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Irons vs Dot For Accuracy

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Post by Soupy44 9/26/2021, 1:39 am

First topic message reminder :

Assuming a shooter has good vision to see both well, which has the higher ceiling, irons or dot?

Discuss!

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Post by DA/SA 4/29/2022, 3:51 pm

SingleActionAndrew wrote:
Edit: part of my frustration with the dot is my eyes. I've worked with my new ophthalmologist across 4 sessions on this, and I cannot despite correction see the lines in a B8 at 25 yards. 

I'm just curious why you would need to see the lines on a B8 at 25 yards?

Have you tried turning a B8 around and shooting at the blank side?

Sounds a bit like you may be trying to shoot a dot pistol one handed as if it was a rested scoped rifle.
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Post by javaduke 4/29/2022, 4:50 pm

I gave up on red dots finally. With my astigmatism I cannot see a dot, I see a star instead, I spend a log of time trying to figure out which side of that star is the actual aiming point, and by that time my shot is already in the 6 ring. With irons I get much less wobble, everything is smooth and steady and I routinely shoot mid-90s with my Morini. The added benefit is that switching between International and Bullseye is much easier for me, and it all comes together as pretty much the same thing - air pistol, free pistol, Bullseye, 22 EIC. My only wish is a .45 caliber pistol in the International form factor (like Pardini SP, Morini, Walther, etc) - really hard to adjust to the steeper grip angle of 1911.

Irons vs Dot For Accuracy - Page 3 Upthei10

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 4/29/2022, 5:20 pm

DA/SA wrote:
SingleActionAndrew wrote:
Edit: part of my frustration with the dot is my eyes. I've worked with my new ophthalmologist across 4 sessions on this, and I cannot despite correction see the lines in a B8 at 25 yards. 

I'm just curious why you would need to see the lines on a B8 at 25 yards?

Have you tried turning a B8 around and shooting at the blank side?

Sounds a bit like you may be trying to shoot a dot pistol one handed as if it was a rested scoped rifle.

Yep I love the blank target drills. I haven't been well enough since January but otherwise dry fire too at a blank wall each night.

In the past when I had neck issues it was more isolated to my right so a couple seasons go I tried shooting with my left, and left eye (weak right dominance). With my left eye I can see enough of the target rings to get positive feedback on my optical focus, and like magic when my eyes are focused on the target (like front sight with irons) the shots are not only all on call but quite a bit easier.

I've only been doing this for 4 years. I score best typically in slow fire so yes you may be onto something with me trying to shoot it like a fixture. My best sustained fire targets are when I lose half my time to loading malfunctions so I resign to just let my body shoot the pistol as fast as I can. Gaining control by releasing control.
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Post by DA/SA 4/29/2022, 5:41 pm

I found similar results by accident. My vision is not so good either and some days things are clear when shooting and others, blurry. Got frustrated with not being able to see a clear dot one day and just held the red blur somewhere in the black blur and smoothly squeezed the trigger. Results were quite surprising, and I learned a bit more about this type of shooting!
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Post by mikemyers 4/30/2022, 11:53 pm

Soupy44 wrote:Assuming a shooter has good vision to see both well, which has the higher ceiling, irons or dot?.....
Everything else being equal, do more of the better iron sight shooters use "center hold" or "sub-6-o'clock hold"?

Everything else being equal, do more of the better iron shooters color their front and/or rear sights?


(From the old articles I used to read, the trick with iron sights was to buy a carbon "smoker" to make the front sight as black as possible.  Then I read about coloring it white.  Open sights are available with the rear sight all black, or with a  white outline.)
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Post by Fotomaniac 5/2/2022, 5:06 pm

