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  #1  
Old 12-24-2012, 8:27 AM
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Exclamation Noobie trying to understand sight alignment

First time I post at calguns. I'm a complete noob, so i hope i wont bore you with my dumb questions. I shot a handgun for the first time last week and was immediately hooked.

I read up about sight alignment here and elsewhere, then went to the range yesterday, and realized I have trouble with the sequencing of events. Which of these is correct (if any)?

1- Align the front sight with the target, then bring the rear sights up such that you're seeing the front sight through them.

2- Get the target between the rear sights, then bring the front sight in the way.

3- All at the same time. Must see the front sight through the rear sights, aligned with the target out of focus behind the front sight.

I guess #3 would be nice, but it seems that throughout the last adjustments, one or the other must occur first.

I hope I made sense. Is there a definitive resource/book/site for this stuff that one must study when starting out?
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2012, 8:32 AM
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[QUOTE=Wannawas;10003920]

1- Align the front sight with the target, then bring the rear sights up such that you're seeing the front sight through them.

QUOTE]

look at the target, bring up the front sight and focus on it, bring the rear notch into alignment, break the shot.

when you get good you will be able to look at the target, bring up the front sight and break the shot while still focusing on the target without ever checking the rear sight. but for now stick with #1.
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Old 12-24-2012, 8:33 AM
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rather than lifting the gun up (rear sights first then front sight lines up), push the gun forward so that the sights are already pretty lined up.. If that makes sense. I guess it's more for drawing from a holster but thats what I practice at the range as well. Also, front sight focus is key. Target and rear sight should be blurry. Youtube is a good resource
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Old 12-24-2012, 8:58 AM
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It also depends on the gun. Some you put target in center site some target sits on top of site.
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Old 12-24-2012, 9:42 AM
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First - Focus on the target w/ Both eyes open.

Second - Point your index finger, which should be along the slide/bore axis of the pistol, at the target. This should bring the sights into of your dominant eye (or trained eye if cross-dominant) view over the target.

Third - Bring your focus back to the font sight. This will blur the target slightly, but your mind's eye will still retain clear image.

Fourth - Keeping focus on the front sight, "Put the ball in the cup" (if you shoot a Glock) or bring the rear sight up and around the front sight which is already on target.

Fifth - Correct aim as needed.

Sixth - Move index finger to trigger, and squeeeze.

Last edited by Red Devil; 12-24-2012 at 9:45 AM..
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  #6  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:17 AM
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Those of us who have been shooting for a long time have likely forgotten how we learned it. With enough practice, you're sights will be aligned as you bring the gun up...either at extension or as part of the press out.

I just tried it with 5 different guns to figure out what I do. A lot of it depends on the platform you are using and how you lock your wrist as you bring it up.

Generally speaking, you frame the target in the rear sight notch and align the top of the front sight blade with the top of the ears while centering the blade in the notch.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:17 AM
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:58 AM
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Like this

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  #9  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:58 AM
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In target shooting, I first get a complete sight picture, then look to get alignment on the target from bottom up, and then follow with trigger pull.

In combat preperation my sight alignment is similar but it happens a lot faster and movement includes lateral sweep of the gun.
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Old 12-24-2012, 1:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLander51 View Post
Like this

In the M&P platform, the above will have you impacting at 6 o'clock in the bullseye. For these pistols, cover what you want to hit with the front sight dot.
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  #11  
Old 12-24-2012, 2:01 PM
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I'm impressed. I've come to the right place. Thanks for the great tips. Thx for the diagram.

Platform was all over the place. I shot about 30 rounds each of rented glock 19, CZ75 B, XD 9, some ruger, M and P. I didn't perform we'll with any of these so it's to soon for me to differentiate much, but hopefully it will come.

Some didn't have clear dots, but I think I get the idea. I'll go back after the holidays and ill stick to one o their .22 for a few sessions so I can focus on technique.
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Old 12-24-2012, 5:48 PM
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I have no idee where I got it from, but I use the same presentation with any projectile launcher:

Bring the front sight/bead up to eye level, then drive it onto the target. How far I go getting the other sighting reference(s) lined up depends on the need for precision, namely how far away the target is. If you're at close range with a handgun, say out to five yards or so, as long as the front sight is on the target and the rear is anywhere even close, you'll hit.

You didn't mention particular sight pictures, but since others have brought it up, that's a personal preference for you to decide, which is why it's nice to have adjustable sights. Old-timey bullseye shooters usually like a six o'clock hold, meaning the top of the front sight is on the bottom of the bull with the point of impact in the center, to allow a sharper sight picture. As a practical matter, I like to have the center of the group just above the front sight, so I can see where I want the bullet to go.





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  #13  
Old 12-24-2012, 9:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fate View Post
In the M&P platform, the above will have you impacting at 6 o'clock in the bullseye. For these pistols, cover what you want to hit with the front sight dot.
I've shot about 7 different M&Ps, 9mm, .40 and .45ACP, and all of them shot to POA when the top of the front blade bisected the middle of the target...at least, out to 20 yards
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:13 PM
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Do NOT focus on the target. Sight alignment is critical and sight picture is secondary (but important) -- if you focus on the target your front sight will drop and you'll shoot low. If you keep your sights aligned the worst you will shoot is a "9" -- break sight alignment and you will scatter dirt on the target pullers.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:17 PM
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I'm not a seasoned handgun shooter, but some advice that helped me recently is this:

Don't worry too much about keeping perfect sight picture (ie, having the sights lined up exactly with the bullseye). Concentrate more on 2 things: sight alignment (how the sights line up with each other irrespective of the target), and trigger pull. If you have perfect sight alignment and a good trigger pull, you'll get decent groups even if you can't keep the sights exactly dead center. One of the things new shooters do is wait until they have that perfect sight picture, then try to snap off a round before they lose it, resulting in a sloppy trigger pull and bad groups.

