Focusing on the Front Sight

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Focusing on the Front Sight Empty Focusing on the Front Sight

Post by mikemyers on 2/14/2020, 6:40 pm

Now that I'm shooting a gun with steel sights again, I got to wondering if I am doing things correctly.  Instead of thinking of "nothing", or "monitoring", 99.9% of my thinking was "FRONT SIGHT".  Results were better than I expected, but nothing to brag about.

I did some searching when I got home, and found this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lMYzJpD4n8

By the time the video finished, I was pretty convinced that while I'm "looking at" the front sight, I'm not "focusing" on it.  So, I took a stick-on label, and cut out a tiny square of white, which I stuck to the front sight of my gun.  I figured if this worked better, I would find a way to make something smaller, brighter, but large enough to see and focus on (watch the above video to see what I mean).

Focusing on the Front Sight Img_7410

Trying it out in my room, it seemed to work perfectly.  I could focus on the edges, and I became oblivious to everything else.  So far, so good.

Then I tried dry-firing, but with no light shining on the front sight, it mostly appeared black.  From what I learned, I'm pretty sure I was actually focusing on it, not just looking at it.


This brings me to my question.  At my range, the targets are outdoors in the sunlight, and we shoot inside a structure with a roof.  I don't think there's going to be any way to see my tape, or a small dot of white paint, or a scratch.  Anybody have an idea what I can do to the rear surface of my front sight, that will show up well enough to focus on?  Brian suggests a scratch, but I doubt I will see it well enough to focus on it.  Apparently that's the point - I need something big enough to see, and to be able to focus on it.  A scratch outdoors would work fine, but not too well for how I'm shooting.
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Post by TexasShooter on 2/14/2020, 7:05 pm

At a Zins-Moody clinic my brand new Springfield RO was customized by Andy Moody. He whipped out a big ol' pocketknife and scratched the snot out of my front sight so I'd have something to focus on. It works...

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Post by dapduh2 on 2/14/2020, 7:37 pm

TexasShooter wrote:At a Zins-Moody clinic my brand new Springfield RO was customized by Andy Moody. He whipped out a big ol' pocketknife and scratched the snot out of my front sight so I'd have something to focus on. It works...
Had something similar happen to me. Zins did the same to me when I asked for advice. When I sold that pistol to fund new projects I put “Zins modified front sight” in the description lol
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Post by mikemyers on 2/14/2020, 7:40 pm

Either of you have a photo of what he did?
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Post by dapduh2 on 2/14/2020, 7:45 pm

Literally just took a pocket knife out and made a quick pull of the knife up the serrations. He told me if I can see the scratch then I’m focusing on the front sight properly.
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Post by mikemyers on 2/14/2020, 8:35 pm

One thing leads to another.  Looking around for a photo of a scratched front sight, I found this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPtTs42sVAM&t=1148s

Chris Sajnog starts out with what was posted up above, and elaborates on it.  Following the video, everything makes sense to me - it's all logical.  Then towards the end, we're at Sight Alignment, when he explains that a 6 o'clock hold is not as good as a center-hold, and then he demonstrates why.  What he shows, matches what I saw two days ago at the range, trying to shoot with steel sights.  What he recommends, seems as logical a making the scratch on the front sight, and focusing on it.

Just reading what I'm writing here isn't enough - to understand what I'm trying to explain, you need to watch the video.  Then make up your own mind.  I'm not going to try to convince anyone of anything, but expect to follow his advice and see where it gets me.
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Post by mikemyers on 2/15/2020, 5:30 am

........which I was thinking about for much of last night.  If this was true, and this way of shooting really was better, the Bullseye World would already be doing it.  Most everyone seems to recommend the sub-6-o'clock hold.....

........I don't understand this, but maybe I should just stick with what the Bullseye shooters do.  Maybe there are other things that Chris hadn't considered.  