After reading through all the posts, there are a few things that come to mind:  
First, is that if you’re having problems with your vision, see a professional and get it straightened out. Mind you this is not always that easy as you need to find a doctor who will work with you to align your script to eliminate the astigmatism. 
Second, blank target drills on a FULL FACE TARGET are key to seeing where your groups are, and then allow you to adjust accordingly. The black dot/target messes with your brain, therefore if you can put 10 shoots into a 10 ring group on a blank target, then it is conceivable that you are able to do the same on a target with the black. This also helps with setting up fundamentals.  I see many decent shooters actually forcing and realigning themselves with each shot rather than take the time and effort to work on the fundamentals of lining up their stance, grip, aim etc. so that each time the gun is raised, it lines up properly each time without forcing it to the center. I witness many shooters fail to maintain their grip once established, putting the gun down, and then just grabbing it up and return to shoot the next shot. Then complain when it’s not a good shot. 
Third is that with irons, you need to have impeccable trigger control to aim center mass with consistency. A more manageable hold might be to aim at sub 6 for 50y (ideally the mid point between the black and the bottom of the target), and then a 6 o’clock hold for the short line. Allows one to focus on the sights, and maintain trigger control.
YMMV Stu TheBullseyeClinic.com

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Post by mikemyers 5/2/2022, 6:07 pm

Fotomaniac wrote:........I see many decent shooters actually forcing and realigning themselves with each shot rather than take the time and effort to work on the fundamentals of lining up their stance, grip, aim etc. so that each time the gun is raised, it lines up properly each time without forcing it to the center. ......
This has everything and nothing to do with this topic, but while in my mind I understand that I should be able to close my eyes, raise my gun up as if to shoot, and when I open my eyes, find everything is ready, I have never yet been able to do this.  Close, but not perfect.  

I used to draw chalk marks for where my feet should go.
I've worked very hard to make sure my hand is in exactly the same position on the gun every time.  
Somehow, between my brain and the barrel of the gun, there is something lacking.  

It's probably "cheating", but I do best if I raise my gun a little over the target, then lower it into position, all with eyes open, I do my best.  Getting into position with my eyes closed?  Forget it.

Thanks for what you wrote, but maybe this gets harder to do as people get older?
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Post by Fotomaniac 5/2/2022, 10:12 pm

Mike, a few things to consider…how are you going to be able to know that you are in the best position and alignment if you’re in the grass, dirt, or stones at a range?  Drawing chalk marks to remember your stance is not the ideal way of learning and establishing the fundamentals of accuracy. Nor is closing your eyes and pointing your hand…or even your pistol 🤦.  
Your body changes thru out the day. In the am you’ll be aligned one way, then it may change slightly during the day as your body adjusts, or dehydrates, or fatigues, etc. (Sometimes even your eyes’ ability to focus may change) You need to be able to take notice of these changes and adjust accordingly. If you are focused and notice the indicators signaling these changes, you will know what to do and your performance will be much better.

With proper coaching/ training you will be able to pick up theses changes and be better able to increase your consistency and therefore your accuracy and performance. This and more is exactly why we created and produce the Bullseye Bootcamp.

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Post by mikemyers 5/2/2022, 10:28 pm

Fotomaniac wrote:Mike, a few things to consider…how are you going to be able to know that you are in the best position and alignment if you’re in the grass, dirt, or stones at a range?  Drawing chalk marks to remember your stance is not the ideal way of learning and establishing the fundamentals of accuracy. Nor is closing your eyes and pointing your hand…or even your pistol 🤦.  
Your body changes thru out the day. In the am you’ll be aligned one way, then it may change slightly during the day as your body adjusts, or dehydrates, or fatigues, etc. (Sometimes even your eyes’ ability to focus may change) You need to be able to take notice of these changes and adjust accordingly. If you are focused and notice the indicators signaling these changes, you will know what to do and your performance will be much better.
I haven't drawn the chalk marks for years, but I believe it was helpful.  Now I mostly go to what I think is a reasonable position for two hand shooting, or a different position for one hand.

I was taught that closing my eyes and placing the gun properly was good training.  I fully understand I may get tired, but I thought positioning my gun properly was important.  I can't yet say the gun goes to the exact same position in my hand, but it is very close.  Are you suggesting people should NOT do this?

My eyes no longer focus at all.  The lenses have been replaced with an IOL, due to cataract surgery.  I do have very annoying "floaters", but there is nothing I can do about that.  At least I don't have astigmatism.  

I'd like to think I'm doing that last thing you wrote.  Hours and hours of dry-firing makes a big difference.  But every time I take a long trip over to India (volunteer work) I slide backwards.


