The idea behind good enough is something I hear a lot from those who struggle with their accuracy. There is the idea, that their shot was good enough for the desired outcome.

The One Absolute

I am not sure what desired outcome it is they are looking to achieve. I’m also not sure how they know they can expect said desired income. What I do know is the bullet doesn’t lie. You can be sure of that as well as it being the gun’s fault. No matter the make or model, if it is a modern defensive handgun it is more accurate than you. The first step in knowing you have a problem is acknowledging you have a problem.

Corrective Strategies

The best thing you can do improve your marksmanship capacity is to learn how to properly use your sights. I don’t care what type you have, understanding how they work is both the simplest and most challenging task you will face. Because performance standards are an integral part of our DNA it is easy to observe this facet. Aiming at smaller targets at closer ranges and larger targets at further ranges gives us a good idea of the student’s abilities on the subject. It has also also helped perfect our corrective strategies since we usually see results quickly.

High Hits???

Iron sights are not complicated, though it would seem some manufactures enjoy complicating the un-complicated. The front sight, usually a post typically in the shape of rectangle resting on its short side is aligned so it is equally spaced for both windage and elevation. We don’t typically see windage issues as a result of not understanding how sights work. However, we see problems with elevation frequently and the most popular error is to be high or impacting 12:00 of your intended point of aim.

Kentucky Windage is Not the Solution

Some will try to solve this issue by adjusting their point of aim. They will aim lower in order to adjust the bullet’s path to the target. This is a huge mistake and does nothing to help the student. Instead you have to ensure the student understand the object of their focus is the very top of the front sight post. Not too hard you say. I would agree, but with the addition of brilliant aiming tools it has created some problems.

Don’t Look into the Light

It is hard not to stare at this brilliant aiming tools. Some glow in the dark, others reflect light and some are just designed to attract your vision. The good news is they are doing their job. The bad news is many don’t move beyond this initial understanding. These brilliant aiming references should quickly draw your attention to the post as part of your pre-sight picture. Then you transition your focus to the top of the front sight post as part your sight picture. While many have heard “equal height”, few understand this is referencing the front sight post and not the brilliant aiming reference. When done correctly, it will allow give you true point of aim/point of impact. When done incorrectly it will produce misses at the 12:00 position. I took for granted the complexity for many students on how to use their iron sights. It allowed me to see the error in my ways quite literally and made me a better instructor as a result.

2 thoughts on “The Truth About Sights

  1. HDA Training says:

    I get it, but i also challenge it to some degree. My guns are regulated to hit under the dot. Sig sights used to come this way, Ameriglo Agents do as well. Since a flash sight picture / threat focus interruption is easier to achieve, especially in a reactive shooting, ive shown this to produce better hits in force on force and easier for beginners, as well as validation in a close range defensive shooting. If you start them with a red dot rifle, or even a red dot pistol, they understand “float the dot, make the shot” type references. I dont recommend we ignore traditional iron work, but i dont think the average CCW needs to spend a lot of time burning B8s unless they are an enthusiast. If thats the case, we can get way deeper in the weeds and your article is spot on.

    • Jeff Gonzales says:

      I hear what you are saying reference a flash sight picture. While I agree many self defense shootings occur at close range, the principles to marksmanship are universal. My experience in classes has shown me it takes no extra work to teach correct sight alightnment in the beginning. It doesn’t even require live fire, but what it does is program the shooter to understand how to use their sights. The ability to transfer to precise sight alignment for a surgical shot is therefore embedded. The ability to pick up on the dot for a flash sight picture becomes a fluid concept at that point.

      We teach three different sight pictures; starting with the target, pre-sight picture and lastly sight picture. More on that in a later blog.

      Thanks, great comment!

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