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  • Sight picture

    When we practice we always hear line the sights up, equal light and equal height, etc. Is this truly the case? I mean is taking a precise shot and/or distance then it would make sense. What about at closer distance, say 3 yards? Is it point and shoot at that point? At what distance would sights starts to come into play? Thanks.

  • #2
    Hi, You are talking about point shooting, and yes you can be effective at close range. As with all shooting it comes down to how much training you do and how long between your time at the range. You practice equal height equal light until when you present your weapon to your target you are just confirming that your sights are properly aligned and proper sight picture. The confirming of the sights will take just a fraction of a second as you are adding pressure to the trigger. So the trick is to practice enough so when you present the weapon the sights are aligned. The good part of this is the training can all be done with dry fire. You don't have to fire one round. Practice looking at a target and push your weapon at it. when you are fully extended check to see if your sights are aligned, repeat. Go very slow in the beginning to ensure you are lined up every time. Now to your question how far back you are effective will be in direct relation to how much training you do. I worked with an instructor, best shooter I have ever worked with, shoot the Nave qualification course with his eyes closed. The course is shot from the 3, 7 and 15 yard line from the holster. when the command to fire was given he would look at the target close his eyes draw and fire. He shot a marksman score. So how did he do it. He was sure of his prevention and that his sights would be lined up. So start practicing.

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    • #3
      This is a great question and it’s where you start getting into natural point of aim, different focal planes, and acceptable sight pictures.

      First, you need to understand natural point of aim and how to present your pistol along that plane. Your body has a natural centerline that your subconscious mind already know about. If you align your centerline plane to your target, then just place your pistol inside that plane, then most of the aiming was done for you subconsciously. You can call this point shooting also, but in order to point to what you want then you need to have some sort of reference point. The idea is you aim with your body, then verify with your eyes if needed.

      The next piece is your focal plane. You can be hard target focused and have a soft sight picture focus. Your eye is a muscle and it also needs to be worked out. Through training with different scenarios, target sizes, colors, lighting, and distances you will begin to work your eye and you’ll begin to “see faster”, even though you may not have everything perfect.

      As for how accurate you are, well, that comes down to how acceptable your sight alignment is to a certain size target at a certain distance. The more in tune you are with natural point of aim, the more consistent you can be on your presentation along that plane, and so long as you you have an acceptable sight alignment, then you hit your target (trigger press dependent also!).
      My posts are for general educational and informational purposes only. What you do with this information is your responsibility. I encourage you to seek out professional instruction. Nothing replaces in-person training with a qualified professional to ensure you learn properly and train safely.

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