To be honest with you, the single biggest thing I could do to improve my performance would be to put away all my guns with steel sights, and mount an Aimpoint Micro on my other guns.    It's not going to happen.  I'm not trying to get better than Jon Shue or Brian - I shoot because I enjoy it, and I'd like to shoot as well as my body, hands, eyes, arms, and all the rest are capable of.  I will shoot better than some people, and others will shoot better than I can shoot.  That's life.  My only real competitor is myself, "yesterday".  


What is the "Bullseye Bootcamp"?
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Post by Fotomaniac 5/2/2022, 10:35 pm

www.thebullseyeclinic.com

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Post by mikemyers 5/2/2022, 11:01 pm

My Safari browser is not happy with that website:

Irons vs Dot For Accuracy - Page 3 Scree102
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Post by DA/SA 5/2/2022, 11:04 pm

It's a week long Bullseye clinic with Brian Zins that I'm  hoping makes it's way to Florida at some point.
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Post by Fotomaniac 5/2/2022, 11:50 pm

We’re working on that DA/SA!

Mike, the sites good…all browsers are suspicious…

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Post by Ed Hall 5/2/2022, 11:55 pm

mikemyers wrote:My Safari browser is not happy with that website:
. . .
The problem is that without the prefix, your browser expects an https (secure) site.  The real link is http:  I suggest using the link from the home page ad banner. That should just give you an insecure symbol (unless you've opted for not allowing http only sites).

@Fotomaniac:  Did you try providing the entire link, including the http://?

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Post by mikemyers 5/3/2022, 2:55 am

Adding http://www.thebullseyeclinic.com  fixed things with my browser.

If the clinic ever comes to Miami or Ft Lauderdale, I will sign up.
Perhaps they can contact https://www.hrpclub.info  ...and arrange a time for a class?
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Post by mikemyers 5/8/2022, 8:48 pm

Back to the discussion.  For a rather long time, I've been dry-firing with open sights at a blank white wall.  During that time, I've got acclimated to the weight of my gun (including a 1911 with a magazine filled with lead), and gotten to where the entire gun, and sights, including sight alignment, remains pretty stable all the way through pulling the trigger and giving some time for follow-through.  I've practiced at a blank white wall, and a dark tv screen, where it's black sights in front of a very dark background.

I created a target with a bull the proper diameter to look like a B-8 target bull at 25 yards.  I am back to where I have to make a choice, concentrate ONLY on the front sight post (meaning sight alignment) or to look at the target.

I understand it is imperative to ONLY pay attention to the sights.  It's not a red dot sight, and I need to ignore any desire to pay attention to the target.  I accept that, and while I'm concentrating on the front sight, I'm aware of a blurry bull someplace off in the distance, that is floating around my front sight, but I am fully involved in sight alignment, to the expense of everything else.  I have to trust my finger to fire smoothly at the appropriate time.

I've read stories of why talented shooters missed their shot, and later admitted they were paying attention to the target.  That is deeply burned into my brain, and now it's almost easy to ignore the target, along with everything else I'm ignoring.


My question here is why this is the case.  Theoretically, the ideal would be to have perfect sight alignment directly in front of the bullseye.  I know, and accept, that this is not the case, and the ONLY thing I am to concern myself with is the sight alignment.

(I made up my own answer to that question, to make my mind shut up.  I thought that if I have the sights aligned perfectly, the bullet hole will be in the X, and if my "error" while seeing the target is say, 1/8", my bullet hold will still be in the X, but 1/8" away.  Accepting that,  I realize even more strongly that perfect sight alignment is mandatory.)

So, getting to the end of this, my question to the forum is "why should I ignore the target" when shooting with open sights, paying attention instead to holding the front and rear sight in perfect alignment?  Nobody has answered this, but every source I have found tells me to ignore the target and instead work on sight alignment.


(I suspect a lot of shooters using open sights are unaware of this, and instead they shoot at the target.)
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Post by CR10X 5/8/2022, 9:55 pm

I cannot believe I'm even taking the time to respond to this (again).  Yes, it was answered for you before. 

One more time.  

Why is sight alignment more important than sight picture?  (OR Why should I ignore the target.)  They are different ways of communicating the same concept.  Here are four reasons why we need to see the sights better than the target. 

(1) EVERYTHING that determines the impact point of a bullet happens AT THE GUN.  The sights are on the gun, the target area is not.  How will one know what's happening at the gun if they are looking at the target (with open sights). 

