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Using a lot of windage

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xman
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Post by spaatz1644 7/20/2020, 7:20 pm

This might not be the right subsection...feel free to move the thread if necessary.

I've found on all three of my pistols, I have to use A LOT of right windage on my rear sight to get the group centered. The more I practice, the smaller and rounder my groups are getting, and they are staying centered. I don't necessarily think I have a problem, but it seems strange to me.

I thought I should ask if this is common. Or is it a sign of a fundamental problem. If its a sign of something that needs correcting, I want to catch it early.

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Post by TonyH 7/21/2020, 5:50 am

Which hand do you shoot with, and are you left or right eye dominant? Do you shoot with both eyes open or cover/close one of them?
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Post by Lightfoot 7/21/2020, 8:13 am

I have found over the years that the more light, the more right.  Groups move based on the light on the target for me.  Irons only though.
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Post by spaatz1644 7/21/2020, 8:29 am

Lightfoot wrote:I have found over the years that the more light, the more right.  Groups move based on the light on the target for me.  Irons only though.

Very interesting. That might be the answer. I'm shooting outside, in the desert, in the early mornings, with intense sun over my right shoulder.

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Post by REConley 7/21/2020, 8:31 am

Lightfoot wrote:I have found over the years that the more light, the more right.  Groups move based on the light on the target for me.  Irons only though.

Yes with irons, we always shoot towards the light. Hence the use of sight black or carbide lamps to blacken the sights.

A bright light on your front sight makes the sight appear thinner. Causing you to recenter the thinner appearing sight to the right.

I used to always have a carbide lamp, a little pill bottle of carbide in the box/bag when shooting irons.
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Post by SteveT 7/21/2020, 9:28 am

My first thought is "who cares". If the groups are centered you are sighted in.

Light can affect open sights, sure. But not that much. Most people I've heard of adjust a few clicks for light. You don't say how much "a lot" is, but I assume the rear sight is noticeably off center. That is a lot, dozens of clicks probably.

If it bothers you or if you think it is affecting your grip then look at the front sight. Is it bent? Is is centered in the dovetail? If it is dovetailed, move it so the rear sight is more centered. If it's pinned, there isn't much you can do without machining the slide.
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Post by spaatz1644 7/21/2020, 11:11 am

SteveT wrote:My first thought is "who cares". If the groups are centered you are sighted in.

This is my gut instinct as well, I just want to make sure its not a sign of a known obvious fundamentals error I don't know about. Its starting to look like its a combination of light and my individual experience. I'm ok with that. 

Ironically, today we had a lot of cloud cover. No direct sunlight and a little bit of drizzle. And the group did shift pretty far back the other way. 

Its much more than just a few clicks worth. Maybe it effects my eyes more than most people. That's ok as long as I know what to pay attention to and to adjust quickly. Its the same in high power rifle shooting; its even the same in bowling. I'm used to it.

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Post by Jon Eulette 7/21/2020, 11:23 am

I work on and shoot lots of BE pistols. 99% of the time the pistol is not even close to being sighted in for me. So what’s good for you is good for you.
There’s a saying, “sight in for the jerk behind the gun!”
We all hold it and pull it differently.
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Post by Lightfoot 7/21/2020, 12:36 pm

spaatz1644 wrote:
SteveT wrote:My first thought is "who cares". If the groups are centered you are sighted in.

This is my gut instinct as well, I just want to make sure its not a sign of a known obvious fundamentals error I don't know about. Its starting to look like its a combination of light and my individual experience. I'm ok with that. 

Ironically, today we had a lot of cloud cover. No direct sunlight and a little bit of drizzle. And the group did shift pretty far back the other way. 

