Focus on dot or target?

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:47 pm

Yeah, with a properly adjusted/focused/working optic the visual focus would be the same--focus on infinity, same *optical* plane way out there.

MENTAL focus is IME more important, but I have not worked out whether it makes any difference for me. What I do know is that for any string, this being such a mental game, you should have the same mental focus for every shot.

When chasing the old ISU rifle target's 10-ring before the stupid "inner 10 = 10.1 or more points" bullcrap came in, I did notice that in standing, my best scores were from times when the NPA was good (far less imprecise with pistol, I know, but it ain't very precise standing with a rifle either!), the brain was calm, ideas and and physical and mental feelings and NOT words were dominant, and my mental focus was actually on the "dance" of BOTH the front sight ring and the aiming black. During those magical times, not only did the sights settle still for longer time periods, but when the sight picture said "9 or better"**, the rifle would almost fire itself. Sort of like and autopilot thing. AND it was done without trigger pull disturbing the bore's alignment with that aiming point.

So I have some good things to think about, especially paying more attention to my own shot process. Next time out will be more like PRACTICE than just shooting to see what score I get.

**Yeah, I wasn't that good but ya gotta choose a standard that lets you get all the shots off in the time limit! BTW, despite the expected statistical distribution of a round shot hit probability from such off-centered trigger pulls, they really were 10s as often as they were 8s, when they broke inside my 9-ring acceptable area.

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Re: Focus on dot or target?

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