[Aside:  Dot sights are different due to the geometry of reflecting a dot onto a curved half-mirror lens to indicate alignment of the gun AND the expected point of impact.  But the further away from the center of the lens (tube), the more there are issues with the alignment of the gun (which is also intertwined in the parallax issue).  And also why most shooters reach a limit well below their potential using only dots when developing their shooting technique. They are seeing both the wobble and the misalignment and its hard to tell where each is coming from and contributing to the movement of the dot. They have trouble figuring out how to do Number 2 and deal with Number 3 since the dot is showing both the movement from misalignment and wobble as both are happening at the same time in their visual input. But that's another discussion.] 
 
(2) ALIGNMENT of the sights (front and rear sights perfectly aligned) beats placement on the target area.  Perfect alignment of the sights equals no angular displacement of the center of the bore relative to the target.  Angular displacement equals BIG shot group.  Do the math, its simple trigonometry and had been posted here before.  Check our how much 0.001 misalignment of the sights moves the impact of the bullet at 50 yards.

(3) WOBBLE (linear displacement) of the gun around the target area with perfect sight alignment only creates vertical or horizontal displacement equal to the amount movement.  This means the distance from the center of the aiming area is only equal to the difference in the position of the gun relative to the target area.  Wobble displacement equals SMALL group. (Unless you wobble more than 3.36 inches in any direction with perfect sight alignment, you will hit the 10 ring at 50 yards.)

(4) AIMING AREA location is unimportant except that it needs to enable you keep in mind Number 1 in order to do Number 2 as perfectly as possible with the most consistent and least amount of Number 3.   It does not matter where your aiming area center is on the target (sub-6, 6:00, center, NRA logo, corner of the target frame, etc., etc.).  There are screws on the gun (adjustable sights) that will move the point of impact where you want it.  Just have a consistent aiming area.  

If you are looking at something out at the target area with open sights, then you can't determine if you have perfect sight alignment.  And that is why BLACK front sights are the best.  They will produce the "crisp" visual image so one can see the perfect outline of the front sight in the rear notch.  Colors produce a more "fuzzy" edge for most people.  And we are not just focusing on or seeing the front sight.  We are seeing the crisp sharp top and sides of the front sight relative to the rear sight notch so we can tell exactly where it is in the notch and keep it in the center. Nothing fuzzy about the front sight, something a little fuzzy about the rear sight notch, doesn't matter how fuzzy the target as long as you can tell which one is yours and can define your wobble area. 

CR (sigh....)


Last edited by CR10X on 5/9/2022, 1:09 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Soupy44 5/9/2022, 12:09 am

Assuming a 6in sight radius, any error in sight picture is magnified 300x at 50y.

50y x 3ft/y x 12in/ft = 1800in

1800in / 6in = 300x

The sight precision at 50y to clean a target is .0112in (3.36in / 300).  

Just in my head, making the front sight askew by 1/16in seems well within the realm of possibilities under conditions including poor trigger control:

.0625 x 300 = 18.75in (5 ring anybody?)

I shot an 89 with an on paper miss at the Eastern Games a few weeks ago. That target immediately came to mind after doing this math.

Conversely, doing holding exercises on an electronic trainer, my hold is comfortably within the black, so 8in and 5.54in or better at LL and SL, and I'm not that amazing at this sport yet. Regardless of that, breaking a shot in the middle of a hold is a learned skill that can increase one's ability to put shots in the center without reducing hold size. 

18.75in sight error vs 8in arm pointing error, I think my focus should be on the sights by a margin of a little over 2x at a minimum!

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Post by mikemyers 5/9/2022, 1:30 am

CR10X wrote:I cannot believe I'm even taking the time to respond to this (again).  Yes, it was answered for you before. 
One more time.  

CR (sigh....)
Different people have different "issues", especially as they get older.  For me, I remember what I was taught years ago, and whenever I am shooting a gun with open sights, I do what I learned.  I had cleaned off my white and red painted sights, and the are now as black as I can make them - the can of spray paint "sight black" made that easy.  

With what I learned, I can shoot with open sights far better than I ever could in the past, and almost just as well as with a red dot.

That's the good news.  .......and thank you and others for explaining this so well many years ago.