To practice trigger pull, dry firing has helped me a lot. Check that the gun is unloaded, and find a good spot to aim at that has a backstop (I use my brick fireplace so even if a round were loaded it wouldn't go into the neighbor's house). Double check the gun is unloaded and aim at a spot on the wall, and press the trigger slowly until it breaks (after triple checking that the gun isn't loaded). The front sight should not move at all when the trigger breaks. As I said don't worry too much about keeping those sights exactly on the spot you're aiming, instead concentrate on sight alignment and pulling that trigger straight back. To make it harder, place a dine or penny on the slide or on top of the front sight and try to dry fire without the coin falling off.

Doing this exercise between mags of live ammo at the range can go a long way towards preventing or eliminating a flinch. You can also have a friend at the range load a snap cap or two in a mag of live ammo, so that you don't know when you're pulling the trigger on a live round or a snap cap. This will quickly show you if you're flinching.

Hope this helps, it did wonders for my group size.
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Old 12-26-2012, 1:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannawas View Post
I'm impressed. I've come to the right place. Thanks for the great tips. Thx for the diagram.

Platform was all over the place. I shot about 30 rounds each of rented glock 19, CZ75 B, XD 9, some ruger, M and P. I didn't perform we'll with any of these so it's to soon for me to differentiate much, but hopefully it will come.

Some didn't have clear dots, but I think I get the idea. I'll go back after the holidays and ill stick to one o their .22 for a few sessions so I can focus on technique.
Good thread here....

Well you didnt say, have you shot a rifle before and now adding handguns, or is this your very first time shooting anything?

Its not that the technique should differ between them but that starting off on handguns, if you can hit the broadside of a barn count yourself a marksman.

The reason is that with such a short barrel if your aim is 1/16in wrong that translates to tons of degrees downrange. Of course you cant hit anything. Just do the math and see that an 18in barrel will be far more forgiving.

If this is your first time shooting, i highly recommend renting a .22 rifle and keep working with it until youre pretty good, then try a handgun, preferably another .22.

Though im experienced, in my very first time shooting my Glock 19 i have no idea where the bullets went, they sure werent on the paper and i was laughing with embarassment.

A handgun is a poor and depressing training device whereas a .22 rifle will help a shooter build confidence because youre going to be hitting your targets pretty soon and nothing spells "i wanna buy somethin' today!" like hitting your targets.
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  #17  
Old 12-26-2012, 8:56 AM
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OP - where are you located?

Maybe a Calgunner near you can meet and show you some technique...if you cover the range fee/ammo
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Old 12-26-2012, 8:56 AM
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Old 01-01-2013, 1:47 PM
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Hey guys, just an update.

I went to the range twice more (4th time so far), and I can say this thread helped me immensely. I'm not saying the thread has made my groups much tighter, but I can feel at least I know what to focus on, at this beginner level. Platform was M&p .22.

I learned that it works much better for me to focus on the target first, then shift the focus on the front sight (as posted ITT), then seeing the rear sight coming up to frame the front post without ever losing focus of the front post, like the two diagrams above. It doesn't feel very natural, but I can see it will in time.

I tried the other way posted above to frame the target in the rear sights first and then aligning the front, but I couldn't really make it work. It took me a few seconds to find the front post that was somewhere behind the rest of the gun.

I'll continue both until it becomes second nature. This thread was mostly to get sight picture, and I think it gave me a good start. I'll post later about other aspects if questions arise. Thanks all.

By the way, this sport is darn addictive! I'll need to buy my first gun soon.
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Old 01-01-2013, 4:51 PM
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For a beginner, do all your shooting from a rest, sandbag or block. Concentrate on your sight picture and trigger control.
After you master this, then you can start shooting offhand.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
For a beginner, do all your shooting from a rest, sandbag or block. Concentrate on your sight picture and trigger control.
After you master this, then you can start shooting offhand.
Are you being serious?

I've taken a completely new shooter...didn't even know how to load a magazines...and had him shooting offhand into a 3" X 5" card, at 5-7 yards, after a couple of hours of 1:1 instruction.

The best thing you can do to improve your shooting in the shortest time, using the least ammo, is to take some private instruction
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:08 PM
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I depends on the pistol too. For an XD you aim at the 6 oclock of the target. For a M&P you cover the target like Fate said. I don't have a Glock so I do not know where you place the target.

Focus on the front sight. Some people cover the dots (if you have dots) on the rear sight so it doesn't distract them. Also, practice trigger control.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:30 PM
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Great thread guys !
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
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I depends on the pistol too. For an XD you aim at the 6 oclock of the target. For a M&P you cover the target like Fate said. I don't have a Glock so I do not know where you place the target.
It shouldn't.

You want to establish your ability to shoot with the most consistent sight alignment and trigger press. It doesn't matter if the shots are all hitting low or high. When you can place them all in the same spot, you can adjust your technique or sights to center your group.

Shooting by covering the intended POI with your sight blade will never be as consistent as a 6 o'clock hold or one that bisects the target
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Old 01-21-2013, 6:50 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice. Thanks Wannawas for linking this thread in your other thread!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:32 AM
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I've also just came into hand gun shooting and can't keep my mind off the range.. Tips are very helpful here.
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