........Years ago, I was shooting center-hold, and after a discussion here, it was strongly suggested that I change to sub-6-o'clock.  My targets immediately improved.  Maybe black sights on a black target is something to avoid.
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Post by Mike38 on 2/15/2020, 11:11 am

That is what's called a "Gip". The “Gip” is a scratch, a serration, a defect or a peculiarity on the front sight. By looking at the Gip, the shooter’s eye is forced to make a pursuit movement to clearly define the level of intensity of focus and concentration. This fixation also becomes the doorway to entering a “trance state” or, as many professional athletes call it, the “Zone".


 https://www.insightfirearmstraining.com/2010/06/16/971/

I dipped a tooth pick point into white nail polish and put a white spot on my front sights. If I'm not "seeing" the white spot, I'm not focusing. If I'm focusing good enough, and can tell that the white spot is not round, or in the case of one of my pistols the white spot has a tiny tail sticking out at 4 o'clock, I know I'm focusing.
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Post by mikemyers on 2/15/2020, 12:19 pm

Well, I don't have any white nail polish, but I did have a small bottle of typewriter correction fluid. That seems to have worked.  Sort of.  When I hold the gun up and look at something dark, I see the white "dot", but not the rear sights.  When I look out the window, I see black sights in front of a very bright background.  I'll give it a try Monday, if not sooner.  

Thanks for posting - that was an interesting article to read.
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Post by orpheoet on 2/16/2020, 9:36 pm

It is REALLY hard to take a good pic of the front sight!! The crease that goes through the serations down the middle of the sight shows up as a scratch when the sights are aligned especially in sunlight. Courtesy of a local High Master.
Focusing on the Front Sight Front_10
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Post by mikemyers on 2/16/2020, 9:58 pm

Thanks for posting - but that looks like it would be SO DIFFICULT to see at all, let alone focus on.  Maybe you have better lighting than I do.

I need to get some white nail polish.  I'll wait until after tomorrow, and see how things are working.


By the way, I think you did a very good job with the photo!!!  It's not what I expected to see, but the photo shows the scratch so clearly.  I was imagining seeing a metal colored scratch on a black surface.
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Post by orpheoet on 2/16/2020, 9:59 pm

mikemyers wrote:Thanks for posting - but that looks like it would be SO DIFFICULT to see at all, let alone focus on.  Maybe you have better lighting than I do.

I need to get some white nail polish.  I'll wait until after tomorrow, and see how things are working.


By the way, I think you did a very good job with the photo!!!  It's not what I expected to see, but the photo shows the scratch so clearly.  I was imagining seeing a metal colored scratch on a black surface.
It is a thin line of bare metal when the sights are aligned.
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Post by Jack H on 2/16/2020, 10:04 pm

Lighting makes a world of difference.  Shooting from shade into sunlight is bad compared to enough light and good eye to actually see the grain in the front sight surface.
Anyone still remember the mirror things we used to see behind the front sight?  I forget what they were called.
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Post by mikemyers on 2/16/2020, 10:11 pm

Jack H wrote:Lighting makes a world of difference.  Shooting from shade into sunlight is bad compared to enough light and good eye to actually see the grain in the front sight surface.
Anyone still remember the mirror things we used to see behind the front sight?  I forget what they were called.
??????????

I certainly agree with the first thing you wrote, and I have no idea what the "mirror things" were or are.....
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Post by Sa-tevp on 2/16/2020, 10:23 pm

Jack H wrote:Lighting makes a world of difference.  Shooting from shade into sunlight is bad compared to enough light and good eye to actually see the grain in the front sight surface.
Anyone still remember the mirror things we used to see behind the front sight?  I forget what they were called.

Well, I've read of two types.

The Ruess mirror sight mentioned in a mid to late 1960's Gun Digest and also described here: http://www.targettalk.org/viewtopic.php?p=76048&sid=6b7250736a27a844913552f92ca6811e#p76048

King mirror sight is more likely what you are thinking of:

Focusing on the Front Sight JQElRM__Vo_p51_UIDCn6l-8tuMl7MiOlG0eTxosEkj3XzCsSnLL0r104AM902meq72kcy8lci8OXgb8r6UpzAV75n_rgkU

(from http://www.hallowellco.com/king_sights.htm)

https://www.levergunscommunity.org/viewtopic.php?t=10882

http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-hand-ejectors-1896-1961/199788-info-kings-reflector-sights-please-my-pics-added.html

http://www.histandard.info/King/KingCatalogs/cat19/Kingcat19D08-09P200R_1024_768.html from 
       http://www.histandard.info/King/KingCatalogs/cat19/index_1024_768.html


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Post by john bickar on 2/16/2020, 10:36 pm

Erich Buljung taught us that a scratch, dot, whatever on the front sight was a crutch.

"Soon enough, you'll ignore that scratch just like you were ignoring the front sight before it was there."

I've long been a "mental focus on trigger squeeze" person, which puts me in the minority, so I never paid much mind to that.

But I do think the concept holds water, if you're the type that finds success by having mental and visual focus on the front sight.
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