It's no "excuse", but at 78 my memory feels crippled compared to what it was a few years ago.  I can shoot better than back then, but there is NO WAY I could have explained things the way you just did.  This time I saved it as a file, and printed it out.

I was wondering a few days ago about open sights, as in specifically WHY it is that I should ignore the target.  I never could have written what you just posted - it was lost in my memory, and while I could do just what you wrote, I only "did it" because I thought it was the proper technique.  I lost track of all the reasons for doing so.  After puzzling about it for two days, I posted my question here.

Sorry for acting like a "dork", but it's like why do I go to a room to get something, and when I get there, I forget what I was going to get?  .....or when I leave my wallet, or my keys, or for that matter anything else in an unusual place, why do I forget where I put it/them?  

My "solution" is to write check lists, so when I make trips, I no longer arrive without something I should have known I needed.  Even going to the range, I need to make sure everything is ready to go - it sucks to get to the range with no ammo, or the wrong ammo, or to find that my 1911 has my test magazine filled with lead rather than an empty magazine for shooting.  If I don't double check these things, I drive for half an hour to the range, only to turn around and go home.  .....or without having checked the club calendar, I get to the range only to find a rifle event going on, and I either wait for hours, or go home.  For reloading, I check everything, even if I "know" it's right.  


Anyway, I apologize for making you re-do all that effort of explaining everything yet again.  You, and now others, have certainly answered my question (again).  My doctors tell me all is well, and I do not have any "issues" such as "decreased cognitive ability", but my memory has been horrible for my whole life, and nowadays it's even worse.  I'm not going to complain, as when I read what you just wrote, it all starts to sound "obvious".  I don't go thinking huh????  ....as I understand.  Now.  Whether or not I'll remember this one year from now is doubtful.  Having saved it, and printed it out, next time I won't need to ask here though.


Thank you - and if I can make a suggestion, you ought to submit what you wrote to one of the gun magazines, so they can print it.  A >lot< of people would benefit from reading it.
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Post by mikemyers 5/9/2022, 1:46 am

Soupy44 wrote:.........Just in my head, making the front sight askew by 1/16in seems well within the realm of possibilities under conditions including poor trigger control:
.0625 x 300 = 18.75in (5 ring anybody?)........
All these numbers are interesting, but I can't relate to them.  
What would be more useful (to me), would be to know if the right edge of the front sight is touching the inside edge of the rear sight, what would be the error in POI at 25, and 50 yards?
I guess some day I should test this.  I think that I can now calculate it, but it would be more meaningful to actually see it.
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Post by NukeMMC 5/9/2022, 2:20 am

mikemyers wrote:
Soupy44 wrote:.........Just in my head, making the front sight askew by 1/16in seems well within the realm of possibilities under conditions including poor trigger control:
.0625 x 300 = 18.75in (5 ring anybody?)........
What would be more useful (to me), would be to know if the right edge of the front sight is touching the inside edge of the rear sight, what would be the error in POI at 25, and 50 yards?
I guess some day I should test this.  I think that I can now calculate it, but it would be more meaningful to actually see it.

Alot depends on how your pistol sights are made and their exact sight radius.  That sets the angle of the smaller triangle in the trig problem.  The human eye can, on average, discern a misalignment of front/rear sights on a pistol of 0.001".  

If you have a rear sight groove width that provides a sight image of about 150% front sight width, and your rear sight groove width is 0.115".  The front sight touching the edge of the rear sight would require a displacement of 0.02875" ... call it 0.03".  If your sight radius is 6 5/8", that would result in a POI displacement of 8.15" at 50yds (yep, still in the 5 ring).  At 25yds the same misalignment puts you in a solid 7, scratch-8.
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Post by Soupy44 5/9/2022, 2:49 am

My numbers (I'm 6ft 2in):

Front sight width .121in
Rear sight width .118in
Sight radius 6.875in
Eye to rear sight about 28in (enjoy the image of me holding a pistol in my right hand and fighting a tape measure with the left over and behind my head to get that measurement, so glad my wife is working tonight...)

I get an angle of .24deg width at the rear sight from my eye. That translates to .15in width at the front sight, meaning .015in of extra space on either side. 125% by NukeMMC's math, but I wish I had more white in my rear sight. I'm not brave enough to take a file to my sights.