Its much more than just a few clicks worth. Maybe it effects my eyes more than most people. That's ok as long as I know what to pay attention to and to adjust quickly. Its the same in high power rifle shooting; its even the same in bowling. I'm used to it.
The first time I noticed it happen was at Lake Charles.  (covered firing points) The sun was shining directly and the target was so white that it hurt to look at.  First shot 22 slow fire, 6 at 3:00.  Second shot 6 at 3:00.  Now my head is spinning because I didn't call that.  I made 3-4 clicks and still way out of call.  I finally moved about 20 clicks left to center the group.  As the sun rose, the clicks started coming back off and by the end of the match I was back to the normal zero.  The second time this occurred was in Phoenix (again covered firing points)  in February 1st relay on a very overcast day.  The sun hadn't really come out yet and the target was super dim.  1st shot slow fire (different gun) 6 at 9:00.  Second was again right on top of it.  I remembered Lake Charles and went with the lesson I learned, "Bright causes right" so dim must cause left.  20 some odd clicks left and I was in the 10 ring.  Again as the sun brightened up the target the groups started going back to normal and I'd move the sight back with each successive target.   I asked every Master and High Master at the match and no one had ever experience such a wild swing.  I guess my eyes are especially unique.
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Post by REConley 7/21/2020, 3:01 pm

Do yourself a favor and get a $5.00 can of sight black and apply to both front and rear sights and then zero pistol. And apply before shooting each time. If the sight change goes away, you will then know the cause.
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Post by Lightfoot 7/21/2020, 3:37 pm

REConley wrote:Do yourself a favor and get a $5.00 can of sight black and apply to both front and rear sights and then zero pistol. And apply before shooting each time. If the sight change goes away, you will then know the cause.
 I use carbide lamp black which is vastly superior to the spray cans.  It is dead flat black.  Shooting under a cover really diminishes the need for sight black.  Shaded sights and a bright target tends to cause the sights to become silhouette like.  But sight black is pretty cool stuff and never a bad thing.
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Post by REConley 7/21/2020, 5:44 pm

Yes carbide lamp black is superior, but finding the little 3 inch carbide light is difficult today. Hence the sight black as a backup. 

I missed placed mine a while back ( had owned it for 40 years) and I have not found a replacement.
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Post by xman 7/21/2020, 6:44 pm

I have used masking tape twirls with the glue side out light it up with a cigarette lighter and it just blows really dense dark smoke and you could possibly cover your rear and front sights you may have to do it behind the firing line to keep a open flame away from the filing line
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Post by Sa-tevp 7/21/2020, 7:02 pm

xman wrote:I have used masking tape twirls with the glue side out light it up with a cigarette lighter and it just blows really dense dark smoke and you could possibly cover your rear and front sights you may have to do it behind the firing line to keep a open flame away from the filing line

I seem to have lots of masking tape available for various uses but if I train well I seem to use less. It is nice to just replace a repair center without any arts-and-crafts needed.

A whimsical post from the past: https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t9771-i-used-to-be-a-non-smoker?highlight=smoking#84088
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Post by -TT- 7/22/2020, 6:26 am

In addition to sight picture, consider your triggering technique. I discovered my windage needed the same thing when I switched hands, and initially thought it was some kind of recoil thing, maybe I wasn't gripping as well or something. But as I trained, the groups walked back and I can now switch hands without any correction. It was all in me "pushing" the gun when triggering.

Focus on straight-back. Imagine you're pulling the front sight through the rear sight notch. Or the red dot through the back lens. Dry fire a lot.

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Post by mikemyers 7/22/2020, 6:50 am

When you look at your rear sight, rather than through it, does the blade seem to be offset to one side or another?

I had a revolver with this problem, and it turned out the previous owner must have dropped it or something, as the adjusting screw was bent.  This was on a S&W revolver, so it was easy enough to fix.  While you're looking at the rear sight, and you turn the adjusting screw, is there a lot of "play", or is everything tight?
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Post by swissyhawk 7/23/2020, 9:30 am

All my iron sights are off set to the right.  I think it has to do with how I grip the gun or possibly I have a crooked arm. Smile   I wouldn't worry about it.

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