.15in at 50y is 4.5in and at 25y is 2.25in.

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Post by -TT- 5/9/2022, 2:52 am

And don't forget, your eye cannot physically focus on the nearby sight and faraway target simultaneously. You absolutely want the sight to be in focus, for precision.

Mike, you've had cataract surgery, right? Assuming you opted for the standard infinity-focused lens, you should wear a diopter on your aiming eye, and see previous paragraph.

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Post by mikemyers 5/9/2022, 3:34 am

-TT- wrote:And don't forget, your eye cannot physically focus on the nearby sight and faraway target simultaneously. You absolutely want the sight to be in focus, for precision.

Mike, you've had cataract surgery, right? Assuming you opted for the standard infinity-focused lens, you should wear a diopter on your aiming eye, and see previous paragraph.
Yes, I've had cataract surgery in both eyes, and I agree with everything you wrote.

Long ago, I measured the distance from my shooting eye to the front sight on my 1911 Les Baer holding the gun with two hands, and got 24".  Then I measured it with my Les Baer with a one-hand hold, and got just under 30".  This was perhaps three or four years ago.

I have three sets of shooting glasses.
  • For use with red dot sights, my eye is focused at infinity, and my left eye is focused much closer, so I can see the adjustments I might make on the sights.
  • For most one-hand shooting with open sights, I still have been using the glasses with my right eye focused 30" from my eye.
  • For most two-hand shooting with open sights, I still have been using the glasses with my right eye focused 24" from my eye.


My eyes have changed a little, and I had a new set of glasses made for red dot sights.  That made the dot and the target sharper.
Neither of my glasses is currently "perfect" for shooting with open sights.  The ones set to 30", when used two handed, make the front sight pretty sharp, and the rear sight much less so than before.

In the very near future, I will have someone measure the distance again from my eye to the front sight on the 1911, both for two hand and one hand shooting.  I will then get new lenses made.  My optometrist is very good at finding the proper prescription for any given distance.  (I used to tape a business card to the end of a "stick", so it was the proper distance for shooting, and that's how they measured my eyes to figure out the prescription.

I do have one of the occluders to go in front of my non-shooting eye, but I have no problem shooting with that eye wide open.

For years, I concentrate on the front sight, and the spacing relative to the rear sight, and try to mostly ignore the target or anything else in front of me.  I spend hours dry-firing against a white wall, to get used to doing this.  Then I practice aiming at a small target, concentrating so hard on the front sight, that I'm oblivious to everything else.  And I also practice on a dark surface, so I learn how to distinguish the sights from anything else in front of me.
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Post by CR10X 5/9/2022, 1:00 pm

Why in the (^&*)&(^ would you want to "see" what you should not be seeing, even as a test.   We've been over this before about not focusing on what not to do, the importance of positive feedback and positive mental pictures to achieve what you want to do. Do not show any active brain cells what you do not want to see when shooting.

A better "test" is to bench the gun with as perfect sight alignment as you can achieve and while focusing on the sharp outline of the front sight, move the center of the aiming area to the 3:00 position on the black bullseye.  That means the right side of the front sight is on the right edge of the black.  Then do the same thing with the aiming area at the 9:00 position on the black bullseye, left side of the front sight on the left side of the black.  

Correctly performed at 25 yards both shots will produce a 10 or better.  This means perfect alignment with the wobble in the black will get you a 10.  Maybe belief will eventually creep in ..... (sigh, again.....)   

So don't worry about what misalignment might do or where the wobble is exactly.  You already know where the misaligned shot goes. (Not where you wanted it to...duh....)  

You should already have been seeing what happens with misaligned shots for a while if you have been correctly calling your shots.  You should have that unwanted memory of seeing the front sight in an incorrect position in the rear notch and noticed that you shot an 8 or worse.  And we don't want to create any more of those memories than we have to.  (And bad memories are hardest to forget.) If not, then go back to step one - learn to correctly and consistently call the shot.  

So, dam it, don't do it on purpose.  As a matter of fact, sit there at the bench and work on perfect sight alignment all the way through the shot process so you can really see and reinforce what you want to do. 

CR


Last edited by CR10X on 5/9/2022, 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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